The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

NYT bread: I finally tried it,ya'll can keep it!

granniero's picture

NYT bread: I finally tried it,ya'll can keep it!

O.K. So I'm not an experienced baker,but I can make bread that my family and friends enjoy. I have been dying of curiosity about the famous bread so many are thrilled with. I was scared for awhile but watched the videos several times and finally got up the nerve,after all,it's only 3 cups of flour and there's more where that came from,right? I used all purpose flour,which I thought was acceptable and did all the steps,in spite of having a pretty gloppy dough.Also used the yeast since I am not totally sure about my sourdough just yet. After all the waiting,folding,heating,and so on,the best I got was a nice bread smell while it was baking. Looked nice on removal from oven but crust was so hard we almost couldn't chew it. Had decent flavor but crust made it inedible. So much for that. I am not very adventursome so may stick to  trying to work out the sourdough experience.

I really enjoy reading about everyone's baking experience and love looking at the pictures of the bread. Have lurked for some time but couldn't resist sharing this experience. I'm glad for anyone who can make the recipe work for them and maybe I give up to easily but I hate waste and that loaf went straight to the trash. By the way,I used my Calphalon 5 qt pot,nice and heavy,so doubt it was that.

Thanks for your time here and bake on,everyone!      Rosemary in NE Florida 



TRK's picture

I haven't actually made the recipe, so I have hesitated to comment, but I tried the baking technique on a sourdough loaf I made.  I have a Mario Batalli dutch oven that is basically a Le Creuset knockoff with a metal handle.  I preheated it, formed the loaf as a boule (which is not in the original recipe of course) and cooked it.  My dough was under-proofed and turned out a little dense, but I also thought the extra thick crust was undesirable.  I am a little bit nervous, since I am afraid that is the crust that a wood-fired oven will create, and I have been dreaming of building a wood-fired cob or brick oven for years. 

I think that NYT recipe is great for people who don't bake.  I have a friend who never baked a loaf in his life, and made good bread using that recipe.  His first loaf was far better than my first loaf, let me tell you.  However, I feel like it is also a fairly limiting thing-you can't make a batard or baguette, you can't make slash patterns, and the shape of your loaf is limited by chance (the shape of the dough when it hits the pan) and by the shape of your baking vessel.  It is not, however, a replacement for knowing how to manipulate yeast, hydration, and temperature or for learning how to shape loaves, IMO.



KNEADLESS's picture

Once you separate this into two parts, it becomes easier to use.  The first part is the dough making process, which doesn't have much  room for manipulation.  Use it if you want an easy process to make  a round loaf.

The second part, baking in a closed vessel, offers many variables which can be controlled to get desired results, such as crust thickness.  These include type of vessel, hot or cold vessels, starting temp, ending temp, length of time covered or uncovered, and , sometimes, size of loaf vs. size of pot. This can be used for any standard recipe, shaped loaf which will fit into your vessel.

 Don't let the first part keep you from using the second part.

Surprisingly, the two best loaves I have made from this approach, were loaded into a room temperature Le Clouche. 



Felila's picture

I love the thick crispy crust. The bread loses its crunch fast here in Honolulu, so I'm always tempted to gorge on the bread fresh from the oven. I've never found the crust too thick or tough to eat, and I've baked a lot of these loaves by now.

It could be that you just don't like crust, OR that there's something about your process that makes the crust thicker and tougher than usual. 

beanfromex's picture

I have baked the NYT many times now and also agree with the previous comment,  that the crust, for me, is just perfect.

 I live in humid southern mexico, so thr crust is not chewy for long. I also haveneverhad a crust too thick to chew.  

 I also use AP flour, with a heavy enamel pot. 

 Good luck with your sourdough, now that is something I could never get to work for me!! 


Regards from southern mexico