The Rustic Look

I love baking bread, and I eat a lot of it. Unfortunately, my usual recipe takes a fair number of hours to complete, so I normally only bake on the weekends. That means that by the end of the week, I am either out of bread, or the remaining bread has gone stale. I decided to try a new recipe that is scheduled around my workday.

There are two approached that I could have used. The first would have been to shorten the rising time by increasing the amount of yeast and the temperature during rising. Unfortunately, this adds a yeasty flavour to the bread and decreases the other flavours released from the flour. Instead, I decided to increase the rise time tremendously. I used slightly less yeast, and after making my dough in the evening I placed it in the refrigerator.

1-Side

In the morning, I punched it down before going to work, and put it back in the fridge. After coming home from work in the evening, I pulled it out of the refrigerator and formed it. The proof period was long, about an hour, because the dough was still cold. I used this time to walk the dogs. I preheated the oven to 475. This loaf was rubbed in flour before baking, scored in a star pattern, and steam was created by pouring a cup of water into a cookie sheet at the bottom of the oven. I baked for 35 minutes, and was very happy with the results.

2-Detail

As the bread springs in the oven, the flour coating separates, forming a nice white pattern on the dark crust. Flour not made into dough stays white when baked, even when the bread turns near black.

3-Closeup

The scoring opens up, and after baking, the crust contracts, creating the small cracks visible in this picture. Onto the rack to cool, and taste tomorrow morning!

~The Homesteading Hippy

 

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