How & When to Swap Bread Flour for All-Purpose: Testing w/Gold Medal “Better for Bread,” and Announcing a Winner of the Books

People often ask us why we only used all-purpose flour (where we called for white flour) in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Why not “bread” flour, which is higher in protein and is often considered traditional in bread?  Well, not in all traditions!  French baguettes, for example, are typically made with lower-protein flour for a more tender, and less chewy crumb.  And we knew most of our potential book-users already had all-purpose flour in the house.  But sometimes, a stiffer dough is desirable, like when something really needs to hold its shape, like these wreath-shaped, well… bagels.  You can always swap bread flour into our recipes that call for all-purpose, just by adding a little extra water (details below).  And we’ll announce our contest winner at the end of this post… Continue reading

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