Sunday, 9 October 2011

Project Sourdough: B Bread

When I read Brydie's B Bread recipe back in May I decided that I was going to have a go at this healthy looking loaf.

It was 'challenging' from start to finish, but rather than getting stressed out I went with the flow and the end result was surprisingly good.

I decided to use my new mixer for the first time to knead the dough. The mixer seemed to do a pretty good job. The motor wasn't struggling with the amount of dough and the mixer didn't 'walk' across the benchtop, which are common complaints of domestic mixers kneading bread.

This is the wettest dough I've made so far at approximately 75% water, compared with the 60% for the loaves I have been making. The dough was significantly stickier to handle as a result and it got quite messy as I was knocking back and folding it.

I've been following the Bourke St Bakery method since I've started baking which calls for shaping the loaves before they start their long overnight retardation. I've noticed that in quite a few of Brydie's recipes she shapes the loaves only before the final prove later in the process. I wasn't sure if the wet and heavy dough would hold it's shape, so I left the forming of the loaves until the following day.

The final prove before baking is supposedly a tricky thing to get right. I've developed a method creating a humid environment in my oven around 40 degrees and it has been working a treat. My loaves are consistently and reliably increasing in size. Unfortunately I was using the oven to roast some vegetables and bake a cake so I couldn't try my usual trick. The loaves didn't rise nearly as much as usual on the bench.

Just as I was going to put the loaves in the oven, it turned off and wouldn't heat up. Disaster! I improvised with turning the grill on and placing a baking try across the top of the oven to try and deflect the direct heat.

The finished loaves were definitely a bit under-done, but considering the disaster it could have been they turned out quite well. I took one loaf into the office to be sampled and everyone gave it positive feedback. My sister and Andrew said good things too. I couldn't help being overly self critical.

Things to try next time:
- Baking when my oven is working! This should help with my final prove and stopping the dough from being a bit undercooked.
- Using my pizza stone to bake the loaf on.
- I didn't like how sticky the dough was. I'm tempted to omit the bran and lower the hydration from the recipe.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for giving this one a go Richard. I haven't made it for awhile so I might have to re-visit. I very very rarely shape a loaf before going in the fridge these days. I find a cooler dough is easier to shape before the final prove, plus usually I just mix and whack it in as a time saver.
    Glad to hear the mixer is getting a look in :-)