Monday, August 8, 2011

Time to use the scale...

This is my first attempt at making a dough using weight versus volumetric measurements.  I have an iPhone app called "Ratio" that calculates the amounts needed for various baking recipes.  For bread, it called for a 60% hydration (flour to water).  However, I've read that a 67% hydration is pretty good, so I decided to give that a shot.  What I ended up with was a very sticky mix that was difficult to handle.  I used Reinhart's stretch and fold method.   I don't know,  I didn't think I was making any progress but it did seem to get easier to handle as I went along.  I didn't do it exactly as the video but I do think the end result was OK.

The dough definitely got easier to handle after a while.  I popped it in a bowl, sealed the top with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.  From what I've gathered, slowing down the fermentation adds to the flavor of the finished bread.

We'll see how this looks in the morning.  It's supposed to double in size.  I'll take it out tomorrow morning and let it warm up a bit (about 2 hours).  Then I'll form this into two "batards".  After looking at a bunch of videos, there's a lot more involved into the forming and cutting of the dough than I thought.  I'll have to post links to some of the videos I've watched.  Pretty amazing :)


Bargegirl said...

Just askin': why do you put plastic wrap over the rising bread? Doesn't it need to "breathe"?

Joe Gee said...

Nope, it doesn't need to breath that I know of... The yeast works on the sugar in the flour producing alcohol and CO2 for the nice bubbles (forming the inner crumb). They cover the rising dough so it doesn't form a tough outer skin.

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