Teach a Man to Bake

Monday, March 23, 2015

I’ve already written about my wonderful experience with Pete Merzbacher of Philly Muffin and the Fair Food Farmstand’s Food School.  I won’t repeat (much) of what I said there other than this one point: baking, real baking, with local flour is all about the feel of the dough - measurements be damned. 

This was a point that Samuel Fromartz first clued me into in his book, but Pete was able to communicate that with actual dough in front of him, dough that I could touch.  The tactile advantage of Pete’s lesson, in turn, gave me the confidence to pursue this on my own.  It has allowed me to improve my baking overall and even apply this to wildly divergent recipes. 


Such was the case with this soda bread.  Although forewarned in the recipe (found here), I ended up using far more flour than was originally called for.  In the past, I would have baked the wet, gloppy mess I had rather than push on with the additional flour until I achieved a better texture.  This could easily have been a flat, dense brick.  Thanks to Pete, it was anything but. 



Posted by Kevin on 03/23 at 05:50 PM

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