Tag Archives: yeast bread

BBA White Bread

White bread. “Bailed fog”. Home version of Wonder Bread. Basically, the antithesis of flavourful, textured and nuanced artisanal breads. Enriched soft bread, thin of crust, fluffy and unexceptional of crumb. Had to get to this at some point, right?

OK, so sliced white bread is not entirely “evil” after all, it’s the standard backdrop for grilled cheese sammidges, open faced hot turkey sandwich and the like. To be honest, I don’t “hate” white sliced bread, I simply don’t find it very interesting, it’s mostly flavourless unless it gets toasted, it’s basically just an uninteresting thing to put other things onto. It’s got little character save for it having “no character” and really doesn’t bring anyhing particularly notable to the table. It’s only filler or background, to put it simply, it doesn’t step anywhere near the front of the stage.

This home made version, on the other hand, is going to have less unpronounceable words than the bagged variety (sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate or calcium propionate, anyone?). And it’s as close to Punkin’s favoured sliced bread as we will get… we hope. Continue reading

Vienna Bread with Dutch Crunch Topping

Merrily skipping over a couple more breads that I seriously doubt would get eaten in our house, we now land on The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge bread #39 (of 43): Vienna Bread with an option to add Dutch Crunch. Since I recall getting the occasional Dutch Crunch covered bread at some point in my childhood, possibly just as a very occasional lark, I decided to give that a try here.

What is Dutch Crunch?

It’s a sort of slightly sweet topping that’s spread on top of a bread dough, which then bakes up a little crunchy and crispy and can give the loaf a nifty visual effect, as seen at left here. In this case it’s basically rice flour, a bit of bread flour, a little yeast, salt, sugar, veg oil and water. Simple really. And this is just one variation, there are many.

This is a two day bread, the first day being taken up mixing a Pâte Fermentée which we’ve done a few times already so I won’t repeat the process now. This pre-ferment is pretty much like a normal yeast dough except it’s made in advance and allowed to “age” overnight in the refrigerator in order to slow the yeast and allow the wheat flavours to develop as the yeast ferments the dough.

I made this first thing in the morning and since it’s supposed to refrigerate overnight, I let it sit in the fridge for 8 hours and pulled it out in the early evening. Presto, the 2 day bread is now a 1 day bread… if you’re OK with baking right up to midnight. Which I am.

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New York Deli Rye

And here we are at the first of several Sourdough Rye breads in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, bread number 31 of the BBA Challenge.

This one seems intriguing as it’s not simply a rye bread, not even a rye and caraway bread but a rye, caraway and onion bread. The pressure on this one coming out well is high as I was a little disappointd in the previous Basic Sourdough. That was a good brad but didn’t really fare well compared to the Hamelman Vermont Sourdough. So this New York Deli Rye had  to pick up the batton and go the distance. Did it? Let’s see…

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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 de Campagne

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Pain Campagne (Country Bread) is recipe number  22 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and we’re now past the halfway mark in the full 43-recipe BBA Challenge.

Despite the disappointment of the previous bread, Pain a l’Ancienne, I was looking forward to making this one because it involved some fancy cuttin’ and shapin’ and the techiques we’d learn about here were more on the presentation. The bread itsef still looked interesting. And I’ll say right away that this one did not come out badly.

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