Category Archives: Yeast Breads

My growing collection of trials with commercial yeast breads.

Pane Siciliano

001-Pane_Siciliano-headerOur second Italian bread in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Pane Siciliano is recipe #23 in the BBA Challenge. New in the process is the use of semolina flour, a flour made of durum wheat which is often used in making pasta. It is a slightly gritty flour and has that distinct yellow cast to it you can see in your standard spaghetti and which adds not just colour but extra aroma and flavour, says Mr Reinhart. This is an enriched bread, having the addition of a little olive oil and honey.

I’m looking forward to the final product to see how this works out.

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Pâte Fermentée

PFheaderPâte Fermentée is a French term that refers to a dough that is made before the bulk of the main bread dough is put together and allowed to mature or ‘ferment‘.

By preparing a portion ahead of time, it can be allowed to ferment overnight (or however long) in a cool space (slowing yeast activity)  where it develops a lot of great flavour that would not be available in a shorter rest time. The dough is then added to the rest of the bread’s ingredients and presto, your “new” dough gets a tremendous flavour boost.

In a bakery setting, a large amount of this dough would be made regularly and a small portion of it would go into, say, baguettes, another portion into kaisers, etc. This is why the pâte is very basic – it would be used throughout the day to make whatever bread was on the menu.

At home, you still want the fermentation/development that occurs but would normally just make enough for your next bake.

In The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, this shortcut is used a fair bit. It’s a very simple, lean dough.

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Pain de Campagne

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Pain Campagne (Country Bread) is recipe number  22 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and we’re now past the halfway mark in the full 43-recipe BBA Challenge.

Despite the disappointment of the previous bread, Pain a l’Ancienne, I was looking forward to making this one because it involved some fancy cuttin’ and shapin’ and the techiques we’d learn about here were more on the presentation. The bread itsef still looked interesting. And I’ll say right away that this one did not come out badly.

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Pain a l’Ancienne or Giant Grissini?

67-PainAncIntroThis one was not so good. So I won’t spend a lot of time on the details.  Suffice it to say there were enough problems with the finished product and the process that it’s not a type of bread I’d be open to revisiting any tine soon.

So, as always, a quick look at the mis en place…

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Twisting it up: Marbled Rye

71-MarbleRyeHead Yeah!! Rye bread!

Here we are at recipe #19 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge and finally into my fave type of bread. Rye breads are flavourful, strong breads with distinct character that can stand up to almost any combination of bread and food, from cheese to soups to basic spreads, without being beaten down. Even with that, there are still many different varieties that allow for a certain amount of nuance in the flavour as well as texture.

So I was looking forward to making this one, even tough I’d just finished making a couple of loaves of the Back Home Bakery’s Sour Rye last week. But its pretty much all gone now. Time for a new loaf — or two in this case as Reinhart mentions this recipe makes 2 or 4 loaves. This is also a recipe that can be made in just one day so that’s a bonus as well. Mixing two colours of the same dough will offer a nice visual too.

I’m up for it, so let’s go!

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Light Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

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Here we are at The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge recipe #18. Wow, we’re almost half way! This time, were’ making what is  expected to be a more typical sandwich bread, what your basic sliced white bread from the grocery store should be like. Except much tastier, of course and without all the chemical preservatives.

Personally, fluffy bread like this isn’t my fave but it is the sort of bread Punkin likes so hopefully, this will be “the” home-made bread when something to replace the store-bought  “bailed fog” (his term, not mine!) is called for. We’ll see.

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Sour Rye with Caraway (from The Back Home Bakery)

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I’m a very big fan of rye breads and one of the primary reasons I got into bread making was to make this style of bread. Early on in my quests for good “deli” style rye, I came across a recipe that Mark from the Back Home Bakery  in Kalispell, Montana had posted on his website along with a few other recipes. He has at this point removed those recipes (I ran across them literally two days before the removal deadline) since he was moving his operation up in scale and set up a real live bakery in his house. If you want to see what a small artisan bakery is like, be sure to drop over to his site at TheBackHomeBakery.com. And if you’re lucky enough to live near Kalispell, you can visit his booth at the Whitefish Farmer’s market on weekends and get fresh (made that very morning!) baked goodness.

(Mark has since moved his operations to another town and set up his new bakery in a mobile trailer, very impressively put together, drool-worthy in fact – if bakery set ups impress you. Check out his online space on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SinclairsBakery)

So that’s a long way of explaining that I won’t be reprinting Mark’s Sour Rye recipe here but I’ll go through the step-by-step  nonetheless as there are probably similar recipes out where you can emulate the process I go through here.

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