How to Make Straight Bread Dough


[Photograph: Donna Currie]

As always with our Knead the Book feature, we have five (5) AUTOGRAPHED copies of The Art of Baking Bread to give away this week. Enter the contest here.

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Since The Art of Baking Bread by Matt Pellegrini is technique-heavy book rather than being recipe-heavy, the first four posts this week were techniques rather than recipes. Now that you've got an idea how detailed those instructions are, here's a recipe from the book. This should give you a good idea how the recipes integrate with the technique instructions.

What Worked: This was a good, solid, basic recipe, and a perfect one to practice all of the techniques in the book.

What Didn't: A small glitch is that there's no indication in these instructions when to preheat the oven. With all the flipping from recipe to technique and back again, it's easy to miss that detail.

Suggested Tweaks: Since each step in the recipe requires a look back in the book to find the technique instructions, it's easy to say, "oh I know how to do that" which could make the recipe less effective. Sure, you can wing it, but I suggest following all the instructions at least the first few times.

Adapted from The Art of Baking Bread by Matt Pellegrini. Copyright © 2012. Published by Skyhorse Publishing. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

About the bread baker: 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.