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It is hard to believe that this is the first bread recipe we have put on Galaxy Guides. Rest assured it will be followed by dozens of other recipes because bread making is a life–long passion. We believe that a great recipe deserves to have the creator’s name against it.
sharing is caring is where we come from!

to read our bread blog click here

New this week bread recipes from the team at Enoteca, Adelaide headed by Brent Kemble–Beech where they make a Classic Ciabatta and from The Retreat at Chapel Hill head chef Rebecca Stubbs shares her Milk Sour Dough recipe

from top to bottom, left to right — Brent Kemble–Beech, head chef Enoteca, Hugh Duckworth making their daily bread, Rebecca Stubbs, head chef The Retreat at Chapel Hill Wines, a selection of variations made from rebecca’s milk sour dough

Jim Lahey’s gorgeous bread

I love it when friends who are fabulous cooks in their own right send me recipes with confident messages like ’fab and easy’ or ’amazing!’ The fact that both Kaaren Palmer and Di Hetzel were boasting that the amazingly simple bread recipe produced a perfect Italian loaf had me instantly curious. The perfect Italian loaf despite trying dozens of recipes has always eluded me. The recipe came to Kaaren via another Adelaide home baker whom we have never met, Tony Walsh (thanks Tony), who admitted to having slightly modified Jim’s original recipe. Truth is Tony has modified the recipe quite a bit, but, what immediately caught my eye was the mention of using a shower cap to cover the bowl. Duh! Sometimes I am just so dumb! A great idea and a reminder that before the days of the insidious plastic food wrap, that none of us can live without, our great grandmothers and grandmothers used to make all sizes of elasticized mini and molto shower caps to cover food containers with. Just another much more environmentally friendly idea that we have totally forgotten about.

too easy — how can anything be too easy? But the truth is Jim’s fab bread is just that! So, all you fraidy cats that think you can’t make bread, well, if you can’t make this bread pour petrol on your kitchen set alight to it and eat out in future!

Everything about the recipe seemed wrong. Salt in at the beginning, so little yeast and weirdest of all no kneading! When you come from the school that thinks salt goes in after some flour has been added to the yeast and liquid and that the longer you knead the better the bread and that punching back the dough is tour de force……blah! Blah! Least weird of all was the lengthy sketchy resting time at room temperature of about 18 hours (also quite a bit different from Jim’s recipe). Well it’s not like you’re a risking chucking out a lobster the ingredients for bread are cheap and even though I have been cooking longer than most I know that each day there is something new to learn and I’m always up for a better recipe. There is no confusion we haven’t yet researched Jim Lahey or his recipe so Tony Walsh’s recipe is meticulously followed. Obsessive about recipes with weights I have to buy measuring spoons and finding a big enough shower cap proved difficult. At most stores they were trissy, tiny and expensive but lovely big shower caps for just $2 (believe that) where finally found at Market Plaza Chemist immediately opposite Burgess the Jewelers in the Central Market Arcade.

The day is stinking hot my kitchen is about 35°C and I almost need to physically restrain myself from turning the aircon on to keep the room at a reasonable temperature. Yes I’m obsessive!

Eighteen hours later I am scouring my floor to ceiling equipment storage in search of something that vaguely resembles a le Creuset, casserole with a lid. Thousands of dollars of cooking equipment and nothing that is even a close approximation apart from my cast iron camp oven, but lid is missing. Damn! So half of my double batch of bread is cooked as suggested in the recipe in the preheated camp oven without the obvious benefits of the red–hot lid and the other half on a baking sheet covered with silicon Mafter mat.

The loaf cooked in the camp oven was superb, but the conventionally baked loaf was still better than any recipe I’d tried before. They were heavenly! Gorgeous crust, lovely dense, soft but chewy centre with those big holes that we all want with our Italian bread and it smelled and tasted heavenly. So heavenly after swearing never to buy another piece of cooking equipment before I die (yes I am also a compulsive liar) I’m going to an army disposals to buy a new camp oven because after finally getting to research Jim Lahey this cheap option is on his recommended list.

As for me my nearest wood oven is just 10 minutes away at River Cafè on War Memorial Drive and I’ve negotiated with head chef Sarah Whetstone to trade some of Jim’s fab bread for the use of the wood oven because I think this must the perfect baking point for Jim Lahey’s fab bread.

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the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
Ann Oliver

champagne editor
Kaaren Palmer


Jan Bowman
Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

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copyright © text, recipes and images Ann Oliver & Kaaren Palmer 2016.