Bread Making 101

Curt has been making our bread for the last several years. This started when Curt saw a New York Times article by Mark Bittman about Jim Lahey’s “no knead” technique.  The article included a recipe and a video which outlined this incredibly easy technique for making top shelf bread.  So he watched the video, read the article and checked out Mr. Lahey’s book, My Bread and baked a few loaves and, aside from a few minor miss-steps, he was making pretty good bread; once he learned the technique he never looked back.

The Goal

The Goal

Michael, big bread fan and a member of our foodie group, wanted to bake bread as well. A new Breadsmith just opened in his neighborhood and at $4-$5 a loaf, he’s been spending a fortune. He tried following a printed recipe without much luck. So Curt said he would teach him in a hands on class in our kitchen. After a few false starts we finally got together last Thursday.

Curt turned the kitchen into a classroom. Various types of pots were featured, ingredients gathered. One batch of dough was started the night before, another batch was started at 5:30am and Michael would mix the third batch while he was here. That way he would get the full range of the mixing, the rising and the baking procedure but not have to arrive at dawn or stay the night. The finale would be the eating of freshly baked bread along with a hardy cioppino style soup. Here are a few shots from the “class”.  I neglected to get all of the steps because Barbara (Michael’s wife) and I left the guys to their devises while we drank wine and talked about knitting and books and travel.

Cast iron pots for bread

Cast iron pots of different sizes for bread

Measuring.

Measuring.

Mixing.

Mixing.

After first rise.

After first rise.

Done.

Done.

Michael pointing at his creation.

Michael pointing at his creation.

I think Michael was energized and more confident at the end of class.  He left with his notes, supply lists and an ‘A’ on his report card. If you would like to know more about this easy technique for bread but can’t make it to our next class, you can read the original NYTimes article, check out the recipe or watch this video.  Truly, this is so easy that anyone can do it.  So, do it! Better yet, get your husband to do it.

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5 thoughts on “Bread Making 101

  1. Pingback: The Basic Batard | Another Stir of the Spoon

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