zoethe: (Bread)
With the Cranberry Walnut bread out of the way, I'm enthused about the next batch of breads in the book, and today I tackled English Muffins.

English muffins are different from most other yeast breads as they are initially cooked on a griddle or other flat surface. The first part of the dough was pretty standard, then after the first rise the dough is divided and the muffins are shaped. They then rest on cornmeal for their second rise.



Cornmeal is also sprinkled over the top. After another hour of rising, the muffins are carefully lifted into the skillet. They are puffed up on top, and puff up even more.



Once they are flipped, they flatten on the second side.

I had a little trouble at this point because my "medium" heat was too hot, so the muffins were getting browned too fast to cook the middle. Next time I will definitely have a cooler griddle.

Once the griddle portion is done, the muffins go into the oven to bake for another 5-8 minutes. This is when I was really glad that I have a huge skillet that could cook all six muffins at once, because the instructions were to get the ones that were done into the oven without waiting for the others, so it could have been a bit chaotic.

As my muffins were a bit underdone due to the too-hot skillet, I baked them a couple minutes extra. When they came out, the family was hovering in the kitchen, eyes gleaming in hunger. There were loud protests when I told them that they had to cool for half an hour.



After 20 minutes I couldn't hold them back any longer. I insisted on fork-splitting them, and then we dove in.

They were absolutely delicious. I could probably make them at least once a week and people would complain it wasn't often enough. They rose nicely, flattened nicely, and looked like English muffins. I am very happy with this one.

Next up: focaccia!
zoethe: (bike)
Today was the first true long-distance ride in my training: riding out to Vermillion, Ohio, and back, a 60-mile trip. Erin, who has now signed up for Pedal to the Point and is planning to undertake this crazy ride with me.

We chose today because the weather forecast was for cooler temperatures, and in fact the worst of the heat did break last night. We planned on a 7am departure, riding along the shore to Vermillion, where we would stop for brunch before turning around and coming back.

But before we left, I wanted to make sure that there would be something for dinner this evening. And I knew that I wasn’t going to be in the mood to start cooking something after 60 miles of biking. So last night I got a nice roast out of the freezer and this morning I got up at 6 and chopped onion and garlic, then seared the roast, sauteed the aromatics, and added broth for a potroast.

Erin and I got on the road at about 7:30. The ride out was going well, but we got a little confused in Lorain we suddenly found ourselves getting cheers and encouragement from the people along the street. I mean, Lorain is certainly a friendly town, but this seemed a bit extreme.

It turns out that we had biked right into the middle of a triathlon in which the biking segment was well underway. So well underway, in fact, that we appeared to be stragglers in dire need of encouragement. We had no choice, really, but to keep biking along, returning the smiles of our supporters as bikers in sleek jerseys, leaning heavily into their drops and also giving us a sideways glance of pity.

When we started running into cops who asked if we’d taken a wrong turn, we realized how pitiful we appeared to everyone. But when we reached the turnaround, we were only a short distance behind the last turners. We waved off the last of the helpful police, explaining that we were on our way to Vermillion.

The rest of the ride out was uneventful. What I hadn’t taken into account was how quiet Sunday morning is in Vermillion. We managed to find one little place open and got some breakfast.

Then we started back. Into a headwind. This is when the fun started draining out of the day.

We eventually made it back, tired, sweaty, legs hurting, and pretty much beyond moving. Now dinner is about done, thanks to the addition of veggies. And I am very glad I took the time to start dinner this morning!
zoethe: (Bread)
A couple weeks have gone by since I baked. With Ferrett out of town, it would have been rather a lot of bread for just me. Now that he was back, and we had friends coming over for dinner, bread sounded like a great deal.

Like all breads, the first few steps looked pretty much the same: flour, yeast, water, salt. As this is an enriched bread, buttermilk and an egg. Cinnamon. Knead. No reason to clog of the intarwebs with more pictures of that.

Things only got interesting when I had to add a cup and a half of raisins:



That's a lot of raisins in a fairly small batch of dough. I used Sunkist tri-color raisins, and they were very pretty in the bread. But first I had to get them in the bread. So I started kneading.

The problem with kneading things like raisins into bread dough is that they tear up the gluten strands, which will negatively impact the rise of the dough. Therefore, it's necessary to take a slow and patient approach to folding them in. Once the bulk of the raisins had been absorbed, about half a cup of escapees were still spread all over the counter. I began rolling the dough around like I was playing Katamari Damacy and giggling like a loon.

Once the dough was ready, the instructions were to let it rise about two hours or until doubled. The recipe also has no degassing, or punching down, phase. But I refrained from adding one and did as I was told.





"Doubled" is a little hard to eyeball at times. I understand why some people use a translucent plastic bucket with measurements: the dough goes only up, instead of outward, so it's easier to see.

Next was forming loaves, and adding the cinnamon/sugar swirl. The recipe made two loaves, so I divided the bread and rolled each one out, then added the swirly, candy layer:





After that I rolled them as tightly as possible and put them into loaf pans to rise. Forgot to get a picture of them prior to rising, but here is one after:



Clearly, my "divide in half" skills need work.

The loaves took about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for to get to what I considered "golden brown."



And the real test of cinnamon bread is how little it gaps along the swirl when sliced:



Impressive looking, n'est pas? Alas, further in the loaf it was quite gappy.

So the real real test of cinnamon bread is how it tastes. And the verdict was delicious! The bread itself was tender and tasty, and deserves to be made again. Next time, however, I think I will try the Cook's Illustrated method of braiding in the swirl. We'll see how that goes.
zoethe: (Bread)
This bread had to wait until there were going to be other people in the house. Because I cannot be entrusted with such things on my own. I chose the cinnamon rolls option. And for the first time, I used my Kitchen Aid to start a dough. Yes, that's right, I broke down and used technology. This dough started out like cookie dough, with butter and sugar being creamed, and that was something definitely best done in a mixer. Once the dough was all together and in a dough ball, though, I just couldn't get a feel for how developed it was in the mixer, so it was back to the counter and hand-kneading. Once it rose, next was rolling it out into a rectangle:



I don't use my rolling pin very often, but when I do, I'm quite happy that I splurged on a marble pin, because it rolls the dough out effortlessly. The recipe called for dusting the pin with flour to keep the dough from sticking, but I decided to just rub a bit of olive oil over it, and that worked perfectly:



The cinnamon.sugar mix is then to be sprinkled onto the dough. Several of the writeups I've seen of this bread complained that the mixture didn't stay in the roll, or that there was too much of it. I was determined not to have this problem, and solved it in the tastiest way possible: butter.





By brushing the dough with melted butter, I was able to sprinkle the cinnamon on without having any issue with it being dry and falling out. In fact, if I make them again, I will increase the cinnamon/sugar mix--I like my cinnamon rolls to be very cinnamon-filled.

The next step is rolling up the dough and then slicing into individual rolls. The instructions in the book are a bit hazy as to the size of pan these should go in. It sounds like he's talking about a jelly roll plan, but I could tell that would be too large, so I went to a baking pan:



Yeah, not so much. I moved them to a smaller baking pan:



They were probably a bit close together now, because they sprang nicely in the oven and crowded close together, which meant that they took an extra 10 minutes to bake. But they came out pretty:



For the glaze, the recipe called for a fondant made with milk, powdered sugar, and lemon extract. I was unimpressed with the suggestion, so I added sour cream and got rid of the lemon extract, making for a much tastier glaze.



The results were quite tasty, though not the best cinnamon rolls I've had. I think I would leave out the lemon flavoring in the dough if I were to make them again. The next time I make cinnamon rolls I think I will try the buttermilk biscuit recipe I made for Thanksgiving and make cinnamon rolls out it it.
zoethe: (Bread)
The bread baking continues, this time an Italian bread that I've experienced in restaurants but never at home.

Ciabatta starts with a preferment, like so many other breads in this book. As always, that means that starting the day before is the better choice. Of course, I didn't manage to do that. Still, I was able to give the preferment 5 hours to do its bubbly thing. After that, more flour, salt, and liquid is added. The recipe called for water, but the side comments said that buttermilk could be used for a more tender crumb, and since I had buttermilk available I thought, what the heck?

What results from the mixing of all the ingredients is, well, a wet, sloppy mess:



For 7 minutes or so, you mix this slop in the bowl, turning the bowl clockwise as you go along, dampening your hand to keep the dough from sticking, and then turning it counter-clockwise, all the time squishing the dough to form the gluten.

5-year-olds would love this.

You then take this wet mess, plop it onto a flour-covered counter, and engage in the "lift-and-fold" method of kneading. The idea is that dough too wet to be kneaded can be scooped, stretched, then folded in on itself. This dough was very wet, and the directions weren't really clear enough on how many times, or for how long. So I did it for...a while? The dough rested for half an hour, then I had to do it again. And again, I wasn't sure for how long. I think I probably should have done it for longer, in retrospect. But either way, the dough then rises on the counter, covered, for two hours.



Once it finishes rising, the dough is divided into two pieces, each of which will be a separate bread. The breads are to be set up in a couche, a cloth divider meant to hold the loaves in shape. Generally, this is done with a length of canvas impregnated with flour and used for this sole purpose.

I don't happen to own such a length of canvas, so I had to find some other piece of smooth cloth that I could flour. The obvious choice was a pillowcase:



(Okay, for demonstration purposes I probably shouldn't have chosen a black pillowcase.)

The dough was very sticky, so I sprinkled on lots of flour. The bread rose well, but then came the next step, which was getting the loaf onto the peel so that it could then be slipped onto the hearthstone where it would bake.

I must make a confession now: I've always used parchment paper on the peel and slid the whole shebang into the oven. But Reinhart makes it clear that while certain breads can be cooked with on parchment, others should not be. And ciabatta is one of the "should not be" breads. So I sprinkled the peel with cornmeal to give it a try.



This would have been easier if the loaf was a bit less like a non-Newtonian fluid. As it was, getting my hands under the loaf was like lifting a jellyfish. Not easy. Much swearing ensued. But I finally managed to get it there:



Then there was the setup for getting it into the oven:



The kettle was to fill a broiler pan with boiling water, the mister to further mist the bread in the first part of the baking. And the towel? To cover the glass door of the oven while pouring the water into the broiler. Because at 500 degrees, even tempered glass isn't immune to cracking if water is dribbled on it.

All this, and we finally had bread:



The measure of success in ciabatta is large holes, so the proof was in the cutting:



We got some very good holes, but the crumb didn't really taste like ciabatta -- very tasty, but not quite ciabatta. But then by this morning the flavor had matured and it was very much ciabatta.Very good dipped in olive oil.

There are several variations on the ciabatta, and I will make others in the future. It's not an easy bread, but it is very tasty.
zoethe: (Bread)
My friend Nathan claims that this is the best bread in the Jewish tradition, so I feel kind of bad that I didn't make it on a day when he was going to be here.

As for me, I have never met a challah that I didn't think was just...okay. It's just not a favorite of mine. But it's the next bread, so it was time to try it.

The recipe called for 7-9 ounces of water, and I know some people have written that they had to use all the water. I, on the other hand, used only 7 ounces, but then had to add at least another ounce or two of flour to it in order to get to the dough to be anything but a wet mess.



Even then, after the first knead, the dough still looked kind of batter-like:



After an hour of rising, the directions were not to just punch down the dough, but to actually knead it for two minutes. After that, it looked much more like bread dough:



And another 90 minutes of rising:



Now, I could have just made a loaf, but the challah tradition calls for braiding. Which calls for dividing the dough into thirds. After some consideration, I decided that the most accuracy was just plain pie chart thirds.



Then I rolled them out and braided the three strands. At which point I realized that my braid was a little long. So we had a challah rainbow.



And then baked:



A good crumb and decent crust.



The eaters pronounced it delicious. I thought it was ... perfectly okay for challah. It's never going to be my favorite bread, but it's pretty easy and will probably make a decent sandwich bread.
zoethe: (Bread)
This week's bread was the first one with which I was completely unfamiliar. Casatiello is an Italian version of brioche. It decreases the amount of butter in the bread, but replaces it with cheese and cured meat.

How bad can that be?

For the cheese, I chose a nice aged Gouda: strong enough to carry the bread without being overpowering. For the meat, I decided against salami or sausage and decided to go with a really nice, thick cut Amish bacon.

I realized I had a problem when I pulled out the cast iron frying pan. Suddenly husband, daughter, and daughter's girlfriend were all in the kitchen. "Bacon...?" they asked, eyes wild.

Fortunately, I'd purchased lots of bacon. So the first batch went to the ravening wolves I call family. Once they were satisfied, I was able to cook up bacon chunks--and threaten the fingers of anyone thinking about nibbling.

These were the add-ins for the bread:



Yup, that's gonna be one healthy loaf!

When it was all kneaded together, it looked like this

After rising, the instructions were to put it in loaf pans or a brioche pan, but it was really too soft for a loaf, so I used a springform pan instead:



You can see the air pockets in the bread, which look good buy also say "no good gluten skin," meaning that it's not going to form up well as a loaf. Definitely well-served by the springform.

It came out of the oven very pretty:



And once it cooled, the crumb was nice:



As for the flavor, it was pronounced delicious, with the one suggestion that it needed more bacon. The book says that the "coarsely grated cheese" will result in little pockets of cheesy goodness, but I found that it melted into the bread pretty evenly. Perhaps Reinhart has a cheese grater that has even larger holes than mine. Overall, it was a favorite--and won't appear on our table very often because of its richness!

Oh, and while all this was going on, I was also making my regular sourdough bread. Despite my attempt at making the two breads follow each other into the oven, it was clear that they were both going to be oven-ready at the same time. Once again, I got to use my lower oven. Though I thought early on that maybe it had been a silly thing to want, it's turning out the be very handy! Both breads came out of the oven within 15 minutes of each other.



I call that a successful baking day!
zoethe: (Bread)
There is nothing nutritionally redeeming about brioche. It's basically baked butter--a succulent slice of heart attack. But it was the next bread, so if I was going to do this right, I needed to bake brioche.

The bread once again started with a sponge, a short preferment to get the yeast beasties at work and develop some flavor. I don't know how much flavor contribution can really be had in 20 minutes of fermentation, but I am determined to follow the directions.

Except I sort of missed the part where the dough had to chill overnight and so got up very early to start the bread and didn't caffeinate first, and the wheels were coming off the cart pretty darned early.

I think I was still trying to get my head around the whole pound of butter that was going into the bread. And five eggs.

The second direction is to add the rest of the flour and the eggs, and then let the whole thing rest for five minutes so that the gluten can develop. I got through the mixing, but missed the five minutes part. Instead, I started adding in the butter.



It's a lot of butter, added one stick at a time.



I have this strange determination to do this whole challenge without using my mixer. Don't ask me why; I'm just amused by the notion. Brioche, however, is not a bread conducive to hand kneading. In fact, it was rather like kneading a batch of cookie dough:



A very messy operation. And once I had incorporated all the butter, I was supposed to continue kneading for another 5 or so minutes before spreading it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and putting it in the fridge.

The key phrase here is supposed to. I kind of missed that part, and when I got the dough back out it was still a slippery, formless mess.

Now, there are special brioche pans that make this bread a very special and lovely presentation, but at I am not anticipating much brioche in my future, I opted to go with loaves. The recipe said that it would make three loaves, but I only had enough dough for two, and there was no way that I could "form the loaves according to the [usual instructions]." That would require, you know, form. Which this bread was sadly lacking. I wrestled the two lumps into vaguely loaf-like shapes and smooshed them into the pans, where they were supposed to spend two hours rising.

An hour and a half later, there was no sign of any rising going on.

At this rate, there was no way that anything resembling edible bread was coming from this mess, so I figured I didn't have anything to lose. I dumped the two loaves back out and began kneading them again. This time, miraculously, gluten did develop. I reformed the loaves and put them back in the pans and gave them another 90 minutes. They hadn't risen much, but there was some sign of life, so I figured I didn't have anything to lose and popped them into the preheated oven.

Astoundingly, both loaves sprang nicely in the oven, and came out looking like actual loaves of bread rather than buttery bricks.

The resulting loaf had a rather dense but very tender crumb, and was delicious.



I took a loaf to dinner at a friend's house, and gave him the leftovers. Our loaf is slowly diminishing, but at about 500 calories a slice, slowly isn't slowly enough. I'm thinking I should freeze it and only take it out for special occasions.

Because otherwise the special occasion will be our funerals. From the coronaries brought on by this bread!
zoethe: (Peppahs)
Many moons ago, when I was a young pup of 26 or so, living in Alaska, I made bagels a few times, mostly to take on camping trips. They were whole wheat, cinnamon-raisin bagels, which we ate with peanut butter, apple slices, and cheddar cheese, an amazingly tasty lunch that could fuel many hours of hiking or paddling.

But the bagels themselves? They were awful: sad, misshapen lumps of vaguely ring-shaped bread. They didn't rise well, they didn't have anything in common with any bagel you'd find in a store, and we only enjoyed them because we were engaged in activities that burned about 700 calories an hour. Anything would have tasted good.

So given my sad history with bagels - arguably the best bread of all - I was anticipating this week's bread challenge with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. This bagel recipe was certainly more sophisticated than the one I used 25 years ago, and I wasn't going to try it with whole wheat flour the first time out, so I figured that I had a decent shot at making a food substance that didn't require climbing a mountain to enjoy.

The bagels in Reinhart's book are a two-day process--something I've gotten quite used to in bread baking. The process was a bit different than most, though, and there was no long rise of the dough prior to shaping. I had to read the instructions several times to make certain that I actually comprehended the process.

It was also the first recipe to call for an ingredient that I would consider to be a bit "exotic" (the definition of exotic ingredient is, of course, one that you've never cooked with before), malt syrup. The information about the recipe conceded that a different sweetener could be substituted, but that the result would just not be quite the same. So when I saw that Earth Fare carried malt syrup, I bought some, just for bagels. We call this, "dedication."

The recipe also suggested using special, high-gluten flour in order to get that extra-chewy bagel flavor. This I chose not to do. King Arthur's bread flour has a relatively high gluten percentage, and Ferrett is a little hesitant to bite into really chewy bagels because of his dental work. So less-chewy was quite acceptable.

The first step for bagels is a sponge, a very wet preferment (it contained all the liquid for the recipe) that sits for a couple hours getting bubbly and yeasty. (The book mentioned that sourdough can be used for bagels, but suggested not using it the first time, so I didn't.) I mixed up the preferment and left it to get all bubbly:



As I was also making dinner in the midst of all this, and as our house is quite cool and stuff rises at a leisurely pace, the preferment actually sat for about three hours. At that point, the instructions are to stir in the other ingredients and then knead until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is silky and smooth. I measured in additional yeast and salt, and then cracked open the barley syrup.

And wondered why, in his suggestions for alternatives, Reinhart didn't suggest molasses. Because it looked, smelled and tasted very much like molasses. Ah, well. It will no doubt come in handy at some point....

I began stirring in the flour, and it quickly became apparent that this whole mess had to be transferred to the countertop and the kneading had to begin. It was the weirdest feeling dough I've ever worked with. Because of the amount of flour suspended in the sponge, it felt at first like a non-Newtonian fluid.



The sensation of handling it was both freaky and fun. Eventually it started absorbing the rest of the flour, but for a long time was strangely lumpy. After 10 minutes of kneading, though, it was quite smooth and easily workable - in fact, almost rubbery.

This was good, because the next step was to divide the dough into 4-1/2 ounce segments and round it into little balls:



I understood better why there isn't a rising period first. The gluten was still quite flexible throughout the dough, so it was sturdy enough to be torn into little bits and then mashed back together without much resistance from the gluten skin. The balls all had to rest for about 20 minutes, to let the gluten relax, and then shaping began.

Now, the traditional way to shape bagels is to roll each ball out into a tube, wrap the tube around your hand, and then roll the two ends together. To keep with tradition, I shaped one bagel in that way;



The final result shows why this method is a pain in the butt:



Not very even. The "cheaters" method is to flatten your ball of dough, poke your thumb through the middle, and then turn the circle in your hand until it's the right size. That worked okay, but was kind of boring. So I developed a modification. I poked through the middle with thumb and pointer finger, then twirled the bagel on my pointer finger until it was a little bigger than the perfect size (the elasticity of the dough means there will be some bounce-back). This method was so easy, and so fun, that I called my husband into the kitchen to make some bagels with me.

Once they are formed, the trays of bagels go into the refrigerator overnight. Two large jellyroll trays of bagels. Once again, I am glad for the auxiliary fridge:



In the morning comes the boiling and baking steps. The recipe said that the raw bagels could be held for two days, so I decided to cook only one tray of them this morning. Our friend Angie is here visiting, so I took orders for what kind of bagels people wanted. I could do this because I had ordered the King Arthur Everything Bagel topping mix. Once again, I made sure everything was on hand for the next step in the process:



One giant pot of boiling water, one oven preheated to 500(!) degrees, toppings to go on the wet bagels.

When I started boiling them, I was kind of disappointed with how flat they were.



I was careful to place them back on the tray with the same side up, because the bottoms were very flat. Then after sprinkling with toppings, into the oven they went.

12 minutes later, they came back out:



I couldn't believe how gorgeous they were! They had sprung beautifully in the oven, puffing up and browning perfectly:



Once they were marginally cooled, I sliced them and we slathered them with the cream cheese Ferrett and Angie had generously braved the snow to acquire. Ferrett was also a total sweetheart and bought my some lox (the best part is I don't have to share them because no one else likes them!) and I spooned a few capers into my sandwich:



These bagels were delicious! We all devoured them, moaning with flavor ecstasy the entire time. Our only complaint is that we are all still too full to eat the second ones.

Okay, well maybe Ferrett had one more complaint. He gently chided me that I've been baking too much bread lately. We've had some go stale simply because we had more of it than we could eat, and he suggested that maybe I should slow down a little.

I began to get defensive about this accusation, then I glanced at the counter, and took this picture:



The bowl next to the bagels? Not some dirty dishes needing to go into the dishwasher. No, that's a sourdough bread that I'd mixed up and was letting rest before I kneaded it. With another tray of bagels waiting in the basement, there's a chance that Ferrett might have a bit of a point.
zoethe: (Peppahs)
For the most part, I'm not a big fan of egg breads. I think they get weirdly dried out way to fast, and tend toward blandness. So I wasn't actually all that excited to see that the second bread in the challenge is the Greek celebration bread, Artos. Nevertheless, a challenge is a challenge, and as it happens we are going to a holiday event today, so it's a good day to make a bread to share--and not have lots of leftovers to dry out.

The Artos bread itself has a long list of ingredients, but the recipe included two variations, one for Christmas and one for Easter. Since it's Christmas time, and since that was the most complicated variation, and since I'm kind of an idiot, of course I chose that one.

Additionally, this bread needed to be ready to leave the house at 1:30 today, and I had no intention of getting up early to start it, so I decided to go against all the conventional wisdom of enriched breads and mix it last night, refrigerating it to slow down the fermentation/rising process.

As I said, the ingredient list was rather long, so I measured everything by weight, mixing the wet ingredients together before adding them to the dry ones. The resulting dough was supposed to be "tacky, but not sticky." Instead, it looked like cookie dough:



Clearly, kneading this was going to require some assistance:



Eventually, I probably added almost 3 more ounces of flour to the dough, but after about 6 minutes I had beautiful gluten. That's when I had to add in the fruit: half a cup each of raisins and dried cranberries (I left out the walnuts because I don't like them in bread). Kneading in the fruit was an experience. It wanted to skitter across the counter instead of getting incorporated, but eventually I caught almost all those little buggers and got them into the bread. I was wincing all the way, because of course the dried fruit was tearing away at my lovely gluten, but that couldn't be helped. When the dough was done it went into the fridge for the night:



and came out just how I wanted it in the morning, puffy, but not collapsed:



The next instruction is to divide off 1/3 of the dough to reserve for making the classic cross pattern atop that makes this Christopsomos bread. I deflated the bread very gently, then set aside 1/3 as instructed and formed the rest into a boule - a fancy way of saying a round loaf - and let that rise. Once that was risen was when things got interesting:



Prepared on parchment paper, the boule is ready for its cross decoration.

The next instruction is to divide the reserved dough in half, then roll each half out into a two foot long rope.

It is here that I would like to point out that Peter Reinhart is a big cheater. Because if you look at the picture in the book, the cross sections are smooth rolls:



But in reality, those long rolls were filled with raisins and cranberries. Do you know how hard it is to roll out dough with raisins and cranberries? But at last I was able to get the dough rolled out.



The next instruction was to split the ends of the ropes with a dough scraper and then roll them into curls at the base of the dough. I did one of them that way, then realized that was very silly when I had a perfectly good pair of kitchen shears right there.



Then it was into the oven. After many breads that have been cooked at high temperatures, it was weird to put a bread in at a mere 350 degrees. After three minutes I opened the oven to mist the bread.

Imagine my...surprise, shall we say? when I discovered that the spirals had relaxed and flopped down onto the parchment.

I suddenly had a very fat, stubby-legged octopus.

I spent the next 10 minutes or so opening the oven, recurling the bread spirals, and shutting it again to try and get the bread to bake. It slowed down the baking process by about 10 minutes, but the final results were good:



Pretty, yes, and smelled delicious. But how did it taste? We took it our event and sliced into it.

The result? It's just amazingly delicious. I was shocked at how good this bread is. A lovely, warm and spicy flavor, soft texture, and the fruit just set it all off beautifully. Everyone came back for seconds and even thirds. There was a friendly scuffle over the small wedge that was left at the end of the evening.

I thought this was going to be a one-time bread, something to check off the list. Instead, I think I have found a bread that will make a regular appearance for special events.

But next time I will use toothpicks to hold up the spirals.

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zoethe

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