The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Judith Fertig no knead bread book????

swtgran's picture
swtgran

Judith Fertig no knead bread book????

Does anyone else think the instructions for the liquid in this book are confusing?  I have tried the cracked wheat recipe twice and thought I had made an error the first time.  I put the entire 3 cups of water into the recipe and it was soup.  If I put in only 1 3/4 cups it is still a mess to work with. 

I think in the instructions she is saying to put in the amount of water to moisten the flour not the amount called for in the ingredients list.  Doesn't it seem like she should not have that huge amount of water listed in the ingredients when it is not needed?  For inexperienced bakers, it seems like that is what should be listed in the ingredient list not that huge amount with no side note beside it. 

I have baked for years and I didn't catch what the recipe was.  No one needs the measured amount in the list.  Instead they need to use their discretion on what a moistened, raggedy dough is. 

The book states to add the water and stir until moistened not, add water until moistened.

Anyone else think this is a problem with this book?

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

It's an open secret that many cooksbooks are created without anyone ever trying the recipes, even the author. 

I'm not familiar with Judith Fertig in particular so I don't know her authoring practices but just a cursory search on amazon indicates that she has authored many cookbooks on barbecue, bread, desserts, regional American cooking, etc.  From the titles, several of these have a few hundred recipes each, e.g. 200 no-knead bread recipes, 250 bread machine recipes, 400 "prairie home cooking,"  150 prairie breads (whatever those are),   500 Mexican recipes, 300 grilled and smoked fish recipes, 300 barbecues, 500 misc. fish, 400 American desserts, 500 cupcakes ... and more.  You get the idea.  There is little likelihood that all these recipes were tested by anyone.  This does not mean that her cookbooks are therefore all bad or useless but like many they are to be taken with a grain of salt.  

Heidi (librarian-dyed-in-the-wool)

flournwater's picture
flournwater

HeidiH clearly understands how instructional books (cookbooks and other "how to" publications) come to market filled with errors or ideas that just don't work.  One more point to always consider is that the proof readers don't always catch those little errors that sometimes frustrate the cook.  I've known some people who, new to cooking, have considered themselves failures because a recipe in print by a well known author didn't work for them.  


"This does not mean that her cookbooks are therefore all bad or useless but like many they are to be taken with a grain of salt.".

Love the metaphore

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

bread in question?

Thanks,

anna

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Drop the "mL" measurement (it doesn't exist) and use weights in grams.   Scales are the way to go and much easier to use.  Volume measurements have inaccuracy factors built in.  I would not purchase a book written in ml.

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

Well, what is "ml" anyway? Is it milileters? Thanks! P.S. Does "oz" have the same accuracy in baking as grams?

yy's picture
yy

mL is milliliters. The degree of accuracy when it comes to measuring in oz or grams depends on your scale. Most scales on the American mass market seem to measure in 1 gram increments and 1/8 oz increments. In this case, the gram measurements will allow for greater accuracy (since 1/8 oz ~ 3.54 grams).

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when all caps are used.     mL is a typo

yy's picture
yy

Either mL or ml is acceptable as a symbol for "milliliter." I am accustomed to using "mL" because it has been the standard notation used in my scientific training. In my experience, "mL" is more commonly used than "ml," but both are correct. I suspect it's for consistency reasons, as "liter" is typically symbolized with a capital L.

Here is a link on official SI unit symbols.

http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/correct.htm

addendum: "ML" would definitely be incorrect. Lower case SI prefixes cannot be capitalized. ML would translate to "megaliter," or a million liters.

another addendum: Just learned something new from Wikipedia. I was wondering why I'd seen "mL" so much more often than "ml," and it turns out it's because I live in the United States:

In many English-speaking countries, the most common shape of a handwritten Arabic digit 1 is just a vertical stroke; that is, it lacks the upstroke added in many other cultures. Therefore, the digit '1' may easily be confused with the letter 'l'. Further, on some typewriters, particularly older ones, the unshifted L key had to be used to type the numeral 1. Even in some computer typefaces, the two characters are barely distinguishable. This caused some concern, especially in the medical community. As a result, L (uppercase letter L) was adopted as an alternative symbol for litre in 1979. The United States National Institute of Standards and Technology now recommends the use of the uppercase letter L,[8] a practice that is also widely followed in Canada and Australia. In these countries, the symbol L is also used with prefixes, as in mL and µL, instead of the traditional ml and µl used in Europe. In the UK and Ireland as well as the rest of Europe, lowercase l is used with prefixes, though whole litres are often written in full (so, "750 ml" on a wine bottle, but often "1 litre" on a juice carton).

Prior to 1979, the symbol ℓ (script small l, U+2113), came into common use in some countries; for example, it was recommended by South African Bureau of Standards publication M33 and Canada in the 1970s. This symbol can still be encountered occasionally in some English-speaking countries, and its use is ubiquitous in Japan and South Korea. Fonts covering the CJK characters usually include not only the script small ℓ but also four precomposed characters: ㎕, ㎖, ㎗, and ㎘ (U+3395 to U+3398) for the microlitre, millilitre, decilitre, and kilolitre. Nevertheless, it is no longer used in most countries and was never officially recognised by the BIPM or the International Organization for Standardization.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

So that's what went on after I left the country!  Lol!    and further down on wiki...    (how much of wiki is true?)

In 1979, at the 16th CGPM conference, the alternative symbol L (uppercase letter L) was adopted. It also expressed a preference that in the future only one of these two symbols should be retained, but in 1990 said it was still too early to do so.[10]

yy's picture
yy

Lol Maybe whatever ends up on wikipedia becomes the truth?? I've seen some questionable things on wikipedia. It's disturbing that the scientific community can't agree on a single international system. If they can't get that done, how long is it going to take them to accomplish something that actually matters?

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

Thanks for the explanation regarding oz and grams. I did not know that info. Always eyeopeners around! Jean

taurus430's picture
taurus430

I just purchased this book as I'm a big fan of no knead and also have the other 2 popular books for this method. I agree about the suggestion of adding grams and not ml and I agree with another review about mentioning on every page about Canadian flour. I am making half recipe tonite of your  hamburger rolls using milk. All my hamburger recipes are similar to my dinner roll recipes using egg. I haven't tried no knead hamburger roll method either. Your method is very similar to Artisan Bread in 5 which I got to like a lot. I started way before with Lahey's no knead method, 4 yrs now.