Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Twd: Bagels

Today is a triple bread whammy day.  My previous post shared the bread I made for World Bread Day and for the Bread Baking Babes.   

Today is also the posting day for the Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia baking group.   This go-round, we all baked bagels. 

I've made bagels before using other recipes, so I was a bit surprised that there wasn't a second rise.  It clearly didn't seem to matter, however. 

During the boiling phase, I timed the bagels for one minute on each side.  The end-result was a bagel that had just the right amount of chew.

I did conduct an experiment of sorts.  For the first batch, I did not use the egg white wash.  The bagels baked up with an obvious uneven surface, but the taste was not compromised.

For the second batch, I brushed the bagels with the egg white wash and sprinkled on some sesame seeds and some poppy seeds.   This batch looked more like the traditional bagel, so it seems that the wash is a useful step in the process.

Our bagel hostess this month is Heather of Heather’s Bytes  Stop by Heather's blog for more information about the recipe, then head over to the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see how the participating bakers fared.

Triple bread whammy

Today is a triple whammy for bread bakers. 

First up is the combination World Bread Day challenge and Bread Baking Babes' Buddy challenge.  

Looks complicated, no?   But this lovely Russian Braid is easy, easy.

 I was pleased to learn a new technique with this bread and that's what made it so much fun.  Check out this YouTube video to learn the secret.

After I took this photograph, I replaced the 10-inch springform pan with a 9-inch one.  I didn't think there was any way that the bread would rise to fill this pan.

Some of the bakers chose a savory filling of pesto and cheese.  For me, this bread just screamed cinnamon, so I decided to make a very large cinnamon roll.   I was not disappointed in the end-result.

Figuring out how to slice this beauty was a challenge.   Because each slice had a different pattern, it was a surprise every time.    

Sadly, the last piece disappeared yesterday.  Even so, I'm sending this virtual Russian Braid over to Zorra's blog for World Bread Baking Day.  Every year I look forward to seeing what all the participants bake.

The remaining virtual pieces will go to the Bread Baking Babes.   This was one delicious Buddy challenge!  

For the basic recipe, head over to The Fresh Loaf.  However, if you check out the various blogs, you will find an amazing variety of flours, seeds, and fillings.  It is truly a versatile loaf of bread.



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TwD/BwJ: Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Loaf

Surprise, surprise!  I'm actually posting on time for once.  

The house has cooled to a balmy 85 degrees (at 10:30 pm), so I'm ready to roll.  

The first October recipe is a fall favorite:  cranberry walnut pumpkin bread.   (That would be fall in a normal place, not southern California.  Fall here translates to 100+ degree temperatures.  Not my favorite time of year here.)  Even so, this is a terrific flavor combination.   

This bread also threw many bakers for a loop.  It's a yeast bread, not a quick bread, and it requires some ahead-of-time planning, since it rests in the refrigerator overnight.  That resting helps improve the texture and flavor, so, although you can skip it, I wouldn't.  

I had all the ingredients on hand, including frozen cranberries.  They were fine, but I'd probably use dried cranberries the next time.

All in all, this was a straight-forward recipe.  The dough rose nicely both times, and the bread baked up beautifully.   Because of the cinnamon and nutmeg, there is a lovely spicy background note.  The slices taste fine either toasted or plain. 

This pumpkin bread was hosted by Rebecca at This Bountiful Backyard.   Other bakers will post on the Tuesdays with Dorie website so you can read all about their trials and tribulations with a yeasted dough.

(I truly have been baking along all these months, but I have been neglecting the posting part.  Work has been overwhelming of late, but I foresee some breaks in the coming weeks, so I'll do my best to get caught up with the posts.)