My Bread: the Revolutionary No-work, No-knead Method by Jim Lahey
|My Bread: the Revolutionary No-work, No-knead Method by Jim Lahey|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A revolutionary method of making bread which will appeal to novice and experienced bread-maker alike.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: November 2009|
|Publisher: W W Norton and Co|
It's a long time since I did Home Economics at school, but a major part of it was learning methods, which, I was assured would stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. A Victoria sponge was a careful progression of creaming and gently adding flour and eggs. A white sauce had a couple of these methods, but essentially it meant working through a series of instructions until they became second nature. Bread was the worst requiring fermenting, kneading, proving and then more kneading and rising.
Sponge cakes and white sauces have long been knocked from their perches and reduced to an all-in-one method with everything being put in together and mixed. The results seem little if any different and it's much faster and less fiddly. Bread making in the home might have been made easier by bread making machines but for purists the method was still essentially the same as it has been for centuries.
Jim Lahey introduces us to what he calls the revolutionary no-work, no knead method. It's perhaps going a little far to say that it's a no-work method but you definitely won't end up with arms like a wrestler. There are just four ingredients – flour, water, yeast and salt. You'll need time too – this isn't instant bread – and a cooking pot which can be pre-heated. I start my bread one day to bake the next but the bread is the most delicious that you've ever tasted.
One of the reasons for this is simple – you will actually use less yeast than in conventional bread-making so the taste if of the wheat rather than the yeast. There's also a good bit more water than you'll find in most domestic recipes. The rising takes place over quite a period of time so the result is a dense, chewy loaf which is far more satisfying than just about anything that you'll buy in the shops.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Despite being American in origin the recommendation is that you weigh ingredients for greater accuracy rather than using cups, although quantities are given in cups and weights. My first loaf was good but I've fine-tuned such matters as where I leave the mixture to rise and I'm still seeing improvement.
There are various bread recipes once you've mastered the basics along with pizza recipes. There's a pizza with onion and cream topping which is heaven on a plate. A lot of bread is used in sandwiches and there are recipes for fillings which leave the mouth watering.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. It's a book to make you think in different ways and the food you produce is very good indeed.
If you prefer to make bread by the traditional method then we can also recommend Bread: River Cottage Handbook No 3 by Daniel Stevens.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Bread: the Revolutionary No-work, No-knead Method by Jim Lahey at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy My Bread: the Revolutionary No-work, No-knead Method by Jim Lahey at Amazon.com.
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