Last weekend, I unwrapped a brand new dutch oven to make my first loaf out of Flour Water Salt Yeast. It was the single largest equipment purchase I have ever made toward working out of the cookbook of the month. My dough, which fermented for five hours and was halfway into its second proof, looked perfect. I knew it was going to be a good bread.
The Saturday White Bread is the first recipe in FWSY, and as far as I can tell, one of the shortest in proofing time. Even so, this was longer than any loaf I had tried prior to picking up this book at Amanda’s suggestion. It was an intimidating process: measure by weight, mix by hand, knead it in the bowl, ferment for five hours, and then, when it came time, blind back that son of a bitch in my brand new dutch oven.
When I pulled my dutch oven out and looked upon a crusty, immaculate loaf, I knew that baking was an act of faith. Sure, I had pictures to compare my work to from the book, but I never knew for sure until it came together at the end. This is what I needed to develop the courage to try other, bigger projects from this book. It helps that my husband declared it the best bread I ever made. The loaf did not survive the weekend.
As Amanda mentioned, the white bread recipe offers enough to make two loaves, or you can make one and use the other half for pizza or focaccia. There are opportunities in every recipe I’ve looked at for these kinds of things. This is a strong salt for a James Beard Award winning cookbook, and I could not be more thankful for the recommendation.
Amanda and I will continue to follow this schedule, weekend posts about the previous week of cooking. Please let her know how awesome she is.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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