I don’ t know what the deal is lately, but I just can’t seem to fire up a decent loaf of bread. In this latest challenge, Pugliese, I was hoping to wind up with something good after last weeks bad Potato Rosemary Bread (which also wound up as croutons) experience.
Oddly enough, I did get a bunch of good pictures of this bread (artificially staged with some cherries to get a nice color contrast).
It’s alright, I guess. I have the stuff I need to make salads tomorrow, now I have the croutons.
(Posts from fellow BBAers, such as Jim, are here)
I’m not even going to write out the typical post I usually do here, because I was very disappointed in this bread, and I have no clear idea where things went wrong. Instead, I’ll just mention what did go wrong and then mention some issues I had along the way. I’ll then put up a few more pictures, since they did actually come out well.
What was the problem? Well, the bread tasted like ass – that was the main problem (can it get worse?). Really – it just didn’t taste very good. In addition, the bread was very dense. Which is surprising, given how hydrated this dough was. It also didn’t rise very much at all. So it tasted bad, it had the absolutely wrong texture, and it failed to rise. I did say that it photographed well, right?
What Went Wrong?
I’m not sure.
First off, I did goof on the biga. I made it at 9pm, and the instructions are to leave it out for 2 hours, and then to refrigerate it. I fell asleep. What can I say? I have two little kids. By 10pm I’m half on the way to being in a coma. Anyway, this resulted in the biga being left out all night. Whether this was part of the problem I wound up with, I can’t say. My typical go-to recipe from Carol Field has you make an overnight biga that is left out all night, so clearly this process is used. It just wasn’t the process for this bread. Was that the problem? I’m sure it made a difference, but I can’t imagine it led the bread to be as bad as it came out.
Second, I didn’t add the optional mashed potatoes. Was that it? I can’t imagine it would be.
I can’t think of what else could have been responsible. Everything else went just fine. That said, it did seem to me that the bread never really rose that much in the proofing stages. It rose, but not like a normal dough tends to rise. I let the dough rise exactly the time it was supposed to, in each stage.
Basically, nothing seemed to go right here. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
Some More Good Pics
Why did I pick cherries? No reason, other than that the colors offset the bread.
and this one