One of our testers, LaDonna, came up with an interesting discovery last week. Due to time contraints, she was unable to finish her dough as instructed for the Day Two, final dough steps, so she combined her soaker and biga and put them in the refrigerator. The next day she pulled out the combined dough, added the final ingredients (she was making a multi grain enriched "sandwich" bread), completed the mixing, and otherwise carried on as described in the instructions. She reported that there was a significant improvement in size and structure of the loaf over her "regular" test loaf. This is, or could be, a significant discovery if it proves to work for others who are testing. So, for those who wish to add yet another task to the burdens I have heaped on you, feel free to try this technique. Even better would be to do a side by side test, with a control loaf, following the instructions as written, along with this new technique. If it proves to be a legitimate and consistent improvement, we still have time to add it to the book.
Here's another challenge: we still don't have a final title for the book. The working title has been, "Whole Grain Breads: From Wheat to Eat," which I still kind of like. However, if any of you have a better idea, please e-mail it to me at email@example.com If your title is chosen, I will give you a signed copy of the book when it comes out as well as special mention in the acknowledgments (it's not much, I realize, but it's the best I can do). I'll keep you posted on the title, which needs to be decided by October 28th. Game on....
One final piece of interesting news: Emily Buehler's book, "Bread Science," is now out and available. Emily is a baker at Weaver Street Bakery in Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC as well as having a PhD in chemistry. She has taken the difficult concepts of dough chemistry and made them accessible to lay folk like us. (She also has contributed an original essay on enzymes for my book, much of which is covered in hers.) Emily self published her book and, in the true Chapel Hill spirit, spent the summer bicycling through the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia, and, I think Tennessee, literally peddling the book to bookstores and bakers. If you would like to order a copy, her web site is: www.twobluebooks.com where you can get all the details. It's worth having a copy (and if you are in Chapel Hill, Weaver Street's breads are worth the visit).
May your bread always rise!