We are now getting a very stable product. It is uniformly rising to a round, full shape. The crust is crunchy and the sponge is chewy. We now have a constant, mild, back palate, sour flavor. The loaves are stable for about four days and the bread freezes well. At this point the area of concentration needs to be in the firing of the oven.
As our loaf requirements grow we will need to extend the number of bakings that one fire will allow. I’m finding the gas re-firing with a roofing torch, for about 4 minutes is helpful, allowing a second, third and even forth baking. If you are learning about bread baking, I suggest “Tartine Baking” as a great reference book. Pay attention to all of the mechanical components of the dough development. The times allow flavor maturation and the tensioning of the dough causes the oven spring to do its job, creating a full rise.
My mistake was in not building enough tension into my dough and I had semi-flat loaves. In the bake you need to understand a proper level of oven moister; too much and the crust is too thick, too little and the crust is weak. Well it’s time to run half of the bread through the slicer and to drop it off with my ever-growing customer list.
See you back at the bread. And remember if you have any questions please ask and I’ll do the best I can, in finding an answer.