Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stuck Inside

It was only by choice though. Weather was bland and disappointing this weekend so the next best option was to distract myself in the kitchen. I wanted to start printing this weekend but ran into some problems with that. The printer was broken at school and when I tried to use another one, the images were printed wrong on my transparencies. Plus, I need to go back and fix the artwork. The overlap wasn't lining up properly so the printing would have come out bad anyway. Annoying to say the least but another week of waiting isn't anything at this point. I'll do it right.

I woke up very late on Saturday and proceeded to prepare dough for English muffins. It all seemed easy enough. While that dough was proofing, I prepared dough for focaccia and French bread. I would use these two doughs on Sunday. The English muffin dough was too dry and I knew from the kneading point I had done it wrong. I thought it might be forgiving but nope. Pretty much a failure there and nothing else to say. I still ate the bread because it had a roll type taste and quality to it.

I made some garlic ginger chicken wings after the English muffin failure. These were so good. F for presentation here but A plus for taste!

Garlic Ginger Wings

Today saw much better success. I almost went out for a walk somewhere but the temptation of dough in my fridge was too much to resist. Being tempted by dough, who ever heard of such a thing? Anyway, the focaccia was looking pretty good. I don't think I've ever had before so I wasn't sure what it was really supposed to be like. When I was making the dough my scale went over the weight limit as I added water. I didn't know how much more to put and added too much. The dough was probably too hydrated. It was forgiving however. I let the dough chill in the fridge over the previous day and then brought it out to dechill for a few hours this morning. I ended up making two pans because I don't have a big enough oven or pan to handle the amount of dough that was present. The focaccia had a lot of oil in it. It also had a herb oil topping that was applied before baking. Just a mixture of whatever I had on hand. It tasted good.


I think it's supposed to more dense but this version was very soft. It's actually very good.

Foccacia Slice

I made two of these so I'll be having focaccia bread sandwiches all week. I froze the other entire pan of bread. This would also make an interesting pizza crust methinks.

Then I finished with what I had looked forward to the most, the French bread. I've read it's hard to make a great French bread. That didn't stop me. I wanted to bake some baguettes of eloquence. During the same time as the focaccia baking I prepared the dough for the French bread. It's straightforward and very simple. The overnight ferment enhances the flavor and makes it even better, supposedly. I think it's definitely true. It was around 8pm that I got the loaves finally scored and into the oven. After 20 minutes and a few rotations to get more even browning, my first loaves came out. Here is the whole happy lot of them.

French Breads

I had to make 4 because my stone is only 9 x 9 inches. Don't pay attention to the odd shaped one on the left. I was trying something new and didn't know what I was doing. Still looks beautiful, right?

French Crusts

Man, I love how these look. They came out looking just as I hoped they would. The taste was delicious too. The only gripe is that the inside was rather dense. I wanted some more holes. I think I need to work on my kneading technique because I don't think it was my handling of the dough or much else that I did wrong. Oh well, I'm still learning.

And I'm still eating far too many carbs. Yet, I'm a bread fiend. It surely can't be helped.

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