With three days before Christmas, while the southern plains are pummeled with snow storms, Chicago enjoys a strange mild winter with temperatures in the mid 40s with no precipitations! As much as I enjoy a white Christmas, and believe me, we have quite a bit of those in Chicago, I also appreciate spending time in the kitchen, baking, instead of shoveling snow.
» Archive for the 'Bread' Category
For those of you lucky dogs and ducks that inherited a piece of my multi-million dollar sourdough starter, here is the first blog post in the series discussing how to actually bake a sourdough bread that will gain back your spouse’s respect, as your kids and friends would bow in front of you and address you as “Your Royal Majesty”. This series is a remastered version of the original Sourdough Chronicles I wrote a while ago.
You know that fall is approaching when you start baking. Lately the temperature in Chicago was more baking-friendly so I thought it was time for another BBA Challenge dust-off here with a delicious Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche.
This is a protein-intense bread, surely because of the cheese overdrive content but worth making it again… annually. No, really I would make it more often but it requires attention and time. I really liked the asiago cheese in it because it gives an assertive taste, but you can simply substitute it for any other cheese from that same family (like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano).
Look, this is not the healthiest breads of all, but sure makes a killer sandwich. Also thought it was time to dust off my Bread Baker’s Apprentice book and take on a new bread baking challenge. Summer is slowly tapering off with scattered bearable temperatures when I can finally heat up my oven to 425 without roasting everyone in the house. Who would have thought that this Kaiser roll bread would bring flashbacks of my childhood in Romania! I remember risking being late at our chemistry class (no one cared of) only to run and buy a couple of these Kaiser rolls being sold at our corner bakery. I am sure back then they called these something other than Kaiser Rolls, since little rolls baked in honor of Franz Joseph I of Austria would have gone against the grains of communism. Maybe they called them Lenin Rolls? Don’t remember…
I had this next chapter in the BBA challenge on my list for a very long time but only now I got to actually get my hands dirty (literally!): Bagels! Partly because of my quest of finding the highest gluten content flour, and partly because of the residual insanity in my life that never seems to clear up. Here is my first adventure in baking Bagels, hope it’ll inspire you.
Merry Christmas! This is the second time me baking the Panettone from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for the BBA Challenge. I didn’t blog about it since there were some things I wanted to tweak and adapt from his original formula (that, with all respect to the man, doesn’t even come close to the quintessential Panettone Milanese). Quite a few changes. Now I know why Nicole calls the BBA Challenge a ‘challenge’…
Since it started, I’ve been wanting to spin off my participation in Nicole’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge – an ambitious project to bake myself through Peter Reinhart’s book with the same name. Finally, I have my hands full of sticky dough up to my elbows. This week’s challenge is Ciabatta Bread, a North-Western (Liguria) Italian invention that literally means carpet slipper because of its typical shape that resembles it.
Le Baking – (Bread Day 3)
This was the Happy Day! The day when everything came together. The fun. The Grand Finale. The day you can hug everyone on the street, then get arrested for being weird.
Started off by taking the two baskets out of the fridge to a warm spot for more room temperature rising for about 4-5 hours. I left them in their plastic bags to prevent any crusting.
Thought of starting of this first day off 2009 with a live Sourdough Cam showing the growth and live development! How fun this can be?
Now, I don’t expect you starring at the sourdough jar for hours, but you can check the progress from time to time and hopefully inspire you to get your own Sourdough going!
A Happy New 2009 and may your blessings multiply like the yeast in my Sourdough (that is by the BILLIONS!)
Le Dough – (Bread Day 2)
A somewhat more complicated day. I started off by taking the sponge out of the fridge and cutting it into rough pieces to help it warm up faster (about an hour). I covered it so it would not crust over. Meanwhile, measured out:
4-1/2 cups flour (unbleached, all-purpose, high gluten)
2 Tsp salt
1-3/4 cup warm water