Bread is so forgiving. And good thing too.
Yesterday, I was waffling and waffling trying to decide if I should make molasses fennel bread or rustic boules (based on “Acme’s Rustic Baguettes” in Artisan Baking Across America by Maggie Glezer) for our Yuletide feasts. And last night I finally decided on rustic boules and quickly made the two pre-ferments and put them in the oven with only the light turned on. This being the only place in the house that might go above 15C overnight.
And then I changed what’s left of my mind this morning.
I decided I’d make both – a half recipe of the molasses fennel bread and a full recipe of the Glezer bread. No matter that one of the preferments had oozed out of its bowl all over the lid of the other preferment. No no. No need to worry.
I carefully rehydrated the yeast, using a small bowl for the molasses bread and a larger bowl for the Glezer bread. And set them aside.
Mixed and kneaded the molasses fennel dough. Mixed and kneaded the Glezer dough. Put them into their rising bowls back into the oven.
Put away the flour. Cleaned off the board. Set the timer for 20 minutes for stretching and folding the Glezer bread. Heard the bell. Paid attention to the bell. Scattered a tiny amount of flour on the board for stretching and folding the dough. And… AUGH!!!!
There, beside the kneading board was the yeasted water for the Glezer bread! (You knew this was shaping up to turn out badly, didn’t you?) So, instead of stretching and folding, I added yeasted water and a little more flour and kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes.
Things seem to be going alright now. The bell just rang for me to stretch and fold the final time. I feel certain that I’m in control now.
edit 24 December 2008: And my suspicions were correct! The bread turned out beautifully. In spite of the fact that the oven seems to be suddenly WAAAY hotter. It only took 25 minutes to bake rather than the usual 30 to 35. Good thing T’s nose told us to check the bread early… otherwise we would have been serving black bread