Okay, here it is – a nearly complete pictorial guide to preparing some bread for market. First off, I use baker’s percentages to prepare my bread and several other great baking bloggers have posted about this so I will recommend you check out this tutorial series at the Wild Yeast blog. It’s where I learned how to use baker’s percentages and began designing my own bread recipes (err… percentages…). Second, all images below related to bread preparation and packaging were taken by my lovely wife Cat who takes fantastic photos. You can learn more about her photography and our kids at her blog The Bird’s Nest.
The first picture below is the dough after it has been hand mixed as far as I’m able. It looks somewhat crumbly with softer and firmer patches in it depending on the wetness of the dough.
This is about as far as you can get with a spoon, so it’s time to get my hands dirty and start to knead the dough. In the slideshow below you can see the ‘crumbles’ of dough begin to stick together and then stretch into a semi-smooth ball of dough as the gluten is developed.
Next it’s time to test for gluten development in the dough with a window pane test. This is done after the dough feels right and is beginning to get resistant to kneading .
I’m happy with this level of development (medium to full) and knead the test pinch of dough back into the larger ball. This gives us the finished lump of Rosemary Potato dough which is now ready for it’s initial bulk rise.
After the bulk rise, the dough is turned onto either an oiled or floured surface, divided and scaled to the right size for the loaf that needs to be made. In this case, I’m making batards (16 ounces) and full sandwich loaves (32 ounces).
Skip ahead a little further and the bread is scored, baked, cooled, packaged, labeled and taken to market. This market is at 4910 Forest Hill Avenue with The Market Umbrella from now (December) until the end of April.
Where it is sold by me to all the smiling customers! Yes, it is winter, and yes, there is snow on the ground. The winter market is a lot of fun and I encourage you to visit sometime!
I hope you enjoyed this little journey and there will be more fun with bread in the near future – stay tuned!