If you love – and I mean love bread, and even more so – love to bake bread, then this is for you.
I have completely fallen in love with Rose Levy Berenbaum’s book “The Bread Bible” that I asked for and received for Christmas. So for the past 30 days I have been diving in to it and each recipe I’ve made has brought absolute divinity to my mouth!
I was already a great bread baker, lessons learned and evidenced from the bakeries I have worked at it in the past, but you can never stop learning or improving and that’s exactly what I have been doing in reading this book.
Not only do I recommend that you get this book if you want to improve your dough skills, but you will learn a lot of why things work the way they do in bread making. She’s great at explaining it all.
The best advice I can pass along when you’re working with that soft, supple, magical feeling dough, is to use a starter. It’s no secret that something without all that processed junk and preservatives in it doesn’t last more than a few days. If you use a starter for your bread before you mix up the dough, it ferments, and therefore actually acts like a natural preservative. My homemade bread will last on the counter for up to 3 weeks – IF I don’t eat it all before then. But it stays soft and tasty in a ziplock bag for that long before it will mold. Amazing right? It’s true.
So here’s a basic recipe for a dough starter for either some sandwich bread or an artisan french loaf:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup water
3/4 tsp instant yeast
Mix together vigorously with a whisk, scrape down the side of the bowl, and let sit for a few hours. I usually mix mine up in the morning and then when I get home from work I finish making my bread dough (with the rest of your recipe ingredients) and start the rising/baking processes.
The results are incredible. Give it a try 🍞