I can’t believe I’m almost at the end of the book. Only 3 more breads are left for me in the BBA Challenge. But let’s focus on the 3 breads that I’ve baked during the last 2 weeks: Tuscan Bread, Vienna Bread and White Bread.
This bread is salt free. Wait – no salt? Yes, there is absolutely no salt added to this bread. Many fellow bakers didn’t like this bread at all – salt seems to play a big role in whether something tastes good or not. So I was really curious about it. Another interesting fact about this bread is that it is made with a flour paste where you add boiling water to the flour. This seemed kinda weird to me, and the result I got was an extremely thick paste. This paste is then left on the counter for an overnight rest. The next day, you mix the flour paste with more flour, yeast, olive oil and water – you know the rest of the story. Instead of making 2 loaves I made 1 big loaf. The smell from the oven was awesome, and the loaf looked pretty good as did the slices.
I had some slices when the bread was still a little warm and thought it wasn’t too bad. 2 of my kids liked this bread, too, but my youngest daughter just took a little bite and wouldn’t eat any more. When I had some of the bread when it was completely cool, I didn’t really like it anymore. It still tasted interesting, though. You could really taste the cooked flour. And surprisingly, the bread was rather sweet. I won’t make it again, though, because there are way too many breads on my make-again list already.
Vienna Bread & Dutch Crunch
I was really excited to make this bread because the other fellow bakers were so in awe about it. It’s a 2-day bread with a pâte fermentée and uses diastatic malt powder in the final dough. In a grace note, PR (aka Peter Reinhart) writes about a topping made of rice flour, bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil and water which can be applied to this bread. This topping can be spread on the bread before the final proofing or just before baking.
I decided to make 2 loaves – one traditional Vienna Bread and one Dutch Crunch, the latter one being the one with the topping. I brushed the topping on the bread right before baking, baked the breads, took them out and couldn’t wait to take a bite. I did wait 45 minutes before I sliced it, but no way I could have waited longer than that. Hmm, first, I tried a slice of the Dutch Crunch (the left bread in the picture) and was disappointed. Somehow I had expected the topping to be sweet, but it was just floury. But the bread itself was good. Really good. I took some slices of it to work for lunch and really enjoyed it with some turkey breast and cheese. The Vienna Bread (the right bread in the picture) was even better than the Dutch Crunch. This makes a wonderful sandwich bread which will be made again soon!
If you go for the Dutch Crunch, be aware of the amount of paste, though. PR says, the recipe in the book makes enough for 2-4 loaves. I totally disagree on that. I needed paste for 1 loaf only, and I divided the recipe in thirds (so I would have enough for 2/3 – 1 1/3 loaves accordingly), and I still had half of the paste left. Thus, the whole recipe makes enough for 6 loaves – some baker’s math in action here, huh?
White Bread (Variation I)
This bread has many names: pullman, milk dough, pain de mie and white bread. You can use it for dinner rolls, sandwich bread, burger buns or hotdog buns. I opted for knotted dinner rolls. The bread is extremely easy to make AND it’s one of the few 1-day breads. So this is a bread we will make again often. Actually, I made it again today and shaped it into a loaf which is as good as the rolls. There’s not really much to say about this bread because the process of making it is easy-peasy. The flavor was mild and sweet, the rolls were soft – this is a more than satisfying bread! I baked the rolls for my son’s daycare and was told that the kids absolutely loved them!