My Daily Bread X 5
A few days ago I mentioned that I volunteered to bake fresh bread for my niece's graduation party. Since then I have been contemplating what bread I would make and how I would manage it. Mike Avery offered to give some pointers on production baking and gave me something to think about in terms of a SD or yeasted, poolish bread. I went into this thinking I would bake Sourdough since I personally enjoy the flavor so much. My starters are all healthy now (thanks SDG) and I think I trust the timing enough to do a production run of 20 loaves in a strange kitchen 9 hours drive away. I've always been one to jump in sort of recklessly and the sweet success of mastering chaos is like adrenaline.
Thankfully I have matured some and recall the stress of trying to stay ahead of impending doom. I'm going with the Poolish and Mikes Gunnison River bread. It's a French bread that rises well in the oven and develops a full flavor during the ferment. I've made this a few times in 1 or 2 loaf batches so I know what it feels like.
Mike suggested testing a 5 loaf batch to see how it goes together before going to the location. Today I put together a 5 loaf batch and baked it in between getting my daughter to the dance and running for flowers. I learned a few things about larger batches. I only have 1 bowl that will handle that much dough with head room to rise. I mixed it up by hand and it was no trouble at all. Using the mix, wait, stretch& fold, divide, form and bake work flow I was able to stay ahead of the confusion.
I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough clouche material to proof the Batards. When I mentioned this to Mike he said he hadn't used one in a while. This was an epiphany of sorts a little like when I first considered no knead or no pre heat. So what the heck I formed the Batards on the counter and placed them on Parchment for final proofing. I made sure I had good tension on the surface so they wouldn't go pancake on me. The last loaf was getting slightly flat as it had been setting on the counter for 2 1/2 hours but it rose well and showed me I didn't let the batch proof long enough as a whole. So, here they are. The 5 -770g loaves and a little left over for the sweeper.
Thanks Mike for all your help and guidance on this. Now I feel like I understand the task at hand. I do think that using a Poolish will be better for at this time. I am getting to the point where I'm reasonably consistent with SD at home but it always feels like a surprise when things turn out well and on time. In this situation I don't want to be the reason 100 people can't eat on time.