I have been experimenting with baking more this year, since Ruhlman began to emphasize it on his blog in January. I’ve made a few different breads he describes, with good results. Most recently, I made rye bread with caraway seeds.
I won’t belabor the recipe details; you can get those from Ruhlman. I was pleased with the outcome. The finished loaf was rich, toothsome, and satisfying, although it was a little heavy. Im retrospect, I should probably have let it rise a little longer. That’s the kind of judgment that will come with experience.
Baking bread is becoming a regular weekend project at our house. It takes a few minutes to bring the dough together in the morning, it rises for a few hours, and you finish in the afternoon. The absolutely mission-critical piece of equipment is a kitchen scale. Ratios in baking are unforgiving, and volume measures of dry ingredients are too imprecise. I like Ruhlman’s new iPad baking app. It has recipes to keep me busy for a long time. To avoid sounding like a shill I’ll spare you the link, but you can find it on his blog or the App Store.