Monday, January 14, 2013

Today's Bread

James has really taken to this raisin walnut bread I've been baking lately. I'm on my 4th loaf since I tried the recipe in Jim Lahey's indispensable book, My Bread. Today I stretched and added a pan of "stecca." Laheys not quite breadsticks, not quite baguette chewy breads, just right for long, thin sandwiches and antipasto platters.
Looking for new inspiration I was thumbing through some of my cookbooks today and flipped through the pages of Tartine Bread. It's gloriously photographed pages celebrate the genius of baker Chad Robertson and make it seem possible that we mere mortals could create the luscious offerings he turns out in his San Francisco bakery. Until you look just a bit closer. After Lahey's truly revolutionary method could I go back to starters and poolish and multiple rises and kneading? Each recipe in Tartine depends on two or three others (Not unlike my hero superstar chef Thomas Keller's cookbooks).  I was so thrilled when James bought me Robertson's cookbook I couldn't wait to bake like the master. And yet, it sits on the shelf -- beautiful and distant -- while Lahey's recipes trot out every couple days.
Lahey is homemade bread for the real world -- Robertson is still a dream.

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