classic french bread

Even though I’ve haven’t been posting regularly lately, I do still bake (recreationally speaking) very regularly. My hard drive is chock full of photos of baked goods, but I can’t find the time to blog any of it. However, JWU will be out for the summer in 12 short weeks and rest assured, I plan to resume my regular posting.

One of the things I’ve been making regularly at home has been bread. My go-to bread lately is the Classic French Bread from Peter Reinhart’s most excellent Artisan Breads Every Day (and I’m not just saying that because he thanks me — and over 500 other people — on page 215) — it’s just a straightforward, tasty, really consistent recipe. What I love most about it is that with a little bit of planning and very little fuss, we can have quality bread with dinner. Peter’s method in this book is to mix the dough the day (or a few days) before you intend to bake. You then refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 4 days). While the dough is in the fridge, the flavor develops and deepens. On baking day, you shape the loaves, then proof and bake. It really produces some of the best bread we’ve ever eaten.

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