Category Archives: Bread Talk

Stretch and Fold (again)

Stretch & Fold 07

I figured that, since I have these steps already photographed for another entry, mainly the Vermont Sourdough post here, I may as well include them separately as their very own little “Stretch and Fold show and tell” .

More show than tell, mind you.

I hope this helps to show the technique well and let people know that there is an alternative to kneading, if you find that aspect of bread making difficult or tedious. Some people actually like kneading and feel it’s a good mental zone out therapy, they just get in the groove. I like kneading, myself, and some doughs you pretty much have to knead by hand, like bagels, which is usually way too stiff for a mixer to handle.

But this is a really great way to simplify your bread making if you don’t want to get into the heavy push and turn stuff. Even if you like kneading, this is a good technique to have in your bag o’ tricks for those time you’re just not feeling like it.

For a little more info on the ideas around the process and a couple of video clips, see the other page on this blog, Stretch and Fold: you don’t need to knead.

Here it is, step by step:

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Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge #BBA

PinchMySalt, a.k.a. Nicole of the (yummy and gorgeous)¬†PinchMySalt blog, has set up a challenge that will surely prove tobe a ton of fun and very educational. She’s invited people, novice or otherwise, to join in and do all the recipes in the great Peter Reinhart book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (Click the link or cover below to get your copy.)

The goal is to go through each recipe, in order (which happens to be mainly alphabetical) until you’ve done them all. A quick count and I get about 43 recipes in there – probably a little more if you include the small variations suggested. So if you’re like me and do a loaf or two on weekends, this means it will take the better part of a year, or a tad over 10 months, to get through the whole lot.

Now that seems like a lot of bread but if you think of it, it’s also going to get you to step off the “comfortable few recipes” track and not only try others¬†you may not have felt confident making but you’d definitely be getting some excellent skills under your belt as you delve into areas you may have shied away from. Then show off your results on the Flickr group and post and read as you go on Twitter , using the search tag #BBA.

If you’d like to join in, hop over to the PinchMySalt blog and read up in more detail, then send in your info to be added to the challenge’s growing list of participents (as of this post date, it was up to 68 crazy bakers!). Although most people will be getting started around the same time, it’s pretty much open season and there are no set deadlines for doing any of the loaves. Work at your own pace, do as many as you like. It’s more of a SELF-challenge than a competition.

[easyazon-image-link asin="1580082688" alt="The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51f8aSiQREL.jpg" align="none" width="250"]
Get your copy here.

You’ll also want to peruse the recipes before you decide to move on to them to make sure you have all required stock on hand. I had to go out and get some cornmeal (coarse) for the first recipe – it’s soaking as we speak…

Can’t wait to see how it all works out, looking forward to the challenge for me and the results are, one can expect, almost always edible, success or bomb.

Come on, join in. It’ll be fun!