Wednesday, November 08, 2006

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


Veron said...

I'm all up for kitchen experiments. One thing I have never made is bread. Since I am all for the eating of it I might as well learn how to make it...

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I had a feeling it might appeal to you! I'm expecting a full Test Kitchen report!

pjstock said...

I have my first batch on the go for the plain white loaf. We'll see how it turns out.

I'd like to know, though, if anyone has tried different flour mixes (whole wheat, rye, bran, etc.) with this technique and if so, what adjustments need to be made.

if anyone has tried any variations, let us know.

Andrea Moss said...

Great article about the CHNY event last night! (we especially enjoyed the line about the "delicious crostata!")

But seriously, this is a great food blog! We will definitely be checking it out often. Hope to see you at the next CHNY event!

-Andrea & Matt Moss (the crostata creators)