Friday, September 08, 2006

Tuscan peasant bread

Oh no not another bread making book from the library! The Bread Bible is by one of my favorite authors Beth Hensperger (she also wrote the rice cooker and bread machine cookbooks I was obsessed about earlier this year.) Inspired by her cookbook, as well as my bro Brian telling me about a bread recipe he uses from NPR, I baked this Tuscan peasant bread. It starts with a sponge of flour, yeast and water which sits for 2 - 8 hours. Then you add more flour, yeast and water and use the French bread option on the breadmaker.

This bread is gorgeous. Easily my favorite loaf ever from the bread machine. The crumb is superb, the crust crusty. The only problem was that it needed some salt. Once that's added, this is the perfect home-baked Italian loaf. I liked that it didn't have any added milk or sugar; I find breads too cakey and sweet with too much of either. I'd love to try a wholemeal version of this bread. One fantastic hint I've learned from Hensperger's books is to always add gluten when baking with flours (as opposed to purchased bread mixes). Even more is required for wholemeal bread.

The next bread book I'm seeking is The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking.


Faux Couture said...

I've recently been letting my kids eat white flour bread(Challah) but always feel guilty about it :-/
They protested and said they no longer want my homemade wheat Challah only white Challah -- so they are eating *a lot* of white bread Challah these days --the Challah I buy tends to last almost all week for -breakfast, lunch sandwiches, and buttered with dinner.
How often do your kids eat white bread vs. Whole grain bread --is this something you even think about?

Faux Couture said...

I really am insane --why do I fear white bread so much :-/

White bread has never done anything to me :-p

kentuckymama said...

Oh faux couture, I am busting a gut right now :oD {hee, hee'hee}!
You are too funny!

I too, have a bizarre view of the white bread. I very rarely serve white bread. If I do it is usually in the form of buns and even then I look for a multi or whole grain. I think I am afraid that if I serve the white my boys will develop a taste for it and won't eat the healthier whole grains...but this is my main reason. I just want to *control* as much as can ;oP....I want control of their young little palates {insert evil grin}. I really am a nut :oP

Ozegrrl said...

Yes well all 3 of us seem to have the same neuroses! I find that my kids are happy to eat brown rice as long as that's all we eat... as soon as I serve white rice they think the brown rice isn't so good... so I try not to serve white rice.

I'd guess we have white bread 1/3 of the time. Our everyday breads are bread mixes for the bread machine, either wholemeal or multi grain (with a variety of different whole seeds and grain). But we all love white Italian bread and Turkish bread. I'd like to try this recipe with whole wheat.