Friday, August 20, 2010

Totally off message

No really this post is totally off message, it has nothing to do with computers whatsoever.
It's about bread baking.
I've been baking bread for years and consider my self quite good. I don't need a bread machine and do all the proving and kneading and shaping stuff. I have my tried and trusted recipes and methods and consider myself quite knowledgeable about bread baking. So I came across this book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day and tried it's technique ..... WOW, totally amazing!!!

The basic idea is that you make a wetter than usual bread dough with the usual salt, yeast, flour and water, which you mix together with a spoon. You don't knead it at all, you leave it to prove for a few hours and then bung it in the fridge until the next day. Then you pull off a ball of dough, shape it into a loaf let it rise for a bit and bang it into a hot oven and presto, a perfect loaf with a crispy crust and fluffy crumb.

You leave the remaining dough in the fridge and each day you can pull of another chunk and bake a fresh loaf. The authors claim you can do this for two weeks if you start with a big enough bowl of dough. What is remarkable about this is that the conventional wisdom is that if you don't knead your bread you don't get gluten formation and your bread will not rise properly. Yet this technique really works. I'm a convert, highly recommended.