My latest bread effort – ‘Levain de Campagne’, white with some wholemeal and rye. It is based on Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s recipe in his book ‘How to make bread’.
This is the third time I have tried this. The first time I used plain white flour and the dough was quite wet. The loaf collapsed during cooking and looked a bit like a thick pancake – it tasted great, but wasn’t the loaf I wanted.
Most bread recipes say to use strong or baker’s flour, so I tried some of that the next time. It really didn’t make much difference.
For the third loaf (pictured), I used less water (290g instead of 300g) – the result was much better. The dough was still sticky, but not so much. It still didn’t have that silky look that the photographs in the book had.
I decided to try and see if anyone else was having problems and an Internet search located a list of errata here. These suggested that the amount of water should be between 250g and 300g depending on the flour. American flour has a higher protein content than European flour and requires more water – nothing about Australian flour. Another post on the same website suggested that professional bakers test each new batch of flour to determine the correct amount of water to add. I guess I have a lot to learn.