A Minimalist Approach to Bread:
Devouring the New York Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2006: Mark Bittman's piece "The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work" immediately caught my eye, perhaps because of my recent immersion in the bread kitchen. Bittman reports on a "no-knead" approach to bread baking, perfected by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery. Bittman suggests that the method is perhaps "the greatest thing since sliced bread," and something an 8-year old could master. Quite an endorsement.
The secret -- time and moisture. The very wet dough rests for nearly 18 hours and requires no kneading, but Bittman maintains the technique results in a perfect crisp crust and excellent crumb structure. From a scientific perspective, it makes sense -- moisture, more than kneading activates yeast, according to my instructors. And while we're all pressed for time, there is some appeal to starting a dough before bedtime, and finishing it off for dinner the next night.
As always "The Minimalist" offers easy to follow, step-by-step instructions and photos. It looks worth a try, especially if kitchen experiments appeal to you, and you're looking for a weekend culinary project. Check out the details in the "Dining In" section or at the New York Times online.
And, if visions of Turkey Day are already dancing in your head, you'll give thanks for the annual array of sumptuous side dishes and turkey options that are showing up in this week's edition.
© 2006 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved
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