I’ve garnered a wealth of bread-making knowledge from many sources, the most influential being Dan Lepard and Ken Forkish. I decided to combine a Lepard recipe and Forkish technique to bake one of the best breads so far – the sour cream loaf. It has a delicious, tangy faux sourdough flavour and makes the most amazing toast.
A crusty, tasty roll or baguette can be a delicious alternative as the wrapper of the lunchtime sandwich. And it’s hardly practical to eat a burger between two slices of bread.
Make your own crusty rolls and baguettes at home with this simple recipe.
A friend at work mentioned that he liked bread made using the minimal knead technique. However with work and children (and cats), it took too long on a work night, and the bread was not ready for their dinner time.
I altered the recipe so that dough is prepped before work and baked fresh in the evening. Or prepped in the evening for fresh bread with breakfast.
I still remember the warm summer’s day when I first baked a home-made pizza. It tasted fantastic, fresh flavours and a crisp thin-crust base, served with both a glass of wine and a sweet sense of victory. And the desire to make many more. Which I did.
This post covers the basics of with a ham and mushroom pizza using home-made dough. From this foundation, it’s easy to make most pizzas for baking in a standard kitchen oven, wood fired pizza oven or ceramic oven such as a Big Green Egg.
Bread with a looser crumb (holes in the bread structure) looks good, tastes great and is the goal of many artisan bakers. I have learned that using a pre-heated baking stone (in my case a pizza stone) to kick-start the rise, or oven spring, is an important factor in achieving such hole-i-ness.
One of my favourite aromas is that of freshly baked bread, even beating a good red wine. And it’s easy to make a crusty, tasty loaf at home with virtually no effort.
Walk into any supermarket and head to the baking section. Once there, you will almost certainly be greeted with a bewildering selection of flours to choose from … supermarket brands, named brands, white, wholemeal, brown, organic, rye, seeded, pizza, the list goes on.
There will also be flours which, whilst they can be used to make bread, generally produce loaves that are inferior to those made with proper bread flour. These include plain (or all-purpose), self-raising and sponge.
So to make a loaf bread, which flour do you choose?
In the first post of this series we looked at the importance of scoring the dough to control crust expansion as the dough rises. Even so, the crust can still split and crack as it dries out in the oven.
To overcome this, and achieve a lovely golden, crisp crust, we add moisture to the mix.
That is probably the most common question asked by home cooks when making their first loaves of bread, it certainly was mine. The other I pondered were: “What is making the crust split and bulge? Why does the bread cook faster on one side?”
The baking attempts that lead to these queries are also the cause of budding and enthusiastic amateurs to give up early on.
Almost all cooks go through this in the beginning … including myself. In this series of posts, entitled “From Dough To Bread“, I share some of the tricks I have learned (and pitfalls I have dug myself out of) in baking a decent loaf of bread.