Daily bread

What is there to say about baking?

I wrote on my newsletter about how running helps to keep me sane. Baking is something that soothes my heart. When I’m baking bread, it’s like I get to do magic. To take four or five ingredients and have the potential to turn them into so many different things is a kind of alchemy. Fight me, you won’t change my mind.

To get a little bit nerdy, I can confirm that adding a pre-ferment or poolish to the process means you can get really good flavour and texture while making the bread work around your schedule.

This was a bread that I made for our dinner today. I made it between finishing up my sermon for Sunday, going for a run and completing my weekly review. Normally, a poolish has to be done the night before. Except I forgot to make it last night. Thankfully, two hours will get the job done.

Yes, you sacrifice some of the sour notes that you’d get from an overnight fermentation but when it’s bread that’s going to be paired with something like a chorizo stew, you won’t miss the sour notes.

The other thing is that I did not knead this. I did some stretch-and-pulls after the first half hour of bulk fermentation and that was it. Then I got on with things.

The result? A bread that I feel like I could make just about every day. It’s just a matter of learning enough about how bread works to make it work with your schedule, to say nothing of what you can do if you add in the ability to use the fridge.

Dan Alcantara @danalcantara