Greek-Siamese Twins Bread ("Psourdough Psiamese Psomis"?)
I baked Greek Bread (Psomi) today, using Brother David's Sourdough version with some Durum flour (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15470/greek-bread-improved). The first time David baked Psomi was at our house last December, with the assistance of his Greek daughter-in-law (one of our very favorite nieces). That occasion was reported in his blog post here (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15237/greek-bread-i-finally-make-it-my-greek-daughterinlaw).
I loved that first Psomi, and have been Pso looking forward to trying to bake it myself.
Well...as is usually the case with my baking, all did not go perfectly with these Psourdough Psomis.
It started out alright. David's formula was clear as always, and the dough handled nicely. This was my first attempt at shaping boules, and I'd say I did ok, helped by his tutorial on the subject (geez...I'm starting to sound like his PR agent). And I have to say I love my proofing baskets from TMG.
But as I looked at the two loaves and the size of my pizza peel and the size of my baking stone, I realized I might have a space problem. When I flopped the loaves from the proofing baskets onto the parchment-covered peel, each overlapped the peel a bit. And when I slid them onto the baking stone, the loaves were only an inch or so apart and both were near the edges of the stone.
So I was not surprised, when I opened the oven to pull out the steaming stuff, to see the two loaves had [ahem] become engaged.
I was surprised to see how unevenly my poor old oven was baking these two conjoined loaves. So, I clove them apart with a bench knife, turned them around to try to even out the browning, and turned the oven down to 425.
I may have more than my share of baking misadventures, but I also have my share of surprisingly happy outcomes. In this case, though they are a bit carbonized at the tops, the two loaves have a nice thin crispy crust, a medium density moist toothy crumb, and a delightful toasty flavor.
Even the surgical scar healed up nicely.
Next time I bake this bread, I will use a cookie sheet instead of the smaller pizza peel. And I will start the bake at 450 and turn it down to 425 right after loading, to reduce the char.
This dough could be made into a very nice sandwich loaf or roll. I think I may need to try this recipe for buns for Greek sausages. Importantly, my chief taster has declared this bake to be a success and worthy of repeating. And Pso I shall.
In closing, I will repeat the tale of Seseemeus which I shared in David's first Psomi blog post. A lesson whose moral is: don't let pursuit of the perfect stand in the way of enjoying the purdy dang good.
I am sure you are aware of Aeschylus' unpublished play, The Bakers, in which the hero, Seseemeus, maniacally pursues perfection in his Greek Loaf, and keeps coming SO close but--at least in his mind--never attains it. Poor Seseemeus neglected to appreciate fully the very very very good bread he baked, so keen was he on achieving the unattainable perfection. And those who enjoyed his very very very good bread thought perhaps that their enjoyment of it reflected some defect in their taste. A real tragedy!