Some strong looking bakes here - Sunday/Monday's task is to try and ressurect my rye starter that never got anywhere.
It’s a bit more complicated really. Quantity/percentage of gluten is only part of the equation. The general quality of flour is likely to be better in America due to the climate suiting decent wheat crop much better than our wet climate.
For example, a %12 protein baguette flour may hold water/structure way better than a crap %15 bread flour (nb, ability to take a high hydration is also only one factor, khorosan can hold shit loads of water but will come out crap).
Tl;dr: buy better, not necessarily stronger flour for better bread.
Ah this is something I do know about, well a bit. Flour is an odd thing, french bread flour takes less water (needs less hydration) so the bread that is made lasts less time before it goes hard/stale.
Bread flours contain more protein, than plain flour and cake has less protein still while pastry flour has the lowest protein of the lot. Read this - as it is quite useful https://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/understanding-flour-types/
Realised my errors from last week in that I didn't turn and fold when I was supposed to and stopped halfway through. Ah.
Got two bits of dough now in the proofing baskets; still a bit sticky when shaping but feel much more promising. Fingers crossed.
Mistakes are still edible..
this turned out rather well.
Loaf looks great
Your butter spreading would not be acceptable in our household, my other half complains if it doesn’t go right up to the edge and is unevenly spread!
I don't really spread butter. I like a cold chunk just placed on top.
Done OK I guess, but still getting there. Batard spread out again, rather annoying...
Are you getting good skin tension before placing into the banneton?
Also are you putting a baking tray in your oven and throwing ice cubes onto the tray to give more steam?
I feel like it, yeah; managed to get a more taut ball when pre-shaping as well
Steam at the moment is used by soaking tea towels, putting them in the microwave for 3 minutes and then on a baking tray below the stone; I then boil a kettle and soak them in the oven some more
What is all this complicated iced tea towel cubed boiling water steam nonsense? Just pour water into a baking tray when you stick the dough in the oven.
Ice cubes were the thoughtful bakery suggestion
A steam oven removes such complications.
Or a cast iron pot
That looks awesome. What flour do you use?
I spray the water in using one of these: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/tomat-spray-bottle-white-40371254/
I've tried both the ice cubes and spray bottle to get steam. Nowadays I just put a tray with boiling water on the bottom of the owen because I'm lazy and all methods work equally fine in my experience.
I did try the tray of water, but after spilling a tray of water on myself I went back to the spray bottle.
Changed it up a tad. This time I used a bowl lined with a cheese cloth as an improvised banneton. I like the cross slash better, also.
All these excellent looking loaves really put me in the mood to start a wheat starter.
Lost my old scraper (how?) So treated myself to a fancy new one
Felt fairly confident about tonight's bake, predominantly because shaping was a hell of a lot easier and I felt like they had some fairly good tension, but the batard dropped again and the boule didn't have as much oven spring as I'd liked; I might move to using the smaller batard banneton.
Also any advice on scoring? I've ordered a new grignette in case the one I got with the bannetons is just fucked, but a) scoring inside a dutch oven is hard without burning yourself and b) when I'm trying to slash along the dough just 'tugs' as I try to get something in there
Blade has to be super sharp, quick decisive movement
Also, a little olive oil on the blade can reduce the tendency to catch on the dough.
If you prove the loaves overnight (retarding the process and slowing it down by half) the dough becomes very easy to score. My best cuts have come this way.
It would probably stop your dough spreading so much.
What percent hydration are you at?
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