A couple of weeks ago, I discovered this book at the library:
I still haven’t baked my way through it. But I’m working on it.
I’ve had the chance to rebake some of the breads I tried in my last bread blog post, and I also made some new ones.
Okay, remember the scali bread on the left?
I speculated that the stretch marks between the plaits was because I’d braided it too tightly. See attempt #2 on the right – looser braids, fewer stretch marks! Eureka! The scali bread has become my go to breakfast toast bread.
Now, the pain de campagne. I’ve actually made this one three times now.
Each of these look and taste pretty similar. It’s a good toast bread or sandwich bread – it’s got part bread flour, part whole wheat flour, so it feels a little meatier than the scali, which is more light and fluffy. (Can you describe a bread as meaty?)
I’ve also had the chance to tackle the cinnamon raisin bread twice. I adore cinnamon raisin bread, but I never buy it because Cedric doesn’t like raisins. Somehow, this has not prevented him from eating the loaves I’ve made.
Attempt #1 on the left and #2 on the right. The one on the left is arguably prettier, but that’s just because I used a disposable aluminum loaf pan thingy for the right one. The recipe in Bread Illustrated makes two loaves, and I only have one proper loaf pan. So the left photo is the proper pan from attempt #1, whereas the right photo is the disposable pan from attempt #2. Regardless, they both tasted amazing.
I tried a few savoury breads, too.
Behold – rosemary focaccia! Here’s an embarrassing story: when making the sponge for this one, I accidentally mixed up focaccia with ciabatta. Two totally different breads, but both with fancy sounding Italian names. Luckily, I caught my error. Baking the focaccia was a wild ride. You coat the bottom of the pan with oil, and you bake the bread in it – this really rattled our smoke detector. The bread was a little messy to eat, but it tasted wonderful – on par with any I’ve ever had from the store or a restaurant.
This is called “red pepper coque”. It’s a pizza dough of sorts with an onion and roasted red pepper topping, plus pine nuts. I’d never had this before – it was delicious. Here’s another angle:
Last but not least, I made a flatbread recipe that was supposed to be like naan for a cauliflower curry we had the other night.
It was very good.
I hereby conclude that all bread is good. I have to admit, I’m slowing down in my bread baking frenzy. I still want to make pretzels, babka, and the granddaddy of all breads: the sourdough.
That may be all I’m able to squeeze in before the book is due back at the library. I have to say, we have become somewhat accustomed to home baked bread. The day it comes due will be a solemn day indeed.