Monday, July 25, 2011

WGB Challenge

I'm sorry I have been MIA with the challenge as of late. I have been baking for the most part just not updating, but I'm kind of dropping out of that too now.

We've got another little 'bun' in the oven and I have been either too tired or too sick to want whole grain breads. So after we had several loafs of bread go moldy on the counter top and no sandwich bread for lunches I am having to reassess my priorities. I am so glad you all decided to bake along with me and I wish you luck as you finish the book, but I'm done with the schedule. I'll still be baking from it, but at my stomach's pace. I have also been missing all of that wonderful white bread from the BBA and will be revisiting that as well.
Thanks so much! I'll still be posting my baking adventures here and following the group in the meantime though I'll be eating some of this:
mmm Turtle Cheesecake!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

WGB: Tansitional Challah

So it has taken a while for us to get this up, sorry about that. This is danny typing this one, I have been enjoying baking this stuff along with Jenni(Ok ok, I have enjoyed eating this bread and helping in a somewhat anemic way, I am trying to get better about helping as well as eating).

Anyway I was excited for the challah since that was one of our favorite breads from the Bread Bakers Apprentice challenge that jenni participated in before(last year or the year before?). Since we are a little behind getting the post up it might not be as helpful now but we found then and it rang true for the wheat version that challah makes the best french toast you have ever had. Unfortunately, I don't think we got any pictures of the french toast we made. Sometimes the willpower needed to go get the camera and take a picture versus the desire to just snarf everything in sight immediately just isn't strong enough.

Anyway here are some pictures of how our challah turned out.
We really liked doing the braids, I don't think it was mentioned in this book but his earlier book mentioned that it was a traditional jewish bread and that the traditional way had 12 turns to signify the 12 tribes. We thought it was a kinda cool extra tidbit, so we try to make the twelve twists every time. We were both really dissappointed that we didn't notice the multiple braided styles that he demonstrates in this book till after we had baked our bread. We just stacked two smaller separate pieces that were braided independently. I really want to try that many-braid method it just looks so cool.
So hopefully everyone else had theirs turn out yummy like ours. It was pretty good and I think it has already totally disappeared.

So I tried to gather up some links to everybody else posts. I think these are all of them. Wow we have some good bakers and photographers chiming in. Sorry if our blog level/picture/detail level isn't quite up to snuff, the 16 month old monster(That we love) running around here takes up quite a bit of time.
I'm sure I missed somebodies sorry about that. I can re-edit this and toss them on or you can comment here or in the google group. Oh and we are making the soaker for the transitional hearth bread tonight so we can make it tomorrow. WooHoo go holidays, anyway we should get this one up sooner.

Friday, June 24, 2011

WGB: Cinnamon Rolls

 I planned on making these beauties for breakfast on Father's Day. Well... we ate them for dessert instead.
I suppose that is a better category anyways.
 Mmm, they look so good someone just couldn't wait!

I'm still looking for a gooey cinnamon roll like the kind you buy at the mall. I added some extra cinnamon and sugar, but I guess my conscious won't let me add enough.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kneadless Pot Bread

After hearing about my Whole Grains challenge a friend of ours suggested a book by Nancy Baggett entitled Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous Fuss Free No-Knead Breads.
I must say that the simplicity of these breads is over exaggerated in my opinion. Yes you don't have to knead them, but they still take 2-3 days with various care in between. I do think though that once you learn her process better it would become simple, but I don't think Peter Reinharts bread are anymore complex. (well maybe a little)

That said, I love the crust and moist crumb on this bread. We ate it with french onion soup and it was the perfect soup bread. Spongy enough to soak up the broth, but with enough integrity to hold up. I am very intrigued by pot breads now and intend to look more into those.  

WGB: Transitional Rye Bread

I have to be honest up until the Bread Baker's Apprentice I thought I didn't like rye bread. I was surprised by how mild rye flour can be when I baked for that challenge. That said this was my least favorite sandwich bread thus far. My bread turned out dense with a very tight crumb. My husband liked it, but I found it much to dense for a sandwich. It did make good toast though.

Here are some other posts from by fellow bakers:
Susie's Home and Hobbies

On to the cinnamon rolls! I'm stepping out of the loaf breads for this one in honor of Father's Day. We'll be baking these for breakfast on Sunday.

Monday, June 13, 2011

WGB: Transitional Multigrain Revisited

Sorry this post is a little late, but hopefully I get an extension because this is try 2. The same thing happened this time though! It was raising beautifully then it fell in the oven. I think however that this time it was due to the dough being too wet. I was trying to see how wet I could keep my dough and I think I found the limit. This bread is quite tasty though. I even caught my 1 yr. old smelling it as he ate it :)

Here's some more from my fellow challenge bakers:
Susie's Home and Hobbies
Exorphin Junkie

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WGB: Transitional Multigrain Sandwich Bread

I am planning on baking this bread again on Friday for some reason it fell in the oven :( It still makes very good toast, but is a little dense for sandwich bread. I figured I'd share a little teaser picture.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

 Okay so I've made this bread several times now.  I thought I would post pretty early so that I could share some of what I've learned. Sorry about the photo quality my digital camera has gone missing in action :(   Fortunately, it helped me to finally take the jump to a DSLR which is ordered and will be here in a few weeks. :) So until then all I have are cell phone pics. 
Here is my first soaker and biga.
 Mise en place,  soaker and biga all chopped up.

Oops! I forgot to turn down the temperature of my oven after I added the bread :( Tasted ok but the crust was a bit overdone and the crumb was dry.
So the second time was Memorial Day so with our added time my husband and I decided to try an experiment. A loaf each with
Biga, Instant Yeast & Scalded Milk
Biga, Instant Yeast & Unscalded Milk
Wild Yeast, Sourdough Starter & Scalded Milk
Wild Yeast, Sourdough Starter & Unscalded Milk

It got a little crazy with all the different types of dough so we wrote out an index card with each combination and moved it with the dough through each step.
You can see our index cards in this picture as well as the variation in rises.
1. Wild Yeast, Unscalded Milk
2. Wild Yeast, Scalded Milk
3. Biga, Scalded Milk
4. Biga Unscalded Milk

So we actually ended up with 4 distinctive end products. I personally preferred the taste of 4. I think that is because it was allowed to brown a bit more and thus had a nuttier flavor. It was hard to beat the rise of 1 and 2. Though before you run out and start your own starter I think the raise was more due to the moisture content of the dough than the starter. Our starter was a lot wetter than the Biga. This led to better kneading and softer dough so that more gluten developed and was allowed to create longer threads.

It was really awesome to see all these results right next to each other so that I could gain a better idea of how to control the process. I think I might keep making several loafs at a time for the sandwich breads at least. Since my family always is in need of sandwich bread anyways.

Oh and scalded vs. unscalded? minor differences not really worth the work in my opinion but that may be because we're using store bought pasteurized milk to begin with. (Edited to add a little caveat to be aware of, the hydration level of the scalded milk breads was lower and needed to be corrected. This was because we measured out even amounts of un-scalded milk for both versions which meant that the actual amount of liquid was a little low in the scalded version due to evaporation.)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Preheat Your Ovens!

I hope everyone is excited to start baking this week. I've created a google group here

This week we're starting with the Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.

Good Luck!

Monday, May 9, 2011

WGB Challange

Okay, I'm throwing down the Gauntlet for a new bread baking challenge. As may of you know I was part of a challenge offered by Pinch my Salt to bake my way through Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice book. Even though I fell behind with a move and a new baby I managed to mostly complete the challenge and it pretty much changed my life. I never buy bread from the grocery store! French bread, sandwich bread, rolls, hot dog buns... you name it I can make it and I can make it tasty. The only problem is I mostly use white flour and I would much prefer to have the added health benefits of whole grains in my growing family's diet. I must say the only 100% whole wheat breads I make are dry, dense, and disgusting! So I challange myself to bake my way through Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads book, New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. I hope that I will exit this challenge equally changed, ready to bake delicious, healthy breads for my family.
Sound interesting to you? Please join me! It's so much easier and more fun with a group.

This leaves you plenty of time to grab a book and get ready to bake! Please leave a comment if you're going to join so that I know who my fellow bakers are.

Here's the schedule:
(We're not going straight through since I feel we should do all the transitional breads first then move into the 100% whole grain, baby steps right?)
5/29- 6/4      Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread p.99
6/5- 6/11      Transitional  Multigrain Sandwich Bread p.107
6/12- 6/18    Transitional Rye Sandwich Bread p.119
6/19- 6/25    Transitional Cinnamon Raisin Bread p.140
6/26- 7/2      Transitional Challah p.149
7/3- 7/9        Transitional Country Hearth Bread p.156
7/10- 7/16    Transitional Multigrain Hearth Bread p.161
7/17- 7/23    Transitional Rye Hearth Meteil p.178
7/24- 7/30    Transitional Rye Hearth Seigle p.181
7/31- 8/6      Transitional German-Style Many Seed Bread p.210
8/7- 8/13      Transitional Rustic Bread & Focaccia p.264
8/14- 8/20    100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread p.95
8/21- 8/27    Multigrain Struan p.103
8/28- 9/3      Oat Bran Broom Bread p.109
9/4- 9/10      Rye Sandwich Meteil p.112
9/11- 9/17    Rye Sandwich Seigle p.116
9/18- 9/24    Potato Onion Rye Meteil p.122
9/25- 10/1    Potato Rosemary Bread p.125
10/2- 10/8    Anadama Bread p.129
10/9- 10/15  Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread p.132
10/16-10/22 Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns p.136
10/23-10/29 Whole Wheat Challah p.144
10/30- 11/5   Whole Wheat Hearth Bread p.153
11/6- 11/12   Multigrain Hearth Bread p.158
11/13- 11/19 High- Extraction Flour Miche p.164
11/20-11/26  Three Rye Hearth Bread Variations (choose 1) p.169
11/27- 12/3   Power Bread p.185
12/4- 12/10   Whole Wheat Sprouted Grain Bread p.189
12/11-12/17  100% Sprouted Grain Bread p.192
12/18- 12/24 **Julekage, Panettone, and Stollen (choose 1) p.245
12/25- 12/31  Whole Wheat Mash Bread p.195
1/1- 1/7         Multigrain Mash Bread p.201
1/8- 1/14       Steamed Boston Brown Bread p.202
1/15- 1/21     Spent-Grain Bread p.205
1/22- 1/28     Whole Wheat Brioche p.215
1/29- 2/4       Volkronbrot p.219
2/5- 2/11       Bavarian Pumpernickel p.225
2/12- 2/18     Hutzelbrot with Dried Fruit p.229
2/19- 2/25     Swedish Limpa Rye Bread p.233
2/26- 3/3       Santa Lucia Buns p.236
3/4- 3/10       Hapanleipa and Vorterkaker p.241
3/11- 3/17     Whole Wheat, Multigrain, and Pumpernickel Bagels (choose 1) p.253
3/18- 3/24     Whole Wheat Focaccia p.260
3/25- 3/31     Whole Wheat and Multigrain Pizza Dough p.267
4/1- 4/7         Whole Wheat Pita Bread p.273
4/8- 4/14       Whole Wheat Naan p.278
4/15- 4/21     Chapatis, Parathas, and Roti p.281
4/22- 4/28     Injera p.283
4/29- 5/5       Whole Wheat Matzo p.285
5/6- 5/12       Lavash p.289
5/13- 5/19     Thin Wheat Crackers p.291
5/20- 5/26     Seeded Crackers p.293
5/27- 6/2       Graham Crackers p.296