Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Country Bread - TWD: Baking with Julia

 Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 48th installment. The recipe is Country Bread.

This bread is great!  It took all day (6 hours for the sponge, and then two rising periods) but we really liked it.  I baked it on the pizza stone, and the crust had a great texture.  The inclusion of some rye in the sponge and whole wheat in both the sponge and the dough give it a good flavor.  The directions were clear and easy to follow.  I did wonder if it needed to rise in a flour-covered towel inside a colander, but it did make the loaf a nice round shape.

The salt-free dough
This recipe had so much potential, I made it twice, in an effort to get it right. The first time around, I forgot to include the tablespoon of salt that goes into the dough when you mix flour into the sponge.  I never knew how essential salt is to the taste of bread - it was tasteless.   I really wondered why the dough exploded out of the bowl when it rose, but I have read that salt counterbalances the yeast, keeping the yeast growth under control, so maybe that's the explanation.  The loaf rose and baked just fine, but alas, needed a thick layer of salted butter in order to make it taste like anything.  Even without the salt, the texture and crust of the loaf was quite good - it looked amazing, but just didn't have any taste. 
  I refused to be defeated, and tried again, and was glad I did, because it's definitely a recipe I will prepare again.
The salt-free loaf


  1. You managed to make two loafs...great! The bread looks wonderful. Yes anything without salt tastes.....well....salt less :-).

  2. The salt-free loaf looks great! And yeah for salted butter :)

  3. Beautiful loaf if bread! Kudos to you for baking it twice…interesting fact about the salt…I never knew that it counter balanced the yeast!

  4. Kudos indeed!! That's great that you made it twice! Love the look of your bread...so pretty! I didn't realize the salt counterbalances the yeast. (interesting) This really was a great bread to make. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  5. Wow, making the recipe twice! I was lucky to get this done in time, and the date was extended! Interesting fact about the salt having an effect with the yeast; never heard of this before. So much to learn!

  6. In Toscany they make the "pane sciocco", a nice looking bread without salt, but I cannot eat it: I need the salt in my bread! Kudos for making it again. It turned out perfect.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pane_sciocco (just in case)

  7. Yes, definitely a great bread. Loved the crust. I have done that - left out something important. So frustrating. Glad you did it again.