Sunday, November 20, 2011

baking:: trying a new recipe

I recently checked The Bread Bible out of the library and wanted to try the Basic White Sandwich Bread -I had heard great things about this recipe so yesterday morning around 11am, I started making the sponge starter. The starter needed to sit for at least an hour (I let mine sit at room temp for about 2hrs), then I used my KitchenAid to knead the dough together for the first rise. The recipe called for three rises (!), so I knew it would take a while- but last night around 11pm I finally gave up and stuck the two partially-risen loaves into the fridge. This morning I pulled them out, let them rise one last time and then popped them into the oven to bake.

The resulting loaves were DELICIOUS! And honestly, they should be, considering the amount of work that went into them: if I only count the rising time, it was about 7 hours! Add two hours for the sponge to come together and it's an all-day process. My normal bread recipe goes from mixed to baked in about four hours with two rises.

The flavor of the Bread Bible white bread was good, but it was the crumb and the lovely chewy crust that really stood out. I took a few photos to highlight the differences between the Bread Bible recipe and my regular recipe (sorry for the awful lighting- it has been dark and stormy all day!).

Here is my regular recipe: the Amish White Bread-
Amish White Bread
Note the denseness of the crumb and the thinner crust. This bread uses just water and flour with some sugar for sweetening. I usually use 2/3 all purpose flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour with this recipe.

Here is the Bread Bible Basic White Sandwich Bread:
Basic White Bread
See how much more air there is in the crumb? This recipe also uses powdered milk and less flour to make for a wetter, more pliable dough. I also used about 1/3 (by volume) wheat flour and added some wheat germ for crunch. The crust of this bread was really nice and crisp right out of the oven.

And the two slices side by side (Bread Bible on the left, Amish White on the right)
side by side

After all the effort making the Bread Bible recipe, I was surprised that it wasn't much different in flavor than my normal recipe. The biggest difference between the two loaves was the tenderness of the crumb. I'm now wondering if I can try making a sponge for my Amish White Bread recipe....