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Category Archive for 'Techniques'

Baguettes à la Bouabsa

Baguettes à 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 most major U.S. cities, my home town, Boston, is a wonderful mélange of people from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  Boston’s North End, rich in colonial history, is today home to a vibrant Italian-American community.  One of my favorite activities has always been to stroll along the narrow streets of the North End enjoying 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 which will 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 at the much smaller scale of the home baker.  At the commercial scale, spiral and oblique dough mixers are quite efficient at incorporating air […]

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Cloverleaf Rolls

Cloverleaf Rolls For some reason, dinner rolls have always been the preferred style of bread at my family’s holiday table.  Perhaps it’s simply the comfort of tradition.  Or maybe the reason is a bit more utilitarian; the convenient individual serving size saves the space needed to slice bread at the table and makes it easier for everyone to help 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 of America’s most versatile legumes.  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 present a peanut bread as one of […]

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Cherry Pecan Bread

Cherry Pecan Bread While trying to decide upon a bread to bake for the Thanksgiving Day table, I remembered a wonderful cranberry pecan bread that I had the pleasure of sampling some months ago.  The bread was a creation of a 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 breads that I’ve all but forgotten that North America has its own traditional breads.  A case in point is corn bread.  To many people, the term ‘corn bread’ conjures up visions of the dense, sometimes sweet, chemically leavened quick bread that is a staple of many a Thanksgiving Day table.  […]

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Pain de Beaucaire

Pain de Beaucaire I’ve always been fascinated by how the different regions of France have managed to maintain their unique cultural identities.  These regional identities can be evident even in the type and shape of the local bread.  For example, in Auvergne, bread is often baked in the Auvergnat form, a shape that is evocative of a type of hat worn by residents of the region.  In Beaucaire, bread is traditionally shaped […]

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Le Petit Déjeuner If I had to choose a single pastry that is the embodiment of all that is French viennoiserie, it would have to be the croissant.  In the U.S., croissants have been steadily increasing in popularity, particularly as the basis for a wide variety of breakfast sandwiches.  When properly baked, the croissant has a crisp, flakey exterior with a light, […]

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