Sometimes a disaster can turn out to be pretty good. I started out to trial my new banneton for the first time by making a simple white loaf. But something went wrong. The dough wouldn’t behave normally, and after kneading for a while, I thought I’d let it rest (and hopefully autolyse).
After a couple of hours of resting, and stretching and folding, it was a little better but not much. With a great dusting of flour, I put it into the Benetton and waited with bated breath. When I judged it to be roughly doubled in size, I turned it out onto oiled parchment paper. I had thought about scoring, but on seeing it visibly deflating and subsiding before my very eyes, I decided to forego that. Quickly, it went straight into a pre-heated, pre-steamed oven.
I peered anxiously through the window, and hail the deities, there was oven spring! After a while, it seemed to have achieved final stature, and so I turned down the heat a bit and let it bake for a good while longer, until I judged the colour and sound was just right.
There’s nothing to drive you up the wall with hunger more than the smell of freshly baking bread.
Eventually, after all the hidden drama, I ended up with a gorgeous smelling hunk of bread that had a nice crust on the outside, with a soft crumb on the inside. It hadn’t held its shape long enough and so lost the patterns of the banetton. The crust wasn’t soft enough for it to be a ciabatta, even though I had made it with olive oil rather than butter. Hence the quandary, is it a cob, a batârd or a ciabatta?
For curious minds, here are the ingredients.
- Strong white bread flour – 400gm
- Instant yeast – 6gm
- Sea salt – 7gm
- Water – 210gm
- Olive oil – 25gm
- Flour for dusting
P.S I blame the flour 😉