By William Alexander
William Alexander is set to bake the appropriate loaf of bread. He tasted it in the past, in a cafe, and has been attempting to reproduce it ever when you consider that. with no luck. yet now he’s going to attempt again—every week for one year—until he will get it correct. he'll bake his peasant loaf from scratch. and since Alexander is not anything if now not thorough, he fairly potential from scratch: turning out to be, harvesting, winnowing, threshing, and milling his personal wheat.
Alexander’s usually hilarious quest takes our (anti)hero via harmful again alleys of Morocco, the place he bakes his loaf in an historic communal oven; to Paris, the place he enrolls within the cours de boulangerie on the famed École Ritz Escoffier; to a monastery in Normandy, the place (his loss of French and religion though) he turns into bread baker to the clergymen; and at last to his personal yard, the place he builds a lopsided brick oven and learns that perfection is simply a frame of mind. Alexander additionally takes us alongside on pleasing visits to yeast factories and flour turbines, seeks suggestion from grasp bread bakers, captures wild yeast to make his personal levain, and enters the baking contest on the big apple nation reasonable.
An unique tackle the six-thousand-year-old staple of existence, 52 Loaves explores the character of obsession, the meditative caliber of formality, the futility of attempting to re-create anything excellent, our deep connection to the earth, and the mysterious intuition that makes each individual on this planet, despite tradition or society, reply to the aroma of baking bread.
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Additional info for 52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust
The key is using the right cocoa powder. You can’t go with your grocery-store variety of anemic cocoa. No, sir. I’ll know if you use it, too. You must use a high-quality, very dark cocoa: Cacao Barry or Valrhona are excellent choices. For this one, I use Cacao Barry Extra Brute. You’ll thank me later. Makes enough dough for 2 (8-inch/20-cm) tarts, 8 (4-inch/10-cm) tarts, or 16 mini tarts eggs 2 sweetened condensed milk 2 tablespoons 30 ml brewed coffee, cooled 2 tablespoons 30 ml all-purpose flour, cold 1½ cups 185 g cocoa powder � cup 40 g sugar � cup 150 g instant espresso powder (optional; see Note, page 142) 1 tablespoon 3 g salt 1 teaspoon 6 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled � cup 180 g 1.
Just make sure that it’s of a uniform thickness, even if it’s the shape of a beaver tail. 5. Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and transfer the dough to the peel. If you don’t have a peel, use the back of a sheet pan instead (use the back so the dough slips off easily and isn’t impeded by the lip of the working side). A NOTE FROM THE SWEETIE PIE Why a Pizza Stone? Well, you could use a baking sheet coated in oil or covered with parchment. Either works as a surface for baking the pizza dough and keeping it from sticking.
Form it into a flat disk, cover it completely with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Strudel Dough strudel dough is as thin as rice paper, perhaps thinner. The guide when making (actually, stretching) strudel dough is that it’s perfect when you can read a newspaper through it. It should be used at once as it dries out very quickly, and the key to using it successfully is to layer it so that it forms a flaky whirlwind of deliciousness. Makes 1¾ pounds (800 g) strudel dough bread flour or other high-gluten flour, cold 1 pound, plus 1 or 2 ounces more, if needed 455 g, plus 30 or 60 g more, if needed unsalted butter, very soft 3 tablespoons 42 g vegetable oil 3 tablespoons, plus extra to prevent sticking 45 ml, plus extra to prevent sticking salt 1½ teaspoons 9 g water, room temperature 1½ cups, plus 1 or 2 ounces more, if needed 360 ml, plus 30 or 60 ml more, if needed For the finish unsalted butter, melted 1 cup 225 g 1.
52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust by William Alexander
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