The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Quest for Better Bread part 2 (and book review)

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

The Quest for Better Bread part 2 (and book review)

  Hello all at The Fresh Loaf.  Here is yet another installment I have written from another site I use and share valuable information.  I am happy to share with you all and welcome your input.  This it the article written after putting my big boy bread britches on, sucking it up... and buying a book.  

The Quest for Better Bread part 2 (and book review)

Article Photo

French Baguettes cooling on the wire rack. Click the Source button for full screen view.

SOURCE

 Part 2 of my quest...

 Back in July, I posted an article about my search for better bread.  The kind of bread Europeans take for granted, and they should, as it is also a great source of pride and staple of every day meals.  In that article, I stated how I was going to study how to flesh out creating a flour similar to the flours used in Europe, as the wheat there is much different than the wheat grown in the United States.  After a couple of brief experiments using the traditional methods of bread baking and playing with different flour mixtures in an attempt to create something similar, I threw in the powdered towel and decided to seek knowledge from new sources.

Article Photo

The recommended book cover screenshot.

SOURCE

  So, I traipse my phalanges across the keyboard to Amazon and start searching.  I settled upon a book I purchased for my Kindle, that has opened a door to a whole new world of really good bread.  The bread I have baked now approaches that of the old world and I am delighted to share the results of my journey with my fellow Newsviners.  For those who want to bake their own bread, I would like to suggest the book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoë François.  The authors explain the science and technique used to create fantastic loaves like the article cover picture of Baguettes I baked this Sunday morning, 13 September, 2015.  The basic recipe is only four ingredients and the dough lasts up to two weeks in the refrigerator.  It is actually recommended to let it stand in the 'fridge for at least a day to make the dough easier to handle as this recipe and technique relies on a much looser dough than traditional recipes.

The master recipe from the book in standard and metric:

Standard measurement for four (approximate) loaves

  • 3 Cups Lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 Cups All Purpose flour

  It is suggested to measure flour in a measuring cup no larger than 1 cup and sweep across the top with a knife.  The two cup containers lead to the flour getting pressed together.  This could potentially make your dough too dry for this method.  I prefer the metric weight measurement as it is more accurate regardless of altitude and easier to multiply or divide as needed.

Metric measurement (preferred):

  • 680 g lukewarm water (or 680 mL)
  • 10 g yeast
  • 17 to 25 g Kosher salt
  • 910 g All Purpose flour

Method:

  In a large container, such as a 1 gallon Rubbermaid bowl, mix the water and yeast until dissolved.  Use a dough whisk or wooden spoon to stir in the salt and flour until well combined.  No need to knead!  Set aside with lid loosely fit for two hours to rise.  Refrigerate or use to start forming loaves right away.

Article Photo

Loaves on the rise. The baguettes are ready in 20 minutes, the Rye loaf on the Pizza peel takes about 40 minutes.

SOURCE

   I refrigerated the dough for my first batch three days to develop a more yeasty flavor, the hallmark of a great bread.  This method allows you to have dough-ready-to-go for up to two weeks (WOW!).  I can't give away all the recipes or secrets by the authors, so if you want to know more, please support Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoë François and buy their book.  

They even have a website: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/

Youtube videos too:

Make artisan bread in just 5 mintues of active time. Recipe from our book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

 

Article Photo

Rye dough waiting to get formed into a loaf. This can stay in the fridge a week or so, and will develop a more sourdough flavor as it does.

SOURCE

 Having this new found knowledge has fueled my desire to experiment with other recipes included in the book.  I purchased some dark Rye flour and used the Rye bread recipe / method included in the book.  I was skeptical as to how my loaf would turn out compared to the picture in the book, and (pause for dramatic effect...) was quite pleased with the results.

Article Photo

Rye cooling on parchment. I eagerly await to cut into this. Click Source for full size picture.

SOURCE

This sentence intentionally left here for no purpose, or was it?  Who knows.

   Now this wouldn't be an episode of food porn without a picture that make you want to eat your monitor, so I went ahead with a German menu plate of Paprikawurst and a Swabian dish called nasser Kartoffelsalat or a wet potato salad I have shown in a previous episode of Food Porn.  I hope you have something to catch the drool and don't short out your keyboard...

Article Photo

Rotwurst Teller von Fargo. I told you it looked good. It tasted good too.

SOURCE

   The Paprika sausage is a pork sausage I made from porkbutt and contains fennel, salt pepper, a touch of cayenne, a boatload of paprika and Chianti.  Paprikawurst is a popular spicy sausage eaten in Germany.  It has a less fatty content than sweet or hot Italian sausages, and a slightly more toothy texture.  The redolent flavor of paprika is punched with the cayenne, leaving a satisfying smolder on your palate that may break a sweat on your brow, or sniffle a little.  It is a savory bite and paired with the creamy Yukon potatoes in the salad and sweet Rye loaf and beer garden mustard (Düsseldorf style), it simply cannot be beat.  My wife and I enjoyed this with a quaff of Toasted Head Chardonnay, which lent a slight smoke to accompany the grilled wurst.  Upon finishing this delectable course, I turn my thoughts back to the amazing loaf I created, with a little help from a couple of enthusiastic pedalers of Bread Porn.  I am grateful they did not keep that secret to themselves.  I was happy to have spent the dough (insert eyeroll here) on their tutorial book.

 

  I would like to thank my Newsvine friends, Effie, Leboswky, and Nigel for baking bread and sharing it on this venue.  Special Thanks to MinnieApolis for the idea of a book review.

 And since this is a quest we are all on, here are the links to better bread articles posted on NV recently:

Effie's Spicy Sriracha Bread

Effie's French Bread Blowout Baby

Lebowsky's Spicy Balls *a Dave's Best of winner*

Lebowsky's Classic Baguettes recipe review by Chef Gandolf

Lebowsky's Nebulae Raisin Bread

T's Quest for Better Bread part 1

This episode of Food Porn is dedicated in loving memory of Gandolf.  A lovely baker, charming squeaker, and all around funny fellow that will be remembered for his amazing antics and anti-stressing goofiness. I raise a glass of water to you and have leftover pizza crust to munch on, just for you.

 

 

Comments

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

  Gandolf was a fellow baker's pet parakeet, and had passed on to the rainbow bridge a few days after I originally posted this article.  He loved to chew on leftover pizza crust.