I’ve been learning to make artisan bread via a Craftsy class taught by Peter Reinhart. It’s a paid online class, with multiple video lessons that can be watched indefinitely, a platform for asking questions, downloadable text to accompany the videos, and really good quality instruction. I’m not sure how many hours of instruction it is, but it seems like a lot. I think I got mine on sale.
My first attempt was applause-worthy. My second attempt was better than anything you can buy in my area.
I got cocky with the third batch and tried experimenting.
- Ech. The razor I used to slash the tops got caught in the dough and deflated them – I probably waited too long to slash.
- The linen napkins I tried to use as a couche stuck to the bread because I didn’t realize I wasn’t supposed to actually BAKE in them.
- The sandwich bread stuck to the inside of the non-stick loaf pan, but still came out pretty nice.
- The little rolls I let my four-year-old make all ran together during baking.
- Bonus: my children did not like a warm sliced baguette spread with butter and a piece of dark chocolate – no matter how great French kids think it is.
On the positive side, I put toppings on one of the (supposed) baguettes – sacrilege, I know – and it is very tasty in spite of having had its bottom crust ripped off by a napkin.