With my new pack of yeast that isn't dead, things are looking up a bit.
Now all I need is some heat control.
And some bread making skills.
But I'm getting there.
This is it just after the kneading, and in the time it took to find the camera I think it had started rising already.
Everyone says let it double in size, but judging if something this shape has doubled in size is a tricky thing to do. I suspect I'm letting it go to far.
This might mean that when I knock the air out of it and shape it for it's final rise, its already done it's dash, so this time I stopped it sooner than the last time.
I don't really know what I'm doing here, but it seems to have worked anyway.
I don't really know what I'm doing anywhere, but I guess what I really meant was that I didn't really have a plan here.
The problem is, I think the slashing was meant to be done just before the oven.
There's a lot of stuff on the net about the slashing part, and many people say it's to let the steam out.
Others say its to allow it to rise in the first stages of baking.
Looking at pictures of loaves that have been slashed, I think I agree with the people who say it facilitates rising. At some stage I'll do an experiment to find out, but I have to wait until I can make bread.
From what I can see of a finished, slashed loaf, it seems the deep cuts put into the bread just before baking, allow the bread to expand like a concertina. The final expansion of the bread seems to occure in such a way as to make the lowest point at the bottom of the cut rise up and become the surface of the bread. This seems to allow a considerable expansion in the oven where there might be a restriction caused by a crust forming on the outside of the loaf. The cut can still expand, because the edges and bottom of the cut can break under the stress of the expansion.
Keep in mind, this is just what I think, so don't quote me. It's just that there are too many reasons given on the net for me to be sure.
Unfortunately for me I messed up the loaf when moving it and it went flat and looked miserable.
So I let it rise again for a bit and it looked like this in the end just before going into the oven.
Apparently another important way to get that last little bit of rise in the oven is to make sure there is lots of steam involved.
I cant make steam without destroying my little oven, so I thought I'd try putting it into this slightly damp terracotta bowl, and drop a lid over it.
I've read that to make the steam, you preheat your oven to flat out, and then turn it down after the first few minutes to something more like 180c.
I started flat out and then just left it flat out.
I'm new to this.
It worked pretty well given everything I did wrong.
In the end I flipped it over and cooked it on low for a while longer because the bottom was so obviously under cooked.
The result looked like this.
Not so much artisan as amateur, and way too heavy, but it is actually bread.
It even tastes like bread.
Actually the close up doesn't revel it very well at all. It's a bit worse than it looks.
We've been toasting it to give it a little more cooking as it's a little doughy, but it is being eaten.
And that means it qualifies as a success.
Live yeast makes a difference.
At 120 Things in 20 years, sometimes bread nearly works
Things so far...
Animation (5) Aquaponics (339) Bread (15) Cheese (15) cooking (49) electronics (57) Epic adventurer (20) Escargot (2) Fire (6) Fraudster (1) Handmade fishing lures (31) Home made preserves (11) Making smoked foods (11) Mold making (7) Movie watcher and critic (2) Photography (17) PVC (36) Snail farming (6) Solar hot water (26) Solar photovoltaic panels (7) Stirling Engines (11) Thinking (49) Vermiculture (1) Wind energy (25)
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