Our liquid levain and stiff starter had rested at room temperature over night and were looking nicely bubbly and poofy as we then proceeded with the final dough. We mixed both of these by hand, followed by the "slap-pull" kneading technique that we had practiced on day 2.
Notice the difference in appearance: the "L" (liquid) version on the right appears more tan, while the "S" (stiff) version is bordering on white.
After a rest:
|awaiting final shaping|
|an "L" loaf waiting to go into the fridge|
|I chose a standard approach with this one|
|and into the oven they go|
|two scoring patterns|
Upon tasting, the chewiness and texture were OK, but I couldn't help but think back to those med school days while living in Detroit. My roommate Jane and I purchased the best bagels at the Detroit Bagel Company perhaps? I'm no longer sure of the name, but they were oh so good - still warm from the oven and the perfect road food as we drove to our familial homes on our weekend breaks!
Now, on a completely different note, I don't want to forget the more scientific side of this whole process, and I'll try not to bore you with the details.
Yesterday Jessica talked about determining the proper water temperature for dough, starting with a desired dough temperature (DDT) and also taking into consideration other factors such as flour and air temps and the temperature that friction adds in the mixing (i.e. by hand or in a mixer). Pretty fascinating for the science-geeky types.
We also received information about bakers percentages based on the amount of flour one is using, from figuring out how much hydration you might need in a particular dough, as well as the common percentages for salt and yeast.
Today she regaled us with all things sourdough - starters, feedings, room temp or refrigerator, expanding for baking - you name it, it was there! Up until now this topic has held a good deal of mystery for me, but, at least after this class, I've gained a novice's understanding of the process. Will I pursue the sourdough track? Now that's an entirely different matter.
As the day was coming to a close we accomplished one of the coolest projects of this 4 day class - as a group, we created our own bread recipe! Using what we had learned about bakers percentages and working with a list of ingredient options, we developed a semolina-olive oil-sunflower seed bread recipe. And we'll make it tomorrow!
And, as if we hadn't already accomplished enough, we quickly put together our 2 rye starters for day 4 using rye cultures that had been fed each day by our instructors.
More coming - stay tuned for day 4!