#BBA Challenge: basic schedule

For those interested in following along with the rough dates for each bread bake in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, here’s a table of the breads and their approximate due dates. This doesn’t account for time off for holidays and , you know, life. It’s simply a first look based on the rough draft of “one a week”. Expect it to be different once the group’s settled and things get looked at a little closer.

According to this base schedule, then, we’d possibly be looking at finishing up the Challenge around early March 2010, if no breaks were included and we went right through non-stop.

We won’t be getting to Sourdough bread until at least early December so anyone who still hasn’t fired up a starter has a fair bit of time to go before it is needed. I’d recommend making sure you’re been working your new starter maybe two months prior to requiring it. This would include a week or two to create the culture then a few weeks more for it to strengthen.

This schedule, to reiterate, is just something I worked up and is not “official”. Even when a more definite one gets published, it’s been stressed that anyone can work at their own pace, skip weeks and recipes as needed, etc.. Continue reading “#BBA Challenge: basic schedule”

The Inaugural #BBA Loaf: Anadama Bread – now with crumb shot!

The very first loaf in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, (a.k.a. BBAC) the very first loaf in the book (alphabetically) and the very first loaf out of the new oven. How’s that for a pantload of firsts?

Anadama Loaf
Anadama Loaf

So let’s recap what we have.

“The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge”, which you can read in more detail about in the linked post above, is basically a whole whack of people doing all the bread recipes in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice book by Peter Reinhart, all in order of appearance and on a weekly schedule (mostly).  It’s more of a personal challenge, I think; there are no prizes or penalties (that I know of!) for doing every single recipe or skipping a couple but we’re all aiming to cover all 43 recipes at a pace of about one per week. So we’ll still be at this come February 2010, maybe a little later given there will likely be breaks for holiday baking and such.

Continue reading “The Inaugural #BBA Loaf: Anadama Bread – now with crumb shot!”

Stinky Oven: An (Happy) Update


A little later…

UPDATE to the “New Stove” post of a few days back:

Well, I decided to give the oven a good bake, so I put the bird in the basement in a closed room with a window then went and cranked on the Self-Clean for two hours. Man it stunk!! But that seemed to do the trick. Two days later, the Whirlpool folks reply saying “let your oven go at 450º for 1 to 1.5 hours and that should do it”.  Well, it was at about 800 for two hours, so that did it too.

Then I pop in a batch of cookies. No stink! The cookies were a “gift mix” from a friend, a jar full of cookie stuff I added an egg and water to. I even got the convection part going. Press “CONV” five times and it’s set for cookies! Not sure what it’s exactly doing on that semi-auto setting. But since I had fired up preheat then just plain CONVECTION already, I probably had two or three things going on so I dunno if any were in effect for real.

Cookies came out… fine, I guess. There was no problem with them overcooking or anything. I think the problem was too much “stuff” (choc chip, white choc chip, toffee chips and TONS of each) and not enough “cookie” to hold it all together. Still quite edible even if flattened and really not cookie shaped at all.

Flat Cookie Remnants

BUT we now have a stink-free oven and it’s ready for some BREAD!

And so I will now start up on the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge and put this sucker to the test! (See recent entry for details).

Onward ho!

Get your copy here.

Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge #BBA

PinchMySalt, a.k.a. Nicole of the (yummy and gorgeous) PinchMySalt blog, has set up a challenge that will surely prove tobe a ton of fun and very educational. She’s invited people, novice or otherwise, to join in and do all the recipes in the great Peter Reinhart book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (Click the link or cover below to get your copy.)

The goal is to go through each recipe, in order (which happens to be mainly alphabetical) until you’ve done them all. A quick count and I get about 43 recipes in there – probably a little more if you include the small variations suggested. So if you’re like me and do a loaf or two on weekends, this means it will take the better part of a year, or a tad over 10 months, to get through the whole lot.

Now that seems like a lot of bread but if you think of it, it’s also going to get you to step off the “comfortable few recipes” track and not only try others you may not have felt confident making but you’d definitely be getting some excellent skills under your belt as you delve into areas you may have shied away from. Then show off your results on the Flickr group and post and read as you go on Twitter , using the search tag #BBA.

If you’d like to join in, hop over to the PinchMySalt blog and read up in more detail, then send in your info to be added to the challenge’s growing list of participents (as of this post date, it was up to 68 crazy bakers!). Although most people will be getting started around the same time, it’s pretty much open season and there are no set deadlines for doing any of the loaves. Work at your own pace, do as many as you like. It’s more of a SELF-challenge than a competition.

Get your copy here.

You’ll also want to peruse the recipes before you decide to move on to them to make sure you have all required stock on hand. I had to go out and get some cornmeal (coarse) for the first recipe – it’s soaking as we speak…

Can’t wait to see how it all works out, looking forward to the challenge for me and the results are, one can expect, almost always edible, success or bomb.

Come on, join in. It’ll be fun!

New stove’s here! More bread imminent!

Hooray and yippeee!

My god, what a load of buttons! Pre-heat, RAPID Preheat, Bake, CONTROL Bake, Convection, Broil… and a whole bunch more for the cook top, as well as other things there’s not buttons for (“Accutemp”, etc.), Steam Cleaning, Double Burners, when to use the Rapid Preheat and when not to… 

I can see this thing taking a few tries and likely glitches to learn and get used to it’s multiple functions. I’ll have to look online for video classes on steering this jet.


Then there’s that “New Stove Smell”. Gotta burn that stuff off quickly so we can get baking (there’s some coating on the glass top too that has to get fried off). And it needs to be done when it’s nice enough outside to put the parrot there so she’s awys from deadly fumes during this starter stage. Hopefully this weekend.


Continue reading “New stove’s here! More bread imminent!”