My best loaf so far

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My best loaf so far

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imageI tried the second bread mixture in the fridge today. I took it out of the fridge and added a little flour, just enough to take it from the almost thick batter it was to a loose dough.

Then I was going to do a dome shaped loaf on a tray, but it looked like it was going to bake really quite flat, so I popped it in a tin that was greased and floured first. Then I left it on the side until it had risen to the top of the tin again and baked it in a preheated 200C fan oven.

I tried to slash the top, but the dough was so soft, I couldn’t cut it.

Aiden, the teacher, said that we shouldn’t time our loaves, but learn how to tell if they were done. So, I left it until it was a good golden brown, then tipped it out of the tin and baked it a bit longer until it was crispy and crusty all over and put it on a cooling rack. I knocked the bottom and it sounded hollow.

By the time it was cool, it was losing its crust. I tried the end crust, which was delicious, and right enough, the middle of the loaf was still a little too moist. So I put the oven back on and baked for what turned out to be a further half an hour.

By this time, the crust was completely solid and I thought I might have overdone it and have a brick on my hands.

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The finished loaf had a great texture. The crust was perfect, and the slices were light and spongy. The taste was superb. I think probably the best loaf I have made so far.

So, so far, I have discovered that

    1. leaving a very loose dough to rise and mature at least overnight gives a dough with a very good flavour.
    1. A 250g flour mix bakes in a loaf tin with a 1 litre capacity.
    1. I need to bake it until the crust is completely solid
    1. Bake at 200C throughout the cooking process
    1. Next steps…
    1. try value flour
    1. try malted grain flour with some walnuts added
    1. try a loaf that is the same size as an 800g bought loaf so I can make conventional sized slices
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