Monday, 15 March 2010

Bread Baker's Apprentice - The Swan Song

I can't believe I ate baked the whole thing.
On Friday I baked the last bread from the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. This marks the end of almost a year of baking through Peter Reinhart's amazing bread book, a feat that never would have occurred to me if Nicole of Pinch My Salt hadn't thrown down the gauntlet and organized a global bread baking initiative. Thanks to her and a year of Reinhart's breads, I feel like I have had the education of a lifetime without leaving the comfort of my own kitchen.

One of the breads that I had postponed and had to get back to was the Stollen, a traditional Christmas bread. As I had already baked one during the holidays, I decided to play with this one a bit. I used raisins and cranberries for the dried fruits, made a Nutella swirl, and glazed the loaf with an eggwash before sprinkling it with sliced almonds. This was a big hit with my daughter and bordered on pastry. The Nutella swirl made the loaf spread out a bit but it was delicious nonetheless.


The Limpa, or Swedish Rye came out quite dense and dark. There is no full loaf shot as it looks like a black brick. I used my electric knife to carve it into thin slices and was surprised to find it to be absolutely delicious. I loved the spices in the loaf, it paired beautifully with smoked meat.

The Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes are a particular favourite of ours. I loved the cheesy, oniony flavour they impart. Great toasted, I found this bread goes with just about everything. I added in a little Swiss cheese as well, to make the cheese flavour even more complex.

Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes

And the final loaf in the book was the Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche. I halved the recipe to make one loaf and, other than finding that the topping got too dark in the oven, it turned out beautifully. I love the saltiness of the cheese paired with the sweet of the onion. (Although hubby did say that it looked like a giant macaroon!) I have to say though, for cheese breads we did prefer the Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes.

Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche

What's next? Well, I am still baking away with my favourite flour-covered goddesses, The Bread Baking Babes, and have recently joined the Mellow Bakers to discover Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread. Care to join us?

I know you have come to expect a video with this bread round ups, and I hate to disappoint you.. so I won't. Here is a video my son Harry made recently with his friends from school, a playful spoof of the Backstreet Boys and boy bands in general. Harry is the one sporting the sweater vest.
These guys are all finished high school now, many stayed for an extra semester to take some electives and help out at the school. It is hard to believe that I won't be going to the amazing performances there anymore. Harry brings his friends up for a hug from his mommy after the shows, I don't know if it is for good luck or if they are having fun with me but they are all good guys and very talented in their own right. Harry is going into Broadcasting and Film but will still be making his comedy videos on the side. Enjoy!

A Backstreet Valentine's