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March 01, 2011



Great post. I recently started making all my own bread too, since it's really simple, cost-effective, and cuts out all those preservatives and dough conditioners and rat turds, etc. I've been using a no-knead recipe that calls for long fermentation times -- mix the dough and let it sit for six hours or so, then bake covered at 450F (about 230C) for 30 minutes, and uncovered for another 15 or so. The longer and at higher temperature the yeast ferments, the less dense the final loaf; I too had a really dense bread the first time, because it was fermenting in a really cold spot. I think the yeast likes it around 70F (21C) -- room temperature.

Good luck!

Howard  / Mississauga, Canada

Your bread looks very good.
I am still a beginner but I like making a small baguette style bread with hot peppers inside.
Some of the best bread I buy comes from a few local Italian bakeries we have nearby.

Thank you for sharing all of the great stories on your blog.

Adam Alexander Trokmar Peña

Hi, my first post here. I love your site, and can see we are very much in tune regarding which wines we like! Regarding bread, I have baked my own bread for a number of years now, and have come to certain conclusions. I cannot change the water that are running in the pipes, and using expensive salt doesn't change the taste for me. Using oil or egg, even sugar, for me reduces the longevity and "freshness" of the bread. If using oil, the bread needs to be eaten that very day. You are then left with 2 ingredients, flour and yeast/leaven. I am fortunate enough not to be bothered by any intolerance or allergies towards wheat or gluten, an I prefer my bread white (leaving out danish ryebread, which can be fantastic - conflict of interest: I am Danish). I am also fortunate enough to know a dealer of italian produce, from which I buy 25kg bags of good quality typo O or OO flour. The grind, as you mention is important, and the time from mill to bread is important. A high level of gluten will give a more chewy texture, and will allow the air to be captured better. The Yeast is also important, many strains exist, but few are readably available for purchase. You can however grow your own yeast starting a leaven by mixing fresh organic rye-flour and water, and leaving this for several days - whatever is flowing through the air will start to grow in this! Slightly easier is just bying fresh yeast from the store. I tend to use little yeast, and let the dough rise for much longer than you mention in your article. I think it is better to asses the progress of your dough by the amount it has risen, rather than the time it has been resting. If left to rise in a colder place, the process will take longer, but ultimately produce more interesting flavours, and leave time for the gluten-net to develope more proberly. a good 1-2 days of resting produces really nice bread! And if you take away a lump of the dough and leave it in the fridge in a covered container, you have a base for your next bread - just give it some water and flour once in a while, to keep it alive (salt kills yeast, so minimise this in the "mother")
Hope this is helpfull to those wishing to start their own bread-making. Also, I have recently started using live beer-brewing yeast for bread-making - really interesting stuff! Does anyone have experience with this?


Thanks to everyone for the comments, it helps me go ahead because I tend to be lazy and I must improver my work here ! I definitely understand that more resting hours will yield more aerated bread and more pleasure. I'll go that way...


Check out Jim Lahey's (Sullivan Street Bakery) No-Knead Bread recipe:
Love it!


Yes check Lahey ea. no. Also rose Levy B has some good info.


Baking your own bread is easier than you might think. Who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread? I know I can't.


I'm pregnant and I'm craving for bread right now. :) What's that on the chopping board? Looks delicious!

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