We had another work potluck on Monday, this time celebrating Nurse Kathryn's birthday. I decided to make cocodrillo from Carol Field's The Italian Baker, even though it's a very touchy recipe that I have about a 20% failure rate with. When it's good it's very good, and it fails in novel ways.
My recipe is heavily annotated and highlighted, as I've found several different ways I can go wrong. I'm not sure what happened this time, though.
Here's what cocodrillo ought to look like:
And here's how it turned out this time (that's a nice Dunkeldinkelbrot next to it, that I got out of my archives for Little Debbie who doesn't eat wheat):
It had almost no oven spring, a much tighter crumb than it ought to have, and was a peculiar dark beige color. It acted funny right from the start: the two starters were darker than usual, smelled sourer, and didn't rise as quickly. Then the dough seemed too wet even though I added the maximum amount of flour, which I usually never do. My current theory is that the expensive durum flour I bought at De Laurenti's isn't really durum flour. It has kind of a funny, sweet taste, and no wheatiness.
I made some nice muhammara to go with my bread, and it turned out better.
It's always a great success, and very easy to make. I followed this recipe, except that I used a rehydrated ancho instead of the hot chile, and used spelt pretzels instead of my usual Ak-Maks, because of Little Debbie. Megan the resident also brought muhammara, but hers was different from mine--wetter, and more pomegranatey.
Below, you can see the remains of the potluck. My contribution's up in the left-hand corner, along with Megan's muhammara. My bread was eaten up despite its failings.