My late Aunt Jill used to make all the bread that her family ate. It was whole wheat, sturdy and delicious. She made me realize that it was possible.
Mark Bittman in the NYT for publishing the no-knead bread approach
Daniel Leader for his amazing book called LocalBreads - it really started the ball rolling with the wonderful variety of artisinal European breads. Opened my eyes to what happens when ratios are varied. Introduced me to the world of baker's percentages.
Peter Reinhard on this craftsy course introducing me to the stretch and fold method of dough making. Suddenly I was able to handle much larger amounts of dough.
Mike Avery at sourdoughhome for explaining to me why my sourdough starter was leaving me with flat limp dough. And thus helping me make fantastic sourdough.
Clint Cooper of The Village Baking Co. in Dallas for answering my newbie questions so patiently
Ciril Hitz in this video for demonstrating how to shape loaves.
Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (twitter @artisanbreadin5) for the method that ensures I have fresh bread every day.
All in all a very helpful crew! Now I make dough once per week and have fresh bread every day. And it is very good.
The daily bread is mostly small (because I don't have a huge oven) baguettes that I take to work with either cheese, soup (or both!). We also bake a couple of normal (1 1/2lb) sized loaves for toast, etc. Left overs become croutons and breadcrumbs.
Yes I do weigh everything. Yes it is metric. But the ratios are easy. The Imperial weights are not directly equivalent. I rounded the flour to a convenient amount and scaled everything else accordingly.
- Turn on oven to 425F
- Put water on for tea/coffee
- Retrieve dough from fridge and tear off some 175 gm (6 oz) pieces. Roll gently on a floured board and allow to relax
- Replace Container in fridge
- Make tea/coffee
- Form the dough into mini baguettes
- Drink tea/coffee
- Place dough in couches to rest and rise a bit
- Transfer shaped dough to floured peel
- Slit the dough using a razor blade making three lengthways cuts
- Place water into the hot pan that is on the lower rack (creates steam in the oven for a better crust), taking care not to scald yourself.
- Transfer loaves to oven and bake for 24 minutes
- Pull loaves from oven and place in brown bags for lunch