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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Lavash Crackers

LavEntryShotAh, crackers. Simple, straight forward snacking yumminess.

I had done these previously, long before The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge came about. At that time, I thought they were pretty good and, for crackers, totally snack-a-licious. So I was interested to see how these would turn out now that I have a little more bread baking experience under my belt.

I went into this without any real idea what toppings I’d end up using, although I’d toyed with cheese and hot peppers – we have Jalapeño and Scotch Bonnets from the garden so that seemed tempting. But then I wanted to have several flavours and to add cheese and peppers, I’d need to add them into the dough instead of just sprinlikng on top. So without a solid final plan (yeah, this is really living on the edge!) I fired everything up. I would just raid the spice cupboard and pick out some favourite spices, herbs and mixes.

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Pane Italiano: Molto Delizioso

ItalIntroHere we are with Italian Bread, recipe #15 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. (And no, I won’t butcher the Italian language for this one any more than I just did.)

This recipe was pretty much a repeat of the French bread I made two weeks back so the steps along the way are nearly identical. The most obvious difference is the shape – the French bread was a baguette and this is a batard. There’s also sugar, malt and oil in the ingredient list where the French bread was strictly flour, salt yeast and water. The process itself, otherwise, was pretty much the same so as easy as the French bread was, so is this.

Let’s have a look at that.

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Le Pain Français du #BBA

FrenchBBA-SneakPicBonjour et salut à tous! La recette d’aujourd’hui est un pain français du livre «The Bread Baker’s Apprentice» par le boulanger célèbre, Monsieur Peter Reinhart.

And that’s all the French I’ll force you to suffer through for now. So yes, today is French Bread day in the BBA Challenge and dare I say, “it’s about time!”. Not because the other breads so far have been bad but because I’ve rather been looking forward to this one for a while.

Although my extended stay in Paris was a couple decades back, one of the very best things (although there were many) was being able to get up in the morning, go around the corner this way or down the street a bit that way, and hit a bakery to pick up a still warm fresh baguette, perhaps some almond croissants, then head back to the apartment and consume it with some strawberry jam and crème fraîche (yum!! Rather like Devonshire cream) along with a hot cup of coffee while looking out onto the bustle of Boulevard de Rochechouart.

This experience is simply not doable back here in North America as there aren’t bakeries in almost any neigbourhood and even when there happens to be one, it’s simply not a habit here to get bread for the meal and expect to go out again next time for the next loaf, warm off the shelf. No, we may pick up a loaf at the local grocery store that we don’t expect to get into for hours if not days, the quality simply isn’t the same in these factory-produced breads.

So getting to this particular loaf is giving me hope of getting a little bit of that ‘plaisir’ back, and maybe reliving a little bit of that Paris experience. You can probably tell I haven’t made this yet (I write the blog up halfway while waiting for things to proof or bake) so I don’t know how it will turn out.

Let’s get going and see, non?

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Focaccia!

Welcome back, dedicated followers, first timers and anyone else who’s just stumbling on this little blog! Today’s post is going to look at my first time try at Focaccia, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge recipe, where a whole whack of people are systematically going through each recipe in Peter Reinhart’s book as a personal challenge and to try out lots of recipes they may not ever have attempted otherwise.

With summer being half over already, we’re now at recipe #13 out of 43 total. Those who are keeping track of such things may note I’ve hopped over a couple of recipes in the list, particularly the last one which was English Muffins. The only reason I skipped that one is that I had a bunch of extra starter (“excess” starter I’d actually been feeding) and I wanted to use it up. I happen to come across Mike Avery’s English Muffin Loaf recipe which uses Sourdough, so I made two loaves of that. Totally didn’t click English Muffins was one of the next Challenges. They were similar, so I’ll just assume my batch counts. You can read that officially non #BBA post here.

Anyway… enough of that, let’s look at Focaccia. This is a very simple bread, based on number of ingredients:

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A short list of ingredients for this one! Continue reading “Focaccia!”