Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A New Twist

48 hour retard loaf

I've got the Hairy Bikers sussed now. Each programme has a genuine revelation in it: It's the bit where they visit a baker who really knows what (s)he is doing and they muscle in on it. Funny but it seems these recipes don't appear in their bread book.

So far it's Norway - Apent Sourdough, Austria - Challah/Kipferl, France - the 48 hour baguette, Spain the sourdough with the thermometer control, and Germany - the 48 hour retard loaf.

Today I'm attempting the last.  (Of course that's two days ago I started attempting this).  I made my dough from a sourdough starter mixed with added flour and salt and yeast and kneaded it until it started to look silky on the surface, popped it in a plastic bowl with a cling film cover in the bottom of the fridge.

Hedging my bet I took half out after just 24 hours, shaped it pretty much just by twisting it on a semolina dusted surface,  let it warm up for an hour or so and then baked it.  The results were impressive enough for my daughter to try some! (A success in itself)

1day loaf

Right now is 24 hrs later and the other half is in the oven. The question is: will there be a significant difference between the two?

In fact, and to my surprise, there was. The two day bread had a better taste, a more open web, more sourdough character and an excellent crust. It's not really a fair comparison because one bread was already a day old. Also I might have learnt from the first bake  But until further notice it's a 48 retard in this house!

The unknown factors from the programme:

  • The dough was said to be made of just water flour yeast and salt. Was there a sourdough element like mine?
  • Was there a rise between the shaping and the baking - it looked like there was (and it had been edited out) to me.
  • Was that semolina on the weighing scales and work surface?
I'd pay for the BBC to get Joe Ortiz to recreate his Village Baker trip around Europe. (Well I'd pay a lot to see it anyway.)

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