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Learn how to make a sourdough starter, basic breads, as well as other innovative baked goods from start to finish with Instagram star Bryan Ford's (@artisanbryan) inviting, nontraditional approach to home baking. With less emphasis on perfecting crumb structure or obsessive temperature monitoring, Ford focuses on the tips and techniques he's developed in his own practice, inspired by his Honduran roots and New Orleans upbringing, to ensure your success and a good return on your time and effort.
Ford's recipes include step-by-step instructions and photographs of all of the mixing, shaping, and baking techniques you'll need to know, with special attention paid to developing flavor as well as your own instincts. New World Sourdough offers practical, accessible techniques and enticing, creative recipes you'll want to return to again and again, like:
- Pan de Coco
- Pizza dough
- Challah, Focaccia, and Pullman loaves
From the Publisher
New World Sourdough: Artisan Techniques for Creative Homemade Fermented Breads; With Recipes for Birote, Bagels, Pan de Coco, Beignets, and More
What Is New World Sourdough?
My intentions for writing this book are not only to share my recipes and stories with you, but also to embrace a more simplified bread-making process that celebrates creative approaches to flavor while appreciating the quality of every single loaf that comes out of the oven. Your hands are powerful tools, eager to learn new things. I want you to use this book and feel inspired to create and explore. I want you to lose your expectations of bread. I want you to see baking differently. I want you to understand yourself better. I want you to enter a new world.
Ah, technique. The physical execution of an art form. The building blocks to craftsmanship. It’s easy to get lost in the world of studying techniques and hoping, one day, to master them. It’s also just as easy to become overwhelmed by the thought of needing specialized equipment or ingredients to learn those techniques. Rest assured, you can cultivate the craft of baking sourdough bread in a simple, straightforward, and minimalistic approach in your own home.
Tools, Ingredients, and Techniques
In each recipe I give you the techniques, tools, and ingredients I use when making that particular bread and I will refer you back to this section for detailed explanations, as needed. I recommend you use these techniques and methods for each recipe at least once. As you become more comfortable with sourdough baking, get creative and make modifications. For example, if my recipe says to shape with a tension roll and bake in a cast iron vessel, it is perfectly acceptable to use the rounding technique and bake it on a sheet pan instead. Use this section as a guide and just remember, in the real world, your situation, environment, and dough will be different.
Sourdough bread can be made in so many ways it can feel intimidating to start using recipes and going through the process of making this kind of bread. Remember, the reason I wrote this book is to keep things relaxed, yet creative, for you. I want you to thoroughly enjoy yourself as you progress through these recipes. I have divided the recipes into two sections to separate the rustic breads from the enriched breads.
In this chapter I cover the types of bread I consider rustic. Although a few have a little something extra in them besides flour, water, and salt (such as the Olive Oil and Sea Salt Tin Loaf, page 49), I chose to keep them in this section as they are baked in a way that maintains the characteristics of a rustic loaf, such as a dark, crunchy exterior. You can start with the basic loaves and work your way through this chapter, or skip around straight away and bake whatever your heart desires. Besides, if you are reading this it means you have a healthy sourdough starter now and are probably excited to start using it.
Enriched Sourdough Breads
Ah, the good stuff. I know, rustic breads have a certain appeal and nutritional value, but, hey, we need to indulge a little, don’t we? Enter enriched breads. The way I define an enriched bread is based not just on the ingredients, but also the overall look and characteristics of the bread. Not only are these breads extremely fun to make, but they are even more fun to share with others. Most people don’t equate the word sourdough with soft, sweet loaves such as brioche and monkey bread. But as many of you who follow my blog have discovered, you can, indeed, leaven your delicious enriched loaves with your sourdough starter!
Rugbrød is both delicious and interesting because of how many different textures are involved. And, because it doesn’t use white flour, it is packed with more nutritious flavor. So, this time around, I want to explore the density of a more authentic bread you might find in Honduras but also incorporate different textures into the bread, similar to a rugbrød.
MASA PIZZA CRUJIENTE (CRISPY PIZZA DOUGH)
In this recipe, I go for a thin and crispy pan pizza that is best topped with fresh veggies, cheeses, and meats. When it comes to making pizza in a home oven, I find it best to use a sheet pan as opposed to trying to go for the Neapolitan style. The reason is, you won’t be able to get the oven hot enough to achieve Neapolitan-style results.
I didn’t really know what Shabbat was until I moved to Miami, and to take that one step further, I didn’t know what it meant to have challah. I mean, I knew what challah was. But I never understood what it meant. Now, I have a great appreciation for challah as I have lived in a city where it is a treasure, and it’s a treasure for a good reason. In my many challah tests, I found that adding a pinch of spelt flour was the key to a well-balanced and delicious loaf. Challah is a dense, but fluffy, bread that is enjoyable to eat on its own. I hope you make and enjoy this recipe for your holiday, or any occasion!
What’s better than a king cake? Well, how about one that is souped up with every type of delicious filling imaginable? Many bakeries in New Orleans offer their version of a queen cake and I’d like to offer you mine. My queen cake is a naturally leavened, cinnamon-sugar brioche-style bread formed into a ring and stuffed with a variety of flavors. However, feel free to add whichever fillings you like most. From homemade jams to fresh fruit and pastry creams, your queen cake can—and should—have it all.