This bread is based loosely on the Master Dough with Starter from The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani, ISBN 978-1607746058. The original called for some Malt and some Oil, but I left them out. I left the malt out because I didn’t have any. I left the oil out by mistake — next time. I had not tried a recipe with a starter, so this was a new experience for me.
I made the poolish version of the starter. It was easy to make and I made a lot more than I needed. It would have been hard to make less and still measure the yeast accurately. I mixed it up in a water glass, then covered it with plastic wrap and let it double in volume before putting it in the refrigerator over night to mature.
The left photo is the poolish after it had doubled and spent the night in the refrigeator. The right one shows the poolish out of the glass and on a plastic plate. The Pizza Bible had a hint about handling the poolish, which is really sticky. Dip your fingers in ice-water before you handle it and it won’t stick to you. I was pleased that the hint worked very well and I didn’t need to scrape all the poolish off my fingers after measuring it.
- Bread Flour 100 grams
- Water 100 grams
- Instant Yeast 0.3 grams
The poolish, after spending the night in the refrigerator, is one of the ingredients in the final dough for the bread.
White Bread With Starter Formula
- Bread Flour 536 grams
- Water 343 grams
- Instant Yeast 2.7 grams
- Salt 11 grams
- Starter (Poolish) 107 grams
The dough was fairly soft and pliable, so I had a difficult time forming a nice loaf shape to go into the pan. I ended up getting the dough into a sort of loaf shape about the right size to fit the pan and put it in. The two pictures above are of the dough in the 8 by 4 pan before proofing.
These two pictures show the proofed loaf on the left and the baked loaf on the right. The amount of oven spring is apparent, the top of the photo on the left is even with the line across top of the baked loaf on the right. I baked it in the small 8 by 4 pans, but after seeing the result next time I will bake the same amount of dough (with the addition of the oil I forgot in this loaf) in the 9 by 5 pans. The bigger pan should hold the loaf so it doesn’t sag over the edge so the slices end up mushroom shaped.
Here is the loaf cooling on the rack. I baked it 50 minutes at 300 F. It was done, but not browned much at all. Next time in addition to using a 9 by 5 pan I will bake it a bit longer so it browns a bit more. The larger pan will need more time to bake all the way through so when it is done it will probably be a bit more brown anyway.
This view of the loaf with the first few sliced shows the mushroom shape of the slices. Next time they should be better shaped as I will use a bigger pan. I could also make a smaller batch of dough, but the 9 by 5 pan gives a good size slice to match packaged cheese slices without them hanging over the edge.
The slices may have had a funny shape, but the bread was tasty and had a good texture. I’ll definitely be making it again, with a few changes to hopefully improve it.