The loaves proofing on a couche.
The dough after 18hours bulk fermentation.
It's that time of the year again when most of my colleagues are taking their annual holiday. When this happens, I'd be extremely busy as the workload would be shouldered by the rest of the team. This year, as fate would have it, Fornax the goddess of fertility has been busy and 3 of my colleagues had buns in their ovens if you know what I mean. This meant more work for the rest of us. While Fornax has been busy, she has not blessed me with good weather to fire up her namesake, the hearth or in my case, my beehive oven.
Busy schedule or not, there must still be be bread on the breakfast table and I was prompted to develop a schedule which will allow me to make bread even when I reach home a little later than normal. I settled for a preferment which will ripen fully in the morning. Before breakfast, I would mix it in the main dough and the bulk ferment will happen while I am at work. My process allows me to complete my bread easily before I turn in to bed, even when I am back late from work. The wonderful thing is that dough contact time is actually minimal and I am still able to watch a little TV and do the dishes. I like to do the dishes after after I have worked the dough because I can wash the dough off my hands while soaping up the dishes.
I have also been baking without a baking stone and minimal preheating. Somehow, the characteristics of my oven results in side splitting despite my slashes. After a while, they kind of look attractive although they are not in the form of the classic Parisian baguette by Ganachaud. In any case, the long fermentation process and minimal mixing result in a creamy crumb and the flavor was what made me fall in love with bread in the first place. Somehow, a simple homemade baguette with good butter and coffee is something that I can eat anytime of the day, everyday.