Subtitle: Do Not Season Your Pizza Stone
I had to leave Vermont on Friday so I only tried a tiny piece of the bread before I left. I thought it was a little bland and gluey but the crust was nice. Still, it's only the first try and I intend to try many more times and make lots of different recipes from the book. I just tried the basic, white loaf.
Plenty of stuff could have gone wrong. For example I might have over-handled the dough because I didn't realize how sticky it was. Also, the directions say to put the loaf in the oven before it has fully preheated as that will be hot enough to start and it will get there eventually. My oven is bottom of the line and also lacks a calibrated knob so I have to guess where to set the temperature* (it never seems to be the same place on the knob twice either so I really rely on my oven thermometer) This time the oven did not get hot enough so I had to crank it part way through. Next time I'm going to wait until the thermometer says what I want it to say. The dough's flavor may also become more complex over time. And, as usual, room temperature in our house is sixty-two degrees so the dough may not have risen properly.
All of that said, Pete says he likes the bread and that it toasts well.
He also says that the house still stinks and that it was really sad when he dried off after his shower because the stench had infused his towel. That is so wrong. A house in which bread has been baked should only smell delightful
He told me that members of the band that are up there now have also had problems with a stinky pizza stone so I did some googling. It turns out that, contrary to the instructions, pizza stones do not need to be seasoned and if you season them they will smoke and reek. They say that if you open all the windows in your house and put the stone in the oven set to self-clean you can burn the stench out of the stone. Of course my oven doesn't have the self-cleaning feature but I'm hoping that I can still burn the stench out over time.
Yeah man, I'm not giving up! I'm going back for more! It's just my nature! I'm only glad that it's now warm enough that we can reasonably open all the windows in the house.
*It's a miracle any time any of my baked goods come out okay because temperatures fluctuate fantastically in that oven.