This morning I was on the way to making some lovely artisan bread using a long-fermented Biga starter but unfortunately I over-mixed the dough! Over-mixing creates a horribly sticky mess and it took me half an hour to clean everything, including my hands. Hopefully those that have experienced this will sympathise.
Pressed for time I decided to make a quick loaf with some improving ingredients available in most kitchens.
The result: Ridiculous volume.
- 550g Flour (250g Hovis bread flour / 300g '00' flour)
- 390g Water
- 30g Rapeseed Oil
- 1-large egg yolk ~18g
- 11g Non-diastatic malt powder
- 11g Salt
- 5g Instant yeast
- 5g Lemon juice
- 5g Vinegar
I scaled the water (40C) and placed in a bowl along with, malt, lemon juice, vinegar, egg yolk, yeast and finally the oil. I added the flour and salt and mixed to a shaggy dough. I then turned out and kneaded à la bertinet for 10-15 mins to reach full development. I left on the counter and balled up a couple of times. When doubled I shaped very, very tightly and plonked it in the tin. Let it rise until passed doubled. Slashed and baked with steam.
Improvers: Acids are for tightening the gluten and therefore increasing dough strength. Egg yolk contains an abundance of lecithin - a natural emulsifier and along with the oil they soften the crumb. Malt is food for yeast.
Slashing was an absolute joy! I made cuts very deep with my ultra-sharp Japanese cooking knife. The dough, even though very highly risen didn't move - no loss of volume whatsoever. The cuts just opened slowly. All this can be attributed to the high degree of dough strength. It was amazing to see the detail of the exposed crumb being so voluminous!
Weight out of the oven: 834g. It will lose some more. I always aim for 800g.
A slice from the end:
You can see a centre circle where it's a tad denser. The rest of the crumb is feathery soft and ultra light.
Centre slice: It's as light as a croissant.
It also toasts very well, due to the improving ingredients.