It seems an unlikely place to start a revolution: a tiny island off the coast of far west Cork, inhabited by less than 30 people and without even pub to call its own. And yet Heir Island is now home to the Firehouse Bakery and Bread School, headquarters of Patrick Ryan’s self-styled Bread Revolution, one which you can read all about in his book of the same name, or, better still, which you can discover for yourself by making the trip to West Cork and taking one of Patrick’s bread-making courses. Lucky me, then, to be invited to do exactly that last weekend, and what a joy it was.
View from Heir Island: the calm before cooking up a storm
Have I been living under a rock?
Is it possible that I can have waited until now to actually take a look at the details of Jim Lahey’s no knead bread method as revealed to the world by Mark Bittman in the New York Times a couple of years back?
The answer, it would appear, is yes.
I was finally prodded into action when I read about kickpleat’s successful first foray into the world of no kneading. I read her description of the method. I went back and had a look at the original recipe as posted in the New York Times. Could it really be that easy to produce a loaf of bread that looks like a real French boule from a real French boulangerie. Well, yes, apparently it is…
Get a load of that crust
When last we spoke, it was all about the glory of the chip butty, that I-shouldn’t-but-I’m-going-to sandwich of bread, butter and chips (and if you should feel the need to go and make one right now, go ahead, as mention of the idea does seem to have that effect on people…). The only trouble I had with the whole chip butty thing was where to go next. What lies beyond the chip-in-a-sandwich? And so I thought that we should talk about getting potatoes into the very substance of what makes every sandwich. It was time to meet Mr. Potato Bread…
Bread with a little inner potato