Monday, October 5, 2020
After the dislocation of the lockdown period, it has been a pleasant change to have gone back to teaching again. Just small classes, only three students with me in the bakery.
That hot spell of weather in August, probably called a heatwave, was very trying for dough makers. When making large doughs, it was necessary to keep water buckets in the refrigerator overnight to have any hope of finishing the dough at a respectable temperature – in the low twenties, C, when the premises are so hot. The task is very difficult when the flour is so warm.
A Panarian named Richard Deverell wrote to me about his sourdough. Richard has been to a few courses, and recently he had his fellow class members spell bound when they found out what his job was. He is the Director of Kew Gardens. Clearly Richard had a fair-sized back garden for surviving the deprivations of the lock down period.
During lock down he wrote about his sourdough:
“I have found that my bread rises well – first rise, and second proving in the baskets. However, when I place the proved bed on the baking tray for cooking it sort of collapses – deflates – and thus my loaf is not as airy and risen as I would like. What am I doing wrong?”
I offered advice on the leaven as follows, ” If it lives in the fridge I would feed it at least twice before breadmaking, to get it first acclimatised then growing to full strength. The feed that precedes breadmaking should be timed so that at the point at which you want to do the dough making it must be ripe and bubbly.
After discussing adequate kneading, and the full ripening of the final leaven, I concluded my advice – “The subsequent collapse is probably straight-forward over-proof, meaning too long in the basket.”
Richard sent photos of improved sourdough loaves. Here they are:
Another student, Lloyd Phillips, wrote to say that since lockdown had begun and there was the terrible shortage of flour in the shops, he had begun using Stoate’s stoneground white, a flour that he would have previously only used when he came to his PANARY course.
Here is his loaf
- Sat 14th — 1 Day Sweet Doughs Christmas Baking (3 places)
- Sat 28th — 1 Day Nordic-Germanic (*COURSE FULL*)
- Fri 12th — 4 day bread baking course, Devon (5 places)
Now that I no longer hold the residential course in the vineyard in Provence, for students who are looking for a long bread course I can recommend this 4-day course in Devon. Regarding Covid modifications the number of students is maximum 5.
To look at it, go to:
Good baking Panarians, from Paul
Stoneground flour, in the vast field of flour milling, is a niche product. Although it is putting the clock back, there is an explanation for why it has not simply died out, and that explanation is found in its inherent nutrition. The stone-grinding process retains an admirable amount of vitamins …
That’s it, Panarians.
Good baking, Paul