After 1 year from the birth of our son I have returned to baking bread. The steam thing for crust and rise has never worked for me with certainty, and my wife thinks that it is a bit overly dramatic to have plumes of steam in the kitchen. So, I started to get the outer surface of the loaf really wet and every 5 min(for the first 15-20 until starts rising) remove the loaf and re-wet. All this from a cold start.
A child has been a phenomenal aid to the motivation of time management and systematic trial and error. For those visual learners out there, I would like to share this side by side comparison below.
It seems that the loaf did not quite double. As can be seen by the rip at the upper left, it could have proofed a while longer, maybe until it showed a more pronounced clearing of the lip of the bread tin. The wetting technique allowed me to get this rise whereas before with steam I could not.
Below are 3 pictures:
- The first successful sourdough 65% hydration.
- Crust was way too thick on the sides from the baking tin(450deg and too long time)
- Same sided by second loaf same formula(for size and rise comparison).
- The first had just crested the lip of the baking tin but expanded to fill the shape of the tin.
- The second loaf but the horizontal consequence of over proofing.
- filled with sharp cheddar and cracked pepper, while a monster to look at, it is to be reckoned with next to a pot of homade chicken soup.
Strangely the second loaf at 65% hydration, when folding, when overproofed felt more like 85% hydration at mixing.
Merry Breadmas and may this season be full of life to you and your kitchen,