Tasty treats, a disaster, and a field trip (to Pasticceria Bruno).
So I have been a busy little beaver this past week and fate has been mostly kind. Even though i was hobbled by last week's unfortunate encounter with a slow cooker box, I wasn't really slowed down too much in the kitchen. First up this week was a garlic and asiago cheese ciabatta built on a poolish.
the picture is a bit washed out but it had a nice open crumb laced with asiago and chunks of garlic. crust was thin, toasty and plenty chewy. I'd to get it a little thicker in future attemps which I think will happen if I use my starter instead of commericial yeast (lower the ph) and bake it a little longer.
The following day, I hit up the restaurant supply store and went on a bit of a shopping spree. A metal peel, two bannetons and an oven thermometer (finally) later, I returned, anxious to bake. I whipped up some jalapeno and cheddar bread with some levain from the day before. It looked great going in the oven, but then mr thermocouple died awfully dead and left me with a slowly cooling oven and these half-cooked loaves:
and the marvelous crumb that would have been:
The next day that old clunker of an oven was one part younger and back in action, but it was a bit too late for me. I had taken off for NJ/NYC with my grilfriend for the weekend. We found ourselve in pasticceria bruno which, despite the prominently displayed copy of Artisan Baking, took me all of a half hour to realize that this was the bakery Glezer featured in her book along side Biago's pandoro recipe. I ordered four seasons pizza and a cup of dulce de leche gelato. The food was delicious. The pizza crust was a bit soft for my liking, but the out of this world creamy fresh mozz more than compensated.
I also got a loaf of sourdough bread to take home. From the looks of the camera-shy crumb, it was about 70% hydration and have a small percentage of whole wheat flour. We ate it the following day with some herbed olive oil. The bread was subtley sour and its hearty crust and airy crumb were very well balanced. I hope to make some progress towards achieving this kind of balance in the coming months. Here's the loaf:
We got back last night and this evening I started baking for my trip on the 27th to lake placid. I'm staying in a house with 20 bread lovers so I'm planning to bring about 5 loaves with me. I made two boules to take and a baguette for myself. The dough is built on pate fermentee, 65% hydration, and had a small percentage of whole grain rye and wheat germ added. Tastes slightly sweet and nutty, with a very light crumb.
The outside, all washed out with that pesky flash:
and the crumb, which refused to stand still for its close-up. Please, forgive the blurriness:
phew. well, once school starts again i'll have something to keep me from baking non-stop, but until then I've got another month to blow paychecks on flour. This week i'm working on returning my starter to glory, and might bake one more batch of bread to take up to lake placid. I'm thinking about making some pizza with some friends on wednesday night too... we'll see.