Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bread for Thursday, February 9, 2017

For the past three or four, possibly five millennia now, bakers like myself have had to keep a keen eye on the weather. Our breads rise much more quickly when the temperatures increase, and even a small variation in the higher temperatures -- say, anything over about 70 F -- can make an enormous difference in the amount of time dough goes from mix to bake.

Over the winter I have compensated for my lack of refrigerator space by keeping careful track of ambient temperatures, adjusting my mixing times on Wednesday evening, and opening the windows and doors to greater or lesser degrees in the unheated bakehouse.

But it looks like this week no amount of adjustments will work: the low temperature is forecast to be well over 40F on Wednesday night, which is too warm for an overnight proof. So, I will have to rise especially early on Thursday and do the mixing and baking all in one long day.

I should have the golden raisin loaf, perhaps with a few nuts in it, as well as a light rye sandwich loaf, the Country French as always, and if I can get the baking schedule down I will also have a polenta loaf, which is essentially the Country French formula with a small amount of cooked polenta in it, which gives an unusual texture and flavor to the crumb.

I will do my best to arrive with some cookies and crackers as well. I had hoped to start supplying some babka, but with all the mixing and baking crammed into the single day, I may not get to it this week. I'll do my best!

See you on Main Street on Thursday. Please tell your friends -- I'm saving up for a very large refrigerator to get me through the summer, but I'll need to sell a lot of bread to pay for it.

Erik Ryberg

1 comment:

  1. 2 loafs of Golden Raisin & 1 of Rye. Jan, my mother in-law will pickup for us. Thanks