Monday, February 7, 2011

#42 Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedo


A Bit Misshapen, but Oh, So Tasty!



Close-Up of the Pockets of Cheese



A Little Still Life


Cheese spilling out of the loaf - yum!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

#41 Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

It has been a while, admittedly, but as I recall, many of my fellow BBA bakers were not exactly crazy about this particular bread, so I was somewhat wary as I approached it. Much to my surprise, though I loved it! I should probably state, however, that I do love whole grain breads. In fact, one reason it took me so long to finish the challenge was that I kept taking detours back to my favorite whole wheat bread.

This is at least equal with that bread; in fact, it may possibly have edged it out a bit, because it has such great flavor.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

#40 - White Bread

Sourdough Baguettes and White Bread Shaped into Dinner Rolls


This white bread recipe was decidedly better than my first white bread recipe, which was my first bread-baking attempt some 38 years ago. This recipe made wonderful rolls. I made them for my birthday party in November. They went very well with the turkey meatballs and sauce. After the party, we froze those that were left. That was a great idea, and since they thawed out so quickly, whenever I wanted a fresh roll, I just popped one into the microwave for a few seconds and had fresh hot bread at a moment's notice. Wonderful!

While I vastly prefer whole wheat bread, if I need basic white bread, this will be my go-to recipe.


In the Oven


The Finished Rolls

# 39 Vienna Bread

Gorgeous!

Yes, these loaves of Vienna bread are absolutely beautiful, but far too sweet for my taste. The little boys next door loved them though. I like my bread to taste like bread, not cake. The Tuscan bread was similar, but had that great Italian flavor, much more to my liking.



Beauty


The Finished Loaves

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#38 - Tuscan Bread

This time, the beauty of the loaf matches the texture and the flavor - fabulous!

I am currently re-reading the first section of Elizabeth Gilbert's great book, Eat Pray Love, in which the author spends four months in Italy learning how to live life the Italian way - in pursuit of "Il bar far niente," in English, "The beauty of doing nothing." Although she doesn't exactly do nothing - she eats - and writes about what she eats - quite well. Almost as well as Steinbeck writes about food.

This bread, in my imagination, has me sitting in a trattoria in Rome or in Florence, ripping off a chunk to accompany a lovely pasta with a robust tomato sauce, redolent with garlic and herbs. It is a somewhat salty loaf, which somehow translates to Tuscany in my nascent Italian vocabulary.

A great loaf, and since I cook a lot of Italian food, I imagine this one gracing my bread basket many, many times.


The Close-Up


The Finished Loaves

# 37 - Swedish Limpa

Looks good, I know. But its good looks belie its flavor.


This one was just okay. Not stellar, by any rating scale - just okay. I had one slice and gave the rest away. But with 43 breads, they can't all be winners like the Poilane style miche, which, by the way two weeks later - thawed from the freezer - still makes the best toast - ever.


The Extreme Close-up


The Finished Loaf

Friday, January 7, 2011

#36 - Stollen

Perhaps not a perfect crescent moon shape, but one of the tastiest breads in the challenge.


Now I admit I was not looking forward to making this bread. First of all, it has an ingredient in it that I have detested since childhood - that nasty candied fruit that they put in fruitcake. When I was a kid, the only cake my mother made from scratch was fruitcake. I would get so excited that she was baking, and the ingredients looked so good and smelled so good. And then I would bite into it and be absolutely crestfallen with disappointment - due to - yes, that nasty candied fruit.

I dragged my feet on making bread, but time was running out - my deadline was looming - so I decided to take a leap and use dried cherries instead. I soaked them in rum, used toasted slivered almonds, orange and lemon extracts, and orange zest, and I now had one of my favorite breads in the challenge! It is wonderful hot right out of the oven; the next day; the day after - and makes absolutely spectacular toast.

I will make this bread again and again.

Oh - and I didn't see any reason to use the powdered sugar - it is perfect without it.


In the Oven


The Finished Loaf