the experimental loaf

I’m baking yesterday when my roommate and her boyfriend come home. “What are you making?” asks the boyfriend. “Just some bread,” I reply as if my transformational power over a few simple elements were no big deal. “Oh,” he answered, “that’s nice”–and then, as if to console me–“Sometimes I prefer homemade bread over the regular stuff; you know, for grilled cheese or something.” I stare at him. Nod with slightly pursed lips and ever-so-slightly knitted brows. Like you might if someone told you he just returned from a health convention on Jupiter.

Has he never tasted freshly-baked bread? Does he think that the only people who make bread are too poor to pick up a squishy loaf from the store? How sad to be ignorant of crisp, crackling crust and creamy, toothsome interiors with beautiful irregular crumb!

But I mean to report on my experiment. I didn’t soak the stone with the full two cups of water; I had a little over 1/3 of a cup left, and I splashed some on the counters. Regardless, the stone was damp through in places (mostly the center, where I tended to pour).

When I opened the oven door to slide in the dough, I wasn’t blasted with steam, but there was some. How much of the 1 and 1/2 (roughly {I’m a little math-challenged}) cups that I put in originally remained, I can’t say. I had hoped to get pictures of the oven once it heated to note any evidence of steam, but my roommate was making soup and I didn’t want to be too weird.

{“Hey could I just look at the oven for a minute?” “Yeah, no problem. What are you looking for?” me, crouching in front of the oven, peering intently inside “I just want to see if it’s steamy in there.”}

As for bread results, I didn’t get a whole lot of oven spring, and the color wasn’t as golden red as it could have been. The crust could stand to be cracklier. It’s not bad, mind you; just not the best. I won’t give up on it yet, but next time, I’m going to use more water.

*If you make an attempt using this method, make sure to put the wet stone in a cold oven, then heat it. If you put a wet stone in a hot oven, the stone will likely break from the rapid water expansion. *

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About Chrissie Reinhart

Christian, wife, mother; striving to strive.
This entry was posted in Food, Musings, Projects and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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