This Weekends Bread

This weekend, I made challah and whole wheat multi-grain bread. Instead of doing a traditional braided loaf for the challah, I braided it and then put it in a loaf pan to rise and bake. Unfortunately I miscalculated the "spring" during baking and the loaves got a little huge. I had originally thought that I wouldn't have enough dough so increased the recipe by 50% but I probably would have been fine. Still came out very well and makes killer PBJ's.


This weekends bread

The breads this weekend where a cranberry-pecan cinnamon bread, an oatmeal-flax whole wheat bread and my first attempt at brioche. I have made the cinnamon and the oatmeal-flax breads before but the brioche was something new. It is a very different technique and I will have to try it again because I think I let it over rise. It tastes good though. Kinda like a big slice of croissant.

Daisy gets a hair cut

Our 3 year old schnoodle got a haircut this Friday. It's very short for summer.


Woodworking project for my wife...

Lately, Lou (my wife) has gotten the bug to make pasta from scratch. Dare I say she is getting good at it. Besides, she puts up with my bread obsession so what comes around goes around. She asked me to make her a pasta drying rack. The only hobby I enjoy more than bread making is wood working. I find the process of turning large pieces of wood into smaller ones very relaxing.


This weekends bread

This weekend, I made another version of marble rye and French bread baguettes. This version of marble rye was inspired by Reinhart's delayed ferment rye recipe from his whole grain book. I made a double batch and then split it into a light rye made with corn syrup instead of molasses an a dark rye made with some cocoa powder (0.8 oz) and a little extra water (1.6 oz). I ended up adding to much water so the next time I do this, I will do the cocoa to water in a 1:1 ratio. The other change I made was to put the loaves in bread pans after braiding. I did this to form more of a sandwich loaf which worked out pretty well.

The French bread is from Peter Reinhart's other book, The Bread Bakers Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. The baguettes could have baked a little longer to develop a crispier crust but otherwise it turned out pretty well.

To make the baguettes, ideally you should bake them on a large pizza stone to create that hearth baked effect. I have been looking at different pizza stones for a few weeks but all the ones I found were either really small or really expensive. However, a re-read of an earlier chapter in Peter's book suggested using unglazed quarry tile. This suggestion was confirmed by Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen. So, $4.00 later and about 2 hours with a tile saw resulted in a set of tiles that fit into a half-sheet pan. Actually, I made two sets for the $4.00 so it works out to be about 20 times cheaper in material costs than buying one of them fancy stones.