I’ve baked the English Muffins from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice before and they were delicious as written. I made them again for The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, but this time decided to make a honey-wheat variety. I used 1/2 traditional whole-wheat flour and added 1 tablespoon of honey instead of the sugar. I made them 2 ounces each and was able to yield 8 instead of 6 muffins. They turned out great–light and fluffy and pretty tasty.
Or at least I thought so, until I tasted THE BEST BREAD EVER. I went to Bouchon for dinner while in Las Vegas. I can only dream of baking bread this good. The crust was unbelievable, it was just the right crunch, just sweet enough, and the inside was light and fluffy. It all just melted in my mouth. I bonded with the person that refilled our water over the bread. I was giddy and excited and he told me the bread was his favorite too. I can’t wait for Bouchon to open in Beverly Hills. (By the way, the rest of the meal was amazing–but this is about the bread!)
THE BEST BREAD EVER
I finally made a recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I bought the book a few months ago, read it, and put it on a shelf. It scared me a bit. Don’t get me wrong, its a very beautiful book and full of good information and formulas. Yes, formulas–not recipes. There’s something called baker’s math. Each ingredient is based on its proportion to flour which is always 100%. For example the basic formula for classic French bread is: 100% flour, 60% water, 2% salt,and 2% yeast. Formulas are useful for determining the amount of each ingredient you need for the amount of bread you want to make (the Total Weight(TW)). With the TW and the formula for the type of bread you want to make, you can figure out how much of each ingredient you need. Total Percentage(TP) is the sum of each Ingredient Percentage (IP) and is always more than 100%.
Total Flour Weight (TFW)=TW ÷ TP
Ingredient Weight (IW)=IP x TFW
IP=IW ÷TFW x 100
Have I confused you yet? Good. Now you know why this book sat unused. To be fair, the book does give measures and weights for each base formula; you don’t need to figure out the math to make bread.But b/c I am who I am I did.
The formula for English muffins is: 100% bread flour, 2.5% sugar, 1.9 % salt, 1.4% instant yeast, 5% butter, and approximately 70% milk for a TP of 180.8%.
For our Sunday breakfast I made our own version of egg mcmuffins. 😛