Sunday, November 15, 2009

bread baker's apprentice challenege half-way look back

With 22 breads down in the bread baker's apprentice challenge, it's time to take a quick peek back at what's been baked. It actually seems like quite the journey at this point, and I almost can't believe I've created so many delicious breads. From challah to brioche, it's been an interesting first half.

First up was anadama. A delicious bread, utilizing corn meal, it had a nutty, sweet flavour that tasted really good after some time in the toaster.

Artos, the Greek celebration bread provided a wonderful aroma. Including nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice, it was fantastic as french toast.

Bagels, were a hurdle I'd never attempted until now. Requiring an involved process of shaping, boiling and baking, they turned out decent. Although I still miss those Montreal bagels from my youth.

Deciding to go all out, rich man's brioche provided the next challenge. Oh so buttery, this dough was very strange to work with. Great french toast.

Casatiello was crazy combination of cheese and meat. Stopping by my local Italian store, I picked up a few cheeses and meats to create some different combinations. Definitely not your everyday bread, this would be fantastic to pull out for that company pot luck.

Challah was made more times than I can count during that week. From the basic braided design, to spirals, to loaf pans, it took on every shape. I also included raisins at one point to give the challah french toast that extra boost.

I'm still bummed about my ciabatta attempt. Mostly because I couldn't seem to get the air pockets. They tasted good at least.

The cinnamon buns proved to be fantastic. Light, fluffy and full of sugary goodness. The buns worked better than the cinnamon roll I also baked.

The cinnamon walnut raisin bread was a bit of a challenge. Every version I baked without walnuts was light and airy, but including the walnuts always left my loaves a little heavy and dense.

Making corn bread most of my life, this recipe was good, but didn't win me over. I do like the addition of bacon on top.

I totally forgot about the alien looking cranberry walnut bread until now. What a treat this bread was. Fully of crunchy, tart goodness.

English muffins!! So easy and tasty. I even made a loaf version, which was equally delicious, although it was a little hard to split the loaf with a fork.

Instead of going savory, I went sweet with the foccacia. Topped with sugar and loaded with raisins, this creation disappeared in no time.

French bread, which was very similar to

the Italian bread. Both of which were delicious, and way better than store bought versions.

My kaisers buns were decent. They didn't have the crust I wanted and I screwed up the recipe by including all of the pre-ferment. The shaping sure was fun though.

The lavash crackers were so quick and easy, I kept baking off batches during the week. Best of all, I found they went swimmingly with fresh pico de gallo.

The light wheat bread was exactly that. As you can tell, it ballooned in the oven, creating a perfect sandwich and toast bread.

The marbled rye recipe absolutely won me over. As someone who never appreciated rye bread (I'm not the biggest caraway fan), I've been making this bread on a weekly basis ever since the first loaf. So good. A must!

The multi-grain extraordinaire left a little to be desired. Best eaten as toast.

Pain a l'Ancienne was a great experience. The crust was bang on, and combined with the chewy interior it was fantastic.

Which brings me to pain campagne, and the middle of the challenge. I left this dough to rise, only to forget about it entirely. Coming home to a pile of WAY over proofed saggy dough left a lot to be desired. Maybe I'll go back, but with so many breads left, it's going to have to wait.

There you have it. 22 breads in, and 22 to go. What an experience so far, both for the mind and the tummy. With so much carby goodness, I'm surely going to have run a few extra miles when this whole thing is wrapped up. To any BBAC particiapants; is there a favorite yet? Maybe something like my marbled rye that you've added to your regular rotation? Any major fails? Do tell.


ATigerinTheKitchen said...

I LOVE this post!! It almost made me teary-eyed. I'm definitely Facebooking this...thanks for posting. Look at how far we've come!

Chris said...

Thanks. It is amazing how far we've come.

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

What a wonderful recap! It's been a great journey so far but we're not done yet - thank goodness! I have several favorites: light wheat, multigrain and pizza napoletana #25 - my newest favorite. However, I absolutely love the Pane Siciliano #23. It looks and tastes great!

Chris said...

Thank goodness indeed. Light wheat was great, and I've made the pizza recipe for years, so I can totally appreciate your love for it.

Maki said...

wow chris. awesome. i'm really amazed at all the effort you have put into this challenge. really great recap. you should be proud.

Sharon said...

That photo of your cinnamon buns makes my mouth water every time. I hope the next half of the challenge goes just as well as the first half!

Chris said...

Thanks Maki and Sharon!!

misterrios said...

Crazy to think that we have come all this way and have baked through bags upon bags of flour.

I actually love the epi. It's like an abstract interpretation, and I think that is awesome.

Chris said...

I've just picked up my 4th 20kg bag of flour Misterrios, and that doesn't even include the whole wheat, the rye, etc.. It's crazy. Thanks!

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