Wednesday, February 15, 2012


While hiking in the forest today, I came upon a friendly dog wearing a bulging collar. Soon, the dog's owner appeared on the trail. I asked him about the collar, and he told me that the collar had a radio transmitter that beamed a signal to his GPS. On the GPS, I could clearly see the trail we were on, and he could see where his dog was. He said he could also get in touch with his dog, and he pulled out another device. With this tool he could "beep" the dog so the dog would know he was being called or he could actually give the hapless dog a shock as some sort of punishment for perhaps straying too far. But he would never do that, he told me. Clearly he loved his dog.
I also noticed he was carrying his iPad on the forest trail, and I asked him why. He said the iPad was like taking his office with him. In the tablet he had a list of all his products and prices along with sales records. If he had to carry the physical documents, they would have been the size of the New York City telephone book. But here, they were neatly stored in his iPad, and if necessary, he could do his business right from the trail. He really had no need to sit in the office.
What does this have to do with bread baking? I don't know.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day (con't)

On Tuesday morning I took the highly aerated dough from the cold storage room where it had been kept since Sunday at around 45-50º. I scooped out a hunk and placed it in my banneton. Probably I should have scooped out more because the dough was really undersized for the banneton, and it barely rose at all. The instructions tell you to bake after about 40 minutes, but I wasn't excited about putting such a cold dough in my conventional gas oven. I waited about two hours, and the dough was still cold. I baked it anyway and did get a little oven spring.
The crust is thin and crisp, just the way I like it, and the dough is pleasantly filled with mouse holes, but the flavor did not excite me. In fact, there really wasn't much flavor, and it tasted slightly salty.
I will, however, continue with this method for awhile to see where it takes me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day

Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day is the name of the book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.
First off, I was totally turned off by the title. Why is it that everything has to get done in five minutes?
And that would include eating, sex, meditation and of course, bread baking.
Once I got past the title, I read an article in Mother Earth News that explained the technique. Okay, I was intrigued, so I mixed up the dough yesterday, and now it's in the refrigerator. I hope to bake with it on Tuesday or Wednesday, and I'll post the results. The recipe calls for a lot of instant yeast (really a lot), and let's think it's not the same as "doping" to help you to create stellar loaves.
Eric from Gardenfork. TV does an interesting comparison between the "no knead" and the "five minute a day" technique. Watch the video here.