No Knead Bread Variations

(James Holroyd) #21

Thank you Paul for taking the time to explain this process. I am glad to begin to understand what actually is happening at the various stages of bread making. Would you happen to have any recommendations for reading further on this subject? The amount and diversity of writing on sourdough is quite overwhelming, and I would welcome some suggestions.

(Paul) #22

I agree it is overwhelming and I’m afraid I don’t really have many specific recommendations for reading about it. In my own baking “journey” I’ve found the video tutorials here at breadtopia very helpful as a basic starting point. Eric has a very no-nonsense style of presentation which strips away a lot of what I called “hocus pocus” in the thread I linked to above. There is a series of four tutorials on this site called “Eric’s Easy Bake Series” that I thought was really great:

I think the best way to start is actually not to fill your head with too much information but just make yourself comfortable with a fairly basic process like the one in episode 1 there, or maybe like this one (which is where I started):

…and then just do it over and over and really pay attention to what is happening with the dough and how what you observe correlates with the end result you get after you bake.

I am a reader and I read a lot while I was a beginner with sourdough baking. But honestly, what I learned from all that reading was a lot less than what I learned from just baking bread over and over, and I think it actually retarded my progress in many ways. One of the mistakes I made was reading a lot of pretty advanced techniques early on and trying to use them before I really had an experiential (non-theoretical) understanding of what I was doing.

Once you get past the very beginning stages and you are consistently able to produce great bread with a simple basic method like the ones linked above, then there is certainly a lot of intermediate and advanced stuff you can find. I have found value in writings and videos by Chad Robertson (google: tartine), Trevor J. Wilson, Maurizio Leo, Josey Baker, Melissa Johnson’s recipes here at Breadtopia.

I also published a recipe / methodology here at Breadtopia for the basic whole grain bread that I like to bake:

(James Holroyd) #23

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the suggestions. Will check out Eric’s videos again and hold the links in reserve until I have more experience. I appreciate your assistance.