If you know nothing about me, know this: I like to eat.
More than I should.
Specifically, I love, cake, ice cream, and bread. (Among many, many, many others.)
I've been trying to make decent bread for quite a while. It takes patience. I'm not super patient. Especially when it comes to food. You see why I haven't been able to really make a good loaf of bread.
Yesterday when I was at the library I was looking through the cookbooks and came across this.
Obviously, I checked it out. I'm so glad I did.
I saw one review on Amazon calling it "bread porn." I suppose that is accurate, if not a little creepy. I personally don't like to think of my bread that way.
I like to think sweetly of bread. I like to recall living in England when I would walk to the grocery store in the village and get a bag of groceries with a fresh, crusty loaf of bread tucked in at the top of the bag. I'd eat a good chunk of that warm goodness on my walk home. Bread is innocent and comforting. The images and language in Flour Water Salt Yeast support that.
This is apparently the month for me to find great reading in the shape of cookbooks. (Remember this one?) I've literally been reading this book in all my spare time. (As in I sit engrossed in the text and the fantastic photography, not just flipping through and skimming recipes as I typically do.)
Author and baker Ken Forkish (what an appropriate name, right?) takes his readers step by step through his story from corporate man to baker, sharing his training as well as the inevitable roadblocks. He's a likable voice whose oft proclaimed "obsession" with artisan bread baking is contagious. After chapter 3--Equipment and Ingredients-- I wanted to fill up my shopping cart on Amazon to prep my kitchen. I wanted to start baking immediately and make that loaf on the cover.
Then, of course, I wanted to eat it.
Don't worry, Beau. I didn't fill my shopping cart. I only purchased one item that seemed absolutely necessary. It seems that this Le Creuset has one flaw. The knob is plastic. Plastic melts. So, I purchased a stainless steel one so I can bake me some bread this week without a melty knob on the lid.
The secret it seems, is in the dutch oven, since bread is really just the ingredients that make up the title of this text. That, and a little patience, should give me a good shot at a crusty, delicious loaf.
This week I will make one of Forkish's more basic breads. The leftover dough, he says, makes beautiful focaccia or pizza crust. I'm in bread heaven.
Hopefully after my successful first run, I'll be able to begin trying some of his more time consuming and nuanced recipes (that somehow still use only those four ingredients--bread magic).
If you have a baker or a wannabe baker in your life, this might make for a fantastic holiday gift!
Does the loaf of bread like the one on the cover of the book make you want to wander down cobblestone streets in Paris? Am I the only one who desperately wants to make good bread by hand?