Bread-making frenzy! I’ve tried out a few different loaves - once I achieved a good baguette, I attempted a simple Couronne ring. Mmmm.
O Hail Jeff Hertzberg, author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
I made my first batch of the book’s master recipe today! I halved the original to make two one-pound loaves, and unfortunately my experience with the first loaf was…. disastrous. Catastrophic. It’s lying at the bottom of the trashbin as we speak, drenched in my tears.
You see, an essential technique taught in the book is adding steam while baking: you place a broiler tray (or any sort of pan that can hold water) in the oven as it preheats, add water after you put the loaf in, and the steam from the pan helps perfect your crust. However, my oven currently only has one rack and my first loaf was a (beautiful, beautiful) baguette - meaning it required a large pan. So, I sort of stuffed a small pan in on the same rack, overlapping my bread pan an inch, and when I poured the water in… my bread was soaked.
It all turned out fine, though, with my second loaf! It isn’t quite as pretty as my baguette would have been (no worries, I’ll be making many more in the future) but according to my taste buds and those of my family’s, it’s really, really good bread.
I’m so gracious for the book that I refuse to give the recipe here - anyway, it’s full of techniques and the master recipe is about 10 pages long sooo if you want to make awesome bread, buy it. Now.