Baking in Colorado Springs for the first time
This time last week I had just started a new responsibility. Having been in Colorado a solid week and a half and started working at an old bakery in an institution of a hotel I came to find my days off horribly split across the weekend. Friday and Sunday off? What would happen, pray tell, to my Saturday? Fortune has turned her most beautiful face my way and I came to find that I would have two days off, in a row no less! It was simply cause for celebration. That being said, I decided to bake bread. Having accumulated some of the essentials of the kitchen, however not all the essentials as you will see in my ingredient list, I put myself to work fashioning a loaf of bread. I deliberated at length in whether to enrich the dough or not, it was a question of dairy and sugar or none. But my vacillation was easily concluded at the discovery of a lack of butter in the apartment, so I soldiered on and went about designing a straight dough, mixed directly! At upwards of six thousand feet above sea level I'd been told there was a need to increase hydration, decrease leavener, and decrease baking temperature in order to avoid overproofing and the consequence therein, collapse of the dough. Was I surprised that temperature, leavener, and hydration all seemed to work out without a hint of adjustment? Why sure I was! But not unfortunately so. I said to myself it was better to not complicate matters and risk confusing myself. So with a firm nod to my good fortune I finished my mostly unnecessary calculations and went about scaling my ingredients. Both the flour and the air temperature in the apartment was ~75 F! It was quite amazing. Using 69 F water that brought me to a dough temperature of 74 F, so it would make sense that I can start a new base temperature for this recipe at 220 F. From this air and flour temperature can be subtracted until I arrive at my desired water temperature! It was to be glorious.
But if I may step out in audacity for just a few minutes, it is clear to me that the dough was most likely undermixed, overproofed, or some other problem. The opening on top was certainly just a little too small. Alternatively the sides of the loaf were nice and tell. In the middle of the bulk fermentation it got a bit of a fold and I did pull a decent window after the mix. So I will conclude that the dough was overproofed with a dough temperature and air temperature approximately 75 F, and a proof time of 90 minutes. Next time I do this, all conditions remaining about the same it may be beneficial to reduce the final proof time. I will bring this gushing, somewhat bubbly exposition to a close with a simple statement; there is nothing more satisfying, then taking a loaf of bread out of the oven and hearing it sing to you in its own crackly way. The end.