The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New in Pennsylvania

Amethyst's picture
Amethyst

New in Pennsylvania

Hi! I've decided to take up bread baking. My husband used to do it years ago. He has moved on to perfecting his homemade pizza, so I'm going to try bread baking myself. I'm using a book called The Best Bread Ever. I'm very pleased with the results so far. It uses a food processor for the mixing and most of the kneading. I'm baking the loaf on a cookie sheet with cornmeal (neither of which I think I really need) and a baking stone. I also pour water into a cast iron skillet in the bottom of the oven just before placing the loaf in the oven and then twice more during the first 3 minutes of baking. My oven spring has been quite impressive and my crust is absolutely as thick and crusty as I want it to be. I could use some bigger air bubbles though. I'm not going to call it a dense loaf, but I'd like some bigger air bubbles. I'm going to play around with a little bit more hand kneading to develop the gluten a little more. Possibly more yeast, but first I'll see how it goes with just the additional kneading. 

I'll take pics next time. Looking forward to learning from all of you here! 

Karen

Amethyst's picture
Amethyst

As I've been reading on this site a lot today I thought I would add a couple more things about my loaf:

I'm at about 63.5% hydration.

I'm shaping into what I guess you would call a batard shape.

I'm definitely going to play with increasing the hydration and NOT increasing the yeast as I stated in my original post.