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Bread Bake-Off
Posted: 29 May 2009 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi everyone,

I’ve been baking quite a bit since our last Bake-Off, there seem to be a lot of hosting opportunities this month!

Here are my pictures of the Bread Bible’s Kugelhopf, it was for a brunch I hosted while my mother was visiting.  This was wonderful, softly textured and not too sweet- my husband loved it for that reason, but my daughter wasn’t impressed until she tried it spread with butter, then she thought it was great.

Here are my notes:
-Use good butter cake for the crumbs, because the flavor really shines through.
-Check the final proofing by seeing if a finger impression fills in or not.  Trying to fit this project to my schedule, I gave it an overnight in the fridge after shaping, but didn’t let it proof long enough the next morning before baking.  Because my Bundt was a 10-cup, (this recipe would fill a 12-cup) it was at the top of the pan, so I baked it.  It turned out to be dramatically underproofed and I ended up with large holes where the filling was (Bread Bible calls this “shelling”, p. 265).  You can see the shelling in the photo, the ribbons of filling are narrow, the large spaces make up the rest of the dark stripe.

Despite the proofing issue, this was lovely, light and delicious!

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Posted: 29 May 2009 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Here’s something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now, Rose’s croissants.  My daughter had requested these as a reward for work completed, and I was long overdue in baking them.  She tasted really wonderful croissants at La Bergamote in NYC, and has been clamoring for more ever since (I can’t blame her, they were wonderful).

These went well all through the laminating, I finished all four turns and was feeling confident (perhaps overly so!) right up until I tried shaping them.  I think I must have overworked the dough a bit, it was VERY elastic.  I would roll it out, then it would spring back to a smaller size.  I did let it rest before shaping.  My porch was the only place cool enough, I sat outside in my pajamas with it, guarding against chipmunks and squirrels- can you imagine carefully fussing over the dough for two days, only to have a few frisky squirrels make off with it?  Despite the outdoor rest, they still shrank when I cut them.  So in the end, they were a little small, though light and crisp and still very delicious. 

I used Vermont Butter & Cheese Cultured butter and I was amazed by how pliant it was during rolling, very worthwhile to get the extra-rich butters for these!

Next time, I will watch how much I work the dough and consider stopping at three turns.  Or maybe switch from KA all-purpose to a lower protein AP flour.

Photos are of both plain and chocolate.

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Posted: 29 May 2009 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Julie,  Your Kugelhopf looks great and I’m sure the taste was fabulous.  I am considering making this but need to make a cake first!  Thanks for the tip on the quality of the cake - I need to make one of Rose’s butter cakes then.  I often get shelling with ‘rolled’ breads - I find it quite difficult to judge the exact amount of proofing.  Did you make the chocolate or poppy seed version?  My other option was the Monkey Bread but think that’s a bit of a cop-out for me!

Annie

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Posted: 29 May 2009 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Here’s my first try at Rose’s sticky buns, the Bread Bible’s chocolate version, which I made for a mid-morning meeting of volunteers.  I have made brioche rolls with Rose’s chocolate ganache filling (from this recipe) before, but I shied away from the caramel topping, worrying that it would be too sweet for me.  I shouldn’t have worried, these were wonderful!

The only issue I had was that I had been expecting to sort of pull them apart in the same little rounds that they were made from, but I couldn’t really make out the rounds very well and so they were very messy to serve, and after a few attempts at pulling them apart we just sliced them like a cake.  Most people didn’t seem to mind…  I think it was because I was a bit overzealous about the part where you’re supposed to push down on the rounds in the pan until they touch- I kept at it until they touched quite a bit, when partially touching would probably have been fine.

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Posted: 29 May 2009 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Annie, thanks!  I made the chocolate version of the Kugelhopf, I can never find poppy seeds here, for some reason (not that I’m complaining, I love chocolate!)

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Posted: 29 May 2009 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Julie, I think your croissants look great.  Rose’s croissants are quite small - I have a note on the recipe “very small”, so I don’t think it’s anything to do with your method.  They look flaky/crispy in just the right croissanty way.  I only ever make 3 turns but I see Rose recommends four.  It would be nice to make a side-by-side comparison with half the dough 3 turns and half 4 turns.  The pain au chocolat look scrumptious!  Are you doing something else for Sunday?????

Annie

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Posted: 29 May 2009 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Rose?s croissants are quite small - I have a note on the recipe ?very small?, so I don?t think it?s anything to do with your method

Thanks- good to know!

Are you doing something else for Sunday?????

Annie, I’m baked out!  Nothing more for Sunday, I’m going to rest now and order take-out.

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Posted: 29 May 2009 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Great job Julie. Everything looks wonderful. I like the picture of the Kugelhopf the best. The shape is so perfect. Where’s the smiley with two thumbs up? We need one of those.  smile

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Posted: 29 May 2009 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Julie, your Kugelhopf looks FANTASTIC!!!!  I have made some Brioche, but I am almost embarrassed to put them up on here after seeing your entry!  Your croissants and pain au chocolat also look good, I made some of those for Easter but not from Rose’s recipe , so I wanted to do something different for this challenge.  However, although my Brioche are not as pretty as your first entry, they taste really good, my husband thinks they are fabulous, so that’s good enough for me! tongue rolleye

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Posted: 29 May 2009 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Rozanne, and Jeanette, thanks so much for the kind words, this was my first try for all three of these recipes and although they were all delicious, they are far from perfect! Jeanette, looking forward to seeing your Brioche and hearing about how you made it- I’ve never shaped the regular rolls before, bet I could learn something from you!

I feel like these Bake-Offs are about support and camaraderie, not performance ratings!

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Posted: 29 May 2009 09:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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WOW those are all amazing!!

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Posted: 30 May 2009 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Wow Julie!  You are amazing!  They all look perfect and delicious!  Well done!

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Posted: 30 May 2009 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Julie, all those look really wonderful! No wonder you’re all baked out! The croissants especially look really flaky and delicate, great texture. I’ve baked (and eaten) my brioche. It really is delicious. Will post pics later.

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Posted: 30 May 2009 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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dear bake-offers:

i’m thrilled to see what a group of skilled bakers you are—not that i haven’t already seen ample evidence of it! i also see that this affords us a great opportunity for learning. re the croissants, i don’t think you want to lower the protein of the flour because you need the strength to support the layers but maybe to change the nature of the protein, i.e. chose a flour whose protein forming gluten is extensible (stretchable) rather than one that is elastic. i would try the gold medal better for bread flour. i found it is excellent in brioche as well. i’m not just saying this because GM is sponsor of this blog! the profile of this flour was designed by the renowned baker didier rosado who, i believe, was captain of the US winning team of the Lyon d’Or Culinary Olympics.

if you still find the dough hard to shape you could next try half all purpose unbleached half better for bread flour. and what about that great trick used in pie crust—vinegar! it relaxes the gluten without weakening it.

but i can see your croissant are flaky and light and no doubt better than anything you can purchase. we’re just talking about further perfection here!

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Posted: 30 May 2009 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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These are my Brioche I made for the bake-off.  I made the dough over a couple of days, letting the dough rest overnight in the fridge.  Making the dough went entirely to plan, no problems, the dough WAS sticky as Rose warns but this was no problem as I used my Kenwood mixer to make it so handling was down to a minimum.  I had planned to make 6 small buns and 1 large one but after shaping the small buns I was doubtful whether the dough left would be enough to fill my large brioche mould so I formed it into a loaf by making 8 small rolls and placed into a small loaf tin.  The end results may not look impressive but the taste and texture of this brioche dough is very good, any guest served these for breakfast would feel very spoiled I’m sure.  My husband loves them and that is good enough for me.

I will make this dough again, next time I would like to try the Sticky Cinnamon Buns but it will have to be when my family are visiting because I don’t think my waistline will stand for all that sweetness!

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Posted: 30 May 2009 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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your brioche looks absolutely fabulous! the texture is perfection. confession: when i’m in hope week after next on vacation i plan to make sticky buns just for the two of us and i’ll freeze most of them for exactly the reason you stated. i gained 3 pounds in normandy/devon and so far only lost one of them! i can tell you, though, that the sticky buns made with this brioche is my number one fav. thing to eat and elliott is not far behind me in agreeing! oh—by the way, these days i’m adding the caramel and toasted pecans after baking for absolute perfection.

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