Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dans La Boulangerie

There are a lot of hobbies I plan to take up in the future, as I find the room (and the funds) for them, like making artisan cheeses, for example. One hobby that I don't have to wait to work on is developing my bread making skills.

I decided to pull out my Le Creuset and revisit the Cooks Illustrated recipe for Almost No-Knead Bread which I tried ages ago. The loaf I made on Tuesday turned out much like the one I made, last time: round and small and slightly overdone. I found that the dough was a bit dry when I initially mixed it and when I formed the loaf, and it didn't rise as much as I'd hoped. Of course, this is not to say that we didn't eat the whole loaf, anyway.

For my second try, I added more yeast and more liquid (more beer, to be specific) and I found that it rose better and gave a lighter loaf. The dough was also less dry to begin with, and I adjusted the heat slightly and the cooking times to give it less time uncovered in the oven. You probably can't tell the difference, but this one is taller and broader than the first one. It seems to have improved the loaf significantly, but it is still a work in progress.

Come on over -- there's bread and jam for everyone!

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