Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Knead Bread Experiment #6: Bread Flour

Bread flour has more gluten than all purpose flour. Gluten is the elastic that gives bread toothiness. I like a slice of bread that you have to chew! So, I broke down and bought a bag of bread flour. I felt a little like I was disappointing an old friend.
You see, I had a dear departed friend who was a great bread baker. Julie told me firmly that there was no reason not to use all-purpose flour for bread. Her bread was wonderful. You know, some people just have a way with bread. But I never had her talent.
And besides, the whole idea behind no knead bread is its laziness. You don't need to knead. You don't need to have the loving touch for the dough of a bread baker like Julie. So, bread flour and time. A poor replacement for watching my late friend work the dough as she would spout off to me about what was up in library-land.
Back to the results: the bread flour resulted in a very chewy bread with a solid crust across it's top. It is darn good but I think it would have been further improved with a scissor-cut or two to shape the top and maybe a bit hotter oven. I think I've gone too far in my effort to avoid the slightly singed taste of my first loaf of no-knead bread. This last one could have used a bit more char.

But it's darned good bread!!

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.