I can’t believe that it’s been more than a month since I shared a meal with my Cook the Book Fridays friends. I’ve missed checking in on everyone’s blog and telling everyone else about another one of My Paris Kitchen‘s terrific recipes.
This week, I couldn’t miss out. Baking bread is one of my favourite meditative occupations and it’s one I don’t do often enough. This recipe might help me with that – here’s a bulleted list to prove it:
- The only preparation needed is a starter that’s mixed the night before and left to bubble away in a warmish place (which is easier now that the weather is finally warming up).
- It’s kneaded in the stand mixer, but the dough isn’t taxing on my KitchenAid’s motor.
- It uses items I regularly stock, like bread flour and a variety of seeds, requiring only one addition to my pantry – a $3.00 bag of whole wheat pastry flour.
- It’s a great excuse to break out my Dutch oven, which gives it a perfectly chewy, crisp crust.
- The crumb is tender and almost uniform, making this a candidate for all-time favourite sandwich bread.
- It’s much more flavourful than any grocery store multigrain and it’s not that far removed from a good bakery loaf.
- It’s easily adaptable to whatever add-ins your pantry can provide.
If that hasn’t convinced you to try this bread, perhaps the recipe itself might. You can find it over on Fine Cooking. It’s a perfect weekend bread. You only have to attend to it for a few minutes at a time, over the course of a morning or afternoon, while you get on with chores, cooking, or crosswords. (Or the much more exciting things you may be getting up to on Saturday – I choose comfort and alliteration, for this weekend at least.)
I didn’t have any issues making the bread, save for needing to bake it about ten minutes longer than the recipe called for. Some of the other cooks in our group needed to adjust the temperature, timing, or hydration a little for their loaves. I took Betsy‘s advice and added the seeds partway through the initial knead, wrapping a kitchen towel around my stand mixer to avoid flying flax seeds.
The only other problem I had was patience. I cut into it before it was cool, slightly munching the edge of the cut loaf, as you can see in the photo above. The good news is that when it was truly cool, it cut like a dream. And I don’t regret my impatience, because there are few pleasures like warm, fresh bread slathered with butter. It’s certainly worth one minorly crumpled crust.