It's in the Details

Before I went to the hospital this past weekend to have my chest hair removed by little sticky adhesive electrode patches, I was doing a couple of final runs for the baguette piece. I wanted to remove two items in the procedure to make it a prep anyone could perform with little or no special equipment.

The two items I thought might give some people trouble were: i. the use of a bread machine for kneading/first rise and ii. the use of the special baguette pan I use. So, I decided to try to validate the procedure removing each variable, one at a time. I discovered something interesting. Even though this particular bread recipe is only a straight dough method, it's complexity is astounding. By replacing the bread machine 30-minute knead cycle with a 5 minute hand knead (a timed full 5 minutes of vigorous kneading), I changed the final loaf significantly. It had a tad less volume, the crackly crust was a little different but the big difference in texture AND taste resulted from the finer crumb. The machine kneaded crumb is delicate and cloud-like in appearance, but tasty. The hand kneaded interior was finer in appearance and the taste was "mealier" for lack of a better characterization. It surprised me. I'm going to stick with what works for now and stay with the machine. This bread is worth pursuing at any price.

No comments: