My first artisan bread
I have dabbled at bread baking for years, never dreaming I could produce anything resembling Bay Area bread, especially my favorites from Acme Bakery in Berkeley. Some months ago I bought Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I baked their version of Corn Rye with caraway seeds. It was quite good, though too dense and heavy. I knew my search was far from over.
A couple of weeks ago I discovered The Fresh Loaf.com. I knew I was finally home. I read, printed and watched several videos on the site. I especially concentrated on Floydm’s Primer for the New Baker. This morning I finally baked my first REAL Artisan bread.
Using Floydm’s course as my guide, I baked Zolablue’s version of Pierre Nury’s Rustic Light Rye. With all the time involved, I decided to double the recipe and to bake four loaves. I used a sourdough starter that I had prepared a week ago for the levain. With some hints from a couple Dmsnyder’s posts, the results are pictured below. My wife and I couldn’t resist tasting a slice before the bread had cooled down all the way. It has a nice sourdough tang and with a pat of butter is better than any cake!
As FloydM has said, shaping the loaves is not easy. Although the taste and my sense of accomplishment were great, the crumb was somewhat heavy and the loaves a bit on the compact side. In tapping to see if they were fully baked, I never did get a hollow thunk sound. My instant read thermometer was at 202 after 30 minutes. I would appreciate any suggestions to improve my results. In the meantime I’ll go make myself another sandwich!
Pierre Nury's Rustic Light Rye