This is my third try. A bit dense, but great flavor and crust texture. A little chunk of heaven with butter on it. After cooling this loaf down for an hour, I sliced off the end piece and buttered it. The crust was delicate and crispy, the bread was tender and springy and it made me happy to chew it.
But, still work to do. The next morning the crust was a bit less crispy and the loaf was an exertion to slice. Looking at a lighter loaf, I adjusted the recipe in two ways – one by accident and one by plan.
As i weighed the starter, 150g became 178g. I thought, divine intervention! Then I thought, uh oh, this will make the dough too wet. So, I adjusted the water by half the difference. Explaining – starter is roughly half water and half flour (in my inexperienced estimation), so reducing the 250g of water by 14g might work to keep the moisture level right. This all remains to be seen.
The intentional planned adjustment was as follows: instead of 250g of white flour and 250g of whole wheat flour I added 15g of gluten, 135g of whole wheat, and 350g of white flour. I always think I need to put at least a little whole wheat in a loaf of bread; otherwise, it’s just cake. I’m hoping this will lighten the loaf a bit. It is proofing now; I’ll give it an hour then drop it into my cast iron dutch oven, give it a small slice on top and put it in my 450degree oven with the lid on.
So, now you’re wondering why is this post called “Free Range Yeasties” anyway? Well, this morning as I reached on top of the fridge to get my starter, I found a huge overflow of the wonderful stuff having a big ol’ time across the front corner of the appliance. I’m not sure why, but I felt exhilarated as I gathered the starter up onto my dough scraper and rinsed it down the sink. I think it just felt like success knowing how happily bubbling and frothy my starter had become. I need a bigger glass jar or decide to ask it to live in the fridge instead of on top of the fridge. It sounds weird, even to me, to think that I’m going to make the starter less happy if it has to be subdued. I think I’ll go in favor of give it more room to roam – my free range yeasties.