Why is this loaf so good?!

saralexis
I haven't been baking long, maybe three months every 2-3 days, but pave worked out what works for me and I can turn out a reliable loaf.
yesterday I was showing a friend how to bake and let her do the hands on stuff, while I helped as necessary.
The loaves we baked are definitely the best I've made so far and I don't know why, unless my friend has some sort of magic touch!
The variables I can think of are:
  • Her kneading, which was pretty ineffectual - mostly scraping dough off her hands (I'm not being mean- I was as bad a couple of months ago!)
  • Temperature; a warmer day than we've been having, and more humid
  • Slightly shorter proving time than previously
and I've got a lighter crumb and a better oven spring without splitting...
intrigued... Sarah
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Replies

jem 2010 September 24

The things that jumps out at me is the shorter proving time.

Most newish bakers tend to overprove in the hope that more proving means a lighter loaf, but mostly the opposite is true. If you underprove a bit, its often compensated for by great oven spring (if your oven technique is good - hot and steamy), but if you over prove, the extra lift during proving will fall flat in the transfer and you won't get spring in the bake.

You might already have this one sussed, but it was certainly one of my early mistakes.

 

Humidity could be relevant if you're not protecting/covering your loaf well enough during proving, but its probably not a biggie at all.

 

Were at a friends place, and using a different flour?

 

I'd also be interested to know more about your kneading technique. I really enjoyed improving in that area. For eg, do you ever stretch and fold?  30 second kneads and rest 10 min? no knead?

 

Great that you've got someone to bake with!!!!

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