Week 22: Multigrain

This nutricious loaf, made from oats, rye, whole wheat, white and brown rice flour is super easy to make and can be made in a single day (no overnight soak, which many methods call for when using flours like rye and whole wheat). It has a soft, dense crumb, crisp sturdy crust, and is so delicious you can just eat it on its own – no butter, etc. required!

  •  60 g rye flour
  •  60g brown rice flour (just grind brown rice in a blender)
  •  45 g quick-cooking oats
  •  338 ml lukewarm water
  •  150 ml warm milk

Mix all the above and let soak for 1 hour.

  •  330 g all-purpose flour
  •  210 g whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  •  5 g instant yeast 
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  3 Tablespoons honey
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the wet mixture and the honey
  3. Using the paddle, mix everything together until combined
  4. Change to a dough hook and knead on low speed for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides and forms a ball. Should feel like play-dough, a little tacky, but not sticky on you hands
  5. Take dough and knead a few times on the counter to shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, could take 45 – 90 minutes, depending on the temperature of the room
  1. When the dough has doubled, remove it from bowl, flatten it out and shape into a loaf, using the “head and shoulders” method.
  2. Make 3 diagonal slits on the top, and dust with oatflakes. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for 1 hour.
  1. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Bake about 40 – 60 minutes, until golden brown and internal temperature is 190 degrees.
  3. Cool on wire rack.

Week 21: 100% Whole Wheat

This is an uncomplicated, straight-forward loaf. I was aiming for the simplest, shortest method, with the most basic ingredients (no dairy/eggs) without sacrificing taste and texture. And this is it! A soft, chewy, absolutely delicious loaf. It’s a perfect for “working from home” loaf because the short steps are worked hours apart.

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Week 20: Panne all’Olive

ITALY: This is Sullivan Street Bakery’s signature loaf, using the famous no-knead method made popular by the owner, Jim Lahey. His technique involves an overnight fermentation, which is how you get the gluten strands to develop that would otherwise form during the kneading process. It’s a wet dough, so kind of hard to work with, and you need a heavy pot with a lid (Pyrex works), to mimic the steamy, high temperatures of a professional baker’s oven. But, other than the fermentation, it takes no time at all to make, and is very forgiving in it’s method. It’s the perfect loaf.

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Week 19: Russian Rye

Americans don’t eat enough rye breads. Peter Reinhart, author of the Bread Bakers Apprentice likens them to IPAs, “When you get hooked, you really get hooked, just like when somebody falls for a strong IPA beer. Then all of a sudden nothing else satisfies you.” I’m starting to agree with him. This is a dark, complex loaf — as satisfying to make as it is to eat.

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Week 18: Hot Dog Buns

USA: Although the Germans have been putting their sausages in bread long before the Americans, the buns used for American hot dogs came to be when Mr. Charles Feltman invented an elongated bun on Coney Island in 1871. I love this recipe; it produces soft, squishy buns in under an hour. It’s a great dough, easy to knead by hand, so good for beginning bakers!

Quick and Easy Hot Dog Buns | Lola Osinkolu

(Video below)

Ingredientsmilk, butter, bread flour, yeast, salt, sugar
Rise Time10 + 30 + 15
Special EqupimentNone!

WEEK 17: Pizza Dough (I)

This is a “good-enough” pizza dough. Perfect for beginners. You can make it, top it and bake it in the time it takes to get one delivered. I substitute beer for water, because of the short rise time. This gives it that yeasty flavor which would otherwise naturally develop during a longer rise time.

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Week 16: Emigrant’s Soda Bread

U.S.: This is how the Irish emigrants to America made soda bread, since there were more ingredients readily available. See the Irish Soda Bread recipe, using all white flour, and then add

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Week 15: Shortcakes

ENGLAND: An authentic shortcake should be like a cross between a biscuit and a pie crust: dense, buttery and with just a hint of sweetness. These are spectacular!

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Week 14: Pain de Mei

FRANCE: This perfectly square loaf is baked in a pan with a lid, resulting in a soft, thin crust and tight, tender crumb. It’s reminiscent of Wonder Bread’s more sophisticated cousin, Pepperidge Farm White, and smells heavenly. The shape, texture and lack of crust make it the perfect foil for sandwiches and canapes, and if you slice it very thick, Texas toast. The detailed video is in French, but you can’t go wrong if you follow Chef Sylvain’s instructions exactly, and I’ve added a link to his website which you can have Google translate into English.

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WEEK 13: Irish Soda Bread

IRELAND: Soda bread is a daily bread that was made by every Irish household with ingredients affordable to all. Dump everything in a bowl, mix it with your hand, and it’s ready to pop in the oven in under 5 minutes. I used 50/50 whole wheat and white flour; but it can be all white if you prefer. The method is so easy, you don’t really need a video, but Darina Allen’s instructions and history (she’s the Julia Child of Ireland) are worth viewing at least once!

Traditional Irish Soda Bread | Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School

Apparently, Irish measurements teaspoons are different from the U.S., so I’ve listed the proportions below.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees before your begin, so you can get it in as soon as the batter is mixed. And it bakes for about 30 ~ 35 minutes.

  • 2 cups whole wheat
  • 2 cups white
  • 1 teaspoon baking SODA
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 1-3/4 cup buttermilk (400ml) – I use Kefir – it’s thicker than US buttermilk