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My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method Hardcover – October 5, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The founder of New York's Sullivan Street Bakery, Lahey started a revolution in 2006 with his no-knead dough technique, in which flour, yeast, salt and water are mixed together quickly, left alone for 12 hours, then baked in a Dutch oven. The baking-averse found themselves suddenly capable of bread-making with a minimum of skill and fuss, opening a world of possibilities. In this wonderful compilation, Lahey elaborates on that method, explaining not only the science behind his approach but, through liberal use of photos, the technique as well. Once readers have mastered his basic dough (which won't take long), they're on their way to crafting homemade pizza, ciabatta, foccacia and rye as well as more playful variations such as peanut butter and jelly bread. While waiting for dough to rise, readers can pick from suggested sandwiches, such as Lahey's Cuban, made with Citrus Roast Porkand homemade pickles. Lahey's passion for bread-making and feeding people carries the book; his plainspoken advice and patient tutelage provide novices with a sure, steady hand to hold; and his methods will surely be adopted by chefs and bakers of all stripes.
“Mr. Lahey's method is creative and smart.... What makes Mr. Lahey's process revolutionary is the resulting combination of great crumb, lightness, incredible flavor―long fermentation gives you that―and an enviable, crackling crust, the feature of bread that most frequently separates amateurs from the pros.... With just a little patience, you will be rewarded with the best no-work bread you have ever made.”
- Mark Bittman, New York Times
“Jim Lahey's My Bread expands on his no-knead, bread-in-a-pot method, a revolutionary development that allows even once-hopeless bakers like me to produce wonderful loaves of thick-crusted goodness. In the professional arena, Jim is the acknowledged master of bread, dough, and crust. Chefs, foodies, and food nerds flock to his bakery and to his pizza joint. He is to bread what the Dalai Lama is to Buddhism.”
- Anthony Bourdain
“Rustic. Simple. Italian. Divine. I was hooked on Jim's bread from the very first taste of my first Sullivan Street loaf. He is truly the zen-master of bread baking.”
- Mario Batali
“The secret to making a foolproof, nearly labor-free loaf that tastes as delicious as anything from a baker..... [Lahey] is the most intuitive bread baker I have ever met.”
- Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue
“Jim Lahey... opened the Sullivan St Bakery in 1994 selling breads that no one in the city had made before.... Sullivan St became the name to look and ask for, and... became... the place to go for the incredibly airy, oil-brushed, lightly salted pizza Bianca, which is even better than that of the bakery in Rome's Campo de' Fiori.”
- Corby Kummer, The Atlantic
“It's bread above all that [Lahey] knows and loves.... The man can do wonders with flour and water, massaged or not.... He can do fluffy, crunchy, supple, dense. He can do pizza Bianca―man, oh man, can he do pizza Bianca―those salty squares of almost entirely naked crust.”
- Frank Bruni, New York Times
Top customer reviews
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I've baked the basic starter recipe, using a scale to weigh my flour as suggested (I'd bought one years ago and never used it). I bought a 5 qt.
glass Pyrex bowl, the cast iron dutch oven, and that was my investment. I had flour and yeast already. Flour, salt, yeast, cool water. I turn my oven on about 400* for a warm surface (I have my thermostat set on 68*, so is a bit cool for the 12-18 hour first rise) till the preheat buzzer goes off. I put saran wrap over my mixed bowl of ingredients, put it on top of my stovetop, and go off to bed or out for the day. I usually give it the 18 hours to rise because I've got a lot to do. The dough rises, is bubbly. I scrape the bowl onto a floured cookie sheet (makes cleanup a breeze), use my spatula or hands to fold the edges up and make a circle, dust a clean old cotton dish towel with flour, gently lift the dough and plop it onto the towel, dust the top with some cornmeal, fold the towel over the dough and put it back on the warm stove top to rise for about 2 hours. After the given time, a half hour before ready to bake, I heat the over to 425* and put my cast iron pan in the oven to get hot. The cast iron is heavy, but I read some iffy reviews on the Emile Henry baker preferred by Jim, and cast iron lasts forever. When it's time, I carefully put the dough into the hot Dutch oven, put the hot lid on top, and slide this into the oven to bake. So easy! My husband came over for dinner the other night, and raved about the quality of this bread. I'm prepping a loaf of the olive bread today - it rose better than my first loaf due to the learning curve about the needed warmth - and I can tell it's going to taste amazing.
It may sound like hype, but this way of making bread truly is revolutionary, and for the bread-challenged people like me, we finally have a method to make absolutely kudo-worthy Italian art bread, pizza, etc. The pictures are terrific, the book is well-written, and best of all, living in Philly now, I can make the drive to NYC and visit The Seventh Street Bakery in person to say thanks to Jim Lahey for writing such a rich, gentle, fierce book on the art of baking bread.
I'm a good cook. I've been cooking for 50 years but was always afraid of bread. Now I turn out delicious bread all the time.
In this book you will find the very interesting story of Mr. Lahey and the Sullivan St. Bakery. You will also find many variations on the basic loaf, and several non-Bread recipes.
He has changed my life. I no longer buy bread from the market. I make my own delicious, healthy bread for just pennies. If I ever meet Jim Lahey I will kiss his hand.
I retired from a Fire Department after 30 something plus years and each shift had to shop, purchase, prepare, serve and eat 2 meals a day, every shift and over the years, I became a good cook.
Each person had a "something" they were good at, one was good at meats, another vegetables and I was good at baking anything.
So each person, so to speak, brought something to the table and our Station's reputation was so good that different Department people (Chief's, Mechanic's and so on) would engineer a reason to visit us around mealtime and eat with us, and like having coffee ready 24/7, we made extra food just in case somebody dropped by, if only the neighborhood bum, we even fed him, he was well taken care of and he did clean up around the Station for us.
I've been reading a little of the book each night before I fall asleep and I can see some pounds of weight being put on if I don't start exercising because this book and it's subject matter is really complete and in-depth, it's an excellent book to have, read and use all the time and I'm glad I bought it, thanks Amazon. :)