posted on: 2020-04-16 09:16:30
Every time I bake bread, it is a series of of unknowns.

The process can take an hour or two, spanning to multiple days. It starts with the flour and starter. You split the starter, and it's effectiveness is pretty much based on the previous of feeding the starter. So I don't really know how active it will be.

Should the oven be warmed? Cool rise? The goal is to have it risen about an hour or two before it can be baked. If it's warm it can be risen in about 3 hours, to a maximum of 12 hours. If it's cool 12 hours is fine and if its refrigerated it can last for a day or two.

So an overnight rise is a good bet. Then getting the right shaping. You have to decide how much flour to use, you don't want to use too much, it can change the quality of the bread. And just be a waste of flour. You don't want to use too little, it will stick to everything. I've also heard you can do it wet, but when I've tried I ended up with a lot of flour/water on my hands.

How much to kneed it. Sometimes it is so wet that you can kneed forever and it never gets very stretchy. So you might have to stop even if it is a guey mess. Then flour your hands and transfer it to the rising basket, with the seam down.

Then the final rise. I find this the trickiest part because you want it to double in size. It might start somewhat spherical then the ball behaves as a visco-elastic sphere. If the dissipation is high, the sphere will remain elastic and the height will increases quite a bit. If the dissipation is low, it will behave more like a puddle, and rise more evenly but not as high. If I have time, Ill do a slow rise. Leaving it in the fridge can take over 2 hours in that case.

Then preheating the oven. It's important to remember this takes about 20 to 30 minutes. During this extra half an hour quite a bit of rising can happen. Even if the bread is placed in the fridge, it is not likely to slow down.

Once the pan and oven are preheated, comes the transfer. Add some flour to the top, maybe the flour left over from the transfer to the basket is enough. Flip the bread out into the pan, quickly slice the top.

The removal of the bread from the basket has a series of small unknowns, was there enough flour to keep the bread from sticking to the basket. Is it so gooey that it needs to be poured directly in. Is the knife or razor sharp enough. Were these cuts deep enough to make a difference.

Lid on and back in the oven. Now comes the wait. Pretty much everything is done and when the lid comes off, we get the result.

bread with a great turn out for me

It bake it for 20 minutes with the lid on. I've measured it a few times without a lid and I find the bread rises for about 10 minutes. So if the pot is too small, I have removed the lid around 5 minutes and the bread continued to rise above the lid.

It's such a nice feeling though. When you open the lid, and the bread is swollen and high. A nice cracked crust. Everything is a bit pale, but after the next 10 minutes it will turn a nice golden color.