Saturday, August 1, 2009

What's Up?

Bread, I have been baking quite a bit these day's. I love the feeling I get from kneading dough. There is something so elemental about bread. It's one of the simplest forms of cooking and so satisfying. Flour, water, yeast and salt. That's it!
I recently purchased "Ratio" by Michael Ruhlman. This book has placed a new complexion on bread baking, at least for me. The method of using "parts" makes easy sense to me. I prefer to scale all my ingredients anyway since I think it's more accurate. Like making a vinaigrette, 3 parts oil to 1 part acid, a part can be what you need it to be, depending on the quantity required. With the basic bread dough being 20 ounces of flour. Need more? double it to 40 ounces. Not enough? how about 60 or 80 ounces! The simplicity for me is, by following the ratio 5 parts flour to 3 parts water the bread should always turn out.
As a Chef I have baked my share of bread for the restaurants I have cooked in. Good bread. My whole point is that, by using Ruhlman's method I can think less about it which leaves more time for me to think about the 30 other things that are just as important as my bread. For that, I am grateful Mr. Ruhlman!

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