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Thursday, May 08, 2008

No-knead Bread Fourth Attempt

I had been burping a Tupperware bowl in my refrigerator for the last 10 days. It's the dough left over from my previous attempt. After considering the advice of an anonymous commenter, I figured I'd minimize handling the dough this time, making a longish loaf instead of rolls. I opened the bowl, noting an appetizingly sourdough-ish aroma, and prepared to quickly and gently get it into a makeshift couche. But I could see that the dough had separated. Even though I'd kept it in a sealed Tupperware, the top was dried and leathery. Below that was a dough-like dough. At the bottom was a gooey batter. ...

I folded and kneaded the sticky mass in the bowl until it seemed homogeneous. So much for gentle handling. I quickly formed two loaves, putting one in a makeshift couche and the other on a teatowel on the counter. I covered them and left them to rise. Here's the one on the counter.

Before the RiseAfter a 4-hour rise

As far as I can tell, the loaf has spread a bit in the middle, swallowed the oats, and wet the teatowel. I know the yeast is not completely dead -- the 2-ounce scrap of dough I saved to start my next batch is making the Tupperware lid bow up. At one time, the yeast was strong and active. That dough once bubbled up and tried to rise out of the bowl. Now, the yeast is feeble. And I squashed all the gas out of the dough just mixing it back together. Should I let it go another couple hours and hope, or put it out of my misery now?