I’ve been trying to make the Perfect French Bread. I am also a shitty baker (as evidenced by the “liquid pizza” I made for some friends recently). Regardless, there’s a lot of good resources and great recipes out there (including the above recipe by Samual Fromartz).
Here’s a few things I learned:
- Sourdough starter is the difference between tasty, complex, flavorful bread and “just bread”. It’s also easy to make.
- Measure in grams
- Those pockets of air in good bread come from folding the dough repeatedly.
- Use a scale
- Don’t experiment with novel flours…just use all purpose flour (non-bleached)
- A little bit of whole wheat flower adds flavor…but you only need 1 tbsp to every 2 cups
- When you finally get to the point of actually baking the bread, put a cup of water in a skillet that’s been heating up with the oven. It’ll fill the oven with steam and in turn give you a crispier crust.
- One of these things helps the bread keep its shape while rising and baking