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Monthly Archive for August, 2008

Ciabatta Here in the U.S., ciabatta has become the quintessential Italian bread. Characterized by a crisp, flour-dusted crust, a holey interior and a rustic, “slipper-like” shape, ciabatta is ideal for dipping into any one of a number of wonderfully aromatic, herb-infused olive oils.  When sliced horizontally, it also makes great sandwiches, the holey crumb providing […]

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Rosemary Focaccia

Rosemary Focaccia There’s something about focaccia that I can’t quite put my finger on.  People who would normally just pass around the breadbasket at the dinner table without partaking, lunge hungrily at pieces of focaccia when included as part of the breadbasket fare.  Perhaps it’s the delicious unctuousness of the surface craters filled with fragrant rosemary oil.  Or maybe […]

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Scoring and Steaming

When properly performed, the techniques of scoring and steaming both serve to improve the quality and esthetics of the finished bread.  Scoring provides a place for the controlled expansion of the loaf during the oven spring phase of baking, thus contributing to the lightness of crumb and visual attractiveness of the loaf.  Steaming during the first few minutes of baking […]

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40% Rye Bread with Caraway Seed

40% Rye Bread with Caraway Seed As a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, NY, it was always a rare treat to enjoy a meal at one of the many area restaurants.   I remember particularly looking forward to eating at the local pizzeria (hence my attempt at recreating New York-style pizza), the not-so-local Chinese restaurant (my foray into […]

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Alternate Batard Shaping

With an oval form whose length can be anywhere between that of a baguette (60-70 cm) and a boulot (20-25 cm) [ref: The Taste of Bread, p 74], the batard along with the boule are perhaps the two most commonly used shapes for free-form breads.  The batard gets its oval form through a classically two stage shaping […]

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Pain au Levain (Sourdough Bread)

Pain au Levain When it comes to pain au levain, I have to admit that I am a bit of a snob. Why else would I call it pain au levain rather than sourdough bread, as most people do? I’ve never much cared for the name “sourdough”. Once something carries that moniker, all sorts of lip-puckering, […]

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