I was watching 'The Great British Bake Off' the other day and Mel (one of the presenters) was asking a chap who was kneading his dough if he was thinking of either of the judges while doing it. His reply - which I completely agree with - was that he didn't believe that that would make for a good loaf but that enjoying the task helped to make a much tastier one. There is a certain enjoyment to be had from making bread, it gives you satisfaction to know that you made it and you know whats in it. Even if it isn't the most beautiful loaf, it more than likely tastes good. The thing is that when I make bread, I have a tendency to do things my way which is no way at all really. I like free form loaves because if I put the dough in a tin I usually can't get it out, something to do with seasoning I believe. When I follow the recipe it never really ends up as the picture. My ciabatta can look like a ciabatta one day and just a regular roll the next. Sometimes it is nice and open with big air holes and other times it is tighter with a more regular bread like interior. From this I'm sure you can tell that I haven't done a course in bread making and that perhaps I should, but I enjoy it none the less and regardless of its looks my bread tastes great.
What I have learnt having seen the episode on bread making is that I should try some of the things that the contestants had to do to see if this improves the end result of my breads.
Previously I have been just misting the inside of my oven but i will now put a tray of water at the bottom to create the steam. This hopefully with improve the crust.
For my ciabatta I have to allow it to be wetter to get the bigger air holes.
I think I let my dough overproof so I will stop it before it gets too big.
Add in any extra ingredients after the first proofing and not in the begining as I have done in the past.
And finally and probably most importantly I will read the recipe from start to finish including tips!!!
One of my better bread attempts.