I’ve attempted many different recipes for bread in the last year, but by far, this recipe for “The First Loaf” turned out the best. The loaf was tall and had great uneven holes all through out the loaf. The texture was just slightly dry, but it did not crumble. The taste was a little bland, but then it was WHITE bread, what could you expect? I do think that anyone who follows his instructions and reads the preceding chapters on Equipment and Ingredients before beginning will have a successful loaf of bread as I did. And it REALLY made me smile. The recipe can be found here.
The recipe came from Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads. It’s a book I checked out from the library, but I think I will purchase it. Although Clayton did not cover in his chapter on “What Went Wrong—An How To Make It Right” what I was looking for when I checked it out, I have learned quite a bit about the art of making bread from reading his book. What I wanted to “fix” with my bread is the texture. I have been unable to make a loaf of whole wheat bread that doesn’t crumble and fall apart. My whole wheat bread is also fairly flat and dense without the lovely uneven holes all throughout. I’ve made some marvelously TASTY breads, but none that don’t fall apart. He never addressed this issue…at least not in what I’ve read so far and certainly not in that chapter which I did read entirely. The book is 748 pages and has a treasure store of different recipes. That’s why I’d like to have the book. There are recipes for almost every kind of bread you can think of from every corner of the world. And his stories of how he got the recipes are quite interesting.
Yesterday I tried Clayton’s pizza dough recipe with an adaptation of my own. It was the best traditional pizza crust I have made to date, and pizza dough is not something I’ve struggled with. I’ve been quite happy with what I’ve made, but I’m even happier with Clayton’s recipe…well, Clayton’s recipe with my own twist.