Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bread Baker's Challenge: Recipe 1

After reading over 100+pages, I came to the first recipe in the challenge...the Anadama Bread. The initial pages of this book are filled with lots of insight regarding ingredients, tools and the baking process. I would've liked to see a little bit more about the kneading experience, but all in all lots of good info. Armed with my new superior knowledge, I set to work on the Andama Bread (side note: I won't be posting these recipes based on the rules of the challenge. I'm sure you can Google around to find it or better yet buy your own copy if it sounds really tasty. SPOILER ALERT: It definitely won't happen with this recipe.)

Step 1 was to create a soaker the night before. I've done this step with other breads and definitely agree that it helps to intensify the bread's flavor.

The next day you add more ingredients: flour, water, salt, etc. Then, you let it sit for about an hour. The lame picture above is after the first proofing. You can see the gluten bubbling it's away to bread gooeyness. Clearly, I'm going to need to channel my inner Ansel Adams to improve my photos, but hey, a girl is trying!

Next up, you're to add the molasses and more flour. As you can see in the photo, the dough is now a dark, malty color.

I won't bore you with too many details. The rest of the process is like any other bread recipe with a few tweaks from Reinhart's bag of tricks. The key here is what does it taste like. I had members of the Diva Mob over last night to give it a go. We were all impressed with what the bread experts call the crumb. The texture of this bread is chewy and nicely paired with apple butter. Will I make it again? Doubtful. I wasn't completely crazy about the taste, but perhaps I could find away to tweak the flavor to keep the crumb. Up next: Greek Celebration Bread.

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