Written by adam on Jan 22, 2007
Breaducation: Use a Bowl
Filed Under: Tips
My first attempt at homemade bread was a success in the end, but it was not without its perils. These perils are what make me want to hate Jamie Oliver to the death, if it weren’t for the delicious bread that we ate for dinner. Jamie’s basic bread recipe as found in Jamie’s Kitchen is the foundation for so many bread options, but the basic process is not to be taken lightly, so be prepared when you get into it.
I do not have any problems with dissolving yeast, sifting flour, or even kneading out the dough. My troubles came when it was time to incorporate the yeasty water into the flour/salt mixture. Jamie’s instructions are as follows:
On a clean surface make a pile of the flour and salt. make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast mixture. With 4 fingers of one hand, make circular movements from the center moving outwards, slowing bringing in more and more of the flour until all yeast mixture is soaked up.
Okay, that sounds all well and good, but for a newbie it proved nearly disastrous. You see, that “well” he speaks of is more of a dam. And do you know what happens when the walls of a dam burst? Oh yeah. You get a flood.
Well, the walls of my dam broke and yeasty water mixture started to pour out all over my island almost spilling out onto the floor. You should have heard me cussing. I was frantically pouring flour mixture over the spilling water and trying to scoop it up with my arms. When I finally got the dough under control, there was flour and dough up to my shoulders. Not a pleasant beginning to my breaducation.
So what can we learn from this?
Use a bowl.
I have a very large glass bowl that could have been used just as well as a well on my countertop. It would have contained any dam breaches, and it would have been a good starting point for this newbie.
So let that be the breaducation lesson for the day. When in doubt, use a big bowl. Once the liquid is absorbed, then you can transfer the dough to a countertop or pastry board.
No one needs dough on their shoulders.
Responses to "Breaducation: Use a Bowl" ...
I cheat more than just a bowl... I use a kitchenaid mixer!
I have watched Charles Van Over (author of The Best Bread Ever) make bread. I have read Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. I have watched King Authur Flour's Artisan Breads DVD. Not a one of them advise you to "make a well in the flour".
I agree Adam, some of what Jamie Oliver says to do is just ridiculous. IF the pros aren't doing it, then I'd say Jamie doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.
Like Curt, I use the bowl on my mixer.
Hubby, dear, tsk, tsk . . . When was the last time you saw me make a dough right on the counter?
Of course, when was the last time I made anything anywhere, KitchenThief?