Bread 2006 (January through April)

It’s time for more bread! Continuing the adventures of bread that began with my birthday present from last year, and the breads of the second half of last year, here’s some more roti roti roti.

[[image:bread63.jpg:Pain Ordinaire Careme:center:0]]

The above was Pain Ordinaire Careme – my 2nd attempt at it. My first attempt it did not come out as well as I would have liked it, dry and not as plump and pretty. It’s one of the final pictures in the previous bread entry – but here it is again so you can compare the two attempts:

[[image:bread59.jpg:Pain Ordinaire Careme – 1st attempt:center:0]]

Below is a Scandinavian whole wheat bread called Volkornbrot – it was dense and heavy, very wheaty, as described in the book. To be honest, I didn’t really like it.

[[image:bread107.jpg:Volkornbrot:center:0]]

I got another craving for pau, so I made it again with the same “spanakopita” filling of feta, spinach and scallions.

[[image:bread108.jpg:Paus filled and placed on wax paper:center:0]]

[[image:bread109.jpg:Pau being steamed:center:0]]

[[image:bread110.jpg:Hot steamed paus:center:0]]

I tried my hand at a sourdough bread: California Whole-Wheat Sourdough. First you make a sponge and let it rise for 3 days. During the 3 days you stir it down once a day:

[[image:bread64.jpg:Sponge Fermenting:center:0]]

[[image:bread65.jpg:Side view of the sponge:center:0]]

Then after the kneading process and some more risings, put it in loaf pans and bake. Here’s the baked California Whole-Wheat Sourdough:

[[image:bread66.jpg:California Whole-wheat Sourdough, baked:center:0]]

[[image:bread67.jpg:CA Whole-wheat Sourdough bread, sliced:center:0]]

The California Whole-Wheat Sourdough was nice and sour, and Vin quite liked it. I think I’m probably lukewarm about sourdough breads – I’ll eat them but I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to hunt for it. But the process of making it was fun though.

But after the 3-day experiment, I wanted to try something easy and less time consuming. So I tried one of the easiest breads ever, it is called 30-minute Bread. Why? It rises only once, for 30 minutes then it’s baked. You don’t have to let it rise twice or three times like most of the other breads. So here’s our ball of dough after it’s been kneaded:

[[image:bread68.jpg:Kneaded ball of dough:center:0]]

Press it into a rectangle roughly the length of the loaf pan, fold in half lengthwise, pinch the seams together and place in the loaf pan, tucking the ends in neatly.

[[image:bread69.jpg:30-minute bread in loaf pan:center:0]]

Place in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 400 F for 1 minute then turn it off, and let the bread rise in the warmed oven for 30 minutes (hence the name). Turn the oven back on to 400 F and bake for about 45 minutes. Then this is what you get:

[[image:bread70.jpg:30-minute bread, baked:center:0]]

[[image:bread71.jpg:30-minute bread out of the pan:center:0]]

[[image:bread72.jpg:30-minute bread, sliced:center:0]]

Since it was a simple white bread, I made garlic herb butter to go with it:

[[image:bread73.jpg:Garlic Herb Butter:center:0]]

And the 30-minute White Bread sure is nice toasted and slathered with Garlic Herb Butter:

[[image:bread74.jpg:Toasted 30-minute Bread with Garlic Herb Butter:center:0]]

Then to counter the plain white bread, I turned to to whole wheat flour and made Molasses Wheat Bread. Instead of sugar, use dark molasses (mm mmmm) and whole wheat flour. The dough is a bit sticky but work with it, knead it well, then form into a long log:

[[image:bread90.jpg:Molasses Wheat log:center:0]]

Let it rest, then fold the log in 2 and twist. Get 2-3 good twists in and place into the loaf pan and allow to rise.

[[image:bread91.jpg:Molasses Wheat Bread, risen:center:0]]

Here’s the Molasses Wheat Bread after it is baked:

[[image:bread92.jpg:Molasses Wheat Bread, baked:center:0]]

[[image:bread93.jpg:Molasses Wheat Bread, sliced:center:0]]

For some spice, we turn to Pain au Cumin (Cumin Bread). Start off by toasting cumin seeds, then grinding it into a beautiful cumin powder. This freshly ground toasted cumin powder is added to the bread dough. Go through the process of kneading and place it in a loaf pan:

[[image:bread75.jpg:Pain au Cumin in the loaf pan:center:0]]

After rising, bake it and here’s what you get:

[[image:bread76.jpg:Pain au Cumin, baked:center:0]]

[[image:bread77.jpg:Pain au Cumin, sliced:center:0]]

[[image:bread78.jpg:Close up of the sliced Pain au Cumin:center:0]]

This next bread is called Onion Lover’s Bread. We start out first with chopped onions mixed with melted butter and some lovely spices – this is the filling for the bread:

[[image:bread79.jpg:Onions and spices:center:0]]

Then a normal white bread dough is kneaded and allowed to rise before punching down and rolling into a large thin rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 3 strips:

[[image:bread80.jpg:Dough cut into strips:center:0]]

Spread the filling onto the strips leaving a half-inch strip all around each dough edge:

[[image:bread81.jpg:Strips are being filled:center:0]]

[[image:bread82.jpg:All the strips filled:center:0]]

Roll each strip and pinch the edges to make 3 onion filled ropes:

[[image:bread83.jpg:Strips of filled bread dough:center:0]]

Place the strips on a cookie sheet:

[[image:bread84.jpg:Dough on cookie sheet:center:0]]

Braid the dough:

[[image:bread85.jpg:Braided dough:center:0]]

Let the braided dough rise:

[[image:bread86.jpg:Risen Braid:center:0]]

[[image:bread87.jpg:A shot a la LiLiaN’s food shots:center:0]]

Here’s the bread all baked. It was really a lovely bread and the filling tasted sort of sambal-like, and I followed the recipe in the book so I was quite happy with it:

[[image:bread88.jpg:Onion Lover’s Bread, baked:center:0]]

[[image:bread89.jpg:Onion Lover’s Bread, sliced:center:0]]

Next up is Whole Wheat Herb bread which is a dough rich with crushed caraway seeds, grated nutmeg and dried sage. Here’s the bread after its second rising:

[[image:bread103.jpg:It rose beautifully:center:0]]

Then after it is baked, take the dough out of the loaf pan:

[[image:bread104.jpg:Whole Wheat Herb Bread, baked:center:0]]

And my favorite shot, the bread sliced up:

[[image:bread105.jpg:Whole Wheat Herb Bread, sliced:center:0]]

[[image:bread106.jpg:Close up of the sliced Whole Wheat Herb Bread:center:0]]

And the final bread for this entry, Pesto Bread. You can make your own basil pesto if you like, but I took the short cut and used a store-bought jar of basil pesto. Make the dough and after the first rising, punch it down and roll it into a big rectangle. Then spread the basil pesto on the dough, leaving an inch of dough around all the edges:

[[image:bread94.jpg:Begin spreading Pesto on the dough:center:0]]

[[image:bread95.jpg:Pesto spread on the dough:center:0]]

Then roll the dough and pinch the seams tight:

[[image:bread96.jpg:Begin rolling the dough:center:0]]

[[image:bread97.jpg:Pinching the seams:center:0]]

[[image:bread98.jpg:The rolled dough, seam-side down:center:0]]

Place the dough in the loaf pan, seam-side down. Tuck the ends under neatly:

[[image:bread99.jpg:Snug as a bug in the loaf pan:center:0]]

After a second rising, bake the dough. Here’s the baked bread:

[[image:bread100.jpg:Pesto Bread, baked:center:0]]

This was a really yummy bread and due to the pesto it really didn’t need to be buttered or dipped in oil. I loved it and so did Vin. And my favorite shot again, here’s the bread sliced:

[[image:bread101.jpg:Pesto Bread, sliced:center:0]]

[[image:bread102.jpg:Close up of the sliced Pesto Bread:center:0]]

I thought the bread looked like the “swiss roll” cakes we used to get at Chin Tong (a bakery) in Sitiawan when we were growing up. Only instead of cake, it was bread, and instead of buttercream icing, it was pesto. But still, I thought it was a pretty bread as well as a delicious one. Don’t worry, I’m not done with my bread experiments yet! I’ve been baking steadily this year – I’ll be back with more new breads in a little while. ūüėČ

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