The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Jeffrey Steingarten's break-baking method

  • Pin It
Lola's picture

Jeffrey Steingarten's break-baking method

Sometime last year, in an issue of Vogue magazine, food writer Jeffrey Steingarten had written an article concerning the perfect loaf of bread with almost no work, no kneading, etc.  Has anyone here tried the recipe and the method?  I have but have made minor changes to the recipe with excellent results. 



jeffbellamy's picture

I've made this bread several times.

The best part of it is baking in my cast iron dutch oven which gives it a beautiful crust.

My biggest frustration is with the dough sticking to my floured towel.

jeff bellamy

"A little and a little makes a lot"

sparks's picture

Has anyone perfected the "Corn Bread" in the book (Secrets of a Jewish Baker". The problem I am running into is, when slicing the bread, it gumms up the knife, even after the second day. I have tried hot oven only to start bake on (550) then down to a low of 350 deg. Also tried changing the hydration from 90% down to 75%. My next option is to start bake on 450 deg. for 5 min. with steam and then to 400 for remainder of bake, with a hydration of 70%.  I just want to stop the knife from gumming up when slicing the bread on the 2nd day. Any and all comments will be appreciated. Best Regards, John

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I've noticed that when I use a coarser corn flour, I get a dryer bread.  I'm not familiar with the recipe but try adding a little coarser flour to the corn flour mix.  (You can also presoak the cornmeal in a little liquid first before adding like in Floyd's Sweet Corn Raisin Bread)   Just a thought...  :)

Mini O

sparks's picture

Hi, Mini o, I guess I did not explain it well, sorry about that. The corn meal in this bread is only on the bottom of the loaf, it is made with rye sour & fermented in a wet bowl. Corn in eastern euroupe is the term used for all wheat flours, like flax,rye flour, corn flour, etc. I am completly satisfied with all the aspecks of the bread except for the gumming up of the knife when slicing it, even the next day. Also this type of bread is also known as a heavy rye bread. Thanks for your reply.  Sparks.

Glutenboy's picture

I think a lower temperature and longer oven time will get you a more even, thorough bake resulting in a dryer interior.  That sounds like what you need to me.

sparks's picture

Hi Glutenboy

Yes, I have tried that to. I tried just about every conceivable way, also baking until center of bread was  217 degrees. I hate to admit it but I have given up on baking the "Corn Bread" from the book of Secrets of a Jewish Baker. On the internet I found another web site "http://emr.cs.iit,edu/-reingold/ruths-kitchen/recipes/breads/ryebread.html"their formula worked much better, less hydration 74% and on the 2nd day the knife gumms up very, very little. I think the process of fermenting in a water bath is the correct procedure, I saw this bread made many years ago, but the bakers at that time were very reluctant to give away their secrets of making this bread, but I do think their is something missing in Greensteins formula and procedure for that bread to come out without gumming up the knife on the 2nd day. Greensteins "Corn Bread" is terrific but it should not gumm up the knife on the 2nd day. If you should want the formula that I am now using for corn bread, just let me know, I will then send you the formula and the procedure. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it. Best Regards, Sparks