Knead help ~ Mountain Mama

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Knead help

I enjoy cooking. I read cookbooks like they were novels and I especially like to find a complicated recipe and spend several hours preparing it. I also love recipes that have an air of experimentation about them.

Enter breadmaking.

I would not consider myself a breadmaker. I enjoy making bread and I especially like eating good bread, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert. But I do have fun experimenting.

Yesterday I went to Whole Foods out of curiosity and while I walked past the bread racks I heard something. "Psst. Look at me. You need me. Take me home."

It was the ciabatta. Well, obviously this bread already had superpowers so it was not a surprise to me to find that this same loaf ended up in the car with me. My kids and I splurged on this spectacular, chewy creation with a wonderful crust. What was left of the loaf met my husband and even he, Wonder-White boy, enjoyed it. Oh if only I could make this at home.

Can anyone help? When I make bread the interior tends to be full of tiny air pockets of uniform size, not the large, uneven holes this bread consisted of. This bread had a chewy texture that rivaled the best crumpets. What is the secret? Sourdough starter? Have it. A different combo of flours? I'll try it. I just don't want to end up baking hundreds of unimpressive loaves in order to achieve this perfection.

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