24 hour bread baked in a cloche



This was intended to go 8 hours to 12 hours but I did not get to the dough for 24 hours. As a result the yeast peaked in its activity and could go no further by its usual way of growing by budding where dna packages are duplicated and walled off into a separate buds like a cloned child that stays attached, so the yeast cells grow in the shape of a tree or like an ordinary cholla cactus that grows in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears, then those ears grow Mickey Mouse ears and so on exponentially in all directions until the yeast crowds itself out and devours its immediate food. By doing that as much and as far it can go the yeast culture becomes exhausted and slows its activity then shuts down completely. It begins to die and produce alcohol. It is like it is dying, but more like sleeping, but a very deep sleep. It can dry completely, that would be an emergency state, and still be awakened when presented with refreshing new food and new water, but by then each double dna cell will have divided its dna in half and developed an emergency protective shell.

The dough has never been kneaded, just mixed. 

In bread baking when the amount of water by weight equals the amount of flour by weight then that is considered 100% hydration. Bread is usually 60% hydration. But this dough is exceedingly wet, in excess of 100%. It is more like 110% to maybe 115% hydration. It is very sticky. This enables the yeast cells to move around more freely inside, by growing like a cactus or like a tree. When dough is dryer that is more difficult for the yeast to do. 

When dumped out onto a work surface the wet dough is difficult to work with because it is so wet and so sticky. The surface must be either floured or oiled to facilitate manipulation and shaping. The dough is stretched in all directions, north, south, east and west and in between, This stretching is another form of kneading. The excessive time spent proofing, and this stretching substitute for the usual kneading. This dough feels very different at hand. It feels like a floppy uncooperative blob

The stretching also redistributes the stagnate yeast, it places cells next to each other of corresponding types. Not exactly male and female cells, but corresponding. The two double dna cells unite to quadruple dna cells, and off they go growing again, apparently delighted with their new improved conditions. They go for it. Their joie de vivre, their élan vital is quite extraordinary, quite something to observe.


With all surfaces freshly dusted with flour the dough blob is stretched in all directions and folded back onto itself incorporating the fresh flour inside by scant amounts, just surface dusting, now inside. The additional flour provides new food to the yeast cells  imparts structure to the floppy wet dough even though it is never kneaded, its glucose molecules undeveloped. It is still very wet, still very floppy, much more so than regular bread dough. It is this excessive wetness that allows the cloche to work. The wetness allows the dough to expand by intense heat like tiny balloons being blown up as heat expands air trapped inside the dough. The cloche allows the surface to remain pliable long enough for this to happen then the hot clay arrests the outer surface turning it crisp without it collapsing by maintaing the intense immediate heat all around. A regular oven cannot do this without being continually misted such as some ovens do. 





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