Aspergic tendencies. :p I get single-mindedly obsessed with things, sometimes for years at a time. Never housework, sadly. But anything you want to know about the Parker-Hulme murder case, The Lord of the Rings (book or films) or selected aspects of Tudor England, I'm your girl. Or guru, if you prefer. Hopefully this will prove to be one of my more useful obsessions, at least... it's surprising how rarely one needs to know about the Parker-Hulme murder case.
Currently halfway through baking Batch #2 of ciabatta. The semolina adds something - the crumb isn't quite as soft as last time (in a good way - it's more like fancy ciabattas I've bought). I'm baking them in a Dutch oven this time instead of on a baking stone. For such a peculiar dough the loaves are actually quite forgiving. I tried to reuse the baking paper for the second loaf and, being slightly burned and brittle, it tore when I was dumping the loaf into the red-hot Dutch Oven, slopping the dough all over the side. I hastily scooped it up and rearranged the drooping mass on a clean sheet of baking paper, but thought I'd ruined it. Nope - baked up nice and golden, with oven spring and everything. It looked better than the first loaf! It helps that ciabatta is meant to look rustic and misshapen...
Today I also mixed up my savoury Hokkaido, swapping 100gm flour for cornmeal, upping the salt and reducing the sugar. Put it in the oven for a retarded ferment. And I used the same bowl I used for the ciabatta without washing it, in the hopes that the leftover fragments of dough will act as a touch of preferment. (Also... lazy.)
We're having visitors tonight and tomorrow, so I've been cooking all day - the breads, sponge cake, tabbouleh, berry sorbet, glykinai and almendrados. Still have to do chicken and dukkah. Luckily the children are being low-maintenance and I'm having a lovely time!
ETA: Also, I saw a cool YouTube video last night by some French baker - can't remember who - on how to work with high-hydration doughs. He used a 'slap and fold' technique, which involves incorporating a sort of pocket of air into the dough with every move. Looked doable. It's so amazing to see the sloppy, sticky mess becoming smooth and sleek and workable. DH was (sort of) watching with me and I tried to get him to appreciate the awesomeness, but he wasn't impressed. I guess you need to have a few failed doughs to recognise the beauty of one that works!