Bread #1

Let’s start with bread.  So far our efforts have not awarded us the perfect loaf, however, we have not given up!  Continuing the quest: Attempt number 1 (for blog that is).

Bread #1

2.5 cups Bread Flour (355 g)

.5 cups Semolina Flour (91g)

2 tsp. Kosher Salt  (11g)

1.5 tsp. Active Dry Yeast – rehydrated with 4 tsp Warm Water

1 cup Water, room temperature

I stirred the yeast into the 4 tsp warm water and let it stand for about 10 minutes.

While the yeast was acclimating, I combined the flours and salt.  When the yeast was ready, I added the room temp water to it, stirred it around a bit, then added the flour and stirred until the spoon was no longer effective.

At which point, I turned the dough out onto a floured surface and kneaded until soft and smooth.  (Sprinkle on some more flour if the dough feels sticky.)

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise, in a bowl, until doubled in volume, which for me was only about an hour.  Then I punched it down and shaped it into a boule.

I placed the boule onto a floured wooden cutting board (makeshift peel) and let it rise again covered with the wrap for another 1.5 – 2 hours.  About an hour into this rise, I put the pizza stone into the oven and preheated it to 450F.  When the bread was ready, I scored the top with a sharp serrated knife and slid it onto the stone, sprayed the oven with a little water from a spray bottle popped in the bread and set the timer for 15 minutes.

I sprayed the oven another time after about 5 minutes.  A little poofing happened in the oven (oven spring, they call it) but not as much as I would have liked.  When the 15 mins were up, I turned the heat down to 375F for another 25 minutes.

Then there was bread.

So the crust is a nice thin crisp crust which I am happy with.  The color is a  nice golden brown.  So far so good.  Cutting into it, the crumb is denser than I would like.

Now for the taste test…really nice depth of flavor, but the texture we decided is too chewy.

Next time, I’m going to try to keep the moisture level the same which I think should help keep the crust at the same level.  Cooking time and temp seemed to work okay for now, I’ll keep those the same (note that currently we are living and cooking at high altitude).  To soften the texture, I think we should replace some of the bread flour with all purpose flour and knead it a little less.  We’ll see how that goes.  Stay tuned…

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2 responses to “Bread #1

  • Heather

    It’s SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to make bread at high altitude! I wish I’d paid more attention to what the bakers were doing at Great Harvest. On the other hand, those are trade secrets that the franchisees don’t really “spread around,” If yaknowwhatImean. PS I like the word “boule.”

    • the3archers

      And I do, totally keep blaming the altitude. If I was only a couple thousand feet closer to sea level, the bread would have been amazing! Or maybe not. Anyhow, I persevere, if Great Harvest and Udi’s can make great bread at altitude then there is hope.

      I can’t help saying boule with a French accent and even if I could help it, I would probably still do it.

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