Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Bread Bible - Hearth Bread

I realise that this is a bit over-the-top but I'm in love with this bread. I can't tell you how happy I am to know that I can produce this chewy, dense type of bread with a great flavour. This is the bread I have been waiting for all my life, or at least since I started baking bread about two years ago. And I didn't have to fiddle-faddle around with a sourdough starter (I've never had/used one but it sounds tricky).

Making this bread is a pretty straightforward process, using a starter which ferments, in my case, overnight in the fridge. It makes a reasonably wet dough but not one that's difficult to deal with at all. I read Rose's tips for success with this artisan-style bread and tried to make sure the bread didn't proof too fast. This can be a problem in Darwin's hot climate. There can't be too many people reading this who have to put their bread dough closer to the air conditioner to keep it cool.

It's obviously not perfect - I know that artisan style means a big holey texture which I haven't quite achieved - but it's mine and I love it anyway. The only issue was that I couldn't stop 'trying' piece after piece. 

My dough developed a pimple or two on the last rise. I'm not sure if this means it's over-proofed?

You can see the wildly uneven slashes on the top of the bread. I'm always so nervous about cutting into the top of my lovely risen bread dough - in my mind's eye I see it deflating like a balloon - so I panic and end up slashing it like a newbie serial killer.

I was so happy with the crust when I took it out of the oven. My new baking stone had worked like a charm and the crust was thick and hard. It didn't stay crisp in the humidity but it was still lovely and chewy. 

Next up are the Ginger Scones.


  1. Artisanal bread is made by an artisan … that's you! Beautiful loaf… not all aren't meant to have the large holes, yours looks perfect.

  2. my husband hates the holes and dear Marion Cunnigham, when i gave her my orange marmelade and said you'll need to thin it out a bit said it would be perfect for that SF bread as the preserves always drip through the holes.
    in such a hot climate i would reduce the yeast which, of course, slows down fermentation.
    a few of your photos have ? instead of photos. that has happened to me when i have a space in between the words on the name.
    and finally, i know just how you feel bc that's just how i felt! i never thought i could make bread at home approaching bakery bread and now i prefer my own! you are on an exciting voyage of discovery.

  3. You got a great height on this! It is so much fun discovering bread that is essentially fool proof. This bread of Rose's is my Go To. I'm with Jen, this recipe hasn't had big holes in anyone's that has made it that I can remember. The only time I would attempt to do a sourdough starter is if Rose walks us through it. I read recently that it is wonderful for making sourdough English muffins when discarding a portion during the "feeding". Still sounds like a lot of fiddle-faddle trickery though!