It felt like time to give it another go.
By following instructions from here I got the starter underway about a week ago. Day by day I have added a little more flour with equal amounts of water and watched my baby grow before my eyes.
Last night I started by preparing the sponge. This isn't how I remembered doing it last time but thought that Hugh wouldn't do me wrong.
|The sponge after 12 hours.|
About 5 hours later it had certainly more than double so took it out, gave it a very gentle pat down and pulled it tight into itself. Using the gorgeous banneton that I bought in Germany, I set the loaf to rest for the second time. This took about 2 hours and I was almost too scared to gently tip it out.
But I did.
I was so excited that I hadn't dropped the loaf and made it collapse that I forgot to slash the top. About five minutes into the back I quickly gave it one slash across the top. Mental note to self: Don't just do one slash as it looks a bit rude.
The finished loaf came out of the oven about 40 minutes later and the bigger mouse commented on how it looked like a work of art. I was pretty impressed myself but that is high praise coming from my biggest baby.
I did restrain myself and wait for it to cool. I was so happy I did. It would have to be one of the best loaves I have ever made.
Perfect accompaniment for the pot of pumpkin soup sitting on the stove.