after action report: the one

Well, perhaps not The One, but The One That Isn’t Wet. When I pull a Chad Loaf from the oven, I know before cutting into the loaf how gelatinized shiny-crumbed wet the loaf will be from holding it in my hands (with oven mitts on, natch). This time, I popped the loaf out of the pan (I had no time to give it a proper chill, so I panned it) and I KNEW.

To confirm, I added up my ingredient weights, subtracted 2% for estimated pre-panning dough loss, then used the result as the divisor for my final loaf weight. 288g / ( 363g – 7g ) = 80% of pre-bake weight. 68g of weight lost, which was entirely water and translates to 43% of the total water in the dough lost as steam. A very good bake, indeed, considering I am rarely able to bake 10% of the dough weight out of a Chad Loaf.

So, it’s not the high-hydration dough. It’s not my leaven. It’s not the fermentation conditions. It’s not the bake conditions (I’ve done the same bake time/temp with Chad Loaves). It’s gotta be the bulk fermentation time – I could probably put together a Chad Loaf tonight, dock it in the fridge for 12 hours (without turns), then take it out tomorrow morning, knead it slightly, shape it and bake it.

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