This morning I told myself that I’d give this recipe one more try, and if I still wasn’t happy with it then that was that — as a novice baker, I’d given it the best I had to offer. I did a few things differently this time.
I omitted most of the olive oil from the recipe except for lubricating my fingers, none after the initial rest of 10-minutes, and only applied to my fingertips for the three stretches in the first 30-minutes. I used a wet (with water) dough scraper to perform the blanket folds as the dough was semi-sloshy. The baking sheet was sprayed with olive oil rather than applying the generous amount as last time. I did however drizzle a small thread of olive oil over the dough just before it went into the oven.
The result was better than I’d hoped. A good crispy crust on top and bottom, and oven-spring that resulted in about 3cm height. Colour was golden, and the crumb was moist and chewy but not gummy from an overload of olive oil.
I’ve made notes in my “Short and Sweet” book as I’ll be making this again. Not the full recipe but half, as it’s a large loaf for just two people.
In a word: Success.
On to the next challenge. I’ve selected Buttermilk Oatcakes.