Thursday, March 29, 2012

Returning Reinhart

So, tomorrow I will return Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everday.  I tried to renew it but it is on hold and library late fees are embarrassing.  I ended up making two different loaves from his book.  The first was his version of San Francisco Sourdough.  He offers an option (not "purist") where you add in instant yeast.  It was superb.  

Sourdough starter

Mixed dough

Kneaded dough
 The nice part about it (for a household of two, especially) is that you can divide the dough in half and cook part that day and the other part up to three days later.
half to rest in the fridge

half to rise at room temp

I would be lying if I said I did everything according to his recipe.  We were almost out of bread flour so I used 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat, 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 4 T vital wheat gluten.  I ended up kneading the dough with about 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour.  The other ingredients were just water, salt, instant yeast, and of course, 1/4 cup of mother starter mixed with 1 3/4 cups bread flour and just over 1/2 cup of water.  That initial starter ferments overnight (6-8 hours) before combining it with the other ingredients to form the final dough.  I hadn't ever used bread flour for the starter before.  I was thinking that's what made this bread so phenomenal...  

Then, I tried his Pain au Levain.  Oh my god.  Oh mon dieu!  And ay dios mio too.  The Pain au Levain also called for bread flour (which we restocked) and whole wheat (also restocked).  I don't have a single photograph to share because this bread was eaten with soups and as toast and made into sandwiches with unprecedented speed.  It was gone within days.  It was amazing.  Absolutely amazing.  I did the same drill of halving the dough and baking some on the first day and retarding the other half.  The other halves definitely have a more developed taste than their younger versions but the texture of the bread seems to suffer from the prolonged rising period.  While eating his first slice of Pain au Levain Andy announced, "This is bread.  Wow."  And decided we could enter it in some sort of bread baking contest, if there ever was such a thing.  (I am sure there is).  This cookbook is officially on my wish list.

Now for another 8PM bedtime.  I miss my appendix.

1 comment:

  1. These are some impressive looking breads, and the un-photographed one sounds great too! :)