Friday, March 29, 2013

Defrosted Rustic Loaf

Way back when I last blogged I froze half a  batch of dough for use on a rainy day. It's not exactly rainy at the moment but with a long weekend just starting and the cold weather never-ending the timing sounded good enough to me!

I pulled the batch out of the freezer two days ago and left it on the drainer to defrost. At some point between then and this morning I realised that the bag had expanded and the dough was obviously rising again in my absence. I gently deflated and popped the defrosted dough in the fridge for a bit over a day. It rose a little again in the meantime before I rather neatly dropped it out of the bag, ready to roll.

I rolled it out as previously:

"Shape ... into a rough square and roll into a cylinder, then roll from one end into another cylinder before resting for 5 minutes.

Gently roll into a log, tapering at the ends, place on a floured baking tray, cover with cling wrap or a tea-towel and leave to double in size again."

It didn't rise as well as I'd hoped, but I'll assumed that was because of the way I defrosted it.

Nevertheless, the neat little loaf went into the oven which had been heated to 260 and then dropped to 220. As before, I had a steaming tray of water on the shelf below, which I think really made the difference this time. I turned the oven down to 170 after 15 minutes and then cooked for another 20 minutes before pulling out to cool.

At this point I was so absorbed with my spring cleaning that I didn't check the base of the loaf and when I went back to check a while later there wasn't quite the hollow sound that I'd been hoping for. Even so, the loaf wasn't a complete loss - though not as dense as I would have hoped. Still, incredibly tasty, especially served warm with lashings of salty butter - oh yes.

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