I've been baking from Peter Reinhardt's Bread Baker's Apprentice for a few months now. I've been getting fairly consistent results. This week, I took the dough from the fridge about 3 hours earlier (3:30AM) and baked it around 6:30am. And the results are spectacular. By giving the dough a slightly shorter cold proof and longer time to warm up before hitting the oven - I achieved those beautiful air pockets. The crumb is super soft. Even three days later, it's soft and incredibly delicious.
I added a metal bowl with water to the bottom while it was preheating (as always) but I also poured about 1/4 cup of water onto the bottom of the oven after putting the loaves onto the baking stone. so I got a huge pop of steam. About 5 minutes later, I sprayed the side walls of the oven with a mister. I took out the bowl at 12 minutes, turned down the heat and rotated the loaves, which resulted in a blistery, flaky, delicious crust.
I feed my starter once a week. Usually 1:1. This particular feed - I gave it 100gms starter, 160gms bread flour, and 140 grams water. It was so vigorous and happy! It still gave me a strong sour flavor in the final product that made for an absolutely delicious crumb.
It's my best loaf yet!
I'm a home cook with a lifelong passion for learning, exploring and experimenting in my kitchen. You can find me at @Debs1 on Twitter and @Debs121212 on Instagram.
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