To Amuse and Delight

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Really Good Bread

I have been making bread for a few years. I like a French sort of bread, with a good crust and chewy inside. I thought I made good bread. Then I picked up this book at the library, it's called Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish. I already knew that to get that kind of crust you need moisture. I have tried spritzing the oven with water or putting a pan of hot water in with the bread. Whatever I did, it never came out like this. This perfect crust is achieved by baking at a high temp in a covered crock. I must admit, I thought Ken's methods were a bit pretentious at first. In fact I sort of mocked him as I read parts of the book aloud to my daughter (she also shares my love of crusty bread). Ha! I said. "Well, I'll be the judge of that", I said. The verdict is in, Ken is right and his methods produce not just good bread, but really good bread.


  1. I need to check into that book! While I'd like the bread, and this may sound silly, I'd really like to cook it in a crock like that. A friend gave me one from her time as a missionary in Bulgaria. It sits here looking at me as if it'd like to be put to use. Soon:)

  2. Yes to everything! You know how I love to bake and I must say that despite all my efforts at healthy eating, there will always be a special place in my belly for crusty white bread. I fell in love with it as a child when a kind baker in Martinique would give me mini baguettes fresh and warm from the oven each morning. (Oh, the food in Martinique!) After all of my reading and tweaking of recipes, the best way to achieve that is still the most basic recipe with locked in moisture. Have you tried mixing in herbs and shredded cheese or seeds and such? It's nice for variety sometimes. Oh, yummmmmm.

  3. Amy- I love cooking in crocks! They really seal in the flavors. I just leave them covered in the oven cooking away. Very hands off. I've never had food "overcook" this way, the longer it sits, it just gets tastier!

  4. Hey Gypsy-
    I do love bread, but rarely eat store bought. I'd rather eat a piece of bread over cake/cookies anytime. I don't make all white bread though. With the Vitamix it's easy to grind all kinds of things in with the flour.
    p.s. Your bread was always delicious!

  5. I always prefer home baked bread, but I also love Panera bread.
    SO YUMMY! I would eat crusty bread over cake
    ( Or cookies, or candy... ) whenever possible.

  6. I had to peek back in here to tell you I'm still waiting for that book from the library. Watch me end up buying it after waiting patiently for the free version. I am excited to try it in the crock!

  7. Amy-
    The last few times I baked bread this way I was impatient and cut the baking time, big mistake! Since it's a big round loaf the center stays raw if you do that. So, I searched for an oblong (loaf shaped) crock and yay! Found one just yesterday. I may get away with less baking time with that shape. I do find the bake time in the book to be too much, bread too dark for my taste.