Well, for those of you who might not have read Karniecoops "Local Breads" thread, my venture into something a bit different went off very well if I do say so myself.
These were part of our contribution to a house-warming to celebrate the resurrection of one of the buildings destroyed in the bush-fires just over two years ago. Good food and good fellowship was enjoyed by all and the bread went down a treat. I think if I had baked ten times the amount it would have all gone and the white fluffy stuff would have been left begging. The blue cheese (centre) was most popular judging by the searchers for more, followed by the parmesan (right) though the plain was accorded its fair share of compliments as well.
Hard on the heels of this endeavour came the need to make another loaf for general consumption and, with a string of "tips" as long as my arm to test in my quest for improvement, it was back to old faithful.
As I had followed Rossnroller's suggestion of using only stretch and fold for the cheese bread this was my basic technique this time around as well. Once again it was fascination to see and feel how the texture and elasticity of the dough changed. This virtually has to be only the effect of time as the energy input through dough handling is virtually zero.
The sequence was - autolyse 30min, cut in salt, rest 30mins, S&F (x4) repeated hourly, rest 30mins, preshape, rest 30mins, final shaping.
At this stage, I departed from Ross's preference and with the loaf safely nestled in its rye floured cloth in a cane basket, it was into the plastic bag and the fridge for 10hrs overnight. I have to say that by this stage the loaf had a feel about it that I hadn't really appreciated before. It's very diffucult to describe but it was sort of soft but tough and resilient at the same time.
In the morning, about an hour on the bench while the oven, steam dish and stone heated (and I had my breakfast, the kettle boiled, etc). After what was supposed to be 15mins baking (20 actually), out with the steam production and started the falling temperature phase.
I definitely think that this is the greatest oven spring that I have ever had. Taste and texture - fantastic (though I wouldn't want to get into an argument about sourness would I?). How much better can it get?