If ever there was a reason to follow a good baker a better loaf of bread has to be it. Last week’s recipe was Dan Lepard’s a simple white loaf. It follows a method that requires a sponge to be made first to make this delicious milk loaf. I asked Dan what the reason for going to the trouble of pre mixing the sponge and he told me that the bread lasts longer and needs no additives, whilst having a far better crumb and superior taste. Well you can’t argue with that,! This weekend as had the opportunity to bake I thought I’d make a direct comparison and check out the extent to which this method works.
I took the same measurements, made one loaf Dan’s way and one loaf on the normal way I make bread. The photo’s say it all. The first photo is Dan’s. It was almost half again in size, the texture was far more rustic and it was markedly fresher and soft the next day... and the second loaf is mine - it was no where near as fresh, and as you see from the photo’s it was smaller and flatter.
Needless to say I shan’t be doing things my way again when you can get this kind of result for allot less kneading!
Dan has a book The Handmade Loaf that I use most weeks which I'd highly recommend getting if you are after a super baking book.
I'll also be going to see Dan demonstrating Bread and Cake making this weekend (16th July ) at the Oundle food festival.