Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Update on Wheat Bread and what we're making next

My wheat bread turned out tasting good, but it wasn't that great looking. I forgot to "cloak" the dough. That's really covering it in flour so the bread rises better. However, after a week in the fridge, it had developed a very strong yeasty, sourdough-like flavor. I do need to work on the hydration level, though. I do believe it was too wet a dough. That is, of course, because I didn't follow the recipe as written. I've made hundreds of loaves of bread (yes, really), so I took a chance. The next batch will follow the recipe a bit more. Stay tuned. If I have time, I will include the recipe later today.

Today, Little Woman and I are making hot cross buns for her Catholic Traditions Book Club. There is no recipe in the book for them, so we're adapting the panettone recipe, omitting the lemon extract and lemon zest, and adding cinnamon and nutmeg with dried berries. A little non-traditional, but I'm sure good.

I'm busy here trying to read the book _Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day_ from which all the bread recipes here are derived. I'm again, escaping the reality of my life. Books and cooking...all escapes. I really want to grasp the science behind this on things like: when to cloak the bread and when not (for pizza and flat breads you don't so it doesn't rise as much), adjusting the hydration based on the protein content of the flour, knowing how to adjust the recipes using soaked and freshly milled whole wheat, how to adjust baking time, oven temperatures for portion size (we're not a 1 lb loaf of bread family), when to add vital wheat gluten and if this dough needs absorbic acid. Eventually, I'd like to try sprouted grain bread, but I'm not there yet.

I'll post pictures of the buns...

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