New books and some bread

Struan 009

Struan

Last month I purchased several new books. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and American Pie both by Peter Reinhart, and My Bread by Jim Lahey. The books by Peter Reinhart really grabbed my attention. I love his ‘voice’.  I was especially taken with American Pie which reads as much like a novel as it does a recipe book. I read it cover to cover and waited for my copy of his new book Artisan Bread Everyday to arrive, and when it did I read it cover to cover enjoying every detail, tip and nuance. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some bread dough.

In Artisan Bread Everyday Mr. Reinhart stated that Struan is his favorite bread and that it was his best selling bread at his bakery. I was wanting to try something totally different than the breads I’ve enjoyed so much this past year from Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day, or the variations of Jim Lahey’s No Knead and Almost No Knead breads. Struan seemed like a good place to start. I had almost all of the ingredients. The only thing I was lacking was some oat or wheat bran so I added a little more oatmeal.

The bread has unbleached flour, cooked brown rice, oatmeal, cornmeal, honey, brown sugar, salt yeast, buttermilk, and water. The ingredients are mixed and then worked only slightly before allowing to rest in the refrigerator for up to four days. I found this dough to be a pleasure to work with. It was somewhere between tacky and sticky, and after it’s rest in the refrigerator the loaves were very easy to shape.

I baked the first loaf at a friend’s house yesterday, and a group of us ate it with our lunch. I baked the second loaf  this afternoon and it was enjoyed by my husband and I with our dinner. This bread is going to be wonderful toasted. It’s just a tad sweeter than I usually make my bread, but with this bread that’s not a bad thing.

I highly recommend Peter Reinhart’s books. Over time I will probably read his other books as well, and I’ll definitely be trying more recipes from the books I already own.

The recipe for this version of Struan can be found on page 90 of Artisan Breads Everyday by Peter Reinhart.

Update:  Friday morning. This morning I toasted some of this bread, and it was better than I had hoped it would be. It toasted beautifully. It was crisp and chewy at the same time. It’s about as good as toasted bread gets!

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7 Responses to “New books and some bread”

  1. Steph Says:

    your loaf looks impressive! i’m still nervous about baking bread everytime i make it.

  2. Sue Says:

    The nice thing about making bread if you’re nervous about it is that it’s not a very expensive thing to make, so if you have a failure you’re not out much ‘dough’. haha!
    There are so many great books out right now about simplified bread baking. The slow refrigerated fermentation, and high hydration make it so easy to make really great tasting bread with very little work. I’m a big fan of this method and all of the variations that are springing up from it. If you don’t have the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, that’s a great place to start. My 20 year old son has been successful making bread from that book even with his busy college schedule. Artisan Bread Everyday is a better read though.

  3. Nancy Baggett Says:

    Since I have also authored a book on no-knead yeast bread, I wanted to make you of aware of it, too. It’s called Kneadlessly Simple–this means there is no kneading, but my method is even easier than the others around, because in most cases, there is absolutely no shaping of the dough either. Unlike the other methods I also call for using ice cold water–so there is no risk of overheating the yeast, ever. If you use the fast-rising, or instant yeast, it will not be harmed by the ice water and in fact the ice water yields a better tasting bread (due to certain increased enzyme activity). My long cool fermentation with high hydration method means you have to wait for the rise, but you usually use only one bowl, don’t mess up the counters, and do almost no work. A couple free sample recipes are posted on my website (kitchenlane.com), so feel free to try them out.

    • basicallybaked Says:

      Thank you for pointing out your book. I think I recall that Mr. Reinhart mentioned your book in Artisan Breads Every Day, and I noted to myself to check it out. With your prompting I will be even more certain to do so, and will also check out the recipes on your site. I’m all for fewer bowls and cleaner counter tops. :-) Your method sounds really great for people who might be a bit timid about working with yeast as Steph mentioned in her comment above, and I’m all for no risk methods.
      We’ve been baking our own bread for over 20 years, but these newer methods really simplify the process and we enjoy bread baking more than we ever did. I will be sure learn your method as well. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  4. Katrina Says:

    Love homemade bread!
    Hey, don’t worry, the snow here didn’t stick. It was pretty coming down, but was really just a wet, kinda yucky day! I’m sure you’ll get a good deep snowfall before us! ;)

  5. Cheryl Says:

    looks yummy!

  6. Katrina Says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. And about the camera. The settings and such, while I’m pretty ignorant about, is what my husband checked and if he can’t figure it out, that usually means something more serious is wrong. (I would be clueless if the settings were off, but he’s pretty knowledgeable about that kind of stuff).

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