Tag Archives: bread bakers apprentice

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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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.

[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.jpg" align="none" width="250"]
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!

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

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

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