Round Five: Is this almost it?

Finally, a (near) success!!
Using a couche, or more accurately a chunk of heavy cotton cut from a painter’s dropcloth (yes, new but washed) and a very generous amount of rice flour/UAP mix (50/50) rubbed into the cloth, there was NO STICKING issue whatsoever. So the loaf had no opportunity to deflate. The result is, at last, a non-flat loaf.
The oven was set at 440ºF (although it should have been 475) and watched carefully through the entire baking process.
A distinct improvement from the last batch!
Things to do or improve next time:
  • Slashing: Needs to be deeper and, perhaps, at more of an angle into the dough. The new cheapy dollar store knife worked well.
  • Cover couched dough in plastic film to avoid top side drying more than bottom while it rises.
  • Rig up better couche board.
  • Less salt! Accidently added too much, though I’d taken out the excess, obviously not enough. Edible, for sure but just a touch too salty!
  • Find a “softer crust” recipe; Mark still wants his bread to be more like packaged white bread: soft center with tiny holes, and a non-crusty soft crust.
  • Still need a reliable oven thermometer.

So here’s our latest batch:

5-24-08: Almost a success

Nice crust colour, crumb is good although it could be a little fluffier, the crust isn’t too thick n’ chewy. Overall, not bad, and much much improved from any previous batches. Minor tweaks and it should improve considerably next time.

Author: Paul

I'm just a regular type mid-50's fella, recently moved to Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, who enjoys bread making and sharing the adventure. I've only been at this on a steady basis since 2007 when I decided to look for better bread than what was available in the local grocery. You are cordially invited to add comments, questions and musings of your own to any of these posts; this isn't intended to be a one way communication. I'm not an expert and likely won't be one for years to come. But I do want to share my experiences and what I have picked up in order to help spread this "bread baking" virus. Because as habits go, it's a darn tasty one!

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