I have been baking bread for many years now. I find it very satisfying. The ingredients are so few and the results are most often stunning. It is a real treat to eat bread that is just a few hours old.
Over the years I have collected many recipes. But I have noticed that there are breads that I do not seem to be able to reproduce. Why have some breads huge holes in them? Why have crusty roles that particular texture? How do you shape an even loaf. (Mine often rise more in the middle)
Last week my friend pointed me to a book that I have been reading with a lot of interest. It is called Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman. He is the director of the Bakery and the Baking Education Center of King Arthur Flour. This book is amazing. He not only explains the hows but also the whys of every aspect of bread making. It is like an internship in a bakery and sometimes quite scientific. I have made two breads now following his instructions. They were not perfect but having read more today I can see what I should change. (There is a lot to read)
Did you know that if you made the same bread with four different mixers you would get four different breads? Apparently I need to find out how many rounds per minute my mixer makes to gauge the optimal mixing times needed.
So I am off to a new adventure! Wish me luck!