New oven on order… YIPPEEEE!!! More bread soon!

Still no bread baking this week.

However, we stumbled on a little extra tax-rebate cash and decided to finally upgrade the current “Burn-O-Matic” piece of poop GE oven we are putting up with. Went oven shopping and after much confusing sales pitches and questionable claims – “Oh, AccuTemp is much better than TruTemp” What? – we settled on a Whirlpool glasstop, convection with “SteamClean” and self-cleaning.

So I may be back to bread baking shortly! Woohoo!!

Whirlpool oven

Went with white because A) all our other appliances are white and B) stainless and/or black is a bitch to keep clean. The designers who come up with these trendy styles are clearly not doing their own house cleaning. True, the white version isn’t as “sexy” as the stainless. But anyway… Continue reading “New oven on order… YIPPEEEE!!! More bread soon!”

Updates and Sourdough Bagel Recipe tweak

I’ve made a couple of changes to the recipe for Sourdough Bagels, primarily I’ve added an ingredient list for making an even dozen as well as rephrasing a few of the comments to make some of the steps a little more clear. Hop over to the recipe here if you haven’t seen it yet.

They’re still awesome bagels. If anyone has given them a try or has questions, please don’t hesitate to comment (on that page).

Just so you know, I haven’t been ignoring the blog. I have been baking bread but because I’m really repeating a couple of the recipes I’ve found successful, I haven’t updated the blog in the last while. As well, several of the loaves I’ve made are tester recipes from Peter Reinhart’s upcoming book and of course, I can’t talk about or show pictures of them. The book is expected to come out later this year.  No, I’m not claiming special status, there are some 500 people putting the recipes through their paces to make them as clear and logical as possible, so I’m just one of VERY many. But that is one reason I have not been updating as often as I’d like.

Continue reading “Updates and Sourdough Bagel Recipe tweak”

Mambo Italiano

Today’s bake was, again, from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. As I had about 9 ounces leftover of the biga used in the Potato Rosemary bread, I decided to use it up for another loaf before it’s three days expiry ran out. Looking through the BBA, I saw a recipe that I could use it up with and decided on Italian Bread. I also saw that it was one of the doughs you could use for Grissini, Cool, two breads in one shot! So I made up a batch.

Once more, this was strictly following the recipe being my first time through. Made up the dough which was enough for two loaves, however, I made only one into a batard shape and the rest I rolled out and cut into breadsticks. By now, you’re probably pretty familiar with what a normal bread dough looks like so I’ll spare you that bit, but here’s the breadsticks, waiting for the loaf to come out of the oven so they could go in for a bake.

grissini proofing

I simply took the dough and rolled it out to a size about as wide as the pan, then using a pizza wheel, cut small strips about 2cm wide. I rolled them up a little so they wouldn’t look like small planks, spread them on the sheet and sprinkled a mix of coarse black pepper, paprika and a little garlic powder on half, sesame seed on the other then a little coarse salt over the lot. Continue reading “Mambo Italiano”

Potato Rosemary Boules

Not a whole lot to discuss on this one other than to say I’ve been wanting to make these for quite a while but never had the brainpower to make extra mashed potatoes. At least until recently.

This is from a recipe in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, being the first try at it.

Well, ok, one or two very minor changes: he asks for fresh rosemary, I only had dried which I soaked for an hour while the dough was warming up. He says to mix in roasted garlic – didn’t have any. I guess next time I’ll have to make that ahead of time along with the extra mash.

Anyway… here’s the final product, first try (slashed a bit too deep) and the loaves are still cooling so I haven’t cut or tasted yet but boy-oh-boy, does the house ever smell wonnnnnnderful!!

Potato Rosemary Bread
Potato Rosemary Boules

Continue reading “Potato Rosemary Boules”

Step aside, Zorro!! A new slashing tool just got added!

I’d been trying to “make do” for a while with whatever seemed like an acceptable tool for slashing the dough loaves and using a small, very sharp but flat-bladed paring knife acceptable, though not exactly great. 

I knew that a “tomato knife” was a great tool to use because it has the large scallops in the blade which , as seen on Mark’ Back Home Bakery videos, did a very neat, clean cut in one go. But when I went out looking for such a knife, I was rather put off by the cost, about $20 – $25 at the local department stores’ kitchen/cutlery sections. Several stores in fact. Thanks, I think I’ll just save the $25 and buy flour.

However, I came across a display in our local grocery emporium (in my case, that’s Fortino’s, a part of the Loblaws/Superstore/President’s Choice conglomeration here in Canada) and there in the kitchen stuff section next to candles and pillows displays, was a box full of paring knives with flat blades… But my eye caught a knife in the corner that looked like… yes!! A serrated tomato knife! And they were an astounding $1.90!! Stuck in the back of the box (I dug) were a handful of these little beauties, with black or pale blue handles. Continue reading “Step aside, Zorro!! A new slashing tool just got added!”