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Monthly Archive for August, 2008

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 deep […]

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Rosemary Focaccia

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

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Scoring and Steaming

When properly performed, the techniques of scoring and steamingboth serve to improvethe 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 andvisualattractiveness of the loaf.Steaming during the first few minutes of baking […]

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40% Rye Bread with Caraway Seed

As a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, NY, it was always a rare treat to enjoy a mealat one of the many arearestaurants. I remember particularly looking forward to eating atthe local pizzeria (hence my attempt at recreating New York-style pizza), the not-so-local Chinese restaurant (my foray into Chinese cuisine can be the topic […]

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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 areperhaps the two most commonly used shapes for free-form breads. The batard gets its ovalform through a classically two stage shaping […]

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Pain au Levain (Sourdough Bread)

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 caredfor the name “sourdough”. Once something carries that moniker, all sorts of lip-puckering, eye-watering attributes are […]

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