busy beaver / bread experiment #1

After I posted yesterday I started on the van cleanout. I got about 60% of it done, the underbed storage and passenger cabin area. This afternoon I’ll do the overhead racks, and the day after the overcab storage.

After the round of cleanout Muffin and I followed a nearby trail and ended up overlooking the campsite:

Left to right: covered picnic table, campervan, vault toilet

first bread experiment off to a dodgy start

My bread experiment was delayed because I misplaced or threw away the yeast packets. Argggh! I got more in Alamagordo and made a whole-wheat dough yesterday since the whole-wheat bag was already open.

By this morning the dough had doubled in size as expected. I lined the crock with once-used parchment and plopped the dough into the crock. The change of containers deflated the dough a bit, and it looks tiny in the full-size crock. Maybe I should have made a double batch so the dough would fill the bottom and touch the sides. We’ll see.

I let the crock warm on low a bit and turned it back off. I let the dough re-rise for a couple hours to see if it can get to a more appropriate size, and it seemed to but not a lot. Because of limited sunlight by then (2pm) I did 2 hrs on HI instead of 4-5hrs on LO as in Kaylee’s version. I’ve seen that 2hrs number in some online recipes.

The resulting loaf as a gratifyingly hearty crust:

It is toothy and dense which, to be fair, is my taste in bread. Wonder Bread people would run away in horror. A half-loaf of this and a tankard of beer would make a great meal for a monk. To test this theory I broke out a Nut Brown Ale from Santa Fe brewing company, a six-pack of which was gifted by DC (I told you she was delightful).

While I like a heavy bread I will also try to get it to rise more. I’m thinking about using the same small batch this way:

  1. mix the dough
  2. put directly into lined crock
  3. allow to rise for the 18hrs
  4. bake directly in the crock to avoid accidential “punching down”

Using white flour will probably behave differently, too.