It’s only taken me a year set we set out on the Open Bread odyssey, but I got it together last night to actually set out to bake a few loaves (this odyssey has a long, gentle curve to full throttle — like bread).
I should mention that this was made possible in no small part due to the existence of the new grocery store downtown: they have flour and yeast both, and I was able to swing by on the way home to pick these up.
Most of our recipe books buried in a giant pile of books upstairs, I used the whole wheat recipe from the Cooks’ Illustrated The Best Recipe cookbook. Their recipe calls for a mixture of whole wheat and all purpose flours, with a small amount of wheat germ and rye flour mixed in; we didn’t have either add-on, so I used a little buckwheat flour for variety.
All was proceeding wonderfully, and I was well on the way to a couple of excellent loaves when, for some bizarre reason, the oven shut off midway through the baking. This way well have been due to some errant key-press on my part (we have a futuristic Star Trek-like oven); in any case, the loaves foundered at 240 degrees for 15 minutes before I noticed what had happened, and there was no recovering.
In the end I tried a quick blast back up to 375 degrees for 10 minutes, but the damage was done. The end product was surprisingly edible for such a disaster; it was just a couple of inches thick rather than a full loaf (although a pleasantly elastic 2 inches; at least I didn’t produce bricks).
Once the sting has passed, I’ll give it another try.