Babcia’s Bread Experiment, part 3b: first rising

When setting the old dough to reconstitute and ferment overnight, I had some concerns about temperature. The crock was sitting on our dining table, and that room gets pretty chilly. I did warm up the rice bag we have been using to warm our fermenting hard apple cider (which is probably ready to be bottled, but we haven’t gotten around to it yet) and set it under the crock, to help keep it at least a little bit warm.

While investigating some cat noises in the wee hours of the morning, I checked it and found it was looking pretty much the same as when I’d left it. So I warmed the oven up a bit, then put the crock in, shut the oven off and left the light on.

This is how it looked about 3 hours later.

Warming it up, did the trick! I’ll have to keep that in mind, as we continue experimenting.

I warmed the oven up a bit again, then put the crock back for another 3 hours or so, before I was able to start making the dough.

That’s looking nice and puffy!

I find it interesting that the pieces are still distinctly separate. When I stirred it, before adding it to some flour and salt in a bowl, I found the pieces separated and stretched, before starting to mix together. The water under the old dough pieces was pretty much clear until I mixed it, too.

I added this to a bowl with 3 cups of flour and 2 tsp of Kosher salt and mixed it together. I kneaded another 4 – 4 1/2 cups of flour in before turning it onto my table and kneading it for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Normally, I would oil the bowl the dough will be rising in, but my grandmother would not have done that, so I used flour, instead.

With this batch, I’ve got the same amount of water as the first batch the old dough came from, but I’m using less flour. That first batch was too dense. With only a little more than 4 cups of flour in here, after I remove some dough for the next batch, I think I’ll just make one large round loaf this time, instead of two.

Next time, I think I’ll up the water and flour quantities a little bit, and make a bigger batch. I don’t think I’ll adjust the amount of salt, though. Not unless I end up doubling the recipe or something.

The dough is now covered and set aside for its first rising. I’ll give it at least an hour, probably two, before punching it down and leaving it for a second rising.

I will post again, later today, with the final results! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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