Experiments with Struan...
Well First off I'd like to thank everyone for all their advice and encouragement...Especially Pamela!
I think the best advice so far is I do my soakers in the morning, mix up my dough a couple hours before I go to bed, let it rise to double size, punch it down and throw it in the fridge overnight. Then shape, proof and bake in the morning! Love that!
I have been doing alot of experimenting with the Struan Recipe from "The Baker's Apprentice" book.
Here's what I've tried.
I opened a new package of yeast, the old pack had seen better days.
made it with the bleached bread flour I bought from Costco. (I'm committed to this part for a while cuz I just opened the 50 lbs bag)
Made it with Vital Wheat Gluten and without...Not much difference there.
I did the overnight 2nd rise both in a tub and in my bread pans. The results were maybe a little better in the bread pan ones.
I also tried a batch with unbleached flour that one turned out the best, by the way!
and today I am trying the recipe with a smaller bread pan and using 3/4 of the dough so I end up with a 1.5 lb loaf instead of a 2 lb loaf.
The best part is I'm finally getting some oven spring, and loaves that look more like loaves and less like bricks! Oh and my husband isn't calling my bread "impotent" anymore!
I've got one more thing to try with this recipe then it's time to move on to a new bread! I'm gonna try a boule in a banneton with the full dough amount.
All in all it's a little fun, a little frustrating, and absolutely rewarding to finally figure out what I've been doing wrong.