Sunday, April 01, 2012

All About Bread

Something you might not remember about Roger and me is that we are bread-aholics. We love love love bread, especially toast. We are absolutely the connoisseurs of toast. I've been baking some part of our daily bread intake for several years. I started using the Tassajara Breadbook recipe by Edward Espe Brown in the early 70s. It makes beautiful sandwich loaves, tall and thick. Roger and I have joked that a prison sentence of bread and water would almost be okay for us. But only if the bread were homemade and the water had a teaball of English Breakfast steeping in it. But still… bread and water works for us!
My twin brother, older brother, and sister in 2008
I grew up in a bread-lovers family. We all still remember with salivating fondness the delicious rye bread that my parents would bring home from Silvers Bakery in Newark, New Jersey. Some of you long-time readers here might remember that I tried baking rye breads when Roger and I were still up in Port Townsend, WA. They were okay, but nothing to really rave about.

Then, a wonderful thing happened, a fellow blogger and Facebook friend posted something about a bread recipe, and his accompanying picture made me want that recipe. I wrote Mark, and he sent me the Sullivan Bakery recipe that the New York Times posted in 2007. So, I gave it a try with a little tweaking (of course!). I swapped out a 1/4 c of the white flour and put in 2 tbls wheat flour and 2 tbls rye. The top photo is my first loaf. Delicious.

I googled around a bit to find more information about this recipe and found this incredibly delightful video. I thought it really helped to have a visual sense of what to expect.



We totally loved this bread, and the ease of the process. I knew I had to send this recipe all of the bread lovers we know.
Marc's farm in Virginia
My older brother Marc who lives in Virginia is a foodie-- he grows a lot of his own food; he raises his own beef; but he's not a baker. I knew if he tried this recipe that he would love it. He did, and he does. Now we write and call each other all the time with updates on our newest tweaks. The latest is closely flavored to our old family favorite: rye bread. This loaf has 2 c of white, 3/4 c of pastry wheat, a 1/4 cup of rye; 1 tbls of caraway seeds. Everything else stayed the same (1/4 tsp yeast; 1 1/4 tsp salt; 1 1/2 c water). The toast is divine.
The joy of bread cannot be overestimated ever!

20 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. It struck a deep cord of memory. My Dad was a bread lover too. My favorite was crispy french baguettes, which he created by diverting steam from the pressure cooker to the oven intake. Another was caraway/rye bread with Oxtail soup.

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  2. I love love love all your breads that i have eaten. Deep bows to the bakers of bread!

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  3. I want this bread. I need (not knead) this bread.I will make this bread. I will be a happy bread-eater.

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  4. I'm always happy to read someone waxing poetic about making bread but rarely have I seen bread that looks so much like mine! Lovely!

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  5. I too love bread. If fresh baked bread was guaranteed prison fare, I'd go commit a crime.
    Yours looks yummy, I will check that site. Thanks.

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  6. I agree. I think I could live on it alone, as long as I could have coffee too.

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  7. Duly noted. I showed the baker man, and he wants to try it for sure. Someone at our farmers market mentioned this recipe to him yesterday, he reports. Mahalo!

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  8. We are bread lovers as well. In addition to my grandmother's bread recipes, I have tried a lot of recipes from King Arthur Website. (www.kingarthurflour.com) my favorite of which is Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Sandwich Bread. Oh, so delicious. I will definitely try your recipe. It looks very tasty and a bit easier to prepare than some of the recipes.

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  9. I love bread, too.
    So much varieties, from dark to white, different flours...
    I have to admit that my diet has each day bread in it.

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  10. I made it! I let the crust get quite brown and crunchy (had dusted it with cornmeal). It was so so so easy to make -- i let it rise overnight. No fuss, no muss. Didn't even need to wash the dutch over.

    Thanks so much for sharing this -- everyone else, you must try it!

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  11. I love this post. I love all the photos. I love bread. I'd Iive on it if I could. For many years, I used to bake my father a loaf of Norwegian braided bread (based on a Tassajara Bread Book recipe) for his birthday. I learned to bake bread from the Tassajara Bread Book, too.

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  12. That's a gorgeous loaf of bread! I shall try that recipe some time. I make bread every week, and have settled into a multi-grain mix that I throw together and go by consistency after kneading.
    One really wonderful grain I have come across is called emmer flour.
    It's really delicious.

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  13. love this! i've never made bread myself, but this looks do-able.

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  14. I've not made bread for a few years but need to try your recipe!

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  15. i made this bread when the no/knead article was first published / my daughter still cranks out several loaves a week made with a starter instead of yeast / she rolls the dough in piles of mixed seeds / it is truly a wonderful product ! i wish i had a picture of it / when she comes back from her river trip and makes the next batch i will snap a photo or two

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  16. Oh yeah---I remember hearing about the no-knead bread and meaning to try it! Thanks for the reminder!

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  17. It looks wonderful! Do you have any good recipes for sourdough by chance?? I'm having trouble finding it where I'm living now. Sourdough and brie with fig preserves makes my heart melt.

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  18. I'm just catching up on blog reading after several weeks on the road. i am a bread lover too! This winter, I've been treated to the results of many experimental loaves whipped up by Larry, my winter guest. I will be sure to send him this way to read your post!

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  19. Whoa, Robin! I'm late to the party, as always, but THANKS a million for the reference....You've created a fabulous post on the subject of the bread we all love.....THANKs for that AND for the Video....I'm bookmarking his site. Seems he has a LOT of fun things to teach me. THANKS for being who you are......as always.

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