I just joined the Mellow Bakers.
Mellow Bakers is a group of bread baking enthusiasts who look to bake a particular bread or breads together each month. Specific breads will be announced on the site every month and members can choose to make these breads as a group then post and share their results. For the next many months, we’ll be working our way through Jeffrey Hamelman’s book Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes.
I love bread with a dark crust, so I my first bread I bake for the Mellow Bakers group is the Rustic Bread.
The evening before I mixed all the ingredients for the pre-ferment. To weight the small quantities of fresh yeast and salt I used my new Spoon Scales. The preferment I let stand overnight at 18 C room temperature. Jeffrey recommends 21 C room temperature, even I let the pre-ferment proof colder it risen quite well.
The next day I added all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the pre-ferment and mixed for about 3 minutes. As the dough came together I added the pre-ferment in chunks and finish mixing until the dough was supple and moderately loose. The dough was quite active so I let it rise 15 minutes less than recommended, in total 2 hours 15 minutes. Of course I folded it twice during this fermentation.
Adding the pre-ferment in chunks I don’t like so much, because I always end up with a spotted crumb, as you can see on picture below. Normally I dissolve the pre-ferment with some of the water, so I have less spots in the crumb.
As I made just half of the dough, I shaped just one round and placed it into a banneton, seam side up. Final fermentation was about 1 1/2 hours still at 18 C. I think this was a bit too short. Unfortunately the crust burst too much. Also the crumb could be a bit more open, like the crumb of Paul’s Rustic Bread. Anyway it looks very rustic this way, and we love its taste.
In addition this is my submission to Susan’s YeastSpotting, the weekly showcase of yeasted baked goods and dishes.