Watch the dough, not the clock

… or the thermometer

While I was away a friend gave me a copy of The Perfect Loaf, by Maurizio Leo, and very fortunately there was just about enough room in my suitcase to bring it home with me. Over at my baking site I wrote about baking his introductory Simple Sourdough, which proved to be an interesting exercise. Maurizio has an intent focus on temperature. He gives a desired dough temperature at every stage of every recipe, achieved by adjusting the temperature of water. If you do that, I am sure, then his timings also make sense and probably just work™. I tried, but as I noted in my write up, this place is just not suited to maintaining a decent temperature for the leaven or the bulk fermentation.

Crumb shot showing evidence of underproofing

You can see that the dough was underproofed, probably during bulk fermentation.

In the end, I noted a few additional technical wrinkles and several really interesting recipes. When I come to make them, though, I will probably stick with my own workflow and timings, based on what is, in my belief, the most important maxim in bread-making:

Watch the dough, not the clock (or the thermometer).

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