Two for two at the local fair
The week before last my wife asked me if I was planning to enter any breads in our local summer fair which is like a 4H type of event. We've missed the last two years due to vacations or scheduling conflicts but decided to submit some items this year and see what we could do. I had a look at the yeast bread category and decided on multi-grain bread and white buns as my entries. The multi-grain recipe I used was one I put together a few weeks ago and posted here ,
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18941/planb thinking this would be a good opportunity to improve upon it . The taste and texture of the last one was quite good I thought but I wasn't satisfied with the look of it primarily because of slashing it too deeply. For the white buns I used Hamelman’s Baquette with poolish formula for the first time. I really like this dough! I scaled the buns at 70 grams per and put a slash down the middle before baking them off. They weren't anything fancy , just a typical dinner roll, but full of that great flavor you get from using a preferment. Rather than putting a hard bake on them I went for a bit softer crust thinking that might have a broader appeal amongst the judges. Apparently something about them appealed to the judges as they awarded a first place to them. But what I'm even more pleased with is the first place given to the multi-grain loaf made from my own recipe, even though it was slightly underbaked. I was surprised when my wife brought the entries back home to learn that I was two for two, as there’s some pretty stiff competition at these events and the judging is fairly ruthless in my experience . In years previous the fair used to award a ribbon to anyone placing in the top 3 but now you get a little sticker instead. A sign of the economic times I suppose but nice to receive anyway. Note: the pics of the buns were taken 3 days after baking so not really at their best.