The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No matter how careful you are

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Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

No matter how careful you are

It's still easy to cut yourself while slicing bread. Yesterday, when halving one of my Pane a l'Ancienne from TBBA, I put my hand on top of the loaf, and sliced along the side, like I always do. It removes the possibility of getting the knife in the palm of my hand. Instead, the knife skipped on the (beautiful) crust and right into the pad of my middle finger.
I managed to keep the blood off the bread! :) And boy, was there a lot of blood.
I served it at a friend's party, and it was the talk of the room. Nothing trumps fresh bread!

-Joe

Comments

KP Crumbworth's picture
KP Crumbworth

This is my next project loaf...after reading about this bread I'm so excited to make it. I was at a party this weekend where my bread was the talk of the party aas well:)

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

If you're comfortable working slack doughs, this one's practically a no-brainer. Lots or reward for not much work. I almost felt guilty taking the praise for it!
Mix the dough in the evening, put it in the fridge overnight. Take it out in the morning, have breakfast, then just stretch the dough into loaves. Bake, and viola!
I made a double recipe. For one I followed the text directions. I stretched and folded the other before cutting and shaping - since the pictures appear to show the dough folded, but the text doesn't mention it - and didn't notice a difference in crumb, crust or taste. In fact, the un-folded ones looked a lot nicer, since you don't really do any shaping - just pulling out to size.
I was very surprised at how open the crumb was, since there was no rise after shaping. And as long as you're setup with a steam bath, the crust is awesome (as evidenced by my poor finger). I didn't even spray the walls this time (foreign oven), and I still got a thick, chewy crust.

-Joe

KP Crumbworth's picture
KP Crumbworth

Sounds great. I too have TBBA, and will be using that recipe, and am particularly happy to hear about the shaping( a still weak point for me).

Did you follow the recipe verbatim, or do you have any other thoughts on this bread?

Thanks,

KP

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

The only change I made was trying a stretch-and-fold with one of the two dough balls I made. Since there's no real rise after the 2-3 hour de-chill and ferment, I don't believe it made a difference.
This is the second time I've made this recipe, and the results were just as good the first time.
There's a different recipe a few pages after (the name of which escapes me, of course) that uses some wheat flour. It's the one that has the full color picture of all the different loaf shapes in the middle. I'll find it tonight when I get home. It's a great one for sharpening your shaping chops. I made an epi wreath and a spiky boule last time I made it. It had fantastic flavor and texture, too.

-Joe

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

TBBA?? Stands for? By? And ought I to buy it?!!

Andrew

Don't bother replying - the answer popped up in the left hand column just after I'd posted this! So I know title, author and where to buy it - all I need is comments on how useful it is? At present I've got the Elizabeth David "British Bread Cooking", Maggie Gleezer "A Blessing of Bread", Dan Lepard "The Hand made Loaf" and Richard Bertinet "Dough".

Of these, I like Maggie Gleezer's starter, Richard Bertinet's kneading I use a fair bit and some of his loaves are great but I think it is Dan Lepard's hardly knead at all and shaping methods which I'm using most.

If TBBA is good, then I'll get a copy.

Andrew

Floydm's picture
Floydm

TBBA = The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart.

Much more accessible than Maggie's books. More... general purpose than Lepard's book, which I just got and am really enjoying, but it has a number of recipes that make me say "Neat, but I'd never make that." Almost everything in BBA is easy to make at home and sounds good.

I haven't read Elizabeth David's book.

KP Crumbworth's picture
KP Crumbworth

I think I read half of it a Barnes & Noble before I actually bought it!

This was my first bread book. I was looking for the whole shootin match-technical, recipes, commentary etc etc. You'd think it was $3500.00 instead of 35 by the way I scoured these books before purchase.(turns out I was just getting away from work :P )

I looked at all of the well known books, and IMO this was just what I was looking for. I really wanted to buy "Dough" first( because of the DVD) but am glad I didn't now that I have them both.

KP

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

The thing I like about TBBA over some of the others I have is the photo illustrations. Whenever the text discusses something that might be unclear, it's illustrated with beautiful full-color photographs.
WELL worth the $35 I paid for it. Every recipe I've made from it has been spectaucular, with the exception of one. The jury is still out on whether or not that was my fault :)

-Joe

dasein668's picture
dasein668

Peter's book is really great for the way I usually bake. But I will say that some people may find his recipes require more pre-planning than they may like. He uses preferments for virtually every recipe in the book, which makes for great bread, but on the other hand most recipes take two days. (Except for some of the enriched breads.) So when I got a call from a friend on Sunday at about noon asking me to bring a loaf of bread to dinner...

I'd love to see Peter's take on a really good rustic bread in just 3 hours! ;-D

I haven't tried all of the recipes form the book yet, but everything I have tried has been great. And I think his discussion section (the first half of the book) is really great. I already could make a decent loaf of bread, but I learned a ton from his book.

I'd say it's not everything for everybody, but it really is a must-have for any seriuos baker.

Nathan Sanborn
dasein668.com

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

It does make spontaneous baking tough ;) There are a couple of one-day recipies, and I'm sure with some experimentation, the recipes can be used to make good 1-day bread.
That said, I've learned enough from the book in general to go from a recipe-follower to a bread-baker. And that's worth the price of admission for me.

-Joe

dulke's picture
dulke

Overstock.com is carrying TBBA for $20.95 - shipping for a single book is 1.40 if I remember correctly.