Hello blog followers! You may have noticed that my updates have slowed down in the recent months... this is a natural outcome of it being incredibly hard to post to Blogger quickly on my phone since the amazing Posterous was shut down. For now I am shifting my weekly bread photo posts toTwitter and Google+ and when I have great things to say about bread recipes I will post it here.
At a family gathering this weekend I was happy to discover that a cousin-in-law of mine also likes to bake. It was great to get caught-up with him and to trade tips and techniques for the art.
One of the items that I mentioned was that there are quite a few non-recipe variables in-play with bread making that you have to keep in-mind:
1) kitchen temperature
2) water temperature
3) rise times
4) "liveliness" of the yeast (though this one is hard to measure) or amount of yeast (easier to quantify)
I recommended to him that if you keep the tempatures and times roughtly the same each week the one variable that is key to isolate and experiment is the liveliness of the yeast. It's isually best to adjust the amounts of starter you use each week and then subjectively score how the loaves turn out.