A little experience can be dangerous
This story is a confession of humility. Something happened to me a few days ago that is just to good not to share with my friends.
I was mixing a batch of a simple white bread I make all the time. As I looked out the kitchen window at the fall leaves, mixing my dough with a plastic scraper, I was thinking how a couple years ago I would of been thinking "this dough is to dry" and been tempted to add additional water. Then as I continued to push and knead it started to come together better. I was pleased with myself for having had the confidence in my judgment to keep going and not fall prey to the dry dough dilemma. Just about that time as I was feeling good about the knowledge I have gained, I looked across the counter to see the small bowl of 100% poolish that I had forgotten to add into the final dough mix. Ughhh what a moment of humble pie. No wonder it was so dry.
I thought I would share this moment with you all. I have learned a lot about baking while here at the Fresh Loaf. How ironic that the first time I am gloating internally about how well tuned my powers of observation are, the rug is yanked from beneath me. I guess I had it coming. Now I go forward having learned to think about my process and the steps. I'll try to not fall into a complacent confidence that allows me to work mindlessly.
That's my story and I'm sticking with it.