The bread begins with a small preferment, which rises under a blanket of the rest of the flour. The flour I used was Farmer Ground, from an organic cooperative from upstate NY that is sold for a very reasonable price at farmer's markets and my food coop. They have a whole wheat line, but all I could pick up yesterday was their all purpose, an 11% protein flour milled from 'Warthog' winter wheat. Warthog. This made my loaf a little lighter, and I'd like to try with the whole wheat, but the all-purpose is still much sturdier than your average store brand. Whole wheat flour is sometimes a little harder to bake bread with, so Rose's recipe includes a dash of vital wheat gluten, which increases gluten development and elasticity, contributing to a higher rise.
My kitchen was very, very hot last night (I was making this in the middle of a heat wave) and I accidentally threw in a little too much yeast (must measure, weighing is too inaccurate at those small amounts), so my bread rose wildly and was a little more loose than I would have preferred. I did the first turn in the bowl instead of stretching it out on a counter, but I am pretty good at bowl turns after years of using the Tartine method, so I am confident in my choices. The looseness of the dough meant that the final loaf was a little sloppier looking and not as domed as I could have wished, but the interior was perfect. I'll be serving it for breakfast with jam and Comte, and then taking it to work.
As for the pie I said it was too hot to make, I didn't make it. Blueberry pie is great but I have extreme difficulty holding on to blueberries long enough to get to that place. I've been skipping around a lot with the Alpha Baking lately but expect to be back on track for the rest of the summer (until I move, more on that later, cross your fingers...). The week before last I made some cookies but haven't blogged them yet because I went to the beach instead. In fact I took them to the beach. Behold the Kourambiethes in their fancy packaging. Buttery and nutty and buttery, we ate them on the beach and threw the crumbs everywhere. Everyone approved, and my friend's two and a half year old, who claimed to be too shy to interact with us, pronounced them 'nummy.' So.