The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

In Memoriam: Bernard Clayton

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PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

In Memoriam: Bernard Clayton

In light of Bernard Clayton's recent death, and in gratitude for his Complete Book of Breads, this weekend's bake is dedicated to him.  I have a batch of his Italian Bread and his Pain Siegle fermenting right now.  More to follow in my blog as the breads are completed.


Anyone else who wants to bake one or more of Mr. Clayton's breads is welcome to participate in the "wake".


Paul

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

either Bernard Clayton Jr or that he had died recently. But his book was an inspiration, as anyone who reads my bread posts her and elsewhere will realise. OK, so there were problems withy some of his recipes; I don't care. They helped me. So, thanks Paul for the news. I'll think of him next time I want to do one of the three or four of my favourite breads that are based on his originals.


Jeremy

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Easter meal and found the Pesto Bread on page 398 of "New Complete Book of Breads".  It calls for 1 package of dry yeast and to pour 120-130 degree water on it.


Wouldn't that kill the yeast ?


anna


 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Anna, did you notice that the yeast is mixed with some of the flour before the hot water is added? When I used to make the Cuban bread (page 23-24) the directions were the same and I assume it was active dry yeast, not instant. I expect there is a technical reason why this works and my loaves always rose well, A.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

much difference being mixed with some dry flour beforehand, but, as you said, it works !  I want to try this bread, sounds so yummy.  


Thank you !


anna

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Anna,


AnnieT is correct that the yeast should be mixed into the flour before adding the liquid.  Clayton says "Actually, the yeast manufactureres prefer that all of their yeasts--conventional as well as fast--be added to the dry ingredients first."


He also says that "Warmth is the sine qua non for using the new yeast.  The temperature of the liquid added to the yeast is higher than most home bakers are accustomed to--between 120º and 130º.  This is not the tepid 100º to 120º that is called for in conventional recipes; this liquid is hot to the touch.  I recommend always using a kitchen thermometer to measure water temperature to be sure it is in the 120º to 130º range."  Note that I am working with the third printing of the paperback version, copyrighted in 1995.  I think that the text, though, dates from about 1987; hence the repeated references throughout the book to the "new" yeast.


It is interesting to see how Mr. Clayton and his book straddled the divide between "quick and easy", which was the mantra for home cooks and bakers when he began writing in 1968, and what has become the "slow food" movement of today.  There are recipes that fit in one camp or the other.  Some emphasize convenience; others have a 2-3 day buildup, even if their "starter" uses commercial yeast.  There is a nod to sourdough and salt-rising breads.  Still, this predates the current emphasis by Peter Reinhart and others of extracting the maximum flavors from the flour by extended cold ferments and other means.  Despite what the yeast manufacturers, and therefore Mr. Clayton, say, those same heat-loving fast yeasts are still effective when subjected to ice-water and the cold temperatures of a refrigerator.  They just aren't "fast" anymore.


Paul


 

varda's picture
varda

This is a great idea.   I made his Weissbrot (page 69 of his new complete book of breads - 1987 I think) over a year ago when I first started baking bread, and made a notation that it was "the best bread I've ever made".   I have no idea what that means, but now I have a reason to try it again.  

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I don't know whether I'll try one of his own starters or another one, but it will be named Bernard.