Making my way through Ken Forkish's "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast"
What a great book. Every detail is clearly explained, and the photos are non-artsy, and very self explanatory. So far I've made the straight white bread, straight wheat bread, and pizza dough. These no-knead recipes are pretty amazing when you consider how good the final product turns out.
Your photos are lovely.
I have this book and am completely intimidated by it. May I ask if you are an experienced baker? I found Jim Lahey's "My Bread" a revelation; for the first time, I was able to bake consistently good breads--but I'm limited by his method and recipes. But "FWSY" seems better suited to better bakers.
This is what I've found:
-You have to get the tubs, scale, and proofing baskets. I'm a true believer in measuring by weights. I have greatly reduced poor outcomes by eschewing volumetric weights altogether. Mixing dough in the tub was MY revelation. I've been doing half recipes in a smaller tub with snap on lid and it has worked out great. The banneton proofing baskets allow me to just flip the dough straight into the dutch oven.
-The folding is where I think people get tripped up. At first, I was literally folding the dough once, instead of going all the way around the dough, tightening it with what usually ends up being about five folds.
-The technique for the last tightening (where you sort of push/pinch the dough between the counter and your hand) is much easier to perfect and get the hang of with the smaller pizza dough balls. Once you realize how that works it's much easier to apply to the loaves.
- I have found (and it's probably because it's winter time) that the dough actually takes about 7-8 hours to rise after the last fold, instead of the 6 hours after mixing that he cites.
My experience? The pictured bread represents the first loaf I've ever made in my life. Start with the pizza dough and then go from the recipes starting with the Saturday White Bread working your way back. That's how I'm doing it.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful--and very helpful--reply.
I have the scale; I may have to ask Santa for proofing baskets and tubs. Your bread, with its nice holes and beautiful crust, looks about perfect to me.
You've inspired me. I think I'll take on "FWSY" as a New Year project.