These days, I'm obsessed with baking bread again. After decades of not baking. Let's start with a video of one of the masters. (Sorry about the Katie Couric ad in the beginning.)
Watch CBS News Videos Online
And here's an entry from Ann Mah's blog on the Poilâne bakery:
My initial motivation was to bake a multigrain bread with lots of seeds, etc. That's the kind of bread I eat these days, for health reasons. But seriously, we knew it was an excuse, right?
In March 2010, before I went on a longish trip, I improvised a bread with acceptable results, though not great. It was a yeast bread with a rich mix of seeds and grains soaked overnight. Here is the result.
I'll return to seeded multigrains later, but at the moment, I'm focusing on getting sourdough right. I got my live starter from Breadtopia and it turned out to be very vigorous, even though I was too sick to get to it for a while. So, feed and dump and feed and dump and feed and dump. Yesterday, I declared my starter strong enough to start baking.
Bake? I went into my usual paralysis when I'm tackling something new. OK, so I'm not really new to bread baking, but it's been a while, and I used to wing it a lot back then, which meant uneven results. And I could never get a good loaf without boosting my sourdough with a bit of yeast. Did I say I was winging it? My excuse is that I'm sure no bread maker of my childhood in Istanbul ever measured anything. There's that little matter of experience, though, which I thought I could compensate for with an abundance of guts and experimentation. Yeah, I know, arrogance.
My paralysis was fed by endless combing through all my bread books, checking out all the bread blogs, reading about a thousand different approaches, and of course not knowing where to start. Until yesterday.