As I prepare for the trip to San Francisco to shoot the photos for the book, I need to take a hiatus from this extraordinary recipe testing process to focus on making changes and corrections and tweaks to the text. It's just too overwhelming to try to do that and also answer the 100 e-mails a day that keep pouring in (and, BTW, welcome back to some of our early testers who have rejoined us). So this will be the last week that I send out recipes (Feb. 12th will be the final day) until we resume again in mid-March, when I return with all the editorial notes and corrections. I'll keep posting updates here each week until then and, when I come back, I'll post the new game plan for current and for new testers. Look for the announcement of a new cycle of testing on or around March 13th. But keep checking between now and then for other noteworthy announcements.
A couple of updates: the English Muffin recipe has been problematic, so wait till March to ask for it if you haven't gotten it already. The current version works for some but not for all, and the nooks and crannies that we all yearn for have been hit or miss. A few of you have really taken it on and are trying to find that perfect technique--thank you! One trick that has worked for some is to cover the muffin rings with a pan or skillet while they are on the griddle (including after you flip them over). It's possible that with this method they may not have to go into the oven at all--but the jury is still out so, if you already have the recipe and want to play with a bit, try it this way.
There have been a number of typos found in the different ingredient columns, such as the pizza dough #2, where it should say 6 tablespoons of water instead of 1 cup in the starter; sandwich rye should say 1 3/4 cups of water plus 3 tablespoons (some of you have the correct figures already); the streusel topping in the babka recipe should be 64 grams--basically, the ounce numbers are usually right but sometimes the grams and volume numbers are off because I formatted it wrong or forgot to change an earlier figure. So don't go on automatic pilot--check your measurements against the ounce column. Hopefully, we'll catch all of them before the book goes to print, thanks to the dozens of eagle eyes that you have provided.
So, this is the last week to request a recipe to test. Then we'll take a month hiatus and resume in mid-March. We should have a website set up soon with shaping and other photos, including a way for anyone who wants to add theirs to the photo gallery can do so. Thanks to tester Mark Witt for setting this up. I know a few others have private photo sites already going too, so if you'd like to make them accessible to readers of this blog, send me the coordinates again and I'll post them. Then, maybe you can all cross link to each other's site, as well as Mark's site, which will be the consolidated gallery. Mark also has some videos that he's made, which he'll tell you about when you go to the site. We should have that set up before I leave for the west coast (Feb. 26), so check back from time to time for details.
One final note: I am very excited about the feedback regarding the stretch and fold method used in some of the recipes and am thinking of adding it to many of the others. If you have any doughs that you felt didn't hold shape well, or did not rise well in the oven, the next time you make it apply two or three stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals before putting the dough in the fridge. Please let me know if you try this and if it makes a difference. Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to add this step--I think it's one of the big breakthroughs we've been looking for and it has me very excited.
More soon. Till then, may your bread always rise!