Today's Breads: Sweet and Sourdough
Today was my best baking day yet, and not just because it was a gorgeous day on the Mendocino Coast. It was a sweet and sourdough day. Last night the San Joaquin Sourdough dough was mixed, stretched, folded, grown to 150% size, and refrigerated.
This morning, I complied with a spousal edict: Make Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread! One is well advised to comply with such insistence from The Loved One. Using the BBA recipe, and hoping it came out somewhere near as good as Brother David’s, I found the recipe to be simple and satisfying. I admit, I hadn’t eaten anything but an apple all day when the C-R-W Bread was cut at 12:30, but it was about the best bread I ever had (ok...I was really hungry). Just a bit sweet, great moist texture. totally delicious. And kinda pretty.
The two loaves were baked in different types of pans. The bigger poofier one was in Pyrex, the other in a non-stick metal pan. The two loaves were exactly the same weight and formed the same way. Interesting difference. The first loaf is half gone. The second went into the freezer for next time.
By 2 p.m., it was time to pre-shape the SJ SD. After my last (repeated) batard-shaping mistakes, I used the technique in Floyd’s video (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1688), and the batards came out more or less the right shape. Not so symmetrical as to make me feel like perfection was anywhere in reach, but generally ok.
The real question this weekend was whether my recurrent lack of oven spring and grigne and the blond bottoms my loaves usually had were due to a bad stone in our San Francisco house. Our some-day-retirement house up the coast has a newer and better oven and a pizza stone that David ordered for us from NY Bakers. The answer is Yes! The SJ SD got nice spring and by far the best grigne I’ve achieved yet. And the bottoms are toasty brown. As you see, one was scored a lot better than the other.
I guess I’m going to have to retire the SF stone and get another from NY Bakers.
Crispy crust, moist chewy crumb with good hole structure. Totally delicious. You can see this dough would make great baguettes. Maybe next time.
The SJ SD was great for BLTs (another spousal edict…don’t you just hate that?!) . She calls BLTs the perfect food. And who can argue. You got the most delectable form of carbohydrates, Bacon (“The Candy of Meats”) and lots of Vitamin Red.
I might some day find a sourdough formula I like more than this, but I’m not in a hurry to start looking.