sourdough bread

Denver starter. The thing is, when you fire up your starter then you're in it. It's on. You must continuously feed the starter at least twice everyday or have a batch of sponge fermenting while you eat the loaf that you baked. It does not end until you shut down the project and suspend the starter, dry, frozen, whatever.

I'm not ready for this loaf of bread but here it is anyway.

This loaf did not ferment the customary three days, rather it proofed for one full day and had additional flour added. So it does not have very much sour while it is loaded with rustic farm-like character. It is chewy toothsome bread.  It was kneaded thoroughly yet still has its own rough uneven skin. This is a trait of this starter, a very thick bumpy crust, but not so thick as some other starters make. Maui, for instance has an incredibly thick crust. This hard thick crust can be vitiated by storing the loaf in plastic that softens it to be more manageable. One slice of bread amounts to a meal. It's the real deal, Daddy-o.

The bread is baked in an oven turned to high as it will go inside a pre-heated clay cloche designed for a whole chicken. The clay chicken baker shown above is sold on eBay for $10.00 with $10.00 shipping. The price range for similar bakers ranges wildly, up to $75.00, but they're the same things. I have two of these bakers. And another designed and marketed for bread that was much more expensive and still the same thing with the same results. It works very well. 

What does the clay baker do?

It's especially good with wet doughs. It keeps the dough wet long enough for the bubbles inside the bread to heat up and expand to maximum size before the crust begins to form and gets too hard for them to continue. Then dries out the bread quickly. That's why bakers spray their ovens. But sometimes that's just not good enough. Home ovens have a vent that allows the moisture to escape. 

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