Sunday, March 6, 2016

An All Day Affair

On Thursday, in addition to all the pastries, the Chef had to feed a bread starter culture that one of the other chefs maintains at the school. He very kindly gave me some to use this weekend to make bread. I knew from working with it last weekend as an aside while assisting the dumpling class that it takes a long time to ferment and proof but I had no idea it'd take as long as it did.

I started making the batch of bread dough around 6:30 this morning, when I got up. I had it fermenting by 7:15 or so, and kept an eye on it all day. By 4 pm it was finally ready and probably only because I put the bowl on the radiator for a few hours. I formed the loaves and let them proof. Until 8:30 pm. At which point I baked the loaves at 400˚F for almost an hour. It is possible they could have proofed longer; the sides of two of the three loaves split a bit. Or it could have been where they were placed in the oven. I really am not sure; they were on one baking sheet and the one that didn't split was on another so it's possible it had more to do with location than proofing.

Regardless, the bread is really tasty; my husband and I have already eaten half of one of the loaves, mainly because we couldn't stop ourselves!

So, note-to-self, if I ever do this again I should let it ferment overnight if possible, and then it'd be ready to shape at a more reasonable time of day.

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