Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Making Bread

not the green back type, but the yeast type.
Raisin / cinnamon bread

For Christmas my dad got me a book called The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  This is a 640 page book.  I realize that Christmas is still 2 months away, but since I went to California last week, my dad gave me my Christmas gifts early.  And...since I was spending 8+ hours at my moms bedside, it was a great opportunity to read this great book.  I know that reading a recipe book isn't normally what one does, but it is FULL of incredible information - from the science to what makes bread bread, to tricks of the trade, and even pointers for success.  So, the day after I got back from California I started...

So far I have made:

White sandwich bread
raisin / cinnamon bread
beer bread
mushroom bread
sourdough starter (waiting for it to fully ferment)

Beer bread - look at all those airy holes!  Yum!
So far my favorite has been the beer bread.  It has such a rich flavor, it's light, and SO amazing!  What I didn't know/realize about bread - good bread that is - is it's quite complex.  There is pre-fermentation (sponge, poolish, or biga), resting, rise, mold then rise again, ice cubes in the oven, pre-heating for 1 hour, etc.  In other words, GREAT bread can take from 8 hours to 3 days (baguettes).  Whew!  Can't wait to see what else I can make.

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