Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh. My. Gods.

Both of these loaves came from the same batch. I fixed my recipe which was at 60% hydration and bumped it up to 70%. I did a final rise for three hours. The first (left) I baked as usual.

The second, though, I decided to bake in my Le Creuset Dutch oven. It made all the difference, and a truly amazing difference it was.

First, the color is a deep and varied golden. The slashes, which I made awkwardly within the 500 degree pan, did a little additional bloom. The bread is blistered across the top. It rose higher and had a better shape than the other loaf.

Second, I have to say, the flavor is spectacular. I don't know how a pan can make so much difference but it did. The flavor is full and rich and nutty. The texture is loose and random. The color of the crumb is whiter and creamier.

I don't know if you can tell, but I'm very excited by the results.

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