The Fresh Loaf

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We 3 gmas baked but we didn't like it!

gmagmabaking2's picture

We 3 gmas baked but we didn't like it!

We had a great baking day together and we believe that all of our breads turned out just as they were supposed to... but we didn't like it.  The taste was not to our liking. The recipe in Bread Alone on page 153, contains dark ale, cardamon, and candied orange peel and lemon peel... rye flour, bran flour and whole wheat flour.  All in all we felt that the flavors did not play well together. Below are our pictures... looks better than it tastes... Helen and Barb made some extra snacks for Superbowl... we did our bake on Superbowl Sunday...and as luck would have it -- the 49ers were not the only disappointment.  Plenty of other treats to distract us though so all is well.

 My dough... smelled good.

Helen's and Barb's looks like mine. Finished bread looks good.

Helen added some breadzels into her Superbowl dinner extravaganza.

 Barb's loaf is all artisan perfect.

And her soft pretzels were a big hit!

My loaves browned nicely.   The Steam made a nice crust. the crumb seemed a little dense.

But it was the flavor that was not lovely... maybe the rye without the caraway felt wrong... or the wheat with the candied fruit... whatever the case, we won't make this again, probably... If anyone out there has used this recipe and loved it... please tell us about yours! 

See you next week when we 3 attempt to make a "rose" for Valentine's day... Will probably bake on Sunday again.... happy baking.



PastryPaul's picture

When you say "But it was the flavor that was not lovely...," could you be more specific? Could it have had a bitter aftertaste/flavor?

If so, the beer was likely the culprit.

We recently made several batches of beer-based breads for a local micro-brewery. Their beer is great as are our breads (OK, so I ain't very humble)

The breads we made for them were terrible. They were bitter to the point of being inedible.  After some research we found that their dark beers were malt-types where the malt is roasted to get the requisite dark color. This torrefication process is similar to how they make coffee. Also like coffee, if it gets too hot it gets horribly bitter. Switching the beer and increasing salt (salt cuts bitter taste receptors) solved the issue.

Good luck with your roses... I just made 250 of the &^$%(&$ things.


gmagmabaking2's picture

Yes, Pastry Paul, I would say there is a bitterness that I found somewhat offensive... but I really didn't like the combination of that taste and the sweetness of the candied peel... the candied sweetness, and somewhat tartness, seemed odd.  I agree the ale may have been part of the problem.  Wow! 250 roses... were they full sized loaves... are they for people to buy for Valentine's day?  

You are my hero!!!


dabrownman's picture

Breads made with bitter beers like, any ale, can be problematic.  Ales don't usually go well with bread.   Stouts, lagers, Ice beers, and some porters are much much nicer in bread. 

On another note, the only bread that I have ever made that was totally inedible, not even good enough for croutons or squirrels,  had cardamon in it - way too much and it wasn't that much either.  Scandinavians are raised on bread with cardamon and it takes a lifetime to acquire a taste for it.  Ale with cardamon is certain disaster awaiting the taste buds after such visually pleasing looks inside and out.

Sad such beautiful examples of well crafted and baked bread tasted so horrible. 

Love the footballs, pretzels and  those great boldly baked crusts!  I never do it, but a pinch of yeast would have helped the crumb open up -  but I use YW for that instead.

Nice baking GMA's  - I can't bake on weekends so we will do the  Valentine Rose on Monday!  Does Vienna bread really have milk , egg and butter in it?

gmagmabaking2's picture

The ITJB recipe we have for the Vienna bread is:

4 1/3 cups Bread flour

3 Tbs. + 1 tsp. granulated sugar

3 Tbs. dry or liquid malt

1 3/4 tsp. instant yeast

1 1/3 cup water @ room temp.

1 large beaten egg

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 1/4 tsp. table salt

so no milk or butter... but it does have the malt and veg. oil.  I think any good bread would work wouldn't it... we liked this one and thought the tomato basil would be a tasty combination.

It will be fun to see what we all do with this.  Thanks for joining in.


dabrownman's picture

When I looked up Vienna Bread on TFL there were no recipes easily found.  On the Internet there were a bunch but they all had milk and eggs and some had butter or oil.  I thought I was googling Challah!

This looks like a good candidate to make into a rose - not too wet.  If I used my home made multi-grain dry malt in this recipe it would just overpower it plus, without the wet in the liquid malt, the hydration of this bread would be around 60% (including the egg liquid) even though it wouldn't feel like it with the oil, sugar and fat in the egg.  So think that using liquid malt is the way to go and will get hydration  up to 65% hydration or so. 

Looking forward to the Valentine Rose bake.  Maybe some others will join in the fun.

pmccool's picture

but I recently made a vort limpa that had a blend of fennel, anise, and cardamom for the spices.  I think that I used a lager, rather than an ale.  That formula also called for fresh orange zest, rather than candied peel.  Fabulous fragrance and flavor.

I wonder if the candied peel might also have been a contributor to the flavor problems you encountered.  Some that I have tasted are just nasty.  Better to make your own or use fresh, it seems.


gmagmabaking2's picture

Will have to look up that recipe for vort limpa... maybe the anise and fennel along with the cardamon would be good... so lagers and ales taste different? I know very little about beer varieties.  So far, I have liked whatever we have put zests in... this was a first for the candied peel, and we made it fresh 12 hours prior to making the bread.

Thanks for the input, I will check and see if I can find the recipe you may have used.