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The good and the bad of a challenge...

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SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

The good and the bad of a challenge...

As some of you might be aware of,  there is the "Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge" going on - and I was crazy enough to go for it... :-)


 


it's been an amazing ride so far, and this weekend I will be making bread number 38 of the 43 total!  I find it hard to believe it's almost over...


 


The good part:  making breads that I would never attempt if it wasn't for the challenge - sweet breads, 100% rye, fruit breads, festive breads...  


 


the bad... well, I miss baking "non-BBA breads"  - because I can only bake on weekends, I've been more or less tied to the challenge, managing to stick one of the Hammelman's Vermont sourdough every couple of weeks (those I can make with my eyes closed and one hand tied on my back.. :-)


 


Anyway, just wanted to say that soon I will be back reading more and participating more of real discussions here.  My list of breads I want to make is simply HUGE, and every time I check this forum I have to logout quicklly not to get into frustration-mode


 


This weekend - Tuscan bread is the challenge bread.  I am soooo not looking forward to it. A bread with no salt!  Oh, my....


 


any words of encouragment?  :-)


 


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Wow, 38 out of 43.  That's quite amazing, Sally, and quite a show of dedication.


I admire your time management abilities!  As a weekend baker as well, I know there are weekends that go out the window because of other commitments.


When it's all over, would love to hear your opinions on the breads you would never want to bake again, and those you would.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Thank you!


I will definitely wrap up my thoughts once it's all done - but I can tell you right now that my horrible experience with 100% rye probably left me scarred for life  :-)


 


it was THE worst bread I've ever made / eaten / looked at.


 


A virtual friend, learning of my experience, sent me a recipe for her own 100% rye hoping I would try it, but I haven't gathered the courage for it.


 


 

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Hey Sally, ehanner (aka Eric) has posted his worked up version of Hamelman's Rye with Caraway here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8450/40-rye-hamelman


It's amazing and if you like rye bread, this will get you back on track. My own blog entry about it is here with some further jawin' about it here with Eric and Mark.


If I can pull it off, you sure can too.


As for the BBAC, I've gone on a bit of a hiatus myself, have been holding the pics for the Basic Sourdough for over a month and not getting it blogged. In the mean time I've made a few batches of other non BBA breads but I suppose I need to persevere and get back on track and finish things up. So next one for me is #31, NY Deli Rye. 


Keep at it, the finish line's in sight. When you get there, you'll have made breads you'd never have, found breads you'll want to repeat and hopefully spiked up your skills along the way - at least I hope I've done that. 


So who's up for a Hamelman's Bread Challenge after this one? (said he, ducking flying peels.)

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Oh, peels would be flying in your direction real fast!   :-)


 


I cannot even imagine baking Hamelman's full book, I think the effort would kill me.  I'd say you should go for it and let me sit back and learn from you!


 


:-)

misterrios's picture
misterrios

Another flying peel in your direction. Though I should have some in my direction because I want to do a bake-through error-correction on Leader's Local Breads.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Now, I will be up for that! Especially because I've done more formula from that book than any other book. That's my bread "bible" so to speak, would learn so much from baking through it.


 


Local Breads, however, let me go find those banana peels.:P


 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Oh.... You would go for a Hamelman's challenge?????


 


I will have to check the book to see how many recipes are in there.... more than 150? 


 


you are brave!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

At least, that's what I quickly counted.  And four decorative doughs.


I might be able to do it over two or three years.  :-)

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Oh, piece of cake... slice of bread, rather... :-)


 


ONLY 85.....


 


43 is going to take me slightly less than a year - 85 would be double that, IF I managed to keep the same pace going (highly doubtful)


 


nope, I think I will sit back and watch... but, tempting it is

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I've already done at least 10 breads from that book, which leaves... ONLY 75, which will take me roughly 2 years. Woah. Hmmmm.

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Although I DO plan on hitting a few of the recipes in Bread once we're done with BBA and don't have that weekly "obligation".


But...


Maybe we can do a monthly or even bi-monthly group bake instead. And maybe the first one should be Vermont, so it's officially done and out of the way, whether new or a repeat for anyone. But then we can sort of hop back and forth and pick a few recipes that seem interesting. Even if we only do a handful, I think the fun would be in the "group" aspect and doing more cross blogging, really getting a bit more into the details, what we change, find helpful, etc.. I think blogging is sort of a requirement, of course, for those of us with the web spaces.


A more relaxed pace and less daunting than tackling an entire book.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I am more or less on the same page as you...


 


looking forward to baking a bunch of new breads - the Vermont series is my favorite, I made them all at least once, but the basic one probably 12 times or so.


 


I like the idea of picking some of Hamelman's breads for a relaxed "group project" with less pressure.  Plus, there are lots of breads either from this forum or other bread books that I want to make too.  Mentally, I think another full book challenge would be too difficult for me.


 


 


 


 

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

Once one can make Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough the way Hamelman describes, it is such a basic but verasatile recipe which can be used as the basis for so many awsomely delicious sourdough breads with such small changes in either ingredient, method, or both, I can scarcely see the need to put yourself through this. This must be absolute torture.


I am going to have a slice right now. Good Luck to you!


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I only bake on weekends too, so it's been hard to sneak in other baking projects along with BBA ones. Some BBA recipes I was excited about, others not so much, for those I try to find something else about the bread that would get me interested. For example I made an interesting German truffle recipe using that awful 100% rye bread (that bread recipe was no good, trust me, 100% rye can be wonderful!). Soemtimes I try to use new shaping/scoring techniques etc.


 


Tuscan no salt bread sounds a tad boring to me as well, so I am considering to use it to make that famous Tuscan bread salad (Panzanella) for the first time. Another boring one is the upcoming "white bread", I am trying to think of ways to make them more intersting too - maybe add some fillings.


 


Can't believe we are near the end! I will be both relieved and lost when it's over!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I can hardly believe, but I am just about to travel to Plano, TX to meet Txfarmer and Peter Reinhart!


I am extremely nervous about the drive - this former Brazilian is anti-snow, anti-winter, anti-ice, and the roads might be still partially frozen from the storm that hit our state


I will report back, please cross your fingers for my travel.....


 

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Sounds like a great adventure, with some good rewards at the end of it. Have fun, and travel safely.


Jeremy

Natashya KitchenPuppies's picture
Natashya Kitche...

I have four more breads to do for the BBA, and, like at the end of a great epic book, I am both terribly happy and totally grief stricken.


I would be interested in baking along with a new book, in group form. Breads of different cultures might also be interesting.. like a book of Middle Eastern breads, or Mediterranean or European. But I am totally open.


If something official gets underway, please let me know!


Thanks. :)

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

This is my first weekend BBAC-free, and I am feeling lost and missing "something"


 


As far as challenges go, I guess there were some ideas here, maybe baking Hamelman's book, but not the whole thing - people would choose a few recipes and they would be made by a bunch of bakers interested in joining.  In a relaxed way.


 


Phyl Divine is thinking about baking Nick Malgieri's book - I don't remember the name now, but it involves breads, pies, cookies, sweets.  


 


I am sure something will materialize as more folks finish the challenge, so let's stay tuned!

Natashya KitchenPuppies's picture
Natashya Kitche...

Thanks so much! Modern baker is also lots of pies and cakes, etc.


I do love to bake them but can't do them very often as hubby is diabetic. I am hoping someone also starts a bread group going. Mention has been made re Peter Reinhart's Pizza book... :) That might be fun.


Staying tuned!


Thanks again.