It was a bad bread because I didn't read the instructions fully and missed a step in each recipe.
Rustic Italian Bread
Rustic bread or artisan bread often require more than 24hrs to make them. In this case, it was no different. I had to make a sponge the night before. A sponge is a yeast mixture that is allowed to ferment or rise overnight. This is suppose to make the texture of the bread better and the bread more tasty.
After 24hrs, it should look like this. Nice and bubbly!
The next day, I mixed flour, warm water and yeast.
This is where I made a mistake. Mistake #1 I added the sponge and let the new mixture rest for 20 minutes. I didn't realize the mistake until I saw my dough filled with undissolved yeast throughout my dough. I was devastated. Ok not devastated but was upset since I was so looking forward to making good bread.
I didn't have any more bread flour to start again and I didn't want to wait the next day to make the bread, as I would need 24hours to make the sponge and I didn't want to remake the bread without a sponge. So I just added warm water to warm up the dough and hoped the yeast would dissolve.
Luckily it did! So now I had an extra wet dough and had to add lots of flour. This made the dough big. I was still worried about my bread turnout and since I was so looking forward to making a good bread, I decided to make the sourdough bread because I was hoping to make at least one decent bread.
Anyways, this bread required kneading then resting the dough then turning the dough then resting then turning then forming a loaf. Here's the dough after the 2nd round of turning. It really expanded well.
Then I formed it into a loaf.
Mistake #2My friend called me out to eat. I debated to make my bread or go out. My bread needed to rise for 1hour before I baked but if I went out, it would ruse longer than 1hr. I decided to go out anyway . So I let the bread rise in the fridge to slow it down and hope for the best. My thoughts was since I made so many mistakes, this extra mistake won't make a difference.
I came home, preheated oven and saw my dough. It was huge!! I knew I wouldn't be able to finish the bread so decide to cut it into two loaves. Mistake #3 I disturbed my bread on final rising by cutting into two loaves. It might have affected the fluffiness of the bread.
The recipe asked to put the bread in the oven at 500F for 10 to create a nice crust. Then baked for 30-35 minutes.
Well here is my final result. Two loaves.
It was a little too dark for me and I only put it in for 30minutes rather than 35 minutes. Next time I will reduce the time.
Well I cut a slice. The crust was nice. I ate a slice and Wow! I was shocked. Despite my mistakes, the bread was good. The crust was crunchy and chewy at the same time. The middle was soft. The only thing I would change is putting less salt. I found it was a little too salty for me. Of course, next time I'll follow the instructions more carefully and form it into two loaves earlier.
I thought I messed up with my Italian bread so I decided to make a sourdough. I also wanted to use my starter since I fed it a couple of hours earlier.
I followed the recipe but wasn't sure if I was suppose to use the starter after it was fed/active or before it was fed. The recipe didn't specify.
As I made the dough and kneaded it, it felt really tough and hard. But I still continued to form a loaf and baked it.
Mistake #4 of the day. I didn't read the recipe carefully, as I was suppose to let it rise after forming a loaf then bake but I didn't do that. I just baked when it That bread turned out to be very dense and very fulling. Also it was quite sour and a little acidic. I think that the sourdough starter was too fresh. It would have been better to let the sourdough to sit longer.
I need to read recipes more carefully. Yeah, I know that it's always advised to read the recipe before you start but that's not my character. I just get into it and skim the instructions. That's why I prefer recipes that divides each step quite clearly and not too long.
Definately I would make the Italian loaf again. Despite my mistakes, it turn out really well.
With the sourdough, I'd have to try it again and follow the instructions properly before I can comment on the recipe.
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