I decided to take a break from tackling the mountain of boxes and paper that got shoved into the dining room to have a go at making a loaf of bread from the Tassajara Bread Book and I am so glad I bought that book! I tried the basic yeasted bread recipe which makes 2 loaves. The recipes are basic and the variations of each main recipe just tell you to refer back to the main one at some point. So this book is one you have to read thoroughly! Know your recipe! There are also instructions at the start of the book for kneading, folding, shaping the bread etc. Read them! The bread recipe was quite basic and might have produced perfectly fine bread but reading those instructions made me end up with two enormous, well risen and beautifully shaped loaves. Well worth taking the time to read that part of the book! My bread normally doesn’t rise at all but this stuff…..well it rose and rose and rose! The size of the loaves makes this seem like an economical bread to make and really tasty. I LOVE that it was sweetened entirely with honey, not a drop of sugar. You can use brown sugar or whatever if you like but the honey worked for me and it didn’t end up a sweet bread, just a really nice every day bread. I used 1 cup wholemeal and 6 cups white which turned out to be perfect for us. The loaves have to rise for 20 minuts in their tins before you put them in the oven and they rose so well that the egg wash was probably not needed – the tops were so close to the element the loaves turned out a little blindingly shiny.
I will admit that due to not reading the instructions and being my first try at a different than usual style of making bread (you make a batter and let it rise before you add the rest of the flour) this bread took all afternoon. My bread was quite stick and extra flour helped a lot. Next time I will know how to do it so I expect it to go much smoother – although with 4 rises this is never going to be a quick loaf! It does however provide one loaf to eat and one loaf to freeze or have tomorrow – and it tastes just as good the next day. This book is going to become a go to for me and if you like bread then I recommend this book for your kitchen too.