In the food processor, with a metal blade, this time I put:
I gave it a quick whiz in the food processor. Usually, before I slowly add the water, I combine the dry products for five or so seconds, but this time I realized after adding all the water I had forgotten the yeast so I sprinkled it in while I let the blade spin. Then I placed the dough in a large metal bowl to rise. The dough itself was extremely moist and loose. I laid the protective plastic-wrap across the top of the bowl, letting it lay inside the bowl close to the dough.
3 hours later I turned it out of the bowl onto a floured board, and punched it down. It was unworkable, I would guess I needed about ½ a cup of bench flour to be able to handle it without it gluing itself to whatever it touched. Once I got it to stop sticking it to everything, I divided it into 4 balls and let it rest under a floured side towel.
The 4 balls proofed for 1 hour. I then rolled them out, gently, folded them into thirds, pinched their seams closed, and rested them between two floured towels for ½ hour while I preheated the oven to 425.
This time I:
1. Made the bread entirely of one kind of flour.
2. Switched to Diamond Crystal kosher salt; there was too much variation in the flavor of the breads made with Mortons.
3. Used a bottled mineral water.
4. Ended up using much more bench flour then I’d needed before.
5. The dough, in spite of all the bench flour, was almost liquid and required the lightest touch to work it and get it into the oven.
6. Decided that “00” flour is soft as confectioners’ sugar and quite fun to play with.
7. Switched back to spraying the walls of the oven with a spray bottle.
With Bread 6 I found:
1. There was much more air in the crumb.
2. It was far creamier tasting.
3. It might tolerate even a little more salt.
4. The crust was much lighter, except on the bottom where it was nicely thick.
5. The late yeast addition doesn’t seem to have hurt it any.
Bread six was born out of an experiment involving primarily Italian ingredients. Finding “00” flour was easy (all I had to do was go to The Garden Of Eden on 14th St) and European mineral water is ubiquitous. Sadly, the “00” flour they sell has about half the protein of bread flour. I will have to keep my eyes out for someone with “00” flour in the 4g+ protein range. I figured it was worth a shot, and think I have happily discovered some insights into the more airy crumb as a result.