Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bread, Bread and more Bread

Ever since I made some No-Knead Bread for my Secret Recipe Club assignment last November, I've been hooked on this bread.  Well, not exactly hooked.   And then the members picked it as the most popular recipe that week, so that was even more fun.   Secret Recipe Club Most Popular for the week.

 It's more like addicted. 

When something is so easy to mix, make and bake, and it tastes so good, it's really hard to not keep on making it. I've bought 25 lbs. of flour so far, just since November.  I've gone through 20 lbs, and have another 5 # bag in the pantry ready to go.  

But I haven't eaten every single loaf myself.

 I've shared.

I've made a loaf and brought it to Boat Club, a couple of times now, made it for Tapas Night, brought it with me when I was invited out to dinner and have also made some and just given them away.

I have discovered that a loaf of this bread just doesn't last long.  It gets eaten, fast.

Somewhere along the way, I decided, just for fun, to take a picture of every loaf I've made so far.

And I've also given out the recipe, to anyone who expressed even a little teensy interest in it.

I've experimented a little with the rising times, and have discovered that no matter how careful I am to make it the same way every time, each loaf has its own characteristics, but they're all delicious.  The only disaster (not really, we ate them anyway) I've had is the time I decided to make two batches, combine them into one bowl for rising, and then divided it in half again, using half the dough to make bread bowls for soup and the other half I baked in a Pyrex loaf pan.  They didn't rise real well, either one.   We ate the evidence though.  The bread bowls weren't big enough and the bread baked in the loaf pan, well, it was a touch anemic.

The next time I made two batches, I didn't combine them, I kept them separate, and then just baked them one after the other.  That worked.

I've also tried baking one loaft on my Pizza stone, but,well, gee, the bread tasted OK, but it just didn't achieve the rise like the ones baked in the dutch oven.  

Here's the gallery of hits and near misses: 
The first loaf, aka Alpha Loaf.  The crust was phenomenal and we scarfed it down in short order.
#2.  Just as good as the first one.  And it didn't last long at Boat Club either.  I love it when people eat my food.

And then came #3 I baked this one on the Pizza Stone, and really, not such a great idea.
This was bake #4, and I made two batches.  I tried to make a faux sourdough out of them, and you know they weren't bad, just not sour enough.  However, the loaf on the left I made with rye flour and it was very good.  I'm going to try making it again, soon, and then I'll detail how to make it.  
Bake#5  I baked this for Christmas Eve dinner, and even with the Prime Rib, and all the sides we had, there was no bread left at the end of the night.  Doesn't it look pretty?
Bake # 6  For New Years Eve, final bake of the year, and what a way to go out.
Bake #7 I had to start the New Year off right with this gorgeous beauty, and it tasted wonderful as well.  The crust was a tad thinner than usual, and that was not a bad thing.
Bake #8 I just astound myself when I see the beautiful bread coming out of my oven.  And I took this one with me to a friends house for dinner. 
Bake #9 Do I need words?

Bake #10 Let the good times keep on baking.   I did slash this loaf after forming it and I think that helps it raise a little more.  Just don't remember to do it all the time.
Bake #11  You don't think I got too carried away with the bread making stuff, do you?  At any rate, here are the 'bread' bowls I tried to make.   Tasted good, just weren't big enough.
And here's the other half of the bread making almost fiasco.  And I didn't get a picture until after we'd consumed half the loaf.  I baked this in the Pyrex pan, but it just wasn't quite right.
And for Bake #12, I made a loaf for Boat Club.  Just had to do it. And forgot to take a picture until I'd already sliced it. 
Bake #13 Hey, we're up to a baker's dozen already.  This loaf was gifted to another friend, I didn't taste it, but I'm told it was yummy.
Bake #14   This loaf was not as good as the previous ones.  I tried to form the loaf on parchment paper without any flour, and that just did not work as well.  But we ate it anyway.  I didn't tell anyone at Tapas I had experimented.   They ate it anyway.   

Stay tuned for more of my bread making adventures...  Just kidding, but I do want to try some more fun stuff with this bread.
I'm seeing some lovely Asiago cheese baked inside, maybe with a dusting of herbs? 

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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