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Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

This might just say it all. I made a very small amount of Peter Reinharts Rich Man's Brioche, actually only a third of the recipe. It still called for 1 1/2 sticks of butter in it, by weight is was almost the same amount as it called for flour! The recipe said this was the hardest to make of the three formula's. I took that as a challenge. Here's the end result, the "Money Shots".



From Brioche

 

It really has an incredible crumb on it, soft and tender, literally you can see the gluten feathering out as you pull one apart. The trouble is that it is almost dripping in butter. I was brought up on using real butter on my breads, so I can't believe I am going to say this. I ate one of these and it almost made me sick there was so much butter in it. It has been a couple hours since I ate it, and my body is still saying, "I am so glad you froze those things!" Really, with my love for breads and using real butter on them, you would think these would taste awesome to me. Even putting sugar free strawberry jam on them didn't help the situation, so I hope that my husband likes them or I might have to feed them to the chickens or something. Here is how I made them, although I really don't recommend them and won't be making them again.

Everything all measured out and ready to be made into Brioche.

My sponge was really small in that huge 6 quart bowl.

Added the other liquid ingredients. At this point I realized that such a small amount was not going to be easy to make in

my mixer.

Flour is mixed in and getting ready to start putting the butter in.

My ball of dough after mixing with the paddle. It had difficulty producing gluten, because it was small and sticky with butter. I actually did some stretch and folds on it for about an hour, trying to get it developed more.

Flattened out and ready for fridge, sorry for the blurry pictures. My cell phone was used for these and it sometimes is hard to tell if the picture is good or not.

Shaped and ready for proofing. They rose about twice this size in two hours, and then I cooked them and they really shot up.

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Pictures of bagel making process & finished product now on flickr:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgratch13/sets/72157625911233716/


Will blog about them later.

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

How can something so easy, take so long to complete? It seemed like I spent the entire first day simply waiting. The dough for this is really really easy, but waiting for the yeast/dough to be ready for the next steps was very painful for someone who is impatient. Really, I must have been in the mood for something a little bit more complicated to make in order to keep me hopping around the kitchen, rather than do a couple minutes work and then wait. The results were amazing though, and between me and Andy we finished them all quickly. I ate the last one this morning for breakfast, cream cheese and green olives. MMMMMMMMM!!!!

Not sure why, but I have been putting this off.  (Note:  I think I simply remember dropping them into boiling water and kept thinking how truly klutzy I am)  I like bagels, and think this sounds like a good project, but for some reason they are just not exciting me.  I will be making half a batch of regular bagels and will fry up some onions to put on top, but won't use them in the actual dough.  Really, I suppose it's not helping that my sponge has risen for 3 hours and it still isn't at that magic stage he says will happen, when you bump it into the table and it all falls down.  Sounds rather like my sourdough when it's done feeding and crying for more food.

Right after mixing together, 1252 Pacific Time.

1440 Pacific Time
 

1526 Pacific Time, at least there are quite a few bubbles and it looks like it's doubled.

and I am still waiting... Looking at my pictures, it has actually risen more than I thought it had. I am giving it another hour, then going to call it good.  This was in my oven with the light turned on, so my kitchen must have been pretty cold today,  Not really a lot I can do about that, except try to be patient.

At 1633 I decided that was enough, it never fell like he said it would, but figured if I didn't get on with this recipe I would have to make dinner around it. I got my ingredients out for the next step.

I added the yeast and stirred it in.

Then I put most of the flour in, added salt and honey.

Then I used my dough hook to mix it up, added the additional flour, and then kneaded for 6 minutes using the dough hook.  My mixer didn't seem to have any problems with this dough, in fact it didn't even get warm.

I then shaped it into a ball, and cut it into 6 pieces each 4.6 oz.

I shaped the 6 pieces into balls, the same way I would for dinner rolls.

This was followed by a rest period of 20 minutes, with a damp towel on top.

I shaped them into bagel shapes, and drank my Lemon Mint tea...

...and covered them with plastic to sit for 20 minutes.

Even putting them in the oven with the light on didn't seem to hurry them up much.

My bagels actually took an hour to get to the point they would float. I actually had a little piece of dough leftover, even though I took the dough weight, and divided by 6 to come up with 4.6 oz for each bagel. I used this little piece to do the float test, and it bounced right back up!

From BBA Bagels
All my equipment ready for the boiling and baking. You ever get rid of a pan because you think you no longer have any use for it? I actually thought that I wouldn't use my great big stock pot anymore. What an insane thought, of course I think this after the deed is done. So here I was, trying to figure out what to use and I decided on my electric skillet. I knew there were going to be some issues, but let me just say..... don't try doing this with a pan that doesn't have high sides on it. I recommend a stockpot and only filling it partway up, plenty of room for the water to splash around it.

From BBA Bagels

Lets see, I really don't like using seeds for anything, so I decided on fresh chopped onions and fried them part way done with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I really didn't put a lot of the garlic salt in, but if I had it to do over again I would not add salt to the topping at all. I don't like a lot of salt anyway, and most recipes have way more than I would use normally.  My dough had plenty in it, almost too much, so adding it to the topping ended up being way to much.  Luckily it wasn't enough to ruin the bagels though.

I sprayed olive oil onto the parchment paper, and then sprinkled semolina flour onto the surface.

Now I have to tell you, the one other time I made bagels I remember dropping them into boiling water, and it was not an easy thing to do with a stockpot. This time I pulled the cookie sheet out of the refrigerator, then I actually cut the parchment paper into little squares around each of the bagels. That made it a lot easier to slip them into the boiling water.

There has to be a better way to flip them over in that boiling water.

I probably lost some of my initial heat in the oven, simply because I forgot to take a picture before putting them into the oven. Oh well, the onions were a little hard to get to stick to the top, but they did ok.

I ended up cooking mine about 4 minutes longer than the book told me to, but they turned out really good.  For not wanting to make them in the first place, I really enjoyed them.  Much better than store bought for sure, and the crust and crumb turned out exactly like I would want a fresh bagel to taste.  Overall this was a lot of fun, and a bigger success than I thought it would be.  Still need a new BIG stock pot.....

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! I'm taking a high school internship course called W.I.S.E. which allows a student to study about and to work in their desired trade. For my W.I.S.E. project, I chose Artisan Bread Baking as my topic.


I have been baking bread since I was thirteen, and I wanted to take this course to further my knowlege and gain work experience in a bakery. Next year for college, I plan to attend Johnson and Wales University, which specializes in the Culinary Arts. I thought that this project will prepare me for my future career, for I am going to be working in an Artisan Bread Bakery.  Also, I found that during this project, I can challenge myself to comlete the BBA Challenge. Starting in January, and ending in May, I hope to bake my way through The Bread Baker's Apprentice.


My brother, Evan, who's 24, and I decided that we would begin a blog to chronical both of our experiences through BBA. Evan lives in California, and I live in New Jersey, and we thought it would be interesting to note the different challenges and sucesses of the recipes.


Anyway, I hope that our blog will interest some fellow bakers, or fellow BBA challenge participants! We'd love to have your commentary, suggestions, or recommendations for new recipes to try!


http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/


Thank you for taking the time to read!


-Emily (18)


 


ps. Here is my post for French Bread.


(It might make more sense if you read my W.I.S.E. Project Proposal, as well as previous entries.)


 


This is my blog entry for Reinhart's French Bread:


I skipped ahead on the BBA challenge. I wanted to go through the book in order, but I didn't have time to bake bagels this weekend. They take two days to make, and I wasn't home enough to bake them. This is a difficulty in bread baking at home-although bread is easy to make, one must tend to the dough according to the starter, risings, and baking, which can be time consuming and inconvenient.


My mentor, Mr. Esteban, enjoys savory breads rather than enriched, sweet breads. I could have moved on to brioche, but I thought he would have appreciated a crusty, slightly sour French loaf more, and I have been itching to try French bread. Also, I felt like I was teasing him about my bread baking- telling him about it, but not making anything for him. I hope he enjoys the baguettes!


Reinhart begins with a pate fermente, an overnight starter which lends the final dough more flavor. It is simple- it combines flour, water, salt, and yeast into a rather stiff dough. I let the dough rise for about an hour, and then refrigerated overnight.


The next morning, I let the pate fermete warm up, and cut it into smaller pieces so I could incorporate it into the final dough. Like the pate fermente, the bread contained the same proportions of ingredients. After mixing with flour, salt, yeast, water and pate fermente into a ball, I kneaded it for about 6 minutes, or until I could easily use the windowpane test. Out of pure laziness, I kneaded the dough in the machine, rather than by hand. I feel more connected to the dough when I knead by hand, but, I was tired and didn't want to dirty the counters.


After the dough is kneaded, it rests for about two hours, to rise for the first time. Then I shaped the baguettes like I thought I should. I spread the dough out, and folded it into thirds like letters. I proceeded to elongate them into their proper shape. However, after making them I went on Youtube (great idea, huh?) and watched the proper way. After folding in thirds, you're supposed to create tension on the outside of the bread by rolling it up in two separate "folding/rollings." Afterwards, you gently seal the bread with the heel of your palm and then proceed elongating. Next time, I guess.


I let the dough rise for the last time for two hours. I do not have a lame yet, so I cut the slits with a pairing knife. On two of the loaves, I cut rather perpendicular, leaving the slashes not very attractive. However, on the third, the slashes were much more pronounced because I used a 45 degree angle.


After I took them out of the oven, I could hear the crusts crackling. I was so excited-they looked promising. After they had cooled, I sliced a piece. The crumb was rather dense, not holey and airy like I imagine a true baguette. I was rather disappointed, but the flavor made up for it-it had true bread flavor.


So, I don't know- maybe I'll make these again. I really like the use of the pate fermente and it was very cool to shape baguettes. However, the crumb was really disappointing, and for taking two days and substantial hands on time, I felt cheapened.


 

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

From GreekCelebrationBread

 

It was a challenge, but I figured out the baker’s percentages for the poolish used in this bread.  I really only wanted enough poolish for this recipe, not enough to make 2 or 3 more recipes!  We just don't eat that much bread!  Thank you to whoever made that wonderful spreadsheet I used!  It really helped a lot. I found it on this website, but am not quite sure where the link to it is!

 

I have decided to participate as much as I can in BBA Challenge 2011, barring some of the breads that simply don't make sense to make.  I get sick when I eat walnuts, so most of those types are out if they rely on walnuts.  Maybe I will ask for suggestions on alternative ingredients that might work just as well in those breads.  I also might have to substitute other preferments for sourdough for any of the whole wheat breads, since my husband seems to have problems with wild yeasts. I on the other hand do better with white, lean, sourdough breads.

I started this challenge as a personal journey after reading the first section of Peter Reinhart's book.  His book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, inspired me because it gave me the science behind bread making.  It spent the time to give me the greatest gift of all, understanding of what exactly is happening in each step of bread making.  I have baked for many years, or maybe I should call it banging my head against a wall wondering why some breads turned out so much better than others.  If I am going to thank Peter Reinhart I must also remember to thank The Fresh Loaf, which has many very experienced bread bakers who spend a lot of time helping people make extraordinary bread.  Anyone can make ordinary bread, some loafs will be ok and some will be a failure and you just won’t know why.  But with a little bit of knowledge and help from people who have gone through it themselves you can make bread in your own kitchen that rivals the local grocery stores if not the local bakers!  The best part is that you will start to understand why it works and doesn't work. 

On to the actual bread, I chose Christopsomos which to me almost looks like an alien.  You know, creatures from outer space!  I decided that since this is a bread that reflects the special occasion it is made for, that is must be a very Blueberry weekend coming up.  Yes, my fruit of choice is dried blueberries which are totally awesome.  I also chose to use almonds instead of walnuts, simply because walnuts make me sick and almonds don’t! 

I started by measuring and weighing and gathering all my ingredients and equipment, “mise en place” which means everything in it’s place.  Makes a bigger mess, but sure helps you not forget things.  Rather like the scout motto, “Be Prepared”.

 

From GreekCelebrationBread

I mixed the ingredients, with the only variation being that I used the milk to prepare my Active Dry Yeast by soaking for 10 minutes.

I followed this with adding the poolish to the milk and yeast, using the paddle to mix them. Then I added the other liquid ingredients and used the paddle on setting 2 to mix them.

After I finished mixing them together to make a smooth liquid, I added the dry ingredients and used the paddle to form them into a sticky gooey mess. At first I held back some of the flour, but when I saw how moist it was I went ahead and added it and used the paddle to mix. I took the paddle off at this point and put the dough hook on. The recipe did not call for an autolyse, but I gave it 20 minutes because it was so shaggy looking. This seemed to help the dough a lot.  I then used my dough hook on setting 2 for about 10 minutes, what a mess it looks like.

I measured the blueberries and almonds and added them to the mixer, then used the dough hook on setting 2 to mix them in. Still looks pretty wet and messy, but when I touch it the dough feels tacky not sticky.

It is now formed into two balls and put into separate bowls to rise for 90 minutes. They shaped nicely, and didn't stick to my hands nearly as much as I thought they might. This has been a fun bread to make so far.

The second picture is at 82 minutes, I think this will need a little bit longer to rise. My house is definitely not as warm as other peoples.

This dough is really awesome, so supple and easy to handle. I loved it. The boule is made and the long strips are ready to go on top.

Next comes placing the strips and cutting, then making the little curly things at the ends.

The decoration on top looks a little bit out of shape, but hopefully it will look better before it's done! Who cares what it looks like as long as it tastes good!  Will edit this tomorrow with a picture of the crumb, that is if I can wait!

Joanne

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder



A couple days ago, I tested my new KitchenAid Grain Mill's output with a formula calling for about 30% whole grain flour. It was very good. In fact, the flavor of that bread has improved over two days. Even as I dipped my toe in the home-milled flour waters, I knew that the real test, for me, would be how the flour performed in a 100% whole wheat bread.


Most of my breads are made with levain, but my favorite whole wheat bread has remained the “Whole Wheat Bread” from BBA. This is made with a soaker of coarse ground whole grains and a “poolish” made with whole wheat flour. I have used bulgur for the soaker in the past. Today, I used coarsely ground fresh-ground hard red winter wheat, the same wheat was used finely ground for the poolish and final dough. The formula can be made as a lean dough (plus honey) or can be enriched with oil and/or egg. I used both.


The KitchenAid Grain Mill does a great job with coarse grinding. I found that, with the first pass, the particle size is rather variable. It seems to even out by putting the flour through the mill again at the same setting.


I ground the rest of the grain at the next to finest setting. I put it through 3 passes of increasing fineness, actually. The flour ends up somewhere between semolina and AP flour fineness, at least by feel. This slightly coarse flour, fresh-ground, seems to absorb a bit less water than the KAF WW flour I usually use. I ended up adding about an extra tablespoon of flour to adjust dough consistency during mixing.


Bulk fermentation, dividing, shaping and proofing showed no differences I noticed from the behavior of this bread made with KAF WW flour. However, there was a remarkable difference in the aroma of the bread during baking and cooling. It filled the kitchen with a wheaty smell that both my wife and I found absolutely lovely. (As I write this, the bread is cooling. I hope it tastes as good as it smells!)


Another remarkable difference is that the color of the loaves is quite a bit lighter than loaves made with KAF WW flour and exactly the same other ingredients and the same baking time and temperature. I thought this might be because the KAF WW has malt added, but it is “100% hard red whole wheat,” according to the ingredient list on the bag.





The flavor of the bread is just perfect, to my taste. It has a wonderful whole wheat flavor with not a bit of grassiness. It is very slightly sweet. I used a very mild-flavored clover honey, and I cannot find any distinct honey taste in the bread. The flavor is bolder and more complex than this same bread made with KAF WW flour. I'm sold!


As I've written, above, Reinhart's whole wheat bread from BBA has been my favorite. I've made other whole wheat breads from formulas in Hamelman's “Bread” and Suas' “Advanced Bread & Pastry” that I found less tasty. I am now wondering how they would be if made with fresh-ground flour. Hmmmm …. This is shaping up to be a project.


David


OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

It seems like everyone is baking Raisin-Walnut bread of one kind or another.  Me too!  With the holidays drawing to a close, we are generally "sweeted out", and wanted a flavorful loaf that is not full of sugar, to go with morning coffee and all.  This seems to fill the bill nicely.  The recipe calls for minimal sugar, and gains most of it's sweetness from the natural sweetness of the raisins.


I followed the BBA formula with only a couple of exceptions.  I am still trying to use up some powdered buttermilk from the fridge, so I substituted that here and adjusted the water accordingly.  Also, Mr. Reinhart does not instruct to plump the raisins for this loaf, but I prefer the results I get when I do so.  I soaked the raisins in about 1/2 cup of brandy and enough hot water to cover them over in the bowl.  I thoroughly drained them before hand-kneading them and the walnuts into the dough.  I hand-kneaded the nuts and raisins so they would not get torn up by the Bosch, where I did the main work of mixing the dough.


I baked the dough as two panned loaves, in 8.5" x 4.5" pans, prepared with my pan release.  The house has been much cooler these past few day, so proofing took an extra 45 minutes or so.  Baking, however, was done a bit sooner than expected, probably because I left my baking tiles in the oven.  The crust is not adversely affected, however, and the crumb is very nice.



As you can see, I did not do a perfect job of shaping these loaves for the pan.  The crumb does not seem to show the obvious lines you might expect, given the exterior appearance.



These two loaves are the end of my 2010 baking year.  Tomorrow starts a new year, and I have the rye sour working already for the BBA Pumpernickel to kick off the new year.  That is another story though.


Thanks for stopping by, and Happy New Year!
OldWoodenSpoon

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I thought:  I have just enough time to bake one more goodie.  With both our son and daughter coming home for Christmas, what could be better than a celebration?  Since I just got the BBA off the bookmobile, why not use Peter Reinhart's celebration loaf, the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Loaf to be exact?  Well, mostly exact.  I did not have any real buttermilk, but we have some powdered buttermilk in the refrigerator, so I substituted that instead.  I bought the orange extract for this loaf, deciding I would like that better than the lemon, and I am sure I made the right choice there.  I also decided to soak the dried cranberries before making this up, so I put them in a bowl with about 1/3 cup of brandy and enough hot water to cover them, for about an hour.  I mostly drained them before adding them to the dough.  I should have drained them a little better.


This was not a overly difficult formula but I had some trouble with the hydration.  At first the dough came out quite dry and I added several (4 or 5) tablespoons of water before it seemed right. I later realized this was because I used powdered buttermilk, and failed to adjust the water.  At least I failed to acknowledge the water required, but I did add it since I got to the prescribed dough consitency.  Then I added the cranberries that I should have drained more thoroughly and it got too wet.  A scant tablespoon of flour brought it around and made me happy.  The cranberries and walnuts were a little trouble to get well distributed too, but in the end it seems to have turned out well.


It took several minutes longer than the recipe called for to reach the internal temperature target, but the loaf developed beautiful color by the time it was finally done.  The aroma while cooking was redolent of oranges and cranberries mixed in with that "There's bread in the oven!" smell I imagine we all love so much.  It was a great house to go to bed in last night while this loaf cooled.  Here it is:


Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Loaf


And of course, the crumb:


We could not resist trying a couple of slices this morning.  It has a delightful texture with a tender and creamy crumb, plenty of fruit and nuts, and if anything, a bit too strong an orange overtone to it.  I think I will reduce the orange extract next time, or at least measure extra carefully to see if it was my mistake.  It is not overpowering, but it is a bit strong to our taste.  Regardless, we are planning to make sure there is enough left over for turkey sandwiches on Sunday.


Merry Christmas to all
OldWoodenSpoon

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