Sunday, February 3, 2008

Loafin' while loafing

I combined the remaining two portions of dough from this attempt to make this one large loaf.

When I got home today I immediately took the bowl of dough out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter while I showered, changed, and otherwise settled in. When I was done, I took the dough out and shaped it all into one round loaf, covering it with plastic wrap for its second rise. Then I took a nap.
Due to my special talent at hitting the snooze button, the loaf rose for about two and a half hours before I finally got myself out of bed to deal with it. It was nice and poufy by then. I preheated the oven, sprinkled the loaf with flour and slashed the top, and then dropped the dough (lopsidedly) into the pot and baked it for twenty minutes covered, ten minutes uncovered.
I was much happier with this loaf, although the flavor didn't seem to change much despite sitting in the refrigerator for over a week. I loved the chewy, moist interior; the crust was still a bit wimpy. But this is a good, serviceable bread, and the dough, being less wet than the no-knead, is a lot easier to handle.

I will still try a loaf or two using all white bread flour instead of mixing in white whole wheat. Hopefully this will change how much the loaves rise and the flavor profile. Otherwise, I may routinely double all my dough from now on, as I am much more into this large size (better inside-to-crust ratio).

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