I'be been trying a new recipe for the last 3 weeks. It's pretty fantastic, actually, and today's bread was the best yet.
One thing that really makes a difference is to eat it on the day it's made. It is everything one wants in a bread -- thin, crispy and crunchy crust, soft light crumb, lots of air bubbles, definitely a sourdough though not too sour. Lovely!!
The recipe is a half quantity of Susan's recipe from Wild Yeast blog, mentioned in the last bread post. In that last post (16 July) I baked the bread on the pizza stone.
Last weekend and this, I baked it in my Le Creuset. I mentioned this in my first bread post, and it certainly gioves you consistently good results. I think this is because you don't have to worry about spraying the bread and oven with water to get a good steam. In the Le Creuset the moisture from the dough creates a steam and thus you get a perfect crust.
I've made a few tweaks. I actually use 200g starter rather than the 180 she suggests. As well, I read nother post of hers where she said she felt the the high protein flours make for a chewy and rather firm bread. She recommends a protein strength of 10.5 to 11.5. The Kialla Mills flour I use is 13.0. So I found some flour (organic, unbleached) with a protein strength of 10.8 and used that this weekend, and I definitely think it has made a difference. The crumb was lovely and soft, everything you want in a home made bread.
I'm using the same tchnique as I described in the previous post, as it works well for me.
2pm- make the dough, let it rest for 30 minutes.
2.30 - add salt and mix for 3-4 mins on low speed. Turn out into an oiled bowl and leave in a warm room, covered.
3.30pm - (50 mins later)fold bread a few times, cover and leave another 50 minutes.
4.20pm - fold bread a few times, cover and leave another 50 minutes.
5.10pm - shape into a round, lightly flour the top and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Leave 15 mins.
5.25pm - shape into final shape, place in banneton or lined colander at room temperature for 1.5hrs.
6.55pm - place in fridge and go out for dinner!!
7am - remove from fridge and leave 1 hr in a warm room.
8am - oil and put a little polenta in the bottom of a Le Creuset. Place dough in the Le Creuset, slash, and put in a cold oven. Turn the temperature to 240C and bake for 45mins after the oven comes to temperature.
Wait to cool before eating.
The bread crackles as it cools. What a fabulous sound! My cousin from London was staying the night, and he said there was nothing nicer than waking to the smell of freshly baked bread!!