Today I tried something new, making bread. A co-worker of mine comes in with the best bread at lunch that he bakes at home and I figured why not try it. I got the recommendation for the Book that he uses and decided to give it a shot. After spending a few days with the book, I ordered the missing tools off Amazon and set aside my Saturday to try out the most basic of recipes, a basic white bread.
The most interesting part of the book is the concept of time and temperature as an ingredient in the kitchen. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since most recipes do call for time to bake and so forth, but the way you can manipulate time with temperature for the fermentation process is very unique — do you refrigerate it over night, or do you leave it out for the afternoon?
I was pretty happy with the whole process. I started with half of a batch, 500g of flour, to make one loaf. The initial mixing of flour and water with my hands left me shocked, the texture was something that I just didn’t imagine. The scale I used was perfectly responsive to high weights, but I had lots of trouble when it came to measuring out the 10 grams of salt and 2 grams of yeast, so I ended up guessing, albeit on the conservative side, and this caused this loaf to not rise as well. I also then decided to try increasing the batch size a little, by 25% to be exact, since the dutch oven is a little bigger than recommended. I made sure to add a bit more yeast and I think I got this one closer to correct since it rose in the appropriate amount of time.
The bread turned out really well. I’m very happy with the final result. It was moist and full of flavor. The crust was nice and crunchy. I probably could have left int in for a few more minutes, but that’s for next time.
Here’s a list of things I purchased to do this:
- Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish, £20.40
- Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven 5 Quart, £65.86
- Lifetime supply of Instant Yeast, £6.99
- 2x Proofing Baskets, £10.99
- Digital Scale for high weights, £7.99
- Digital Scale for low weights, £6.99
- Oven Thermometer, £3.99
- Kitchen Thermometer, £5.49
- Cooling Rack, £4.25