The Great Weekend Bake-off

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It seems that nowadays I cram the most cooking that I can on Weekends. This weekend was no different. A friend wanted to try making Sour Dough Bread from scratch after hearing of my adventures, so we each decided to bake bread and compare our results. She made her starter from scratch, I re-animated Fifi, who was quite hungry, as you can imagine. I had to feed her twice a day at the rate she was going through the flour.

As you can see above, it was amazing how different our breads turned out to be just because we kneaded more flour into it during the strengthening process. The one that came out most porous was the one where we stuck as faithfully as possible to the Pollan recipe and tried not to add too much flour. The more flour we added, the more compact the bread’s “crumb” became. Mine is at the very top, the one that has the smallest crumb of all, and of course, with the most flour kneaded in.

The results were fantastic. Now normally, those big holes at the middle bread are not considered good by bakers, but I swear that bread tasted the best. My second loaf, not shown, looks and tastes exactly the same.

The revelation of this experiment is a) I should not be afraid of kneading flour into my bread and b) I should invest in a Römer Topf. And maybe a proofing basket.

I don’t have one, but my friend had both, so we proofed it in the basket and baked our bread into the Römer Topf. And boy, were the results fantastic! Can’t wait to bake again next month!

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