Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

25 11 2009
Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Challah

When I was finishing off the last of the challah I made the week before I made this one, I was trying to figure out what to do with some leftover cranberry sauce and leftover pumpkin from other things I’d made, then the idea came to me, what about a challah made with two doughs? One with pumpkin puree providing much of the hydration, and one with cranberry sauce providing much of the hydration. I thought the colors and flavors would make a really interesting combination. And, while I was at it, why not make it with my levain? Having only made challah twice before, this may have been a bit ambitious, but why not!

I decided to use the challah recipe in Bread Baker’s Apprentice as a starting point, as I liked the loaf I’d made the week beforehand. I took a look at the hydration in the recipe and calculated out how much flour and hydration I wanted in the preferment, I had to estimate here as I didn’t know what percentage of the pumpkin puree and cranberry sauce was water. The cranberry sauce definitely had a lower water content, and it also seemed to have somewhat of an inhibiting effect on the levain. I’m not sure why, but I have some ideas. It may have been the sugar and/or acidity levels of the sauce, or the lower availability of water because there was less water in the sauce. The more mundane reason, it could just be that I forgot to get the cranberry sauce to room temperature first (not to mention our house is colder than room temperature) so the cold starter and cold cranberry sauce may have just stayed cold much longer, as the cranberry dough did rise at the same speed as the pumpkin on the final rise. Read the rest of this entry »

Royal Grains Bread

18 11 2009
Purple Multigrain Loaf Crumb

Royal Grains Bread, Crumb Shot

This bread is heavily inspired by the Multi-grain Extraordinaire recipe from Bread Baker’s Apprentice and really, it came out of my desire to stuff even more grains and grain flavor into that bread. I first made the Multi-grain Extraordinaire back in late September, and while I liked it quite a bit I was really looking for a bit more graininess, so to speak. I hadn’t thought about that again until this weekend, as I knew I needed some lunch bread but I wasn’t sure what to make. When I was digging in the cupboard for the pasta I needed for a pumpkin stew (more on that in a later post!) I saw the forbidden rice and purple barley I got a while back. Suddenly I had it, time to rework the recipe in search of more ‘graininess’! In light of the supposed royal nature of the forbidden rice (although that is probably mostly marketing) and the similarity in color of the cooked rice to the ancient Royal Purple, I decided to name this Royal Grains Bread. Read the rest of this entry »


11 11 2009
Baked Pannetone

Finished Pannetone

Pannetone is something I had wanted to make for a while before I had the chance to, or a situation it was appropriate for. Well, heading off to Alaska back in August seemed the perfect opportunity to make it, who wouldn’t want some delicious Pannetone on the road? I figured it would make a nice dessert to take with us, and it is supposed to keep fairly well. With the Pugliese I posted earlier, and the Pannetonne we were totally set!
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Sourdough Focaccia

4 11 2009

Sourdough Focaccia

I’ve made the Focaccia from Bread Baker’s Apprentice a couple of times before, but never with a sourdough starter. And I guess because I’ve made it so many times I completely forgot to get pictures during the process!

This is one of the easier breads in the book to make, you’re given the option to make the focaccia with a poolish or an overnight retarded dough. I took the poolish option, just adding in some of my starter instead of commercial yeast. I mixed the starter with the water for the recipe, as I usually do, then added it to the flour for the recipe and gave it a quick mix, then it was left to ferment overnight. The next evening I mixed in the rest of the ingredients for the final dough and allowed the dough to further ferment, giving it 3 or 4 stretches and folds during the process. When the dough is ready you practically pour it onto a prepared sheet pan! In my case, this was two pans, because I use smaller pans than the recipe calls for. Some dimpling of the loaf, more fermenting, more dimpling and it is ready to go in the oven!

This sourdough version turned out the best of any time I’ve made focaccia, it had a great taste (just the slightest hint of sour) a wonderful open texture, and just the right amount of chewiness. My friends and I ended up making really yummy sandwiches with it when they were here.

Sourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Focaccia

Once again, submitted to YeastSpotting .
Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge

Méteils au Bleu

21 10 2009
Baked Méteils au Bleu

Baked Méteils au Bleu

This recipe comes from Pierre Nury via Daniel Leader’s Local Breads, this is the second recipe I’ve made from the book (and it went a lot better than the first, which I still need to write up). I picked this recipe because it looked like it would make cute little loaves, and one of my friends is a fan of blue cheese. It had also been a while since I made a bread with a significant amount of rye flour, and that one turned out a bit brick like. I had some trepidation starting this recipe because I had heard of many errors in the book (and experienced some of them in the first bread I made), but I didn’t notice any glaring errors in this recipe.
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Pain de Campagne

13 10 2009

Tabatière shaped Pain de Camapgne

Pain de Campagne loaf in a Tabatière shape

This bread ended up being somewhat abused, but it still turned out very tasty and nice looking! I had planned out the day and while I had a meeting at school, that I was expecting to take quite a bit of time, things still ended up funky. My best estimate for when I would get home left the dough for this bread with about 2 to 3 hours left on the bulk ferment. As it turned out, I had to have my mom give the dough a quick stretch and fold for me and stick it in the fridge. But of course then things started moving fast, so it never should have gone in the fridge…

Why don’t we go back to the start… Read the rest of this entry »

100% Semolina Pugliese

1 10 2009
Baked Pugliese

Finished Loaves

Once again, one from the archives (well, I never posted it, but it was made a while ago). I made this pugliese right before we left for Alaska. I figured it’d be a good bread to take a long on the road with us, since it looked like it would be good for snacking or sandwiches. I also decided to make a fairly large change to the recipe for the pugliese, instead of the suggested mix of extra fancy durum flour and bread flour, I went with 100% extra fancy durum. In addition to that deviation, I went with my sourdough starter as a leavening agent for the bread, partially because I figured it would keep longer that way. I did make one mistake subbing in the extra fancy durum, I read the part of the recipe that mentions durum absorbs more water backwards. So instead of extra water I used less… oops. Read the rest of this entry »

Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

28 09 2009
Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire Pan Loaf

Sunday again, at my house this time. And once again I need a pan loaf for sandwiches! I started flipping through Bread Baker’s Apprentice looking for my next target. The Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire caught my eyes, without so much as a picture! People who know me probably wouldn’t be surprised by this, because as much as I love various artisan breads, whole wheat or multigrain anything will make me sit up and take notice. And no, I don’t eat cardboard in my spare time. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Bake Day Resumes, Missing 1

20 09 2009
New Haircut?!

My helper for the day (with an accidentally short haircut)

Well, back home now, it was Sunday and I didn’t have work, baking time. Normally I would be going down to see my girlfriend and getting some help from her with the baking. Well, she is in Alaska now so she wasn’t helping this time. But I still went down to visit her family, the pooch… and the oven. I had an ovenfull of breads on the roster for the day, still keeping with the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. First for the day was Portuguese Sweet Bread and then both sourdough and commercial yeast Italian Bread. The Portuguese was added to the roster at the last minute when I realized I needed sandwich bread for lunches. The Italian Bread on the other hand was just for fun! Well, I also wanted to test my new brotforms… I didn’t manage to get photos of every step, I was too busy and distracted for that.
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18 09 2009

Sourdough Ciabatta

Sourdough Ciabatta

Making the Ciabatta from Bread Baker’s Apprentice has been quite the adventure. I think I’ve made it four times (recently that is) now? Before I’ve really been happy with it.

The first time was an utter disaster, I had a friend that kept talking about making ciabatta but not doing it. So I took it upon myself to give him some ready made ciabatta, just needing baking. Unfortunately, they rose far more in the fridge than I was anticipating and became very stuck to the couche, I tried to bake them at home and they turned out okay. But nothing great. Read the rest of this entry »


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