This week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen was one I’d been looking forward to making for a while. Since I seem to have finally found my groove baking bread (I’m no expert but I’ve come a long way since this post).
To be honest, I’ve been loving different versions of no-knead bread and have been experimenting a lot with that concept so David’s recipe looked like a bit more work (it’s not a huge amount of hands-on time but it did require me to bust out the stand mixer…). I found it a little curious actually – you start with a “starter” (flour, a tiny amount of yeast and water that you mix and let sit in the fridge overnight. It’s supposed to bubble like a real starter by mine remained fairly dough-like (and I know my yeast is active so it’s not that). I proceeded nonetheless and found the dough extremely tough to work with, it definitely feels like a SOLID loaf and it made my stand mixer dance around the countertop! It’s mostly bread flour with a little whole wheat (pastry) flour and then you add a whole load of seeds (which I LOVE… the multi seed baguette is one of my favourite things in France). I found the dough too dry to properly mix the seeds in so I added about 1/4 extra cup of water to help loosen it up a little, then I had to add a little more flour as I finished kneading by hand so it wasn’t slippery and wet.
The bread bakes for around 35 minutes in a hot Dutch oven (I checked the internal temperature with a digital thermometer to make sure it was 190˚F and while mine was cooked inside, it was still pale on top so I left it in for a few more minutes to brown up a little more. It was a strange-looking loaf – all craggy and shaggy looking (but with well-developed gluten strands so I know the yeast was working) and I was a little worried because it was so heavy. Would it be like a rock inside?
Actually, no. It wasn’t the lightest loaf but it was excellent – loved the seeds (would mix those in from the beginning next time to get more of a better distribution) and it lasted a week – we ate it toasted for breakfast and it toasts up well.
Conclusion: I need to experiment more with seeds in my bread-baking. I’ll also make this again to see about the whole “bubbly starter” thing.
Get the recipe for David Lebovitz’s multigrain bread on p 241 of My Paris Kitchen.
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing do. All opinions 100% my own.