How to Form the Pain d’Epi (wheat stalk bread)

Pan D’epi

The classic wheat stalk shaped bread is impressive and somewhat intimidating, until you see how easy it is to make. We love the Pan d’Epi not only for its gorgeous appearance but because it is the crustiest loaf there is. All of those cuts and angles leave more surface to crisp in the oven. Something a little more sophisticated to serve with dinner than ordinary rolls but just as easy!

Here’s how it is done: Continue reading

Q&A MISC. Bread Questions

Until we can figure out a more sophisticated way to handle your feedback, your praise and your questions, we hope the following series of Q&A posts will help. Our goal is to get a conversation going about a particular topic in one location. Hoping that it will be easier for you to follow and get the information you need to bake gorgeous bread.

If we haven’t started a thread on the subject you are interested in then leave it here and we can create another post!

Thank you so much for all of the conversation. We enjoy it immensely and are learning so much from you all!

Zoë and Jeff

Zoe’s bucket collection (and the dough that lives within: day 5)

Bucket Collection (and the dough that lives within)

Several of you have had questions about the right type of bucket to be using. I have many that fit the bill beautifully, these are just a few! It depends on the size and shape of your refrigerator and how much dough you intend to make. There are a few basic guidelines to storing your dough in a bucket: Continue reading

Perfecting your rye loaves with our recipe

Readers have asked us why their rye breads and pumpernickels seem to have so much more “whole-grain” character than what they remember from childhood (rye and pumpernickel are pictured here in Mark Luinenburg’s beautiful shot from our book). While whole-grain character is nice, it isn’t the traditional approach to rye breads (at least for those available in the US; some European rye styles are very high in bran). The reason for our readers’ results is simple: most rye flour that’s readily sold in US supermarkets is very high in bran. You’ll get a less “whole-grain” result if you use a lower-bran (fiber) rye flour, usually labled as “medium rye.” Medium rye produces breads with a gorgeous custard crumb and noticeably less whole grain character. The hole structure is more “open” as well.

For our book, we decided to avoid this complexity and just keep the total proportion of rye low, but if you’re a rye bread fanatic, read on. Continue reading