Happy Birthday to Our Bread Baby
A year after publishing Bittman Bread, let's check in on our starters, troubleshoot questions, and share new whole grain baking ideas
We're still at it. Almost five years after we began work on Bittman Bread, armed with our trusty whole wheat, naturally fermented starters (the ones that live in the fridge) we're both baking something at least once a week. Maybe you've been using the book too, and have participated in this community discussion or one of the other bread-related conversations. (Apparently many of you have, based on everything you've posted on Instagram to #bittmanbread.) Or perhaps you're thinking about trying your hand at whole grain baking for the first time. Either way, consider this post an invitation.
The importance of eating whole grains has been confirmed once again with a study that was picked up by the New York Times, among others. We are True Believers in this as much as in anything else—after all, the difference between whole grain bread and white bread, nutritionally, is the difference between a cookie and a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal—and we know among the best ways to get whole grains into your diet is to bake with them. To encourage that, we’re opening up a fresh comment thread attached to this post and we’ll be monitoring it.
PLUS: We’ll be hosting a live all-things-bread community discussion for Bittman Project members on Thursday, January 19 from 1-2 p.m. ET on the site. Look for an invitation in your inbox next week.
Read on to find tons of useful information about all the ins and outs of the Bittman Bread method, plus some ideas for fun new recipes not found in the book. Thank you for your support of Bittman Bread, the journey, and each other. We hope you know how much we appreciate your enthusiasm.
Whether you’re a first time baker or more experienced: We’ve got you. First timers will want to start with the basic Bittman Bread. If you want to get the most out of our live discussion next week, you’ll want to start over the weekend, leaving time to make the yeasted “Beginner Loaf” and get your starter going.
For the more experienced among us: Mark and I, along with our colleague Holly Haines, have some of the Bittman Bread spins we've tried in the year since the book came out:
Kerri’s King Cake, here
A gardenscape focaccia, here
Holly’s Black Sesame Sticky Buns, here
A savory pancake, here
A whole wheat lemon torte, here
There are more photos and descriptions below, as well as a full recipe for Galette Bretonne, a buckwheat crepe Kerri has been experimenting with to great effect. It's perfect for a winter brunch.
Here are the subjects you’ve asked the most questions about over the past year, along with our answers.