We've been visiting my parents in the Pacific Northwest over the holidays, and naturally I wanted to bake bread. A friend of mine gave me some of her starter so I've been having some fun experimenting in a different environment using the tools available.
Normally I like to schedule my baking to a certain degree. But since it's vacation and I don't have a thermometer to measure water / dough temperature it's been a good lesson in "watching the dough, not the clock." My parents' place is quite a bit cooler than mine, so fermentation has been leisurely (usually 5-6 hours instead of my typical 3-4). I got a couple bags of Central Milling flour to use as a base (Baker's Craft and Type 85), plus little bits of einkorn, whole wheat, and rye to mix in. All loaves have been baked in a Lodge combo cooker. For the most part I've also been using a very long autolyse (~6 hours), simply for convenience: I mix up the levain and start the autolyse at the same time so I'm freed up for a longer portion of the day. I may do this more back home as I haven't noticed an adverse effect, at least with these flour types. Any thoughts / experiences with the long autolyse?
No specific formulae to share this time -- just a few thoughts and photos (many taken by my brother, an amateur photographer with a fancy camera).
Some basic loaves, ~25-30% whole grain, 75-80% hydration. I experimented once with bulk fermenting in the fridge and final proofing at room temperature (the opposite of what I normally do). I didn't let it final proof long enough, so the middle of the loaf was a little dense; but the flavor was great. I may do more fiddling with this in the future as it's nice to have that timetable as an option. No lame so scissor scoring it was!
This loaf (and the top photo) was honey-lavender, about 15% whole grain / 80% hydration. I really liked the flavor of this one so it's a formula I'm going to work on back home. I broke down and bought a razor blade to practice some scoring.
This was a potato loaf that had some leftover roasted potatoes mixed in, along with a couple turns of olive oil. About 30% whole grain; not really sure about the hydration but probably in the lower 70's (wasn't sure how much water the potatoes would release, so started out conservatively). Didn't get a photo of the outside as it got torn into too quickly. Another formula I want to develop further; the potato really makes for a nice soft loaf!
It's not vacation without some sourdough waffles!
Happy new year and happy baking, TFL'ers!