Potato Rosemary Bread, redux

63-_PotRose-headIf you ever want to make your house smell absolutely awesome, make this bread. Even during the dough building process, this was absolutely wonderful. While baking, it’s to die for.

And that’s just the aroma.

This is my second run at this bread, the first happening a fair while back, before I got into the whole documenting step-by-step thing. You can read that older post here.

I’ve also skipped ahead a few breads as far as The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge goes; no big impressive reason except I had some extra mashed potatoes from dinner yesterday and decided to just hop over Poolish Baguettes #26 and Portuguese Sweet Bread #27. We’ll get to those next.

So let’s get the show on the road here…

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Pizza Napoletana

16-_Pizza_Nap-HeaderPizza! A regular treat for most North Americans, whether by the slice at the authentic Italian place or delivered from the mega chain outlet. Peter Reinhart gives us, for bread number 25 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, his version of Pizza Napoletana which he describes as a thin crust with, preferably less ingredients so that the bread experience is not overwhelmed by gargantuous amounts of toppings. “Keep it simple” is the motto here. A simple sauce, two or three cheeses, maybe a little pesto smeared on the dough or perhaps a white sauce and some fine herbs, crowned with one or two high quality toppings and you’re good to go.

Our standard Pizza Night order is tomato sauce, cheese (some mid-quality commercial mozzarella is what they put on), mushrooms, black olives (or sometimes onions) finishing with pepperoni (right half) and Italian sausage (left half). We deviate a little now and again but this is our “usual”. So I figure for this home-made pizza I’d do a little switch-up and try something new.

But before we can get to that part, of course, we need to prepare the dough for the pizza shell. Since this dough is noted as best chilled overnight, I have time to get to the store tomorrow and see what ingredients might inspire for toppings.

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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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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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