Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bread: Round 2: Herb Bread!

A taller loaf on this 2nd bake.
Today we polished off the last of that first batch of bread and I do think each subsequent loaf (it made four 1lb loaves) was better than the last. Perhaps the extra sitting time helps? Here's a photo of the 3rd loaf of batch 1 of the Master Recipe Boule.

You can smell rosemary all through the house!
I also made up batch 2 today and added the fresh rosemary and thyme. So nice to use up some rosemary, let me tell you. This stuff grows like a weed! I need to give some away! I wish basil grew like that. Hmm..a project for another day. Back to the bread. True to my style, I threw the dough together, mixed in the herbs (will do that way earlier next time, exhausting to mix) all in the storage container this time.
Woo hoo, right? Whoops. I put it right in the fridge and forgot to set it out to rise. I realize this about an hour later? Ish? No problem, it's likely just sitting there waiting to rise. However, when I opened the fridge door, to what should my wondering eyes appear? Insanely risen dough!  I made it fill about 1/4 of the bucket. Last time it about doubled, maybe a little more, and it took all 2 hours. This time in a short time, it has quadrupled!
I was a bit lost as to whether at this point to just leave it in the fridge? Or to put in on the counter to have it's alloted rising time (could it rise more? even possible?) and then back in the fridge? Courtesy of a culinary genius who takes my calls, I was told to go ahead and put it in the fridge, the yeast had done it's work.
A few thoughts from this: why did it rise so fast? Even in the fridge? It says to use lukewarm water in the book, but it also says 100 degrees, this is not lukewarm to me. I was feeling lax about it, so I just cranked up the water and didn't check the temp; this must have done it? Second, this is way more than the last batch rose, about twice as much. Perhaps this bread will be so much lighter? The last bread didn't seem heavy like some homemade breads can be. Though I wouldn't have called it fluffy. I'm very excited to bake it tomorrow and see how it is!
Side bit: I tried using the books suggestion for lazy sourdough by not washing the bucket after the last batch of dough, but just scraping the sides and letting that mix in with the new. I'm sure my faithful follower just shuddered as she read that, but it does get cooked, Mom! Hopefully this new batch will be a little more sourdoughy. It didn't say how long that takes to start up? Ah well, easier than a true starter!

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