Henny Penny and me

Published January 5, 2012 by livinggraciously

My problem is that I really need more people around to eat my bread.

I’ve been experimenting with the most effective approach for getting a long, flavor-building rise in my sourdough bread. I’ve tried overnighting it during its initial rise, and in its final rise.  Then on New Year’s Eve – when Ferrett sent out one set of invitations for 8pm and the other for 7pm, so I thought I had another hour before people would start showing up – I mixed up a bread but didn’t have a chance to knead it, so it went into the fridge for a 12+ hour autolyse.

It came out really tasty. Light and tender. And the oven spring was so high that it kind of ‘sploded. I’m inclined to say that it is the most successful of the methods.

But there has been nothing scientific about my approach to these breads, so I can’t be sure.

See, at this point, Shelob and I are so comfortable with each other that when I am ready to bake, or when there gets to be too much starter, I just pour some off into a mixing bowl. I eyeball how much starter is there, and add yeast, water and flour strictly according to a “that looks like enough” formula. So sometimes the dough is a little softer, sometimes it’s a little stiffer, sometimes there’s more of it, sometimes the loaf is a bit smaller.

To get a final answer, I need to take a Mythbusters approach: controlled conditions, careful measurements, and side-by-side tastings.

That’s a lot of carbs for a family of two. Who will help me eat my bread?!

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