Speaking of the Times’ Food Section…

It’s astounding how much attention last week’s no-knead bread recipe has been getting. Even the venerable Rose Levy Berenbaum has gotten in on the act, which is, how do you say in your country, big time. Casting about the web I’ve found all sorts of posts and threads about no-knead bread adventures. Oddly enough, one of the most common complaints seems to be that it’s gummy and wet on the inside right after it comes out of the oven. And yes, well, right, that’s true. But this is why it’s important never to cut into a loaf of bread until at least 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven (the ideal is about 2 hours). On the one hand the crumb hasn’t “set” yet, and so it compacts down to a paste under the knife. Also, bread loses up to 20% of its moisture as it cools, becoming noticeably lighter and dryer with time. Yes it’s hard to contain enthusiasm when you’re staring your first major bread victory square in the face. But if you can, even for half an hour, you’ll be rewarded with much better bread.

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