I am officially a bread snob. Even though I felt like making a sandwich the other day, I couldn't do it. See, we didn't have any bread in the house. I don't buy bread anymore. It just doesn't measure up, even to my pathetic loaves, and certainly not to the loaves that fill me with pride and disbelief.
So I jumped ahead of our Bread Bakers' Apprentice posting schedule and made this several weeks ago. We needed bread. The preparation was similar to the French bread we recently made. I had heard rumblings that this bread wasn't as good as the French, but I thought it was pretty great, especially in a sandwich. Even though this was a hearth bread (like the dismal ciabatta fail a while back), I didn't freak out.
I used my Italian olive oil and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of days to build flavor. Right after I made this one, I bought a lame (for slashing the loaves) and a peel (for transferring the loaves to the oven). I still naively believe that the right tools will solve all my baking problems.
This bread comes from the book The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. Next up: Kaiser rolls!