Quick post tonight: thought you might like to see the results of my latest [food] experiment, pane al cioccolato II.
Like its predecessor pane al cioccolato I, I made a pseudostarter, but went ahead and assembled the biga naturale the night before, and left it (covered with a damp cloth) in a cold Vermont kitchen until late afternoon the next day. Okay, not like cold as in so-freezing-it’s-time-for-yeast-to-hibernate cold, but cold like it’s-winter-here-and-I-need-to-wear-something-more-than-a-T-shirt kind of cold. Anyway, this meant that the biga naturale sat for close to 16 hours rather than 8.
The other major change was to proof it in a makeshift proofing basket, aptly discussed by Susan at Wild Yeast. I sprinkled flour on top of linen that lined a medium-sized mixing bowl and placed the shaped loaf seam side up in it to proof, covered with a piece of slightly damp linen. Last time I proofed it right side up (seam side down) on a piece of parchment, on a plate, and covered everything with a piece of slightly damp linen.
Slashed an “X” right before baking in a preheated 425F Pyrex bowl, 8 minutes with lid on and then ~18-20 minutes with lid off. The loaf was allowed to dry a bit by turning off the oven, leaving the door slightly ajar and letting it further sit inside for 10 minutes.
So how did this loaf compare to the last one? This one had a chewier crust and had a richer chocolate and bread flavour, but I’m not sure if that was solely from the changes that I made this time. No matter how many times I make a particular recipe, it seems that because I constantly adjust and do some fine tweaking as I go, each loaf takes on its own character. Each loaf is a reflection of the temperature at that particular time of day, the humidity, what mood I’m in, and how hungry I am ha ha. I would name each of these babies but then wouldn’t have the heart to eat them. 😛
* * *
For those of you who need a bit of chocolate and bread today, I’m sending a slice to you!