The Pain Maison from Eric Girard has many holes on it as you can see on the picture. You cannot compare this bread to the texture of a baguette; that is two different things. The recipe produces a rustic bread loaf with a crispy crust.
Rustic bread is often better toasted, which makes this recipe perfect for breakfast or to prepare yummy French toasts. I serve my French toast with a couple of spoons of homemade jams on top. I cook my jam fresh on the spot, so I use it while it is still warm. You can pour a little bit of genuine maple syrup to finish it up.
After digging more this morning, I read some comments on the Web about the lack of taste of breads made with the no knead technique. It may be true with the NY Times recipe. But knowing the well-deserved reputations of the two chefs that I talked about, I feel confident that the recipes of Eric Girard and Michael Smith taste good.
One thing is clear: delicious recipes begin with best of the crop products. For success, it is crucial to start with a top of the line flour, preferably an organic one.
Michael Smith‘s Real Bread seems to have fewer holes than Eric white bread. I took the photo from Michael Smith’s Web site, so I assume this is the actual product. In fact, it is gorgeous whole wheat bread.
With more than 100 loaves under its belt with its No-knead artisan bread recipe, it is fair to say that Michael Smith took a look at many aspects. I suggest you sign in to its quarterly newsletters; this is how I got its Real Bread recipe.
I want to finish this follow-up by giving you another great recipe from that same A la di Stasio episode, Dyan Saloman, the cook at Olive & Gourmando, used the no-knead bread of its partner Eric Girard to make a crostini recipe. It will be a hit as an appetizer or for quick snacks. This recipe comes handy for the nights where you prefer eating a light supper made of a nice soup.
Apple and Cheddar crostini recipe (Croûte aux Pommes et au Cheddar)
A recipe by Dyan Saloman of Olive & Gourmando
Thinly sliced green apples, use a mandoline for perfect slices
A few drizzles of hazelnut oil, nut oil or simply olive oil
Slices of bread, fresh or toasted
Chopped roasted hazelnuts
Slices of Aged Cheddar, Manchego or another kind of cheese that you like
In a bowl, mix together the apple slices and a little bit of oil. Layer the hazelnuts, the oiled apple slices and top it with cheese. Grill it until the cheese is soft.
Link: Croûte aux Pommes et au Cheddar by Dyan Solomon and Eric Girard of Olive et Gourmando as seen on TV at A la di Stasio
Link: To subscribe to Michael Smith’s newsletters
Link: Web site of Olive & Gourmando, a bakery-cafe located in Old Montreal
+ No Knead Bread 101