The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Light Wheat Bread
This is my cyber-gift to, Nicole (www.PinchMySalt.com), for offering the challenge of bread making and baking from Peter Reinhart’s, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Her encouragement was, and is, greatly appreciated, as is her effort for making this very challenge possible. Thanks, Nicole! :)
Twice in one week I’ve nestled in with, Peter Reinhart’s (www.PeterReinhart.typepad.com), The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and what better way to spend a wet and cold bit of time than before a toasty oven. I have to apologize before I get too far along in this post. At some point I’ll be waving my dirty laundry in public, or, more appropriately, showing off my rather dirty oven. Okay, maybe I don’t have to apologize, I’m posting amongst the throngs of other baker’s that take heart in knowing that as long as an appliance is behaving, there is no shame in a bit of grease and grime, and especially if it proves baked on and sterile. Such is the case in my home, this day, and on this bake.
Peter Reinhart (www.PeterReinhart.typepad.com), offers up his light wheat bread, on pages 181-182, however he fails to give us a photo-op (unless it is posted elsewhere in the frame of this beautiful book, and if it is, I stand corrected), perhaps his oven was not fit for its photo post this day, in which case, I more than understand. In the end, all that will matter is that we note how beautiful this bread performs in spite of its less-than-stellar baking arena.
Look at the loaf,
NOT at the oven…..
I jumped for joy when I saw what was happening inside my sweet, toasty and very dirty oven. I’d had a bit of a preview while this business sat doing its thing on the countertop.
In the beginning…..
Ready, set, go…..
After lift-off and re-entry…..
I kept the ingredients per se, but veered off course with a few techniques. I mixed my dough for one minute, covered it and allowed it to sit for an additional 25 minutes before adding the salt, and an additional tablespoon of water. Then, I mixed the dough for one more minute, turned the mixer off and proceeded with kneading the dough on the counter for one more minute. Total mix time for the dough: three minutes.
Tossing about a teaspoon of oil into the dirty (Ugh!….yikes, does this woman ever clean anything?), mixing bowl and swishing it over the surface, I then placed the dough in and covered it with plastic wrap. I set the timer for 20 minutes and went about ignoring all signs of dirtiness about me. I sat, with my feet propped up, t.v. on and radio playing in the background, surfing the net and eating chocolate covered bon-bons. Oh, and drinking whiskey. Twenty minutes into the fun, the timer beckoned me back into the kitchen. I set about pulling and tugging at that dough as if I knew what I was doing. I did the proverbial stretch-and-fold technique that everyone over at that wonderous TLF (www.TheFreshLoaf.com) is hot about, and then threw that batch of dough back into the KA for another twenty-minute rest before resuming the chocolate indulgence and whiskey drinking. I kept doing my technique thing for the sum total of tres times, allowing that 20 minutes siesta between bouts. Finally, I was drunk and full of chocolates and it was time for me to think about what I would do to this little mass of fun, next; I made the choice to let it sit, covered with the plastic, in a holding pattern for another hour.
Fast forward, one hour, and we are back in the kitchen (yes, I had company. What kind of fool do you think I am? I never drink alone!), and it is now time to shape my little bebe into the semblance of a loaf. I must first grease my TJMaxx find and refer to P.R.’s instructions on shaping a loaf. (Yes, I needed a refresher course. I’ve been wild yeasting my life away these past few months and I’ve lost touch…..and if you want to learn about wild yeast, please visit Susan’s blog, www.wildyeastblog.com)
I get the rough draft of a pinch going and realize success in no time flat. Now it’s time to put this baby into the loaf pan, spray a sheet of plastic as a bed blanket, and ignore it for about 90 minutes.
Time for more chocolates and the residuals of the Southern Comfort fifth. I am sadly disappointed when I realize there are only wrinkled candy wrappers and a drunk dog sprawled from the chairside of whence I came.
This is my story and I’m sticking to it!