Tuesday, July 15
The Bittman Bread Project
By now, bread makers around the world have probably already heard about The Secret to Great Bread, reported by Mark Bittman in The New York Times a few years ago. In the article, Jim Lahey (the bread maker) says that the method is so simple a 4-year old could master it. Mark Bittman responded to that statement with "the method is complicated enough that you would need a very ambitious 8-year-old". So, I put my ambitious 8 year old daughter to the test.
The basic principle to this recipe is that very little kneading and a whole lot of time will result in great bread.
For the test Ally, my 8 1/2 year old, made the bread all on her own.
1. Combine flour, salt, yeast, and water. Cover and let rest for 12-18 hours.
2. 18 hours later: glop dough onto floured surface and fold once or twice. Ally opted to fold four to eight times. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
It was a little loose, so she added more flour....then a little more.
3. Using a little flour, shape dough into ball and wrap in floured towel. Ally opted to add more flour. Let rest for 2 hours.
4. Preheat oven, bake, then eat.
The result: My 8 year old was indeed able to make and bake a delicious round of bread based on the Simple No Knead Recipe. The only problem was that my kid really likes the kneading part and would prefer a more flour, more knead recipe.