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Posts Tagged ‘artisanal bread’

As a follow-up-follow-up to my No-Knead Bread recipe, this addition.

I carried through on my threat to replace all the moisture in this recipe with a more robust beer. And, in my tradition of not doing anything by halves, I used some Ninkasi Total Domination IPA. This is one of the hoppier beers you’ll find in non-specialty groceries, and I thought it would be a good test to see if there was an acceptable outer limit to the hops flavoring that this recipe can take.

As usual, I went with 500g flour to 308-310g liquid. The long rise went well, and it baked up (in a covered pot) as well as any other variation I’ve tried. What we came up with was a very beery bread, with good texture and nice big artisanal bubbles inside. The crust was chewy without being tough or crackly. In short, another good bread.

Except for the hops. This experiment proved that there is, indeed, an acceptable outer limit to the hops flavor a bread can accept, and as much as I like this IPA as a beer, it is outside that limit for bread making.

The intense hops flavor imparted a delayed but lingering, top-of-the-palate bitterness that just didn’t work. I even wondered if, properly paired, it might be a good addition to a meal and decided, no, it isn’t. It was just too much.

So, lesson learned. Nice malty beers or clean, lightly-hopped pilsners/lagers all work fine, but the strong, knock-your-teeth-out IPAs are to be avoided.

k

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This weekend, treat yourself to homemade artisanal bread.

I put this recipe online a few days ago, and want to give it a bit more visibility because it is, in my humble opinion, the bread recipe.

It’s easy: Mix, let sit, shape, let sit, bake.

This is my version of the Bittman-Lahey version as posted by my friends over on CheapSeatEats. It’s a great recipe, especially if (like me) you’re a bit challenged in the Baking column. My main problems with baking bread have always been

  • That they never rose enough
  • I could never knead them down into that really glutenous, almost rubbery feel of the great artisanal breads
  • The crusts were never as chewy as I wanted, but always crisp and hard

This recipe solves all of those problems. The rise is guaranteed, the “tooth” is glutenous heaven, and the crust is like the old Italian loaves of my youth: firm, but chewy.

It’s an overnight rise, which actually makes it much easier. And it’s a great “master” recipe, that you can vary and tailor to your specific tastes.

Check it out, and make some this weekend!

k

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