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Two bread epiphanies

ciabatta 007

Wait a minute! 

Last night’s bread (in photo at left) was not even as good as previous attempts to make the AB5 Master Dough.  Why??? 

Well, don’t waste too much time puzzling it through, because I just figured it out!

On their website, the authors of Artisan Bread in Five estimate a cup of flour at 5 ounces (ie 141g) BUT most people estimate it a bit less, like between 4 and 4.5 (closer to 125g).  It’s not a lot, but what I just realized that it is probably enough to make a difference. 

My trustworthy “Artisan Bread in Five” bread is suffering, ironically, due to my newfound snobbishness about exactitude and scaling all ingredients!  Oh… my… gosh.  If this is so, I totally feel betrayed!

Look at the crumb of the bread in the picture above.  Quite (um) crumbly, right???  Except…this is not, by nature, a crumbly bread.  Unless you have tossed in too much flour, which, of course I have, thanks to the authors’ own recommendations.

But, of course, dumb, dumb me for assuming that I can toss Canadian flour and a million other variables into the mix and still come out with a formula that will weigh exactly the same as I’m sure it really does in their test kitchens.

But still.  If I cannot rely on the authors’ recommendation of 5oz per cup, perhaps other recipes that give weights are going to give me problems as well.  Sheesh.  Frustrating.

So… what’s the other epiphany?  A happy one, I’m (um) happy to report!

I know what to do for Purim… bread!  Not just a challah loaf or whatever it is that other people do.  Something fresh and amazing.  Ugh; something yashan… I just thought of that.  Something pareve, of course.  Mini-baguettes, with an assortment of amusing spreads and dips?  With an overall “bread” theme.  Delivered fresh tied up in a tea towel with a lovely piece of ribbon.  How very… very.

Anyway, we shall see.  Let’s get the basic recipe working again and then I’ll mess around.

Hey… maybe that’s why I’m not loving our Shabbos challah anymore?  It really was kind of DRY and CRUMBLY last week.  Oh-kay.  Back to the drawing board indeed!

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