Monday, February 14, 2011


Dennis the Menace (best boyfriend ever!) surprised me with a trip to Vegas to see Flogging Molly at Mandalay Bay, March 18. wooooo! That's the top news of my week & it's pretty awesome. Still slowly moving along on the self-drafted skirt. I'm into the hand-sewing phase now & after that it's the ever-loving hem. I need to dedicate a few evenings to finishing it up but there just isn't a whole lot of time. Or I should say that by 8:00pm when I could be hand sewing, I'm just too damn tired.

Oh yes & I finally got a pizza stone- for $20. I've wanted one for awhile, so I could start doing some different kinds of bread. I tested it out this weekend by making totally the wrong bread for a first shot with a new pizza stone. I made a high hydration dough. I really had no business doing that at this juncture in my bread baking career. And I most certainly did not have any business whatsoever trying to shape the high hydration dough with nothing but my 2 hands & a couche. But hey my m.o. is go big, fail big - because maybe you'll succeed & if you don't, well then things can only go up from there.

Actually, the bread tasted really good, but my technique was an utter failure from start to the glorious 2-part finish of absurdity . 'oy' doesn't really cover it.

Started with a nice poolish:

poolish - 1 C flour, 1 C water, 1/4 tsp yeast

20 minute autolyse - bread flour with a bit of graham flour thrown in:

autolyse - 11 oz bread flour, 5 oz graham flour, 13 oz water

mixed together the poolish & autolyse & added some yeast & salt:

autolyse, poolish, 1 tsp yeast, 2 tsp salt

2 folds in 2 hours:

after 2 folds (primary fermentation 2 hours)

& I had to face the fact that there was just no way in hell I was going to be able to shape this mess without some professional help. Googled technique for shaping high hydration doughs on YouTube. Tried to do this:

Ended up with this:

one-fold shape and in the couche

And there are no more process photos because the rest of the process (getting the dough off the couche, onto the back of a floured cookie sheet & then sliding it onto a hot pizza stone in a 500 degree oven) passed in a panicked blur.

This is my bread. It's pretty good. Sort of like a whole wheat ciabatta.  The only problem is that it wasn't supposed to be a ciabatta.

pain sur poolish

This is how you learn.