The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Breaking Rules and Getting Away with It

flournwater's picture

Breaking Rules and Getting Away with It

I decided to try my hand at developing a formula, based on Peter Reinhart's french bread (baguettes) from BBA.  I prepared the pate fermentee using bleached AP flour and a "bread flour" that was essentially identical in protein value, but stuck with the original formula in all other respects.  My schedule for the week went haywire and I ended up having to leave it in the refrigerator for 3 1/2 days instead of the shorter time limits published in the book.  I elected to try using it anyway.

After letting it rest at room temp. for an hour and a half, I incorporated it into the final formula and had assigned it to it's initial rise (stipulated at 45 - 70 minutes) when another critical incident surfaced.  So into the refrigerator it went.  Eight hours later I rescued it and returned it to the counter  -  where I completely forgot about it for six hours.  It had, as you might expect, doubled in mass (and perhaps a bit more) and the finger poke test suggested I may have lost the battle.  But I'm no quitter.

Popped it into a 505 degree oven with a bit of steam for five minutes, the reduced the heat to 450 degrees and rotated it at ten minutes.  At ten minutes the oven spring was unexpectedly typical and, by the end of about 18 minutes the internal temp had reached 210 degrees so I took it to the cooling rack.  By the time it had cooled the family was ready for bed so it spent the night, and the following day, in a plastic bread bag.  It finally found its way to the dinner table with a pot of turkey soup and I couldn't believe my good fortune.  Tender, flavorful, and welcomed by all.

I may buy a lottery ticket this week.

Click on thumbnail for larger images:

Sorry to have only half a loaf for this image.  The other half went to our dinner.

Bottom browned nicely:

Crumb shot:


Dave323's picture


 Some of my best baked goods have come from accidents such as this. Often I try to duplicate the effect and incorporate it right into the recipe. I call it my “Bozo The Clown” baking method. :0


flournwater's picture

Good point.  I do plan to "try" to duplicate the "errors" and write down each step  -  something I don't usually do any more unless I am working with planned adjustments in the process  -  and if it works I'll christen the new bread (and it's technique) "Bozo" in honor of your title for the method.