I need some guidance please from all you master bakers. I made this Thom Leonard Bread last week-end and it was so hard and dense I ended up throwing it in the trash. I was home from work today so I started a new batch last night. I followed the instructions carefully and weighed the ingredients. This dough (after nursing it since late morning) was so wet it ended up in the trash as well. It stuck to the linen in the basket and was the stickiest (sp.) I've ever worked with. (Not that I have that much experience yet). I'm not giving up and will try yet again this week-end. Floyd or someone...can you give me a description for how wet the dough should be, ...what it should feel like? I guess this has been a good learning experience - I now know what too dry and too wet are. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
I offer a challenge to anyone on this site. I am an avid baker like many of you and have had great success recently with sour dough starter breads- I think my best success was last weekend with the Thom Leonard's boule recipe from Maggie Glezer's artisan bread book. It was flavorful and the crust was wonderfully crunchy. (I still need to work on my shaping, however. It came out more rectangular than round!!)
This is my first post here, though I've been making Artisan-style breads, mostly sour-doughs, for little over a year now. The techniques I've picked up have been mostly from Reinhart's BBA. Here's my question. When I transfer the boule from the proofing bowl to my peel prior to docking and putting in the oven, the dough sticks to the cloth such that I have to very carefully peel it away. This is very tedious at best and frustrating to say the least. I have two cloths that I use: one is a flax couche that I got from Baker's Catalogue, the other is a cotton tea-towl (not terry cloth). Both have been sprayed with oil and then impregnated with flour to try and prevent this sticking, but I can't seem to figure what I might be doing wrong or how to prevent it.
I've done a fair amount baking of sourdough hearth breads using standard recipes from Reinhart, Glezer, et al. I've always used standard flours from KA, such as their whole wheat, white whole wheat, rye blend, bread flour, Sir Lancelot high gluten, and others. Recently someone brought me some "sifted stone ground whole wheat flour" from Littleton Grist Mill in NH. I found I had some trouble with it that I suspect revolves around the need for malted barley flour addition, possibly aging, and possibly hydration differences, as well as needing to figure out the protein content and adjust for that, as well. But, it did get me thinking about exploring the availability of flours straight from mills in retail quantities and motivated the questions below.
Hello Flour Fanatics
Just thought I would post a couple of thoughts and discoveries. The first involves the gentle handling of the dough in order to not degas it. I do my best to handle the dough as little as possible but now i'm not sure how much difference this makes. I made pizza this weekend out of the same dough I use for my everyday bread. I mixed, folded and proofed as usual. I then rolled it out pretty flat before attemting to throw it. Bottom line is I brutalized this dough by my standards. I topped and baked and guess what happened? You got it, tons of bubbles, some were quite large. The edge of the crust was light and airy and full of irregular bubbles. This was no ciabatta but if you saw the dough after the roll out you would not have thought there was a whole lot of gas left in it. Me thinks I have been a little wimpy handling my dough in an attemt to get that crumb we all desire. I therefore have to think that good crumb is more the result of good complete proofing rather than gentle handling? I would be curious to know if any of you have noticed the same thing.
I've had Manoucher www.manoucher.com a few times now and I must say that each bread I've tried is so thought provoking. Not just how to follow the recipe, but what Manoucher was thinking when it was created.
What impresses me as well is that they hand make all their breads and still sell 50000 loaves worldwide weekly!