Tartine Basic Country Bread
When I heard the forecast last night for ice storms, I figured I'd be house bound today so I may as well bake some bread (I'll use any excuse!). I made Tartine's basic country bread. I follow the book fairly closely, but I do deviate a bit in some of the technique.
Since no room in my house is between 75 and 80 degrees F, I improvise my own proof box using a cooler. Microwave a cup of water in a pyrex measuring cup and place it in the cooler. A probe thermometer allows me to monitor the temperature inside the box. Although I cover the proofing baskets with a towel (removed the towel for the photos), the hot water creates a nice humid environment so there's no risk of a skin forming on the dough. I'm not comfortable letting the dough free-fall into a 500 degree cast iron dutch oven so I use a parchment paper sling. An added benefit is it allows me to score the loaf without exposing my hands and wrists to the hot dutch oven. I'm fairly pleased with how these came out, although as you'll see in the crumb shot, some of the holes in the crumb are a bit too large. I focus on handling the dough so gently, maybe I need to get rougher?