In the midst of starting to bake through the recipes of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice, I received my second KCRW Cookbook Club Selection, My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey. As I was planning on getting my dutch oven out of storage in Oregon anyway, the bread that inspired this cookbook was very enticing.
I actually ended up making this bread twice before I was satisfied with it enough to post pictures of it. The first time I made it, I used the same flour I mentioned in my focaccia post, a freshly ground hard red wheat. I think there were a couple of factors contributing to that bread not turning out as well as I’d have liked. First, I probably needed a little bit more water in the dough to let the yeast fully do its stuff. The other problem, the temperature of my parents house. My parents have one of those fancy programmable thermostats, and as there isn’t normally anyone home during the day on weekdays, it was set somewhere in the 60s. This also being a house I’ve never lived in, I didn’t know where the thermostat was to bump it up to a more normal temperature. That loaf of bread ended up tasting ok, but it was a little dense and smaller than I expected.
Upon returning to LA, I had to try again, this time using actual bread flour instead of the fresh ground red wheat. The dough definitely ended up doing a better job of fermenting this time and the size while still a little smaller than I expected was better as well. I also didn’t get it quite shaped in a perfect round, so it looks a little like a waning moon.
After cutting into the bread, I was quite pleased to find the nice gaseous holes that were supposed to be there (and weren’t really there in my first attempt with the hard red wheat).
The bread wasn’t quite as tall as I expected it to be, but when I went back and looked at the pictures in the book, it was pretty comparable to the loaf there. I was quite happy with the results (and it was wonderful dipped in the Roasted Garlic Rosemary Dipping Oil from the Olive Pit).