Monday, January 28, 2008

The un-risen loaves

After my attempt at "No-Knead Bread," I thought I'd give the one from Hertzberg and Francois's Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day a try. Though it calls for the bread to be baked on a stone or in a loaf pan, I also read that this bread would work nicely using the same covered-pot method of baking as Lahey's, so I went with that since I didn't want to deal with the water/broiler pan/steam thing.

For master dough yielding four loaves, I used 5 cups white bread flour and 1.5 cups white whole wheat (King Arthur brand). I didn't add more water to compensate for the whole wheat, but I think I should have.
So close, but yet so far
I had mixed, risen, and refrigerated the dough two nights prior and so I let the formed dough balls sit on the counter for an hour and forty minutes before baking. But as you can see, these loaves didn't rise very much at all, ending up practically the same size as when I formed them. Both just ended up looking all sad in their giant pots.
Crumb, dense and chewy; crust, just okay, initially thin and crisp but later just tough. But most disappointing of all was the flavor. It tasted like...nothing, if a bread can taste like nothing. I actually could love a dense and chewy bread but the flavor was so bland that I took one bite and didn't feel like eating it anymore. I suppose it could serve as a good neutral background to something strongly flavored (if that's ever desired).

I still have two portions of dough left, and these I'll let sit for another week to see if the flavor develops anymore. With these next loaves I am also going to let the second rise go longer, in hopes that they will actually poof up. Slashing the tops before baking may help as well.

Modified from:
"Simple Crusty Bread," The New York Times

No comments:

Post a Comment