My quest for the perfect bread to make at home continues. Now that I have a food scale, I was able to try this recipe from the King Arthur Flour website, The Crunchiest Crackliest Chewiest Lightest Easiest Bread You’ll Ever Bake. For me, this bread, although good, did not live up to any of the claimed superlatives.
1. Mix it: The original recipe calls for like a ton of flour, a ton of water, a 6 qt bucket, and room in your fridge for said bucket. Then, you’re supposed to pull chunks of the dough off the main batch and make loaves. Instead, I reduced the recipe down to 1C water, about 10.75 oz flour by weight (this is where the food scale comes in), 1t salt, and a packet of rapid rise yeast (original recipe calls for active dry).
Since this was one of those no-knead recipes, all I had to do was mix it a bit to get the ingredients together. It’s very sticky.
2. Rest it: the recipe then calls for a rest for a while at room temperature and then for up to a week in the fridge. I pulled mine out after a day.
3. Shape it: the dough was really sticky. I transferred it to a dusted piece of parchment. I had no idea what shape to use nor any real idea of how to get it into said TBD shape. I kinda just rolled it into a log. It was all very sticky.
4. Rest it: it needs to rest for a bit, for some reason. Dust with flour. Cover with a tea towel for about an hour.
5. Bake it: 450 for about 25-30 minutes.
6. Eat it: the bread turned out good. Much better than previous attempts at baguettes, but still missing something. The crust was decent and the interior kinda had the chew I was looking for. But the flavor and texture were each missing something. It reminded me of how my mom would always insist on whole wheat sandwich bread growing up. Sure, it was good, but something was off.
My sister and her husband happened to be in town visiting while we still had some of this bread. And it was my sister who found the way to eat this that made it taste best: toasted with cream cheese.