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Category Archive for 'Techniques'

Baguettes la Bouabsa

Baguettes la Bouabsa When I first started learning how to bake bread a few years ago, my goal then, as it is to this day, was to be able to bake breads with superior flavor, texture and aesthetics. Most of the bread books I’d read at the time, as well as most of the […]

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Scali

Scali Like mostmajor U.S. cities, my home town, Boston, is a wonderful mlange of people from manydifferentethnic and cultural backgrounds. Boston’s North End,rich incolonialhistory,is today home to a vibrant Italian-American community.One of my favorite activities has always been tostroll alongthe narrow streets of the North Endenjoying the commotion (I did, after all, spend my childhood […]

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Ciabatta Made Using New Tandem Technique In the previous post (More Musings on Mixing… ), I described a newly devised ‘double flour addition’ dough mixing technique whichwill allow a home baker, using a conventional tabletop stand mixer, to produce a well developed, nicely aerated dough nearly identical to those produced by professional bakers using commercial […]

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More Musings on Mixing…

Pain au Levain Made Using New Mixing Technique In a previous post (Musings on Mixing…), I described what I believe to be a fundamental difference between bread baking at the commercial scale and bread baking atthe much smaller scale of the home baker. At the commercial scale,spiral and obliquedough mixers are quiteefficient at incorporating air […]

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Cloverleaf Rolls

Cloverleaf Rolls For some reason,dinner rolls have always beenthe preferred styleof bread at my family’s holiday table. Perhaps it’s simply the comfort of tradition.Or maybe the reason is a bit moreutilitarian;the convenient individual serving size saves the spaceneededto slice bread at the table and makes it easier for everyone tohelp themselves. Among the many types […]

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Peanut Bread

Peanut Bread Ever since George Washington Carver first started experimenting with the peanut plant in the early 1900’s,the peanut has become one ofAmerica’s most versatilelegumes.The peanut has become so ingrained into American culture that the USA team competing at the 2005 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie decided to presenta peanut bread as one of […]

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Cherry Pecan Bread

Cherry Pecan Bread While trying to decide upona bread to bake for the Thanksgiving Day table, I remembered a wonderful cranberry pecanbread that I had the pleasure of sampling some monthsago. The bread was a creation ofa good friend of mine, James McNamara, the talented head baker at Wave Hill Breads in Wilton, Connecticut. Cranberries, […]

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Corn Bread

Corn Bread Lately, I’ve been so fascinated by various regional French breadsthat I’ve all but forgotten thatNorthAmerica has its own traditional breads. A case in point is corn bread. To many people, the term ‘corn bread’ conjures up visions ofthe dense,sometimes sweet, chemically leavened quick bread that is a staple of many aThanksgiving Day table. […]

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Pain de Beaucaire

Pain de Beaucaire I’ve always been fascinated by how the different regionsofFrancehave managed to maintain their unique culturalidentities.These regional identitiescan be evident even inthe type andshape of the local bread. For example,inAuvergne,bread is oftenbaked in the Auvergnat form, a shape that is evocative of atype of hat worn by residents of the region. InBeaucaire,breadistraditionally shaped […]

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Le Petit Djeuner If I had to choose asingle pastry that isthe embodiment ofall that is French viennoiserie, it would have to be the croissant. In the U.S., croissants have been steadily increasing inpopularity, particularly as the basis for a wide variety of breakfastsandwiches.When properly baked, the croissant has a crisp,flakey exterior with a light, […]

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