The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What Not to Do

apprentice's picture

What Not to Do

Here's what not to do with Jeffrey Hamelman's lovely Golden Raisin Bread:

  1. forget to do the 2nd build on the levain
  2. and not notice you forgot until too late.









A testament to this bread is that even missing 2 oz. of flour and 3 oz. of water, it is delicious! The crumb is a little coarser than usual, but the flavour and texture are fine. Well, the texture's not so great where the crust bubbled out, but elsewhere is fine.

I was doing six things at once last night, and one of them was supposed to be adding the 2nd and final feed to the levain. That is, after I transferred it to another bowl because I needed that one for something else. Never got back to it after the transfer. When I saw it sitting there later, just thought I forgot to cover it. I wondered why the levain looked a little limp at the 16 hour mark today. And why the dough was slacker than usual. And why the final dough weighed 5 oz. less than it should. Studied the formula. Dredged up the memories. Now I know. <sigh>

If confession is good for the soul, I guess I go to bed spiritually uplifted. Ready to bake another day.


ehanner's picture

Carol, I'm sure they taste great regardless of the missing amounts. All of us have been distracted and left out something key. I've even been known to jump to another recipe altogether and finish using the wrong ingredients and method. Yes it's good to clear the soul but every now and then  you discover something new by mistake that makes it all worthwhile.


apprentice's picture

Yes, I love the story (one of the stories?) of how chocolate mousse cake was invented. Craig Claiborne reports a discussion with Raymond Richez, the last chef of the now defunct but esteemed Cafe Chauveron in New York.

Richez said that in haste to make chocolate mousse they were running out of one day, he added twice as much butter as was usual. Too busy even to discard it, he threw it in the fridge to clear his work area. The next day, he found it was stiff enough to cut with a knife. Taking some leftover genoise, he lined a pan with cake, filled it with mousse and served it with a rum-laced sabayon. The rest is history!

A little off-topic but interesting - yes? All I can say about my incident is that I was disappointed because I made this bread to take to my grandson. Have made it countless times before, since I love it so much. But at 3 1/2, he won't know the difference, will he. :) It's a little chewier than usual. I'm calling it "rustic raisin!"


Soundman's picture

Well, apprentice, I can truly commiserate, having just managed to leave out the salt, for the second time, on my weekly bake. I just put a post-it on my KA mixer: "SALT!" I decided I will have to start tasting my dough regularly before putting it in the bulk fermentation bowl.

But your explanation seems to be a new variation on an old theme. Bowl juggling? There seems to be a no end to the list of ways one can mess up bread, which is supposed to be so "simple."

I'm sure your grandson will love it!

Soundman (David)