Here we are in mid-May and this is already the third and last of the May Challenge breads to do in the MellowBakers group bake. And this one is way easy! With just a mix and knead of the dough then a one hour proofing the biggest concern here is: what to put IN the bread.
Grissini, as noted in a previous post Mambo Italiano, is the Italian term for bread sticks. Yep, plain ol’ bread sticks. Except not like the stuff you get in a box from the grocery store. Oh no. These are wonderful little invitations for creativity. Sure, you could make them just plain or with a little salt and sesame seed. But you’ve got your whole spice cupboard – and more – to toss into the mix here so why not get creative?
Now unlike other blog entries here, I sort of did this one very much on the spur of the moment so we’re going to miss the first couple of steps but you’ll probably not miss them this time around. Because these are SO EASY TO MAKE!
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.
Here we are at bread No. 34 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Sourdough Pumpernickel. The header image is the same as the prevous entry since it features both the lighter New York Deli and the Pumpernickel breads. These are what we should be hoping to see once we’re done baking.
This was a pretty simple bread, all in all, nothing terribly tricky or fancy to do, the most unusual thing here is the use of cocoa powder to boost the dark colour of the bread. Otherwise, there’s nothing in the process we haven’t already done many times. So let’s have a go at this 10th-to-last recipe in this BBA Challenge.
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…
If 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.