Friday, December 10, 2010


You'll have to excuse the lack of pictures- my camera cord isn't working right now, but as soon as it starts working again, or I get a card reader, I'll post the related photos!

Part of my cabin plan is to have homemade bread on hand at all times. It's not hard, mainly because I have copious amounts of time and flour. But frankly, I don't usually need all that much time because I stick to the the high-moisture/no-knead breads made popular by The New York Times/Jim Lahey article a few years ago. 

My favorite play on this type of bread is from the fabulous (like Christmas gift fabulous) book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. The overall idea is mixing up a big batch of high moisture dough, letting it rise, and then leaving the dough in the fridge, cutting off balls of dough for small loafs as needed. I find it's perfect for two people, to bake bread in the evening for dinner, and then there are (usually) left overs for breakfast the next morning. 

So, back to my failure. I think I'm a pretty good breadmaker. Maybe my loaves aren't the highest you've ever seen, but they're usually attractive and tasty, and if I use my le Creuset- the most glorious crust you've ever seen this side of Paris. I made an awesome loaf of rye for a friend the day before. The golden crust audibly crackled, in part because I had the idea to pour 1/4 cup of water over the loaf about 20 minutes into the baking time. 

But alas, perfection rarely repeats, and when I made a second loaf yesterday, I misjudged my timing on the water pour (10 minutes too early, I think) and because the dough wasn't hard enough yet, the water deflated the loaf the moment I poured it over. The sad sighing sound it made actually brought tears to my eyes.

Was it still tasty? Well, the parts where the water didn't soak the dough (even after another 20 minutes in the oven, there were puddles of water on top of the loaf!) But it definitely sunk my confidence for a day or so, and I keep hearing that sad deflating sigh.

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