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Marcia

"The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Reinhart

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Hello everyone! :smile:

I'm new posting here although I've been reading the threads for long time, always learning something new and exciting.

I'm just a food lover and I've recently got my copy of the book The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhard and I'm completely in love with it.

I've tried to bake breads few times in my life and the results were pretty poor most of the time. Now that I've been learning the amazing process that involves this art of making bread, I feel completely hooked and couldn't wait to try some formulas.

My first attemp was a White Bread Loaf, enriched and simple to make, but I definitely did something wrong and it tasted sour and yeasty.

Two days ago I thought i was feeling confident enough :raz: to cross a new frontier and try a crusty bread (my favourites). I read the book many many times and armed with all information and courage I went for it. I made a dough to bake a Pain a L'ancienne (I loved the story that Reinhard tells about this bread!).

Yesterday was the big day, when I finally baked my first crusty bread. And for my surprise, it wasn't that bad! And I am still so excited and happy that I thought I could post some pictures of my bread because you guys are the only ones who can understand my joy :biggrin: !

The crust wasn't very crunchy despite my effort of creating steam in a home-dumb-oven, and the little bubbles could have been bit bigger. But overall the taste was fantastic and the pleasure of eating it was great! I now it's far from perfect but I'm keen to keep trying.

Here are the pictures, i hope you enjoy:

PainLAncienne1.jpg

PainLAncienne2.jpg

PainLAncienne3.jpg

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Marcia

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Fantastic! I just love it when things I cook/bake turn out well, don't you? That's just about as satisfying as life gets.

So what's next?

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Welcome Marcia! Your bread does indeed look tasty. From one home baker to another, what did you do to try to create steam in your oven? And for your first white bread, I don't have this book-sorry, what do you think was in the recipe that made your dough seem too yeasty? Was it a long rise bread?

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That is pretty good bread. Did you retard it overnight in the fridge? If not that might help.

A slightly hotter oven, and more bottom heat (bricks or a pizza stone) will help as well

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those are lovely loaves. congratulations! i think i need to pull out my copy of the bread baker's apprentice now. nice job, and welcome!


Edited by chezcherie (log)

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jgm, yes it's so great when things work for a change :biggrin: not sure what am i going to do next... i think i'll try this same bread again and see if I can improve my results.

foul de Bassan, I put a big retangular pan inside the oven while it was pre-heating. Then when I put the bread in, I also added 2 cups of boiling water inside the pan and closed the door. Then I waited for 30 seconds and sprayed the oven walls with water using a plant spray. I repeated the spray process twice in 30 seconds interval. Oh and for the white bread i think I measured the dry east in wrong proportion and also I started to preheat the oven while the dough was proofing and the kitchen got really hot and spoiled the rest :wacko:

jackal, thanks! i've been reading your posts and it means a lot to have a compliment from you! I did retard overnight and the flavour was great! I used a pizza stone (very thin) but my oven is really bad, it warms up all the flat because it can't keep the heat inside!!

chezcherie, thank you! if you bake something please share with us!

Thanks everyone!

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Welcome, Marcia-- those loaves look great! I've made that bread, so I know how hard it can be to divide and shape. (It is an extremely wet dough.) Yours look like you did a super job.

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Marcia,

Nice photos! The loaves look beautiful! I've been using The Bread Baker's Apprentice for a couple of years now and *love* this book. I haven't made every recipe yet, but I'm working on it. My current favorite is the Pane Siciliano (hmmm, might have to make that again soon).

Let us know what you try next. :smile:

Anni

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SethG, thanks and yes it's a very wet dough but I loved to handle it gently with lots of flour around, very entertaining! :smile:

Anni, thank you. Oh I need to try the Pane Siciliano one day. Need to go and buy some semolina. Have you tried baking this pain a l'ancienne yet? :smile:

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Welcome, Marcia -- and great pix!

We (or I should more honestly say, my partner Andrea) made PR's focaccia this weekend for a baby shower, two huge trays. It was excellent and the group inhaled the stuff. I'll pass along your pain a l'ancienne recommendation to the real baker in the house!

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Welcome! Great looking bread!

The best crust I've ever gotten on a bread came after a long overnight rise in the fridge, followed by a warm, humid proofing, and spraying the oven once the bread went in (no pan of water).

Bread Baker's Apprenctice is one of those on my wish lists.

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Welcome! Marcia.

PR book is one of my favorites and I bake from it on a regular basis. the pages actually feel grainy now becuase of residual flour on them. Your baguettes look great and I found that dividing the dough into 4 instead of 6 baguattes results in better loaves (fuller, better crust and crumb). Another favorite is his "Multigrain Bread Extraoridnaire", I pretty much bake this one once a week.

The Pannetone is great as is the Potato-Rosemary, the buns, the pain de campagne, Pugliese, Focaccia and the Italian Bread just to name a few. Please keep sharing your baking experiences from this book and hoepfully others can add theirs.

Elie

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Welcome! I'm delighted you decided to post AND share photos! They look great. Boy have you come to the right place, we have alot of people who are familar with that book. I hope to see you become a regular.

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Those are lovely loaves and you should be happy. I love the Reinhart book as well and my favorite is also the Panne Sciliano. Keep baking bread Marcia. Every loave will be different but it matters not if you bake with your heart as well as your hands.

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chrisamirault, hi thanks, the foccacia seems very easy to make and very tasty! I'll try soon. An oh, the dog under your name is just so cute!!

jgarner53, thank you for your tips. how do you produce a "warm and humid proofing" and how many times do you spray the oven walls?

Elie, hi. As the book is brand new I'm still taking so much care of it! I place it away from the worktop then I need to walk and read and then come bak to the dough :wacko: . That might explain the overproofing :biggrin: ! Oh is the Potato Rosemary Bread good? I wonder if it's not a bit dense because of the potatoes? Is it nice? :smile:

Sinclair, hello! I'd love if could have a Bread thread like that one Chocolate by Pierre Hermé where people try the receipes from the book and share their experiences, it's so great!

lancastermike, yes you're right, you can't go wrong when you put your heart into something!

:biggrin:

Marcia


Edited by Marcia (log)

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chrisamirault, hi thanks, the foccacia seems very easy to make and very tasty! I'll try soon. An oh, the dog under your name is just so cute!!

jgarner53, thank you for your tips. how do you produce a "warm and humid proofing" and how many times do you spray the oven walls?

Elie, hi. As the book is brand new I'm still taking so much care of it! I place it away from the worktop then I need to walk and read and then come bak to the dough  :wacko: . That might explain the overproofing  :biggrin: ! Oh is the Potato Rosemary Bread good? I wonder if it's not a bit dense because of the potatoes? Is it nice?  :smile:

Sinclair, hello! I'd love if could have a Bread thread like that one Chocolate by Pierre Hermé where people try the receipes from the book and share their experiences, it's so great!

lancastermike, yes you're right, you can't go wrong when you put your heart into something!

:biggrin:

Marcia

Very nice looking loaves.

I love the BBA. I have been baking bread for about 30 years, but there is always more to learn and PR is wonderful.

As far as potato in bread dough it really does not make the the bread heavy, but the bread retains moisture and a good crumb. The Potato Rosemary is a fine bread.

Made the foccacia last Friday. I topped each third of the halfsheet pan loaf with a variation on the olive oil/herb topping -- Parm and herb oil of basil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper/the herb oil/black pepper and rosemary. Since it was just for the two of us (and I've had the flu, wasn't going to be making different bread every day!) I wanted some variety in the bread we were eating. Worked out well, I'd do it that way again (or similar variations) for a party. Very easy.

For the white loaf -- what variation did you use? I like Variation 3, making the sponge first then proceeding. I really prefer it more for making nice light dinner/small sandwich rolls than as a loaf.

I also enjoy the Pan de Campagne, and the rye sourdough is a marvelously flavored bread once you get the barm and starter down.

I will be baking bread this weekend, haven't decided what yet but I'll post pics also.

Enjoy your adventure! :biggrin:

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Elie, hi. As the book is brand new I'm still taking so much care of it! I place it away from the worktop then I need to walk and read and then come bak to the dough  . That might explain the overproofing  ! Oh is the Potato Rosemary Bread good? I wonder if it's not a bit dense because of the potatoes? Is it nice? 

Like Lovebenton mentioned, the potato-rosemary bread is not heavy or dense at all, even though the crumb is pretty tight. It is moist and very tasty. My fvorite use for it is for meatloaf sandwiches. I alwasy make extra meatloaf and bake this bread so I can have the sandwiches. I think of it as having meatloaf with the best rosemary, garlic(which I sometimes do not use in the bread) mashed potatoes :smile:.

I will post pics and experiences from the book in the future. Let me see if I have a few pics of breads I baked from it in my album.

Elie

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That's all I could find uploaded for now, but I'm sure I have more at home and will try to get to them as well.

These are my pain a l' ancienne:

gallery_5404_94_1099891794.jpg

Elie

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Wow, Elie!! Your loaves are great!! I made only half formula because there're only my husband and me to eat the breads so my loaves were more like sticks. But yours are lovely!! And I really like the redish colour of this bread! Looking forward to see some more of your work!

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Wow, Elie!! Your loaves are great!! I made only half formula because there're only my husband and me to eat the breads so my loaves were more like sticks. But yours are lovely!! And I really like the redish colour of this bread! Looking forward to see some more of your work!

So, It's only my wife, my one and half year old and I as well :raz: . I guess we do eat more bread than the average family. Typically one or more of those is gone minutes after it leaves the oven, consumed with some good butter and sprinkled with salt.

Mine used to come out thinner than I liked at first, but like I mentioned earlier I now divide the dough into 4 baguettes instead of 6. This makes for a better baguette, IMO.

Elie

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For the warm, humid proofing, I put the loaf(ves) on a sheet pan with semolina or parchment and place that in a clean kitchen garbage bag with a cup of steaming hot (preferably boiling) water. I close up the bag and then inflate it like a giant balloon, and place it in a warm spot. I check on it periodically, depending on the length of the rise, to replace the water, reinflate the bag, check the loaves.

This was suggested by the chef instructor at a CA Culinary Academy weekend bread class I took last year as a way to get around not having a commercial proofing oven. It seems to work well for me.

As to the spraying, I spritz when the loaf goes in, and then twice more (at least 5 or so good sprays each time), at about 1-2 minute intervals.

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Fantastic pictures! Your loaves look incredible. I've been keeping an eye on this book, and waiting for it go on sale. So far, it hasn't. But once it does...!

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Elie, hi. As the book is brand new I'm still taking so much care of it! I place it away from the worktop then I need to walk and read and then come bak to the dough  :wacko: . That might explain the overproofing  :biggrin: ! Oh is the Potato Rosemary Bread good? I wonder if it's not a bit dense because of the potatoes? Is it nice?  :smile:

Marcia: To keep your copy of BBA from getting all splattered, I'd suggest covering it while you work. At cooking school, we commonly placed plastic wrap over the open pages and tucked it underneath to protect the cover. I eventually "laminated" the outer cover of my textbooks with clear stick-on plastic ("Mac-Tac" it used to be called), and joined two sheets of acetate (with more of the sticky plastic as a hinge) to replace the plastic wrap as a "raincoat."

My textbooks survived all the messes of cooking school fairly intact.

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Thanks Marcia for starting this thread! I got the BBA after following the Q&A with Peter R. here last autumn and have been slowly (with plenty of breaks) baking various recipes. You inspired me to get back in the kitchen after a New Year hiatus and try the pain a l'ancienne. I just popped it into the frig and will report back tomorrow on the results.

I apologize if this if OT but I continue to have extreme difficulty creating a seed culture. After five failed attempts I have given up (prevented me from making the pannetone I wanted to for Christmas). I have read jackal10's Sourdough Bread thread as well and incorporated suggestions but have yet to succeed. Has anyone out there done successful sourdough in a hot and humid climate? Our average ambient temp is 85F and humidity is 80% plus. If so, please divulge your secrets...please...

Anyway, congrats Marcia on gorgeous bread and all the inspiration from everyone here in the Pastry/Baking forum!

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I don't remember if this little tip was in the book, but one that I learned from a class with PR. Put a wet towel over your oven window to protect it as you fill the heated pan in the oven. If water spilled, your class could explode, this would create a barrier to prevent that. Then you remove the towel and go on as usual.

Beautiful Bread!


Edited by kjente2 (log)

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