WHAT IS A CRUSTY BLOOMER?
This loaf of bread is long with rounded ends and several parallel slashes on top (at an angle). Much like a sourdough it’s hard and crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. A traditional recipe favored by English bakeries, this dense bread is often used in sandwiches or for toast. Unlike most baked items, no mold or tin is used to shape the bread. Instead it’s formed only by hand, and the yeast is allowed to rise naturally allowing it to “bloom” or assume its natural shape.
HOW ARE THE BEST CRUSTY BLOOMERS MADE?
Try baking this loaf over a pan of water (or spraying water over the outside with an atomizer). It helps the bread to form a truly crusty exterior. Lastly like with most breads the resting time is important, the longer you give it the more flavor your bread will have. Check out this recipe to learn more!
WHAT KIND OF FLOUR AND STARTER SHOULD I USE?
This is a dense bread so while any flour will do, high protein ones work the best. Also don’t mix the salt and yeast together as you’ll kill your culture. Don’t be afraid to use a whole wheat flour if you want something a bit more earthy.
HOW SHOULD CRUSTY BLOOMERS BE STORED?
Don’t refrigerate them. Either store them at room temperature and eat them within 1 to 2 days (throw them back into the oven if they’re a bit past their prime). Otherwise seal freshly cooked bagels (once cool) in a zip lock bag and freeze for several months. Furthermore use a sharpie and write the date on the outside of the plastic bag so you’ll know when they were stored.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH LEFTOVER BLOOMER BREAD?
It’s a great ingredient to use for the English equivalent of pain perdu (French toast) – summer pudding!