Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Funky AND impressive looking while still relatively easy to put together, this is a tasty treat you can serve guests or family and pile up the accolades. And it makes the house smell great.

As there are several blogs out there with the step-by-step in photos, I’ll simply leave you to visit them to see the process; I’m adding lots of yummy photos and links at the end. The recipe below should still be a great guide to making this a go-to treat in your own home. I’ve included a gram and ounce conversion based on volume equivalent tables I’ve been able to find online.

Ingredients:

Dough:

Grams Oz Vol
446 g 15.7 oz 3 1/2 C All Purpose flour (2 3/4 C + more as needed)
53 g 2 oz 1/4 C granulated sugar
6 g 0.2 oz 2 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast (one pkg.)
2 g 0.07 oz 1/2 tsp salt
56 g 2 oz 1/4 C unsalted butter
75 g 2.6 oz 1/3 C milk
56 g 2 oz 1/4 C cool water
4 g 0.14 oz 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
100 g 3.5 oz 2 2 large eggs, room temp. (weight without shell)

TIP: To get cold eggs from the fridge to room temp quickly, place them in a bowl and cover them with ‘almost hot’ tap water before getting on with other prep. By the time you need them, they’ll have warmed up significantly.

Cinnamon Filling: Continue reading “Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread”

Roasted Potato and Onion Bread

Let’s start by pointing out that my oven is still very questionable. I had noted that when the oven hit it’s desired temperature – quite accurately, I’ll add – it decided that’s all it needed to do. It no longer kicked in to keep the oven temp at that level. So without knowing, the oven temperature would drop and drop and drop, all while the digital readout still said “450°F” as the inside plummeted to 350°F.

“I’ve baked a few things” said Punkin, pulling a Shepherd’s Pie from the oven a few days ago, “I think it’s OK again. I suspect it’s your steam that’s causing the problem.” OK, so maybe the steam is playing havoc with either the thermostat inside the oven or the actual chips inside the oven controls. So I figured, after a few weeks of not baking and staring to have serious withdrawals, I would give it another go.

So with that I decided to give a go at one of our July breads on MellowBakers.com and tackle the very well received Potato Bread with Roasted Onion from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes.

Gathering all the required supplies I then set off to make this loaf, hoping the oven had got over its little fit. I would also steam the bread by putting it under pans to trap the water instead of steaming the oven cavity. That will rule out the “steam in the works” problem.

Continue reading “Roasted Potato and Onion Bread”

LG Oven Problems or How To Put The Brakes on Baking

As those of you who pop into this blog now and again may know, we recently moved from Ontario to British Columbia and as such are now living in a new (to us) house with new (as in recently bought) appliances. One such major item is an LG oven with glass top and mutliple bells and whistles type add-ons like “proofer” (way too hot at 130ºF) and warming tray on the bottom. We had sold the old house along with the pretty awesome Whirlpool oven we had purchased a year or so prior since there was no point moving it 4000+ km across the country.

When I began using this fancy new LG all stainless steel, glass and digital buttons galore replete with convection, and a split 3rd shelf in the oven, I was quite pleased to see that when I set the oven temp to 450º, the oven actually got to 450º according to both the built in thermostat and my little oven thermometer. All is well with the world, I thought; a dependable oven is at hand!

Well, not so, it seems.

Continue reading “LG Oven Problems or How To Put The Brakes on Baking”

Ciabatta with Poolish pre-ferment

I had a long weekend, being just before Easter, so I decided to try some of the breads in the Mellow Bakers Hamelman Challenge that I had passed over while moving across the country over the last few months. Looking thought the list of bread we had scheduled, I saw that Ciabatta was one of the breads from December; this would then be this weekend’s bread. There were three varieties offered: Ciabatta with Stiff Biga, with Poolish or a with Olive Oil & Wheat Germ. Based on the descriptions in Hamelman’s book  Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes, I chose the Poolish version as it hinted it would be the most flavourful because of the longer pre-ferment of the Poolish.

Ciabatta is one of the more popular Artisanal breads in North America, after the standards like French and Italian. According to Jeffrey Hamelman, it got its popularity boost when it won first place  in the prestigious bread competition in Paris, La Coupe du Pain (look this up) and has since been produced and enjoyed by bakers and bread fans alike in North America .

Its thin, crispy crust and soft, holey texture and milder, pleasant taste makes it a good accompaniment to many meals, allowing it to reach more tables than other exotic breads.

The fact it is a very wet dough may detract home bakers from attempting it but you should think of it as a small challenge and give it a go; it may  be on the opposite end of bagels and their very stiff dough but the results working with this 80% hydration dough is well worthwhile. And really, it’s not all that much more challenging than most bread recipes you might do.

Continue reading “Ciabatta with Poolish pre-ferment”

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat


Here we are with the last of the Pain au Levain triumvirate, the Whole Wheat variation, all of course from Jeffrey Hamelman’s great book Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes.

With respect to full disclosure, note that this bread is made with white bread flour, whole wheat flour and a little rye, so it’s not really and truly “whole wheat”, should some of you be reluctant to try a bread that’s too “grainy”. In fact, there’s not a whole lot of whole wheat in it but enough to give it a distinct taste.

And for those who are reluctant to eat sourdough bread because you think it’s “too sour”, breathe easy: this one isn’t sour at all.

If you’ve followed along, the earlier Pain au Levain and Pain au Levain with Mixed Starters followed basically the same process: start the starter(s) 12 – 16 hours before so this is the same case today. This time, it was a somewhat stiff starter at 60% hydration.

So let’s get this bread going!

Continue reading “Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat”