The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A Baker's Follies

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

A Baker's Follies

I suspect that I'm not the only one that has had an impulse or two to color out side the lines. This time, I got caught up in reading too much and just had to do something I hadn't found in my books. I had read about using using large preferments that were bigas or poolishs but I had to try a pate fermentee. I wanted some bread to go with the all purpose red sauce I was working on and thought that I could make pizza dough for the next night in the same batch. No problem, right? Just mix it up, divide it, put half in an oiled bowl, cover it, and place it in the fridge for a long winter's proofing. The other half was to be bulk fermented, S&F'ed, and then shaped.

Well, I had seen something in Ciril Hitz's book, "Baking Artisan Bread", that used extra dough for a kind of flat bread that was cut in quarters and I thought I'd aim at that. When I got to shaping, I flattened the dough into a circle about 5/8-3/4" thick and wide enough to fill the bottom of a pie pan. Here's what happened...


It's not pretty but I do have the alibi or excuse of inexperience. That sounds better than ignorance, don't you think? The crumb is something else again. We've all heard of baker's houses but this was the first time I'd ever seen a baker's cave.


Don't do this at home kids, it's been done already. If I ever take another shot at this, I'll go with a poolish, much like Hamelman's Pain Rustique formula to give my little mixer an easier day at the job and use a stone so I can have a flatter dough. The dough did turn into a fine accompaniment to the evening's pasta and the pizza crust on Friday night did pass muster. There were no other complaints, digestive or otherwise.

The other folly is that I'm opening up my blog to everyone that's curious or a glutton for punishment or has too much time on their hands.

It's a work in progress; part journal of my baking, part overview for family and friends to look into what's happening in my kitchen and garden, and finally, a way for me to get back into a more thoughtful kind of writing, something I haven't really done since I graduated from college almost 39 years ago. Feel free to peruse the recipes and use them if you think they're worthy. Be sure to leave your comments and share a laugh when you've got one. Over and out.