I stepped out the front door this morning and smelled fresh air. It was blustery yesterday, and spat rain in the evening to the surprise of everyone including the weather forecasters. This morning large clouds were hovering by the sea and the wind chimes were clanging. And the air smelled clean, scrubbed, like it does when the sun comes out after a big snow. It’s odd how we can smell the absence of something. Southern California air isn’t that clean, but you don’t notice it until it gets temporarily blown away.
Last night I made my first bakery order. The wheat bread came out beautiful as did the Irish soda bread. But something happened to the Hiivaleipa. After the first proof, it had a bubble in it. It punched down okay and looked normal after the second proof. But in the oven it burst open and the corners peeled back exactly like this. I couldn’t deliver it to my first customer, so I’m remaking it tonight and cutting more shallow scores and not letting it rise as much on the first proof. I tested it this morning and it tasted fine, but I think it has to look good too.
This weekend will be the first try of a more advanced bread made with a biga. I’ve already made breads with a sponge starter, even one that I let grow for 2 days, but maybe the technique and ratios will make this more tasty.