Charles Petzold

Great News in the N.Y. Times This Morning

November 8, 2006
New York, NY

A new way to bake bread? It sounds incredible, but that's the premise of an article on the front page of the "Dining In" section in this morning's Times. Online, it's here.

I am the breadmaker in my household, which basically means I command the bread machine. The bread machine is wonderful. I fervently believe it is the all-time greatest application of embedded processing. I am usually ready to make a custom loaf for dinner given just 4 hours lead time, and of course I make dough every Sunday for our traditional vegetarian sausage pizza.

But I've also been intrigued by the idea of making bread without the machine. In theory, the process of kneading will improve my spiritual well-being and bring me into psychic communion with millions of bread kneaders before me. (Or maybe not.)

The technique discussed in this Times article is very different. It uses very little yeast and requires no kneading. Instead, a rather watery dough is let to rise for 12 to 18 hours. It is baked in a covered preheated pot.

We are very eager to try this out, and plan to do so this weekend, which we'll be spending at Deirdre's house in Sullivan Country with a friend of ours.