Bread

This is a teaser post. I have to write about bread but I don’t have the step by step pix yet. For a couple of years I have been perfecting a dense loaf full of seeds and goodness that my wife calls a meal in a slice. It is solid enough that it broke the gear box of my top end Kitchen Aid stand mixer twice, and I had to buy a Hobart commercial mixer. Here’s how it looks fresh out of the oven. 2014-02-21 13.36.38 But what secretly fascinates me is high-hydration breads made n the Tartine style. I bought the Tartine Bread book and made their bread quite successfully, a 3-week process. I found that maintaining a sourdough levain when you only bake bread once every couple of weeks is way too much hassle. I was discarding more flour than I was using. Then I bought Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “The Bread Bible” and “Flour Water Salt Yeast” by Ken Forkish. They focus on making breads with pre-ferments that sit out or in the fridge overnight as a replacement for the sourdough starter. The taste is not identical, but it’s great. I am not a fan of cleanup, so one of the better things about the Tartine technique is that you do the whole thing by hand in a plastic tub. I like getting to know the feel of the dough as well, and, having hairy arms, I have hours of delight pulling tiny pieces of dough off my arms later. Here’s a finished product made from the Forkish book. You can see the characteristic big holes. The shape, with the loaves trying to go spherical, shows the remarkable amount of oven spring, even after I had to maul these because they stuck to the proofing basket.   2014-08-13 17.11.11 More on this soon.

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Bread

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