Bread journal -- prehistory (what I've been doing)
No idea if this is the right place to do this, but I want to start keeping better track of my bakes. Before I start, I want to clear my brain of the hazy memories from the past couple months of bread baking.
Phase 0: Bob's Red Mill loaves
On a whim I decided to try baking bread from one of the bagged kits from Bob's Red Mill. Multi-grain, or 9 grain, or something like that. Throw the ingredients in the Kitchen Aid, follow the instructions, and tasty bread results!
Phase 1: Whole Wheat Sandwich loaves
Then I decided to take things a step further and make a few batches of Cook's Illustrated Whole Wheat Sandwhich loaves. Most of my loaves came out great, although one collapsed a bit, and another gushed over the side of the pan in the oven (creating a 4 inch by 2 inch by 1/2 inch extension that let me try that batch without having to wait for the whole thing to cool.
Phase 2: No knead
First I did the Lahey No-knead recipe published in the NY Times. The next week I did Cook's Illustrated's updated version (I've still got a can of PBR on reserve in case I want to make another... although now that I think of it, my Levains have been good enough that I don't care to go back. I guess I'll put that beer in the fridge for later).
Phase 3: Levain
At some point I started up a culture. Louis (named after Louis Pasteur). From there I made a few loaves from Flour Water Salt Yeast with my favorite being the bacon bread (latest, and most successful loaf pictured below). The Country Blonde was also fantastic.
Phase 3.5: Rye
My grocery had a sale on Rye flour so I bought a few bags. I tried making the Country Brown substituting all Rye for Whole Wheat. The result was tasty (I rip off chunks, toast them, and put them in soup), but didn't rise very much. It turns out Rye is a tricky beast! I took a bit of Louis and created an all rye starter.
Using The Rye Baker I've successfully made a loaf of "Old School Deli Rye" and a less than appetizing Boston Brown Bread (just too molasses-y for my taste).
That pretty much brings me up to today. Right now I'm making the 70% Whole Wheat Tartine bread. The Dutch ovens are in the... oven (?), and the loaves are proofing.
My goal is to find a good solid whole grain loaf that is easy to add stuff to. I'm liking the results I get from Dutch oven bakes, but I'd also like to figure out buns in time for Thanksgiving, and a nice sandwich loaf.