Jeffrey Steingarten ‘Admits to Enjoying’ My Bread

posted in: Ruminations | 10

Excerpted from “Easy Riser,” currently in newsstands the May 2007 issue of Vogue:

“… most contestants at the bake-off at the Brooklyn Kitchen flavored their breads heavily; I’ll admit to enjoying one made with cracked pepper and potato water… ”

That would be mine! Wow — I feel incredible. (Does my hair look okay?)

Continued, to be fair:
and another one made with semolina, golden raisins, and fennel seeds, an apparent homage to Amy’s Bread’s best-known loaf, though it had an excessively flat shape.

Hm. I liked that loaf as well, though I didn’t realize at the time it was similar to a favorite at Amy’s Bread.

“And judging from half the entries at the Brooklyn Kitchen bake-off — which were flatter than they should have been — it seemed obvious that some home bakers need more instruction in how to form a loaf.”

And now perhaps the one opportunity where I can be disassociated from the word “flat” — my loaf, I suspect, was one of the better half. Hurrah.

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Above, one of the dozens of subsequent loaves I’ve made after the critically-acclaimed cracked peppercorn potato water smash hit: a mini cracked black pepper and coarse salt-topped loaf. It’s like the yin and yan of breads.

Let the gloat fest retire for now, turning your attention to Mr. Steingarten’s terrific article on all the madness we’ve been having with Jim Lahey’s No-Knead bread technique: Oops, it’s not available online. Go figure.

10 Responses

  1. Kat in Taiwan

    I have just joined the no-knead band-wagon, a true joy ride for us in Taiwan, where good bread is impossible to find. I tried a rosemary-sea salt loaf, but the salt I sprinkled on top blackened (smoked more than burnt, but still, it’s not the look I wanted). You mention your pepper & salt loaf — when do you sprinkle the salt on? Does yours darken? Any hints would be so appreciated by this newbie baker.

  2. Sue

    Congrats! He is a tuff nut to crack, but I dig his general snarkiness, as he really does cares about food. He’s very honest. I will be baking this week I think 🙂

    By the way, check this out, it reminded me of your ice cream experiment:

  3. cathy

    Thanks Sue! Uhh… Bacon Maple ice cream, huh? I wonder if someone will post a recipe for it soon — that’s bound to turn some customers off!

    Hi Kat — I love Taiwan! Okay, so I put the salt on top of the loaf right before putting the lid on and sliding it in the oven. It’s coarse Kosher salt, too, not sure if that makes a difference. Good luck!

  4. Yvo

    Ooh that’s awesome!!!

  5. Kat in Taiwan

    I was using organic New Zealand sea salt — maybe it’s too high in, um, organic material? I will try Kosher salt next time. Thanks for your help!

  6. Becca

    It was just a matter of time before Vogue realized how rad you are.

  7. Aoife

    Congratulations! Fame becomes you!

  8. Robert

    Here’s a link to the Jim Lahey’s No-Knead bread recipe that’s still accessible.

  9. Audrey Schneider

    Please supply the recipe for Jim’s Miracle Bread, as featured in “Easy Riser”, Vogue, May 2007. Thank you very much!

  10. Bread Lover Mommy

    I’m glad I’ve found a kindred spirit , and I’ll admit to thoroughly enjoying that recipe too!

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