Jan 2. 2006
It's been awhile since my last posting and so much has transpired. The most important thing, though is that I attended Camp Bread in San Francisco back in September and learned so much from the amazing teachers and attendees (the "bread-heads" as I call them, over 200 attended) that I've had to completely revise the direction of the new book. This has set me back a little as I had to rethink the techniques and underlying theories and methodology, and dive into a deeper study of enzymes. So I'm still testing and tweaking the master formulas that will be the foundation of this new whole grains bread book. Baking with 100% whole grain is very different than using white flour, but I'm beginning to zero in on some methods that are real breakthroughs and will, I hope, create a new standard for these kind of breads and especially for baking them at home.
I will soon be sending out a call for recipe testers through the King Arthur Baking Circle (go to www.kingarthurflour.com and then navigate to The Baking Circle) and also The Bread Bakers List e-group (go to www.bread-bakers.com to get on that list). Being a tester involves, well yes, testing selected recipes but also filling out a response questionaire. Unfoortunately, I cannot compensate anyone for participating, nor even send you a free book, much as I'd like to, as there will be over a hundred testers. But I will list everyone in the acknowledgements and your feedback will be critical to the final formulas and instructions, and you will have my undying thanks. Plus, you'll get an early look at some of the formulas and text.
If you are interested, all communications of recipes and questionaires will be conducted at the following e-address: <Note: at the suggestion of one of our testers, I am now removing the address to protect against spammers, Jan. 22, 2006> This address will be exclusively for testers. If you are reading this prior to my listing it at King Arthur and The Bread Bakers List you don't have to wait to respond. You can write to me there anytime and I will add you to the address book and send you the material when it's ready (along with updates). It may still be awhile before I send out the recipes, though, as I'm working on the final tweaks, and the final ones are the hardest. I can say this, though: I'm very excited about the flavor of these breads and about these new methods. The goal is to make them as simple and user friendly as possible, so that any home baker can make them, but more importantly, that they taste so good that those who try them will prefer them over white flour breads. Much as I love those ciabattas and hearth breads, I'm making the switch because, frankly, it's a better way to eat. But remember the flavor rule: flavor rules! So if we are going to make a long term, sustainable switch it will be because the flavor is great, not because it's better for us. Better for us is good, for sure, but most people give up on that motivation if the food doesn't taste as good as what it's replacing--this is the real challenge, making it taste so good that we actually prefer it. So what I'm hoping for from our testers is honest feedback regarding both the accuracy and ease of the recipes but also the flavor. I need to know that these recipes work on both levels. Flavor rules!
Looking forward to hearing from you and getting this testing off the ground. When you write, please spell out your e-address in full, as well as your name, so I can put you in the address book and properly credit you in the book. Thanks!
Till the next post, may your bread always rise!