Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Cookbook watch: bake more bread
Enklare Bröd ("Simpler bread") is the second book by Martin Johansson, whose had a smash hit with his bread blog (Pain de Martin) and his first book about sourdough bread. (Reviewed by me, here.) His second book is all about simpler baking. He uses two basic techniques - one is the no-knead method invented/made popular by Jim Lahey , and the other is a rest-and-fold method that's a bit more labour intensive. (Just a bit though - it's still simple.) What it's not is fast. Both methods rely on time to give the bread the right texture. Martin talks a lot about how the dough develops, and he has great step-by-step photos for folding and shaping the dough. I like the book a lot, but I'm not so sure it's really "simple" just because there's no kneading required. It still takes a lot of planning, and I haven't really gotten into the habit of preparing a dough the night before I want to bake. I tried two of the rest-and-fold breads, and they turned out very nicely!
Baka surdegsbröd ("baking sourdough bread") by Göran Söderin and Georg Strachal is a good introduction for those who want to get into sourdough baking. I already have a lot of bread books I prefer, but this is definitely nice for someone who's a little less cookbook obsessed than I am. Clear instructions are given for how to start a sourdough (various ones - rye, wheat and more exotic ones using oatmeal, potatoes and lentils!) and how to care for it. I might give this book to someone else, but before I do, I'll definitely be trying the spelt bread with oranges...
And bake with the kids, too! Baka med barn means just that, and while this book has a short chapter on sweeter baked goods, the main focus is on bread. And on fairly healthy breads, too, using a lot of wholemeal flours. I love the photos of all the kids in this, but the photos of the actual finished baked goods could be better. The instructions are clear and step-by-step, but the ingredient lists are usually at the end of the page which annoys me just slightly. Anyway, I can't wait until my little guy is old enough to help out in the kitchen - or more to the point, until he's old enough to cook and bake. I'll be the one doing the helping.