Sunday, 6 November 2011

Today's batch

More sourdoughs, unleashing the power of my three mothers simultaneously. In this endeavour, I was given enormous help by the spare sideboard we were given in July, and which used to live in the garage, providing a home for extra tins of stuff. And beer. As mum was bringing down her old kitchen cabinets for us, we needed to remove the sideboard to make way. I dithered about where it should go, until it struck me that if we removed the legs, it could sit happily underneath the long worktop in the kitchen in front of the radiator and furnish an extra work surface which would be ideal for bulk fermenting and proving dough. It made a huge difference. And it's somewhere to stash my bread making kit.

With mother A (Clive's white flour mother and the more sluggish of the three) I decided to go for a white flour loaf with ground seeds. Mother B (Clive's rye flour mother and the liveliest of them) was destined for a Price's bakery rye/wholemeal/white flour dough, and mother C (my own dear creation, and of middling liveliness) was to grapple with a 50/50 spelt/white flour dough.

I fed them all the morning before, and made the dough that evening with a reduced mother content so that they could bulk ferment overnight. I didn't stint with the water this time. They were all very happy sitting under the worktop, and I gave them a fold and a further two hour rest at lunchtime, then a final mould. Those which didn't prove in a banneton I shaped and placed on my thick Stellar baking trays which I intended to place directly on the granite slabs in the oven, thus hopefully avoiding last week's soft bottoms.

I was really pleased with all of them. All rose nicely, baked beautifully and were delightfully firm of the bottom. The holey texture is back (although it could have been holier) and the taste of each was amazing. We had all three breads (and an unpictured Tiger loaf) on the table for dinner, the Brazil Nut and the Cossack joining us for a hugely convivial evening. All drew plaudits and approval; the spelt loaf was the first to disappear.

White with seeds


Half spelt

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