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David Chang

what is this thing i just baked?

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baked some pain aux raisins right after...

in the past, i've casually walked into bakeries on a lazy sunday mornings and bought countless of these things, or when there was nothing to eat in airports, this was my go-to favourite. and it has never occurred to me how difficult and costly it is to make them until i started making them from scratch..






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Our "house" sourdough is built more for comfort than Tartine-style drama. We like the flavor from freshly ground flour; we don't like a burnt crust.

A recent innovation: I question the need to adapt to handling wet, sticky doughs, and I've never liked how the starter squirts out on me when I try to combine it on a board with dissimilar dough. A Tartine bread would simply be turned in a bowl, though I've found that kneading is necessary with my flour. Finally, Captain Obvious visited me: One can have it both ways.

Pick your favorite hydration for board kneading. Hydrolyze at that hydration, and add flour to the starter to reach that same hydration before combining. Combining is less frustrating, and kneading is more fun. Then move to a bowl, and fold in the remaining water to reach the desired baking hydration. One can dissolve the salt in this bowl water, which helps better distribute the salt.

This would never be a commercial technique: They don't hand knead, and if a worker can suffer to save a bit of time, that's the job. For amateur bakers, this technique restores the fun in handling dough.

I actually prefer kneading dough by rolling out long ropes, folding them over on themselves, and repeating. Here's a crossover lesson: Only an inexperienced woodworker ignores the grain of the wood, but we bakers don't consider the "grain" of the gluten. It's certainly jumbled if one uses a stand mixer, but my rope technique tends to align the gluten. My whole motivation for kneading in the first place is to lend more structure to the final loaf, so it better holds its form. If the stretchy gluten is better aligned, one can move to higher hydrations without the loaves collapsing.

Edited by Syzygies
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@Syzygies thats a nice looking loaf. i always hear about Tartine bread but I never looked in to their methods. i'm realizing now that after getting into baking bread, i actually look forward to the process, but not so much eating it. because my climate does not store bread well outside, it's just too filling to eat massive amounts of this stuff and i just end up giving it away. i feel like baking more pastry now, but it's even worse than eating bread..

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