Here are a couple of photos from recent bread projects. The first is the Bread Bible’s carrot bread, I like that it has less sugar than a regular cake and so many more carrots. It is especially good spread with cream cheese, we put it in lunch boxes.
The second bread is Walnut fougasse, it was also yummy. My daughter calls it “alien bread” because she thinks the lattice shape looks like an alien. The only issue I had was that the recipe says the bread is even better after 6-18 hours, but with a lot of surface area, mine was dry by that time. It was great freshly baked, but I was unsure how best to store it, as plastic wrap would have softened the crust. So I wrapped it in a towel, put it on a plate and then topped it with another plate. Next time, I’ll just eat it right away and then freeze the rest, which is what I normally do with bread. Leftovers are making wonderful french toast
Just a few weeks ago, I started working for the company that makes the Brod & Taylor bread proofer, and am loving it. There’s a more extensive, blog-style write-up on the fougasse on that web site: http://brodandtaylor.com/multi-tasking-with-the-proofer-walnut-fougasse/ No pressure- I’ll leave the recommending to Rose- but if you would like to see more photos, info on the process etc., there it is.
Hi, Iyny! I LOVE morning glory muffins! Did they also have pineapple in them? That’s what I’m used to. I’m currently planning a Cordon Rose Banan Cake with pineapple mousseline encrusted with macadamia nuts that is kind of a cross between a RHC wedding cake (the Tropical one) and a morning glory muffin!
Thanks Anne, lyny, Sophia and Flour Girl for the kind words!
Anne, I agree a paper bag would have been the way to go, but I didn’t have one that would fit the large, flat fougasse. Your banana-pineapple-macadamia cake sounds delicious, can’t wait to see it!
re: morning glory muffins, I love them too, only the ones made locally are too sweet for me, even sweeter tasting than a layer cake. Ours are made with coconut and carrots, not sure about the pineapple, will have to check.
Flour Girl, thanks for the congratulations, and yes, it is good to work in the baking world!
I’m going to be buying the bread proofer as soon as I get home, in a little less than 2 months. I can’t wait. My kitchen is so cold in the winter, it should make a great difference with my bread in the winter. I’m thinking it will actually save me a lot of time, because I won’t have to be always futzing to get a warmer temperature somewhere in the house (I often transport my dough into my office because it’s warmer in there). I also plan to make Maggie Glezer’s artisan pandoro (having had a good one here in Italy recently), as soon as I get osmotolerant yeast and cocoa butter. I’ve always been turned off by all the butter and eggs in the pandoro recipes, but if it’s shared with friends (if I can part with any of it) it should be OK.
By the way, here in Italy (where my equipment amounts to a bowl and a spoon), I’m making my bread as usual, and brought along my dried starter. I’ve been cutting up the finished bread into small sections and freezing them in the tiny freezer compartment. I think I’ll start doing this when I come home - I end up wasting much less of the bread - we can eat one big slice, and the rest is happy to stay in the freezer. Sure, it’s not as good as when first made, but bread usually isn’t.
I’ve never made fougasse, have always been tempted to. Is it worth the effort?
Beth, nice to hear that you’re baking in Italy, there must be much to enjoy about being there! Do you have some favorite culinary experiences?
I think you’ll like the proofer a lot if you live in a cool climate. I have to say, the feeling I had after the first time I used it was elation- the bread I had planned for dinner was ready exactly on time, and I made plenty of progress on other baking projects while it was fermenting. Usually, when I dare to make a new bread recipe for dinner, there’s at least a 50/50 chance that I’m dragging out crackers or something because it was too cold and my bread didn’t progress according to schedule. Or else I put it some place too warm and it ended up overproofed. Either way, I reduced the chance of disappointment dramatically. I can see why professionals swear by their proofing cabinets.
You must have Maggie Glezer’s book! I just made her ciabatta, it was sublime. I’m eyeing that pandoro, too, and I even have the cocoa butter. Now I just need to pick up some SAF Gold yeast, and then I’m there. I’m hoping it will have a texture similar to a very memorable panettone I was given a few winters ago.
Is the fougasse worth the effort? Yes- it’s large, dramatic, and tasty. I think it would be the perfect thing to serve to guests with cheese and fruit. It might be best served to a group, so that most of it would be eaten on the day it was baked. And it wasn’t difficult, certainly less involved than Glezer’s pandoro!
I think the ciabatta was the first recipe I made from the Glezer book (I also have her Jewish baking book, and I was making her challah recipe [as in Gourmet] well before I got either book. I don’t live in a really cool climate (Kentucky), but our house is on a slab, and in the kitchen is probably about 65 degrees much of the time, so I think the proofer will make a huge difference. As you day, everything will be so much more predictable and dependable.
We almost always “eat in,” but we also almost always cook Italian, more or less, in that we have pasta, risotto (not that we don’t have that at home). The difference here is that I’m not doing Indian cooking (which I had started to do more in the last year). When I go to the Rialto market, it’s always fun, and we do eat fish much more often here, which is great.
The oven here is atrocious, from the 70s or 80s, and it loses so much heat we have to put potholders in the gap between the oven and the small fridge, as the fridge gets too hot. When I bake bread the knobs also get too hot to touch. So, I’ll miss some things when I leave here, but certainly not the oven. The gas burners are also very difficult to light.
Well, gotta go.
I’m glad you made the ciabatta. I remember how amazed we were at the taste and texture. I’ll have to do it again.