|Flour, water, salt, yeast... and time|
|Bread in a pot - weird... but wonderful!|
In some ways, if you’ve never made bread before, you have the advantage with this book because you are not comparing it to traditional kneaded doughs. In the recipes I’ve tried so far, I’ve found the dough alarmingly wet - almost porridgy. However, because this bread is no-knead, handling is minimal and the dough firms up a little as it rises. Lahey uses a mere 2 grams of yeast – a quarter of what I would normally use. 2 grams of yeast is sufficient because of the long rising time.
If you are a seasoned baker, hold your nerve. You think it’s not going to work out and the whole cook-it-in-a-pot thing is downright weird... but actually, it’s how my great-great-grandparents would have cooked their bread and the result is sensational. The basic loaf didn’t last long enough to be photographed.
|From porridgy dough to 'Pane' perfection|
After commenting that the finished Pane Integral looked like a cowpat (it is rather flat) my beloved helped me polish off half the loaf in one sitting. The crumb is open and even and the bread has real flavour despite having the most basic of ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast.
I am going to work my way through this book: there is carrot bread, peanut bread, chocolate bread. There is foccacia, and pizza, and olive bread, and the book’s party pieces such as Stecca (next on my list to try). The book is illustrated with clear step-by-step photos where needed.
Absurb Baker, you said I’d enjoy this book. I LOVE it!
My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey with Rick Flaste
Published by W & W Norton and Co