I baked again today…what fun! I made a batch of Almond Horns (from the Martha Stewart Cookie book. They were very easy and kind of fun to make…lots of hands on mushing and shaping. And, let’s face it, lots of confectioner’s sugar. I do love confectioner’s sugar on top.
Then I decided to use the batch of “quick” artisan bread dough that’s been fermenting in the frig for more than a week. I didn’t want to throw it away but I wasn’t really sure that I could use it like a poolish, biga or sponge exactly. Since I’m planning to make the Artos bread from BBA this week I made a poolish which is now sitting in the spot that the dough was in so I needed the room.
So, after having read a lot from BBA and other blogs (especially Breadtopia) I decided to add a cup or so of bread flour, turned out onto the board and kneaded it for awhile until it got pretty smooth and elastic. I forgot to try to the window pane test but I wasn’t planning to give it a long bench. It looked pretty flabby after a 1/2 hour rest but what the heck! I had heated to stone to 500 and used my new ‘Magic Peel’ (which I love!) to get it into the oven. Worked like a charm. I quickly dumped a cup or so of hot water in a roasting pan and then sprayed the walls of the oven a couple of times during the first minute or two.
After that I left it alone. When I check it after 25 minutes…whoa! Talk about oven spring! It had expanded amazingly. I checked the internal temperature..but it was still pretty low. I waited another 15 minutes or so until the temperature reached about 195. It looked fantastic but I haven’t cut it or tasted it so we’ll see. You can see it here and after it came out of the oven here.
It’s funny, I thought all this baking and cooking would take me back to the old days…when I spent everyday, all day in the kitchen. But now it’s different. In a good way…I have such a different take on things and the world now. I’m more open to experimenting and learning and not knowing. I’m excited at the prospect of experimenting and trying things.
Actually, that’s my next project. Is to figure out a good methodology for experiementing and recording so that I can improve recipes, create recipes, vary recipes.
Fun, fun, fun!