Wish You Were Here

You would if you could smell this bread.

Since back in November when every single person on the intarwebs went crazy for the no-knead bread, I’ve been playing a little bit. Reducing quantities, changing flours, adjusting baking times, and most recently, tossing in some lovely dried olives and some olive oil to make what is probably one of the best olive breads I’ve ever eaten. And I loves me some olive bread. This is easily better than the $5-a-loaf stuff I get from WholeFoods.

It would appear that you really can’t screw up the recipe. Everything works, everything tastes great. I was a little worried about the crumb, I initially found it a bit too soft and spongy for my tastes, but adjustments aren’t making a difference in that area. It is what it is. And last week when Greg and I had a loaf of the beer sour dough bread at Beer Bistro, we realized that the crumb is very similar to mine. So now I’m ready to accept that the crumb is supposed to be moist, that bread really is supposed to be eaten the same day its made, and my preconceptions were obviously based on loaves of generic store-bought bread meant to last for days.

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There’s No Knead

Last week, mt friend Drew posted a link to Mark Bittman’s column in the New York Times about a bread recipe that required very little yeast and almost no kneading. The secret, according to Bittman, was to let it sit for a good 18 hours, letting the yeast do all the work in creating the gluten.

Anyone who’s been around these parts for a while knows of my ongoing struggle with bread. I gave up for years because I couldn’t get anything close to the heavenly stuff that came out of my Grandmother’s oven. So I was game to try Bittman’s recipe, but sceptical.

I had the loaf in the oven this afternoon when I came across a post about the bread on the Live Journal food porn community. Like everyone over there, my bread turned out fantastic, although it was not without its problems.

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