Fast Breads' Crusty Artisanal Bread

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[Photograph: Donna Currie]

As always with our Knead the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Fast Breads to give away this week. Enter the contest here.

Every bread baker should have at least one recipe for an artisan-style loaf and this one from Fast Breads fills that bill. Considering it has that long rest in the fridge, this isn't fast from start to table, but it doesn't take a lot of working time. And considering the flavor, it's well worth the wait.

What Worked: Nice crust, correct hole structure, and good flavor.

What Didn't: When adding the water, the first addition indicated that the dough would be wet and sticky and not come away from the bowl, but it wasn't as wet as the recipe indicated. After the second addition of water, it actually needed just a bit more flour to get it back to the point where it would pull away from the bowl. The recipe still worked, but it didn't match the recipe description.

Suggested Tweaks: Next time I might make this as one larger loaf.

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie or @cookistry.

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