The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


gmagmabaking2's picture

ITJB FR Week 4 Honey Balls pg. 235

October 16, 2012 - 7:13am -- gmagmabaking2

Let me start this post with the disclaimer....

I am sure this is NOT what Honey Balls should look like... 

You will be able to tell that we 3 gmas... are not experienced in this Jewish Rosh Hashanah tradition... and have never even seen a Honey Ball in real life!  So, trying to make these was an adventure... I am certain those great bakers of this yearly candy will find our attempt... laughable... with no disrespect to the tradition and the memories held dear... I will for the sake of honesty post my pictures.

gmagmabaking2's picture

ITJB FR Week 3 French Cookies pg. 228

October 8, 2012 - 8:35am -- gmagmabaking2

Intersting week this is shaping up to be.  The French Cookie recipe was a great and easy bake... interesting that even with the high fat content, they might be the choice for diabetic tasters since there is only 1/3 cup of sugar in the whole recipe.

As per our usual, we three gmas went different routes to get to the finish line...

gmagmabaking2's picture

ITJB Final Round Schedule

September 26, 2012 - 10:53am -- gmagmabaking2

We 3 sisters, gmabaking, gmabaking2, and gmagmabaking2.... have set up this schedule to finish bake testing the First Edition of the ITJB Cookbook. The schedule enables us to finish the book by the end of the year.  It is our hope that many of the ITJB Challenge bakers will join in and bake and post and share their stories... our first week is posted under 3 gmas ITJB-ing Week 1... It will be fun to see how the bakes come out and to learn from the many very experienced bakers on this site.

gmagmabaking2's picture

3 Gmas Still ITJB-ing Week 1

September 25, 2012 - 4:44pm -- gmagmabaking2

We 3 gmas are still working our way through the First Edition of ITJB - determined to learn all we can from this great resource.  This week we baked Eggless Water Challa on page 35.  Below are the pictures, as with the previous two semesters we had fun comparing our pictures via texting.  Helen (gmabaking2), did the traditional shape and braiding so I will start with her photos.

gmagmabaking2's picture

ITJB Round 2 Week 12 - Salt Sticks and Poppy Horns, pg. 116

July 16, 2012 - 8:57am -- gmagmabaking2

We 3 sisters baked together again on Saturday the 14th.. We had never made Salt Sticks or Poppy Horns... but are great fans of the Vienna bread doughs.  We all mixed it up baking together. Helen (gmabaking2), made the whole dough into nice large salt sticks and poppy horns as instructed in ITJB. I (gmagmabaking2) made one loaf of Vienna Bread and one dozen small horns and sticks. Barb (gmabaking), made the dough into hotdog buns, hamburger buns, and the sticks and horns. 

Urchina's picture

ITJB Round 2 Week 11: Elephant Ears (p. 145) 7/7/12 - 7/14/12

July 9, 2012 - 9:22pm -- Urchina

These are absolutely not the Elephant Ears I grew up with. The Elephant Ears I grew up with were giant platters of fried dough dredged liberally in cinnamon sugar and served terrifyingly hot out of a booth at the local fair. They were awesome but not the sort of thing one would attempt at home unless one had a very large quantity of oil in a very, very large pot. 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

This is not for the fainthearted.

When I got ITJB (Inside  The Jewish Bakery) and flicked through, my rye addiction kicked in, and the unusual process (kind-of Auermann three stage) of the Black Bread intrigued me. This was the first recipe I tried from ITJB - and failed spectacularly.

The top half of the (freestanding) loaf was nice, but turning the temperature down as stated in the recipe let the loaf sink in, and the lower half was dense and badly undercooked.

Encouraged by a PM by Stan, whom I contacted, I gave it a second try - and failed again - this time I attributed it to family business interfering with the proving schedule.

After a long break from this recipe - and some recalculations, and lots of learning about rye and my oven I tried it again last weekend, using my proofing box. This time I baked in a tin, and extended the hot phase of the bake.

The bread came out very wet - looking undercooked, almost greyish in the middle (cut after 12 hours). I was disappointed and tended to attribute this to the superhyrated dough: 117% (if my calculations are correct).

BUT ...

I had made 2 loaves and kept one aside, in a plastic bag.

Today (4 days after the bake) I opened the bag - amazing smell. I cut the bread - still moist, but the crumb had changed completely. Beautiful chocolate brown, with a rich, tangy taste:

My advice if you want to make this bread:

1. Don't Panic

2. Follow the recipe (take oz amounts as a base - I calculated the bakers % from those)

3. Use loaf tins first

3. You might want to extend the hot phase of the bake by 10 minutes (and/or consult ananda's posts about Borodinsky bread for ideas about the baking regime)

3. Wait at least 3 days before cutting into it!

ITJB rocks!




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