Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2015 Into 2016 – The Answer To The Questions (Part The Second)

The Next Question: Are you going to play catch up with what you baked last December(ish?)

The Next Answer: Uh...yes(ish)?

Tarts!

I really wanted to make a decent pear tart, so I grabbed a bunch of Boscs from the farmers market and gave it a go.

Let's try these.

Hmmmm....
Partial success on this one. The oven was misbehaving – again – and I got some curdle in the custard. It tasted great, though! I'll have to make another attempt soon. I have so much to learn about making custard.


*****

Bread! I baked lots of bread. Well, actually, I baked one loaf over and over again. A French Country Loaf from King Arthur Flour. I made it six times. "Six times," you gasp! "Why, in heaven's name?" Because the first time it was pretty good. 

Looked weird. Baked well!

I was nervous and slashed it a bit too deep. I actually eviscerated it! But it was mostly baked all the way through and it tasted great. The crumb was a bit dense. 
 
The second time, however, it was awful. 

Looked  pretty good. Awful bake.
It was raw inside, despite making sure it reached a good internal temperature. I should have known just by how heavy it felt when I took it out of the oven.

And so it went.












I made strides in my confidence at slashing and flouring the top but the the actual baking varied so much. It went from mostly done, to raw, to almost perfect, to really doughy. I partly blame the oven (which seemed to just leak heat like there's no tomorrow) but it mostly comes down to my own learning curve. I'm just at the beginning of developing my feel for bread.

My goal as a bread baker is to be consistently turn out a good loaf. To me that means baking a loaf that's got a great crust and a perfect crumb at least twice in a row before I screw it up. 

I've got a long way to go.

I'll try to finish up the recap next time.

Currently listening to: Andreas Vollenweider - Unto the Burning Circle and Dancing With The Lion

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