Oh Jeez, Not Another One

Know what hurts?


What the hell is it?

It's what's lurking beneath this:

after mulishly refusing to let go of the pan and leaving behind this:

It was one of those mornings where I could have bounded energetically out of bed, whistling a jaunty tune. No, that would never happen with me. But if I were such a person, that is how the day would have begun. What in fact happened was I was jolted awake by the sound of the delivery man calling my cellphone from directly outside my apartment. One downside to being a girl and having to dash directly from your bed to greet someone at the door is that you have to scrabble desperately through your hopelessly cluttered wardrobe, searching for something to cover your braless state.

Anyhow, parcel received, I brightened when I remembered my sourdough bread that had been rising while I slept and was just about ready to be baked. I peeped. It was risen. Hoorah. Whenever my bread is finally about to go into the oven, I always get this buzzy, anticipatory feeling. Like waiting to open Christmas presents.

I had everything ready. Hot water--check. Spritz bottle--check. Thermometer--check. Oven mitts--check. Popped the bread into the oven. Stood on chair with nose pressed against oven window. And watched my beautiful bread rise up and up!

I admit to having felt rather confident after the previous evening's bun success (see self-congratulatory, and probably dooming, post), and was further fortified by a hot mug of tea and one of those freshly baked buns. The sun had finally come out again. I quickly got the laundry going. Danced about the kitchen with Edward a bit. Got some work done. The whole house smelled so good.

Pulled the bread out after 40 minutes. Temperature: 100'C. Almost perfect. Okay, my loaf had deflated a bit. I think I'd left it to rise too long--about 12 hours. That's okay. It was still lovely.

And then. I tried to get it out of the pan.

I have mentioned before that I own only one pan. A loaf pan. If I want to bake anything in a pan, it will come out 9x5x3, regardless of what the recipe specifies: cakes, muffins, whatever. So I have a great deal of experience getting things out of this pan. I was not worried. This was however the first time I tried baking bread in it. First I gave it a gentle shake, because from past experiences baking boules, I've noticed that bread never seems to stick. The bread did not budge. Okay, no problem. Carefully ran knife along sides. Gave it a tap. Nothing. Tried gently coaxing the bread with my fingers. Nope.

Will not continue this painful account. Needless to say, after a very long time, the bread finally released its tenacious hold on the bottom of the pan, but not without leaving part of itself behind. I guess I should have buttered the pan. The other problem was that the bread was extremely airy and didn't hold up too well under my increasingly ungentle extraction efforts.

This was in fact the San Francisco Sourdough recipe from Sourdough Home, which is very interesting in that, unlike most sourdough recipes that call for up to 1 cup of starter, this one only requires 1/4 cup. I fiddled with the recipe a bit, adding 2 tablespoons of honey and using 1 cup of oatmeal instead of whole wheat flour cause I didn't have any whole wheat. This time I most definitely should have stuck to the recipe. I think I used too much oatmeal, which remained quite gummy even after baking. Also, the bread had a clear sourdough tang--not overpowering but distinct--that would have been really good except that the sweetness from the honey got in the way.

Although Sourdough Home says this recipe works as a sandwich loaf--I want to say I disagree, but it could be my silly meddling with the recipe that caused the texture to change. The inside was very, well, flouffy and was quite difficult to slice.

Despite its flouffiness, strangely, it was also quite chewy, and I thought this bread would have been nicer had it been surrounded by more crisp, brown crust. Unfortunately, although the top of the loaf was gorgeous, the sides and bottom were very white and a wee bit unappealing, the overall effect not unlike a bad farmer's tan. As a free-form loaf, or better yet individual rolls, there would have been lots of crunchy crust to add a much needed textural contrast and a prettier overall look. And if you look at the picture above, the crust really did come out beautifully.

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You know what I found to be an excellent material to coat breadpans (after the PAM disaster)? Crisco shortening! Used it on my pumpkin rolls and they did not stick one bit, nor did they expand sideways to flatten out like pancakes. Try it next time.

BTW, the pumpkin rolls turned out beautifully. The pumpkin made it so soft and fluffy, and gave it a nice orangy color. I will take your advice and load the picture onto Shutterfly and then paste their VERY LONG link.

One little thing though, have you ever tried to revived flattened dough? Since the rolls came out so good piping hot, I was reluctant to bake the other half and eat them cold the next day. So I stuck the pan back into the fridge. This morning when i checked, they had all flattened out. Do you think I can re-roll it and let it re-rise? 

Posted by Lynn

10/22/2004 10:12:00 AM  

Hmmm, there is something wrong with your comment page. Did you change the format? The comment I posted earlier was not posted. 

Posted by Lynn

10/22/2004 02:12:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/22/2004 03:58:00 PM  

The PAM disaster? Did you mention this in the comment that you said has gone missing? Because I don't know the PAM disaster. But considering nothing bad would dare happen in your kitchen Lynn, I am skeptical of your use of the term "disaster."

Sigh, okay, next time will use Crisco. But I've just never had to butter a pan when baking bread before. Even when I made buns the night before, I did not butter the baking sheet. They just...lifted off.

Ahhh, pumpkin rolls. I absolute 100% adore anything pumpkin. When I was in college, but staying at my brother's place one holiday, I kinda went into pumpkin overdrive: pumpkin breads, pumpkin pies, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pudding... And my poor brother detests pumpkin. I just couldn't control myself. It's that outrageous color, or partially anyway. I have an extreme weakness for gaudy-colored foods.

Can't wait to see pictures! (hint hint hint)

And did your re-rolled rolls come out okay? This would be very good to know.  

- Rachel

10/22/2004 11:01:00 PM  

Well, the second half of the rolls completely deflated when I took them out of the fridge today. But I reshaped them and stuck them into my microwave oven for an hour on the "hakou" setting, and they did manage to rise again, although not as well as the first time.

Moral of the lesson, do not shape the dough unless you are ready to bake them.

BTW, I adore cold pumpkin soup.

Oh, almost forgot, I finally got my act together and installed Hello on my home computer, so now I have photos. 

- Lynn

10/23/2004 12:00:00 AM  

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