I knew in the back of my mind that I was missing something.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve baked, but this is country bread, not oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. (I have a favorite recipe; I will share, don’t worry.) I may not keep chocolate chips in my pantry, but it seems inconceivable that I’d be missing flour or salt. Right?
The last time I sent the Hubbs to Fresh & Easy with a shopping list (via text message), I made a few changes and re-sent him the list at one point. Being a good husband but not a baker, he brought what I didn’t want and deleted from the second list (F & E whole wheat flour) and bought what I added from the second list, but not as specified (F & E unbleached AP flour). Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem – I took a cursory look at the flour, shrugged, and tucked it away.
Until T minus 10 minutes to starting the bake timeline. (Which was also 10 minutes until F & E opened for the day.)
I pulled out the bag of AP flour and took a closer look. Gott in Himmel, it’s bleached. I would make play dough for the kids with it; I won’t feed it to them in a baked good. I mean, it bakes up okay, looks fine – but the taste is inferior. So, I spent a few minutes confiding my options, which included scaring the shit out of people slithering into F & E to quickly purchase more flour. I didn’t want to move my bake timeline forward that far (30 minutes minimum), since, if edible, this first loaf was going to be served with Sunday dinner.
I had all that F & E whole wheat flour – why not make a whole wheat loaf? Consulting the Tartine recipe for basic whole wheat country bread, I had juuuust enough F & E unbleached AP to whip up a loaf of compleat wheat bread (30% AP, 70% whole wheat). It called for a smidge more water (400g vs 375g), but other than that, no changes to technique. So, five minutes behind schedule, I began the country bread. As of the time of this writing (8:34a), I’ve given the dough two turns, and it’s looking rather lovely.