Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mellow Bakers: Country Bread (November)

I am still feeling guilty for skipping my first ever Mellow Bakers bread (pretzels) last month. I just couldn't figure out what to do about the lye. I was curious to try the process, but nervous about using such harsh chemicals in a house with two little ones running around. I was going to just go the baking soda route, but then I didn't have any diastatic malt barley powder......

So I just went ahead to November (where we have another bread that I'm contemplating skipping).

My first bread was country bread. This one was pretty basic: bread flour, salt, instant yeast, and water. I made the preferment two nights ago. By yesterday afternoon, it had risen quite well. I proceeded with the recipe through the shaping stage, and then stuck the bread into the fridge overnight.

This afternoon, our schedule was pretty tight, so I had hubby pull the bread out of the fridge and preheat the oven while I picked up the little guy from preschool. Unfortunately, by the time I got home, the bread had already overproofed. I decided to try slashing anyway......whoooooooosh (the sound of all of the air leaving my bread). It rallied a little in the oven, but it was still a pretty flat loaf.

As for the taste? I don't think we'll make this one again, as we have so many other recipes we prefer (generally recipes with whole grains ~ like rustic bread). But it was very yummy with our soup, and the four of us managed to demolish more than half the loaf at dinner.


  1. I skipped the pretzels too, it sounded even more stressful than bagels, which I haven't made again.Shared your worries about the lye! Spilling it on the dogs and so on. Your bread looks great from here. Did you bake it straight from the fridge? I find that works quite well if they have had a long stay in there, rather than let them warm up. I've been reading about very long proofed yeasted breads on BreadCetera, but the breads are made with teeny tiny quantities of yeast. It might be something that works well for your schedule? Here's the link to Steve's post, worth reading if you haven't seen it yet. I was thinking whole grain too only this morning, having just pulled a batch of milk breads out and stuffed them in the freezer for he who likes white bread... http://tinyurl.com/35p6zp3

  2. Will I ever get to Mellow Bakers again??? I hope so. All your breads look so wonderful from this group and I have the book so I need to get going on these recipes. Soon.

  3. Abby
    I am try to decide if I am going to start this today or BBA multigrain extraordinaire.

  4. I skipped ALL breads last month because I've been so busy. And definitely will have to skip one or two this month, too. :-((((. Will try to make the brioche because I really liked Malgieri's version.

  5. Here, this comment will tell you what kind of baker I am - I think your bread looks perfectly fine. In fact, I've done some loaves that proofed perfectly well, and they still didn't look as good as yours.

    See, I told you!

  6. I think your loaf looks great! It doesn't look flat at all. I thought this bread was okay, but a little bit lacking in flavor. I definitely liked the Rustic Bread better.

  7. It doesn´t look flat at me neither. I just baked mine. I will slice it tonight.