Flatbread fail

A few days ago, I made bread. I was aiming for a focaccia-style crusty flatbread, but completely missed the mark. But that’s not to say the bread wasn’t delicious!

I basically threw a bunch of ingredients together, with the knowledge that high water content helps develop gluten. I wanted to do an overnight cold ferment (let rise in the fridge) for better flavor and to help the gluten develop. But when I took the dough out of the fridge it wasn’t holding together at all. I did another knead cycle (or three), adding more vital wheat gluten and bread flour.

It didn’t seem to be working that well, but I went ahead and added all the weird grains (oats, teff, and sesame seeds cooked into a mush) for interest. The bread proofed fine, but when I baked it, it lost all of its height and kind of steamed. So it definitely wasn’t crusty.

The finished bread (minus the eaten bottom right corner). It’s a whole lot! Notice the home-made potholder!
All cut up. Look, another potholder!
A view of the crumb. Despite not rising, the bread was fortunately still airy. Also moist, presumably from the oatmeal/teff mush I added.

Basic Recipe

3 cups flour (I used whole wheat)

1 cup liquid (I used whey left over from cheesemaking and juice left over from cooking beans)

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup teff

1/8 cup sesame seeds

Vital wheat gluten or bread flour as needed (I probably added 1/2 cup+)

Salt

2 tsp yeast

Maybe some sugar

Cook’s Illustrated focaccia recipe

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