Tag Archives: #BBA

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin BreadMore cinnamon goodness!!

With this ninth recipe in the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, we’re making what is generally a “treat” style bread, or at least it was when I was growing up. Only very, very occasionally would we be lucky enough to see a loaf of raisin bread show up in the weekly groceries.

Having now made this loaf, I can’t tell you how simple it is to make and that there’s really no reason to not treat yourself a little more regularly. All it is really is mixing the ingredients, knead, rise, shape and pop into the oven. Ridiculously simple.

I decided to make just one loaf as I wasn’t really sure if we could get through two loaves before our next challenge bread comes up (corn bread). Well, duh! Why in the world did I think that? It’s half gone already. And it’s barely a few hours old.

OK, so get the book and make this!! Impress your friends, treat your family or yourself. It’s super simple and one hella lot cheaper than buying the same thing at the store (not counting on the fact it’s just not as good as home made)!

Here we go!!

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Cinnamon Buns… OF DEATH!! (A #BBA challenge recipe)

cinbunsdisplayThere were no objections to this latest The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge recipe.  Odd, that.

We’re now on recipe number eight, out of 43 as we work through the entire list of recipes. As already noted in a previous post, I skipped Challah and Ciabatta as I’d already made both of them before.

So here we are at the next one: Cinnamon Buns. OF DEATH!! Ok, that last bit I added myself, simply because, well, I’ll explain at the end although you may well guess before then.

As always, we’ll begin with the Mise en Place where we make certain ahead of time we have all the ingredients we’ll need measured and ready to use.

Oh, before we go on, a little clarification. One reason that’s often given to persuade people to use a scale over measuring everything in volumes (cups, teaspoons, etc.) is that if you use a good scale, it will have a “tare” function which basically just brings the scale readout back to zero. So if you started at zero, added a bowl, you’d tare back to zero then add, say, 174 grams of sugar, then you could tare again (go back to zero) and add 36 grams of water into the same bowl.

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Casatiello Bread for #BBA Challenge

Nearly didn't make it into the bread

Nearly didn't make it into the bread

I went out and bought the “special” ingredients needed for this Casatiello, an Italian “cousin” of the eggy French brioche and the fifth recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. The 200 gram of Calabrese salami and the 250 gram chunk of Provolone cheese cost $12. Yipes, I thought, this had better be damn good bread.

Just as a test I had a few crackers with the cheese and salami, you know, just to make sure this was a good combo. Good thing we only had a couple crackers left or there would have been nothing remaining of the salami and cheese for the bread. Also gave a test cracker to my other half. Turns out spicy deli meats are not a favourite at all; now I know the salami’s all mine. Muahahaha! And so is the bread. OK, I cut the recipe in half then: one loaf should be plenty for lil ol’ me. Darn, now I’ll have all this spare salami and cheese. What ever shall I do?

I immediately put “Crackers” on the shopping list.

OK, let’s get this show on the road and see what we  end up with since we know the “featured ingredients” are awesome. Continue reading

Brioche: a quasi-fail (#bba)

Sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing but it turns out you’re not.

This was one of those times.

Although, in reality, it’s a small problem and nothing that can’t be resolved by EATING THE EVIDENCE. Still, it would have been nice to get it a little closer to “right”. Woe is me. Let me tell you what happened…

I decided to give bread #4 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge a go yesterday and of course (since you already know what the post title is) it was Brioche. There are three variations of it to choose from and I went with Rich Man’s version. This one  has a whole whopping pound of butter in it, vs the Middle Class and Poor Man’s versions with a half and a quarter pound of butter, respectively.

So let’s follow along the process.

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As you can see, the ingredient list isn’t exactly strange. Except that we’re not using just a little bit of that butter, we’re using the WHOLE thing. The recipe indicates that, in baker’s percentage, this loaf is 87.7% butter in the end. In case you’re thinking that means it’s 3% other things, allow me to explain in a little more detail.

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Artos: #BBA Challenge Bread No. 2

artosdisplay

Recipe number two in the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge series is “Artos: Greek Celebration Breads“. In the preamble, Peter Reinhart tells how this is a holiday and festival bread that cover multiple variations.

The basic recipe is easily turned into “Christpsomos”, a Christmas loaf, by the simple additions of raisins, cranberries and walnuts or into “Lambropsomo”, an Easter loaf, by adding raisins, dried apricots and almond slivers a, braiding and nestling red-dyed hard boiled eggs. There are numerous local and not-so-local variations on this basic spiced bread.

I went with the christopsomos version since I did happen to have raising and cranberries, although I passed on the walnuts since we’re not big fans here.

So here we go, the step-by-step evolution of my first Artos bread…

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Anadama Two Two – #BBA

Since the first loaf in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, blogged recently, was such a success, I decided that I’d give the recipe another go and this time keep track of the process with step-by-step pics.

It again proved to be a rather simple, straight forward loaf with little in the way of “tricky bits”. It does span several hours but as with most breads, that time is simply letting the dough rest or proof and it’s not time you need to babysit it.

So if you’re up to a play-by-play with photographic documentation, let’s get started.

The first step which I have no pics of (I’m sure you can picture it quite well in your heads) was to soak the coarse cornmeal for 12 hours. So I got my little bowl, my warm water and cornmeal and went to town. Ok, I just poured them in the bowl and covered. Not exciting. Fast forward to the next morning…

01-soaker

The next stage is to create the preferment, although I think technically this doesn’t qualify as it has the cornmeal in it, Regardless, I tossed the cornmeal mush into the bowl with about half the flour, instant yeast and a little more water.

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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.

[easyazon-image-link asin="1580082688" alt="The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51f8aSiQREL._SL160_.jpg" align="left" width="146" height="160"]The 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.

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