There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
Depending on to whom you listen, however, our standard of living, may, or may not, be threatened by climate change--global warming. Though scary, it is hard to sift through all the shouting and conflicting information to figure out who is right on this issue.
One person, Greg Craven, has suggested changing the question from "which side is right" to "what is the wisest thing to do given the uncertainties and the risks involved?" To me, this seems like a very productive way to refocus the conversation. So, if you are confused about, concerned by, or interested in the issue of global warming please take a few minutes to watch his VIDEO. If you find it interesting or helpful, please pass it on to others.

This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Visitors During the Last Year

            United States 1,611
            Ohio 440
            California 156
            Oregon 89
            Pennsylvania 86
            Kentucky 54
            New York 53
            Illinois 48
            North Carolina 45
            Georgia 45
            Tennessee 44
            Florida 43
            Washington 40
            Iowa 35
            Texas 35
            Michigan 32
            Minnesota 28
            Arizona 26
            Maine 22
            Massachusetts 22
            Utah 21
            Virginia 18
            New Jersey 16
            Colorado 15
            Connecticut 14
            South Carolina 11
            Alabama 11
            Oklahoma 11
            Maryland 11
            Missouri 11
            Nevada 10
            Indiana 9
            Wisconsin 9
            Kansas 8
            Louisiana 8
            Idaho 8
            Vermont 6
            West Virginia 5
            New Mexico 4
            North Dakota 4
            Delaware 3
            Hawaii 3
            District of Columbia 3
            Arkansas 2
            Montana 2
            New Hampshire  2
            Alaska 2
            Nebraska 2
            Mississippi 1
            South Dakota 1
            Rhode Island 1
            N/A     36

            Canada 120
            United Kingdom 58
            Australia 40
            India 15
            Germany 13
            Singapore 12
            South Africa 9
            Russian Federation 9
            Netherlands 9
            Taiwan 8
            New Zealand 7
            Italy 6
            Ireland 5
            Philippines 5
            Hungary 4
            Brazil 4
            France 4
            Finland 4
            Bulgaria 4
            Korea, Republic of 3
            Romania 3
            Bangladesh 3
            Portugal 3
            Trinidad and Tobago 3
            Israel 3
            Norway 3
            Spain 3
            Turkey 3
            Japan 2
            Serbia 2
            Indonesia 2
            Greece 2
            Ukraine 2
            Thailand 2
            Hong Kong 2
            Belgium 2
            Saudi Arabia 2
            Poland 2
            Lebanon 2
            Macedonia 1
            Mongolia 1
            Estonia 1
            Iceland 1
            Sweden 1
            Belarus 1
            Slovakia 1
            Croatia 1
            Austria 1
            Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
            United Arab Emirates 1
            Venezuela 1
            Nigeria 1
            Vietnam 1
            Cambodia 1
            Nicaragua 1
            Ethiopia 1
            Ghana 1
            Argentina  1
            Uruguay 1
            Chile 1
            Uganda 1
            Colombia 1
            Sudan 1
            Antigua and Barbuda 1
            Bahamas 1
            Pakistan 1
            Qatar 1
            Egypt 1
            Mexico 1
            Oman 1
            Cayman Islands 1
            Virgin Islands, US 1
            Jamaica 1
            Netherlands Antilles 1
            Dominican Republic 1
            Malta 1

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Revised Baking Schedule for HBinFive With Necessary Ingredients and Ratings
Does not include AP or WW flours or ingredients like pizza toppings and basic seasonings.

1. January 15th Bread Braid
1 full Master Recipe  The Master!!
Pgs 53-59 - 1 Loaf of Bread
Pgs 71-73 – Epi or Wreath shaped bread
Pgs 233-234 - Spicy Whole Grain Snack Crackers (Chili Powder)

2. Feb 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread  Katie Really Likes This
Pgs 92-93 – 1 Loaf of Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Pgs 94-95 – Hamburger or Hotdog Buns  Very Good
Pgs 277-278 – 1 loaf of Apple Strudel Bread (Apples, Raisins, Walnuts)  Katie Loved This

3. Feb 15th Bread Braid (Celebrating Valentine’s Day)
½ recipe Red Beet Buns (Spelt Flour, Raw Beets)
Pgs 180-181 – Red Beet Buns Good
½ recipe Chocolate Espresso WW Bread (Bittersweet Chocolate)
Pgs 304-305 – Chocolate Tangerine Bars (Craisins, Tangerine) Just OK

4. March 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of 100% Whole Wheat Bread w/Olive Oil  OK
Pgs 81-82 – 1 loaf of 100% Whole Wheat Bread w/Olive Oil
Pgs 225-226 – 1 loaf of Aloo Paratha (Peas, Potatoes, Curry Powder, Ghee)
Pgs 220-222 – 1 loaf of Southwestern Focaccia w Roasted Corn and Goat Cheese (Corn, Dried Chili Pepper or Chili Powder, Pablano Pepper, Diced Tomatoes, Cumin, Goat cheese, Chicken, Cilaintro)

5. March 15th Bread Braid (St. Patrick’s Day Celebration)
½ recipe Avocado-Guacamole Bread (Avocado, Tomato) Good
Pgs 160-161 - 1 loaf of Avocado-Guacamole Bread
½ recipe of Pesto Pine Nut Bread (Spelt Flour, Pesto, Pine Nuts)
Pgs 98-99 - 1 loaf of Pesto Pine Nut Bread  Very Good--Use Other Stuff

6. Apr 1st Bread Braid (Celebrating Spring)
½ recipe of Carrot Bread (Wheat Germ, Coconut, Carrots, Dried Fruit, Walnuts)
Pgs 157-159 - 1 loaf of Carrot Bread  Pat Loves This
½ recipe of Olive Spelt Bread (Spelt Flour, Yogurt, Pitted Green Olives)
Pg 96-97 - 1 loaf of Olive Spelt Bread or you can make a flat bread, rolls or buns  Greta Liked This a Lot

7. Apr 15th Bread Braid  Interesting--but not worth making again. 

1 full recipe of Gluten-Free Olive Oil Bread (Brown Rice Flour, Soy Flour, Tapioca Flour, Xanthum Gum)
Pgs 238-239 - 1 loaf of Gluten-free Olive Oil Bread
Pgs 240-241 - Gluten-free Pizza w fresh Mozzarella, Olives, Basil and Anaheim Peppers
Pgs 242-243 - Gluten-free Sesame Baguette (Sesame Seeds)

8. May 1st Bread Braid (May Day)
½ recipe Chocolate Espresso Whole Wheat Brioche (Bittersweet Chocolate)
Pgs 294-296 – Cinnamon Crescent Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing  OK
½ recipe Milk and Honey Raisin Bread (Raisins)
Pgs 270- 271 – 1 loaf of Milk and Honey Raisin Bread Good

9. May 15th Bread Braid
1 full Master Recipe
Pgs 62-63 - 1 loaf of Hearty Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf Good
Pgs 66-67 – Turkish-Style Pita Bread with Black Sesame Seeds (Black Sesame Seeds)
Pgs 64-65 – Whole Grain Garlic Knots (Parsley, Parmesan)

10. Jun 1st Bread Braid
1 full Master Recipe
Pgs 218-219 – Cherry Black Pepper Focaccia (Dried Cherries, Shallots)
Pgs 74-75 – Cinnamon Raison Whole Wheat Bagels (Raisins) Hard and messy to make
Pgs 60-61 - Moon and Stars Bread (Sesame Seeds)

11. Jun 15th Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Whole Wheat Bread w Olive Oil Good for pizzas, but so is Master
Pgs 213-215 - Pesto Pizza w Grilled Chicken on the Gas Grill
Pgs 223-224 – 1 loaf of Seed Encrusted Pita Bread (Mixed Seeds)
Pgs 205-207 – Oven-Baked Whole Grain Pizza w Roasted Red Peppers and Fontina

12. Jul 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe of Mixed Berry Bread (Frozen Mixed Berries) Not as berry-y as you would think
Pgs 197-199 – 1 loaf of Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Bread or Muffins
½ recipe of WW Banana Bread (Bananas, Walnuts) Not very banana-y
Pgs 200-201 – 1 loaf Whole Wheat Banana Bread

13. Jul 15th Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Gluten-free Cheddar and Sesame Bread (Sorghum Flour, Soy Flour, Xanthum Gum, Cheddar Cheese, Sesame Seeds) Great taste--adapt to Master
Pgs 244-245 – 1 loaf of Gluten-free Cheddar and Sesame Bread
Pg 247 – Gluten-free Parmesan Bread Sticks (Parmesan)

14. Aug 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe of Four-leaf Clover Broccoli and Cheddar Buns (Broccoli, Cheddar Cheese)
Pgs 174- 176 - Four-leaf Clover Broccoli and Cheddar Buns OK
½ recipe of Mesquite Bread (Mesquite Flour, Masa, Agave Syrup, Serrano or Jalapeno Peppers, Cilantro)
Pgs 171-173 – 1 loaf of Mesquite Bread Great Aroma, Good Flavor

15. Aug 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Vollkornbrot: 100% Whole Grain (Wheat Berries, Rye Flakes, Molasses)
Pgs 83-85 – 1 loaf Vollkornbrot: 100% Whole Grain Good
½ recipe of Rosemary Flax Baguette (Ground Flax Seed, Wheat Germ, Rosemary)
Pgs 89-91 – 3-4 loaves of Rosemary Flax Baguette Good

16. Sep 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Plain and Simple  Very Good
Pgs 79-80 – 1 loaf of 100% WW Bread, Plain and Simple
Pgs 208-209 – 1 loaf of Zucchini Flatbread (Parsley, Zucchini, Parmesan, Pine Nuts)
Pgs 228-230 – 1 loaf of Msemmen (Algerian Flatbread) (Cumin, Paprika, Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper)  Interesting

17. Sep 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe Maple Oatmeal Bread (Rolled Oats, Wheat Germ, Buttermilk, Maple Syrup)
Pgs 145-146 – 1 loaf of 100% Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Bread Disappointing
½ recipe Quinoa Bread (Quinoa)
Pgs 132-133 – 1 loaf of Quinoa Bread  Very Good

18. Oct 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of WW Brioche (Great) or Pumpkin Pie Broiche (Pumpkin) (Great)
Pgs 292-293 -- Honey Caramel Sticky Nut Buns (Orange Zest, Nuts, Raisins)  Excellent
Pgs 287-289 – Indian Spiced Whole Grain Doughnuts (Cardamom)  Terrific
Pgs 290-291 – Pear Tarte Tatin w Brioche (Pears, Star Anise, Fresh Ginger, Cardamom)

19. Oct 15th Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Whole Wheat Bread
Pgs 210-212 – Whole Grain Pizza on the Gas Grill (right on the grates)
Pgs 231-232 - Grissini (Olive Oil Bread Sticks) (Rosemary)
Pgs 155-156 – 2 small loaves of Garlic Studded Baguette

20. Nov 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe Pear Coffee Bread (Pears, Yogurt)
Pgs 185-186 – 1 loaf of Pear Coffee Bread  OK
½ recipe Tabbouleh Bread w Parsley, Garlic and Bulgar (Bulgar, Parsley)
Pgs 152-154 – 1 loaf of Tabbouleh Bread w Parsley, Garlic and Bulgar  Excellent

21. Nov 15th Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Pumpkin Pie Brioche (Pumpkin)
Pgs 297-298 - Pistachio Twist (Pistachios, Orange or Rose Water) Hard to make, but very good filing
Pgs 299-300 – Fruit-filled Pinwheels (Fruit Preserves)

22. Dec 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of 100% Whole Wheat Christmas Stollen (Dried Fruit, Marzipan or Almond Paste or Almonds)
Pgs 279-281 – 1 loaf of 100% Whole Wheat Christmas Stollen Good
Pg 199 – Muffins

2011 (Are you still with me?)
24. Jan 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe Whole Wheat and Flaxseed Bread (Ground Flax Seed)
Pgs 86-88 – 1 loaf 100% Whole Wheat and Flaxseed Bread Good, nice flavor
½ recipe Roasted Garlic Bread (Ground Flax Seed, Spelt Flour)
Pgs 100-102 – 1 loaf of Roasted Garlic Bread Good

25. Jan 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe Dilled Rye w White Whole Wheat (Rye Flour, Dill)
Pgs 123-124 1 loaf of Dilled Rye with White Whole Wheat  Not much dill flavor
½ recipe 100% Whole Grain Rosemary Potato Dinner Rolls w a Salt Crust (Rye Flour, Soy Flour, Rosemary, Potatoes)  OK--different
Pgs 125-126 - Whole Grain Rosemary Potato Dinner Rolls w a Salt Crust

26. Feb 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Gluten-free Crusty Boule (Brown Rice Flour, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, Xanthum Gum)
Pgs 236-237 - 1 loaf of Gluten-free Crusty Boule
Pg 246 – Gluten-free Cheddar and Sesame Crackers (Sesame Seeds)

27. Feb 15th Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Whole Grain Rye (Rye Flour, Caraway Seeds)
Pgs 113-114 – 1 loaf of Whole Grain Rye  Very Good
Pgs 182-184 – Stuffed “Sandwich” Loaf
Save some dough for the next recipe

28. Mar 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Bavarian-style Whole Grain Pumpernickel Bread (Rye Flour, Caramel Color Powder, Caraway Seeds, Molasses)
Pgs 115-117 – 1 loaf of Bavarian-style Whole Grain Pumpernickel Good
Pgs 118-119 – Black-and-White Braided Pumpernickel and Rye Loaf

29. Mar 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Apple Barley Bread (Barley Flour, Rye Flour, Apple Cider, Apples, Dried Apples, Barley Malt Syrup)
Pgs 194-196 – 1 loaf of Apple Barley Bread  Not as good as expected
½ recipe of 100% Whole Grain Butterfat-and-Yolk-free Brioche
Pgs 282-283 – 1 loaf of Whole Grain Butterfat-and-Yolk-free Brioche  OK--not great

30. Apr 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe Focaccia w Garlic Shards, Artichokes and Rosemary (Garlic, Artichokes, Rosemary)
Pgs 216-217 – 1 loaf of Focaccia w Garlic Shards, Artichokes and Rosemary
½ recipe Emmer Bread (Emmer Flour, Sesame Seeds, Beer)
Pgs 106- 108 – 1 loaf of Emmer Bread  OK--not great

31. Apr 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Cracked Wheat Bread (Cracked Whole Wheat)
Pgs 109-110 – 1 loaf of Cracked Wheat Bread  Pretty Good
½ recipe of Bradley Benn’s Beer Bread (Rye Flour, Beer)
Pgs 120-122 – 1 loaf of Bradley Benn’s Beer Bread  Not worth the trouble

32. May 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe of 10-Grain Bread (10 Grain cereal, Mixed Seeds)
Pgs 111-112 – 1 loaf of 10-Grain Bread Too Dense--needs more liquid??
½ recipe of Buckwheat Bread (Buckwheat flour, Buckwheat Groats)
Pgs 127-128 – 1 loaf of Buckwheat Bread  Very Good

33. May 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Anadama Corn Bread (Corn Meal, Wheat Germ, Molasses)
Pgs 129-131 – 1 loaf of Anadama Corn Bread  Too Molasses-y
½ recipe of Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread (Brown Rice, Ground Flax Seed)
Pgs 140-141 – 1 loaf of Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread Good if you have extra rice

34. Jun 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe of Seeded Oat Bread (rolled Oats, Ground Flax Seed, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Barley Malt Syrup)
Pgs 147-149 – 1 loaf of Seeded Oat Bread  Great
½ recipe of Provencal Fisherman’s Bread (Pain Bouillabaisse) (Herbs de Provence, Saffron Powder, Bulb Fennel)
Pgs 165-167 – 1 loaf of Provencal Fisherman’s Bread (Pain Bouillabaisse)  Surprisingly good--but who has fennel?

35. Jun 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Not Rye (but so very close), and Gluten-free (Brown Rice Flour, Teff Flour, Tapioca Flour, Xanthum Gum, Molasses)
Pgs 249-251 – 1 loaf of Not Rye (but so very close), and Gluten-free
½ recipe of Honey Graham Bread (Graham Flour)
Pgs 268-269 – 1 loaf of Honey Graham Bread Pretty Good

36. Jul 1st Bread Braid
1 full recipe of Gluten-free Brioche (Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Xanthum Gum)
Pgs 252-253 – 1 loaf of Gluten-free Brioche
Pgs 254-255 – “Super Sam” Gluten-free Cinnamon Buns

37. Jul 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Herbed Potato and Roasted Garlic Bread (Spelt Flour, Ground Flax Seed, Herbs de Provence, Potato
Pgs 103- 105 – 1 loaf of Herbed Potato and Garlic Bread Good
½ recipe of Red Wine and Cheese Bread (Rye Flour, Red Wine, Sharp Cheddar)
Pgs 137-139 – 1 loaf of Red Wine and Cheese Bread Good

38. Aug 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe of Bran Muffin Bread (Wheat Bran, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Raisins)
Pgs 272-274 - 1 loaf of Bran Muffin Bread Good
½ recipe of Oatmeal Date Bread (Steel Cut Oats, Maple Syrup, Dates, Walnuts)
Pgs 191-183 – 1 loaf of Oatmeal Date Bread  Excellent

39. Aug 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Brown Rice Prune Bread (Brown Rice, Prunes, Prune Juice)
Pgs 188-190 – 1 loaf of Brown Rice Prune Bread  OK
½ recipe of Toasted Millet and Fruit Bread (Millet, Mixed Dried Fruit)
Pgs 134- 136 – 1 loaf of Toasted Millet and Fruit Bread  OK

40. Sep 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe of Wild Rice Pilaf Bread (Wild rice, Onions, Mushrooms)
Pgs 142- 144 – 1 loaf of Wild Rice Pilaf Bread  Very Good
½ recipe of Lentil Curry Bread (Lentils, Curry Powder)
Pgs 168-170 – 1 loaf of Lentil Curry Bread  OK

41. Sep 15th Bread Braid
½ recipe of Sweet Potato and Spelt Bread (Spelt Flour, Sweet Potato)
Pgs 177-179 – 1 loaf of Sweet Potato and Spelt Bread  OK
½ recipe of Apple and Honey Whole Grain Challah (Wheat Germ, Apples)
Pgs 262-264 – 1 loaf of Apple and Honey Whole Grain Challah Good

42. Oct 1st Bread Braid
½ recipe of Il Bollo (Italian Yom Kippur Challah with Anise and Olive Oil) (Anise, Lemon Zest)
Pgs 265-267 – 1 loaf of Il Bollo  Excellent
½ recipe of Pain au Potiron (Peppery Pumpkin and Olive Oil Loaf) (Pumpkin or squash or Sweet Potato)
Pgs 162- 164 – 1 loaf of Pain au Potiron  OK



1. Bread can be baked on a stone, on a grill or open fire, in a bread pan or cloche.

2. You can make a loaf, buns, rolls, flatbread or whatever you want.

3. Use whatever fruit you want.

4. Toppings and fillings are your choice.

5. If you want to bake something else, other then what is on the schedule, feel free.

6. Any and all substitutions are welcome.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Epilogue (43 of 42)

As all of you know by now, from all the press coverage, I baked my way through the whole Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book.  Every assignment.  And then some. 
In addition to the adoration of my fan I also got a more tangible reward from my niece Cathy:

  A Trophy!
To go with my Trophy Wife!
And Cathy gave me a congratulatory card, too!

Cathy has definitely raised the bar for her niblings.  (Niblings is a collective, gender-neutral term for nieces and nephews, based on siblings.  There is a movement afoot by a group of school children in England to have it included in the Oxford English Dictionary.  See Kids want 'nibling' in dictionary.  By using it here, I am doing my part.)   

Having baked the book, I thought I would share a Baker's Dozen of our favorites.  This is a purely personal list and is colored by our likes and dislikes.   Thus, although I baked all the gluten-free assignments, and we enjoyed several of the results, none of those are included here.  The gluten-free recipes are great if you need them, but we do not, and I just do not enjoy working with the gluten-free dough.  The tactile aspect of working with the dough is part of baking too, even when using the no-knead method.

Also, I am focusing here on doughs more than products.  Thus, I am not including pizzas and flatbreads and rolls and such, which are ways of forming or embellishing one or more of the doughs. 

With regard to the AB and HB in 5 method, I have a confession to make.  They say that the first step in recovery is to admit you have a problem.  I admit I am addicted to this method.  Many of my baking cohorts easily switch between AB/HB breads and a variety of more traditional loaves.  I have a hard time doing that.  It feels like I am cheating on Jeff and Zoë.  Before discovering AB in 5 I was trying to bake a lot of our bread, and was unhappy with the results.  The AB in 5 method was such a revelation, particularly if you  are trying to bake most of the bread you eat, that I feel I owe them.  I feel kind of disloyal baking anyone else's bread.   I am trying, however.  I am hunting wild yeast with Renée over at Flamingo Musings.  I have tried sourdough in AB/HB loaves, and although the bread turned out fine, I did not get a very sour flavor.  Now that I am not baking the book, I have been planning to work on my sourdough.   And using wild yeast seems like an interesting experiment.  I will keep you posted.

As a starting point for our favorites, I have a "Cheat Sheet" posted on the refrigerator.  It is just a list of AB and HB in 5 bread recipes I bake frequently, in summary form--ingredients, cook time, and storage time.  Since that is my go-to list it seems a pretty good place to start.  You can click on the links for each entry to see my original posts for these.

First on the Cheat Sheet is:

1.  The Master Recipe.  The name pretty much says it all.  It is versatile.  It can be used not only for boules but for baguettes, batards, pitas, naan, pizza, rolls, sweet rolls, you name it. And it is easy to make--flour, water salt, yeast and vital gluten.
The Cheat Sheet also includes:

2.  100% Whole Wheat.   The title of this recipe is really 100% Whole Wheat, Plain and Simple.  And that is what it is.  If you want to go all the way (Whole Wheat wise), this is it.

3.  Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.   This is an enriched bread, with honey, oil and eggs, and it makes a nice, softer loaf. 

4Whole Grain Rye.  Just a nice hearty rye.  I use ground caraway seed in the dough for a more uniform flavor, and top it with whole seeds.  To coat the loaves I sprinkle seeds on the counter and roll the loaves in them.  For me this works better than egg or water wash, especially since the dough is more hydrated.   

5.  Quinoa BreadI really like to make this bread using red quinoa from Trader Joe's.  The red grains really show up nicely in the slices, and quinoa is really good for you.

The Cheat Sheet breads are not only those that I bake a lot, they also tend to be those that are easy to make and that do not require extra ingredients.  Going beyond the Cheat Sheet with some fairly simple loaves there is:

6.   Whole Wheat Brioche.  A really good enriched whole wheat. bread. 

7.  Buckwheat Bread.  I do not know why, exactly, but I am partial to buckwheat.  I love sourdough buckwheat waffles.  And this bread has buckwheat groats to boot!

And for breads with more "stuff" in them:

8.  Tabbouleh Bread.  The full name for this one is Tabbouleh Bread with Parsley, Garlic and Bulgar, which is what is in tabbouleh.  It also has lemon, which really gives it that something extra. 

9.  Pumpkin Pie Brioche.  This was a good and fun bread, great for fall.  It was especially good for Honey Caramel Sticky Nut Buns and Indian Spiced Doughnuts.  I have already gotten requests, OK, request, for this one.

10.  Betsy's Seeded Oat Bread.  If you like lots of seeds and nuts in your bread, this one is for you.

11.   Oatmeal Date BreadDates and steel cut oats.  And nuts.  It just doesn't get any better than that.

12.  Il Bollo.  Michelle saved one of the best for the very last assignment on our schedule.  A challah with anise, honey and vanilla.  

13.  Apple Strudel Bread.  This is the exception that proves the rule (about focusing on dough rather than on breads), since it is really the Soft Whole Wheat fancied up.  But Katie loves it, so here it is. 

Those are our favorites, but we like several of the others too.   Post some of your faves in the comment section. 

On a baking note, since I have finished the HB in 5 assignments, I decided to bake something from the first book, the English Granary Bread from AB in 5.  I used Maltex cereal as a substitute for the malted wheat flakes.  When I first baked this bread the malted wheat flakes were unavailable, but King Arthur now carries them again. 
The cereal makes for kind of a moister loaf, but we like this hearty bread. 

So that is it for the HB in 5 Challenge.  I am finished.  Really.  For sure. 

But I may keep posting about baking and such, especially about my clay oven, which is not drying in all the rain, or my wild (and sustainably) caught sourdough, which is bubbling along nicely, thank you very much.  Or maybe about other stuff.  You  will just have to wait and see.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Il Bollo and Pain au Potiron (42 of 42)

Here they are.  The last two breads from HB in 5.  And a good thing too, since Jeff and Zoë's new book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day is scheduled to be released on the 25th of this month.

We finish up with a continental flourish: Il Bollo, which its Italian for The Ball, and  Pain au Potiron, which is French for Pumpkin Bread.

I got a pie pumpkin potiron for the Pain au Potiron.  It is, after all, the last assignment, so I went all out.  According to our friends at Wikipedia,  pumpkins are thought to have originated in North America, although that is not entirely certain.  But the oldest seeds found so far, dating back to 7000-5500 BCE, were found in Mexico.  Pumpkins are monoecious, which I now know, thanks to my new sensei Denise with the Ohio Master Gardener Program, means having separate male and female flowers with both types of flowers on the same plant.

Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced each year in the United States.  95% of the pumpkins which are grown for processing are grown in Illinois, and Nestle produces about 85% of the processed pumpkin.   As goes the weather in Illinois, so goes the availability of canned pumpkin!  Growing giant pumpkins is a passion for some.  There was a neat PBS special, Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence, about growing giant pumpkins for the annual Cooperstown Weigh Off.  The DVD is available from Netflix, or it may be on your local PBS station this Fall.   According to Wikipedia, "[t]he current world record holder is Chris Stevens's 1,810-pound Atlantic Giant pumpkin, which in October 2010 surpassed Christy Harp's previous 2009 record of 1,725 pounds." 
My pie pumpkin was more in the 3 1/2 pound range.  

The pumpkin in the Pain au Potiron is peeled and diced and added raw as the dough is mixed.  In addition the pumpkin is seasoned with pepper and the dough is enriched with some olive oil.    I baked the loaf in my French Bread Pan, it being a French Bread Pain. 
It baked up nicely, with the pieces of pumpkin throughout.
I thought I had "generously" seasoned the pumpkin with pepper, as the recipe directed, but I did not detect any peppery flavor in the finished product.  I guess "generously" is in the hand of the grinder.  Anyway, while the pumpkin may have been generously seasoned, the bread was not.  As a result, it was pretty similar to the Sweet Potato and Spelt Bread from last time.  So, for the second loaf I worked more pepper into the dough and then put it back in the fridge to rest and recover.  Then, as I formed the loaf I also rolled it in some pepper, which I had sprinkled on the counter, to coat the outside.  (I have found that this is, for me, a more effective way of adding accretions such as seeds to the surface of loaves and getting them to stick than using an egg or water wash.)
I again baked it in my French Pain Pan.

Instead of slashing the dough with a serrated knife I have taken to snipping it with kitchen shears. 

This loaf  was definitely "spiked" with pepper, which gave it a nice warm kick, but not too much.  Just right. 

It seems that growing giant pumpkins is not the only pumpkin related competition.  The Wikipedia article notes that
Pumpkin chucking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Some pumpkin chuckers breed and grow special varieties of pumpkin under specialized conditions to improve the pumpkin's chances of surviving a throw.

Since I only used some of my pie pumpkin for the Pain au Potiron, I could have chucked the rest, but lacking a trebuchet au potiron I just roasted it and used some of it to make an
Easy Low Fat Pumpkin Cake.  
 This is one of our favorite fall recipes, and I really recommend that you click on the link and try it (the recipe calls for canned pumpkin, so you need not roast your own).  

With the Pumpkin Bread behind us it was on to Il Bollo.  According to the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food the Bollo originated in Portugal and Spain as an enriched, anise flavored bread.  When the Sephardic Jews were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492 they took their Bollo with them to other countries (they could take their dough, but were not permitted to take gold or silver or money).   The version which evolved in Italy, Il Bollo, is richer, characterized by larger amounts of eggs, oil, and honey.  Il Bollo is served throughout Sukkot, and to break the fast of Yom  Kippur.  

The HB in 5 version of Il Bollo is also enriched with oil, eggs (I used egg substitute) and honey and flavored with anise (and vanilla).  It has less whole wheat flour than most loaves we have baked, making it less dense than some.  (In the notes to the recipe Jeff offers that you can boost the whole grains by making a version based on the Whole Wheat and Wheat Germ dough.)  I baked the first loaf as a Bollo, though I skipped the egg wash and extra anise seeds. 
It baked up beautifully (a discerning eye might note that I got ahead of myself and cut the loaf before I took a picture, so some reassembly was required.)

This bread smelled wonderful baking and tasted just as good.  It was definitely one of our favorites.  It makes great toast, too.  

For my second loaf I went for a braid, and rolled the strands in anise seeds sprinkled on the counter before braiding.  It was just as good.  

So that is it. 
Done and Done.

I have baked my way through every recipe in  Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg.  (In the interest of full disclosure, did not bake every combination or permutation of every recipe--Zoë and Jeff often provide several dough options that can be used in a recipe.)   That is 42 "official" assignments, plus 1 recipe inadvertently omitted from the schedule, plus 2 warm-up assignments, plus a few bonus posts.  

We owe this whole adventure to Michelle, who started this all off on October 19, 2009, when she first posted about a group to bake its way through HB in 5.  She is really great and I wish her all the best.  I miss her posts.  Zoë and Jeff (to whom we also owe this adventure) posted about the group on their website on October 20, 2009, which is how I found out about it.  And my first (ever) post was on November 10, 2009--I was much  more pithy then. 

Although most of the folks who started this journey have been pulled away over the 23 months by other demands, the discussion board has stayed pretty lively.  With apologies to Shakespeare, the few of us that are left are but bakers for the working day.  Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch’d with dusty flour and the sticky dough.  And time hath worn us into slovenry.  But, by the mass, our loaves are (more or less--see my "turban" of last time) in the  trim.  (According to 51 Random Facts about William Shakespeare "[Fact 2] More than 80 spelling variations are recorded for Shakespeare's name, from “Shappere” to “Shaxberd”; and [Fact 3] In the few signatures that have survived, Shakespeare spelled his name “Willm Shaksp,” “William Shakespe,” “Wm Shakspe,” “William Shakspere,” ”Willm Shakspere,” and “William Shakspeare”--but never “William Shakespeare.”)

Through the process we have forged some new friendships, learned from each other, gotten lots of good tips, and had some fun. And here at least, we have eaten pretty well.   And now, we are done.

So, be sure to tune in next time (say what??) for a review of our favorite loaves from HB in 5.