Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pain de Campagne? It's been in my pocket; it's real warm and soft.

#28 Pain de Campagne (translation: country bread)

Pardon my French...

Today's post is inspired by Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  Not because it relates to the bread at all, but because it was on TV today while I was baking and is one of my all-time favorite movies.  I actually tried all day to figure out how to tie the two together.

This bread was pretty fun for me.  It had fresh oregano in it.  I had never cooked with fresh oregano before and it smelled wonderful.  Also it was my second bread with rye flour in it and, man, do I love that stuff.

Here's the bread:

It's not perfect, but..."Oh, he's very popular, Ed.  The sportos, the mortorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads-they all adore him.  They think he's a righteous dude."

This bread only took about 4 hours from start to finish, and ended up tasting fantastic.  Oh Yeah!

This video is for you, my friends.

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Catcher in the Apricot Rye

#27 Apricot Rye

Good Morning, Breadies!
Or should I say...
Guten Morgen, Breadies!

Today's bread is a German rye bread and according to Mr. Hollywood the apricot is just for fun.

Hello, gorgeous!

And it tastes pretty good!  Even the apricot tasted good, which was a surprise to me (as you might have expected).

"If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she's late?  Nobody. "

This bread baked quickly just like the last one.  I had to take it out almost 5 minutes early.  Not sure what that's about.  I've been using my oven thermometer, but still I'm having to watch the bread closely.

Speaking of watching...Here's a great short film I found today.

"It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes."

Have a great day!  Guten Tag!

P.S.  All quotes are from J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

Friday, February 18, 2011

That's *Mr.* Potato Focaccia Pugliese to you...

Hey, Hamm. Look, I'm Picasso. 

#26 Potato Focaccia Pugliese

We're Toy Story themed today!

My house smells magical...ok, it smells like rosemary which is pretty darn close to magic in my book.

I may have overcooked it, though.  Weird, since I took the bread out approximately 4 minutes early.

Here's the beautiful, professional bread from Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads:

(Please excuse the post-it)

Here's what mine looks like:

So...not quite.

It tastes pretty good.  Kind of like potato chips and bread together.

I actually used some small russet potatoes because that's what I had even though the recipe called for new potatoes.  That may have made a difference.  Another thing was that the recipe didn't say to press the potatoes into the dough but I think that would have helped meld the two together.

I'm still working on getting breads to be flat when they're supposed to be flat.

It's song of the day time.

To infinity and beyond...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

6 degrees of Kevin Bacon Fougasse

I was looking for a Few Good breads and I found...

#25 Onion and Bacon Fougasse

A quarter of the way through!

Today I am Footloose and fancy free!  It's a Picture Perfect day!

This post is Kevin Bacon themed, partially because there is bacon in the recipe and partly because he and I share a birthday!

As I am a multi-tasker I am currently watching the inspiration for this blog, Julie & Julia, and listening to the Bacon Brothers.

Back to the bread...This is the first French bread that seems to have gone well.  The only problem was that the finished product was not all cute and thin like it was supposed to be but kind of puffy.  I'm going to try this one again and see if I can fix the fat-ness.  Paul Hollywood described it as a "traditional French bread, flat and leaf-shaped, very much like the focaccia of Italy."  It also suggests changing the flavors.  So I may try it with bell peppers or basil since those are some of my favorite flavors.

The bread tastes divine.  Even if I had to trade regular, American bacon for the Canadian bacon the recipe called for.  My grocery store does not carry Canadian bacon...losers.  On the plus side, this recipe is dairy-free!  I can't believe I've made it this far in my experiment, but the hard stuff is going to be coming up soon.

In case you were counting there were four Kevin Bacon movie references in the post.  If anyone can think of a Kevin Bacon/bread pun, please comment.  I'm kind of a huge pun nerd.

Here's a pretty great Bacon Brothers song for your enjoyment.

As Mr. Bacon says in Apollo 13, "So long, Earth.  Catch you on the flip side".

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Don't worry, I thought the whole apricot/honey thing was the real low point.

So today we try....

#24 Apricot Brioche

I've been working on this bread since last night.  Those cute little French people like their bread to chill overnight.  As much as I hate rolling out dough to cut it, that is how much I love rolling dough into little balls for brioche.  I mean, how cute are these?

As I am writing this the brioche is in the oven.  I am sincerely hoping that it turns out properly, since there is a beautiful picture in my book of this bread.


I had never eaten an apricot before today.  This recipe calls for dried apricots.  I tried one as I was chopping them, but it didn't really taste of anything.  I had to dice them (sticky, not fun) and then fold them into each of the little balls of dough (sort of fun).  Also the recipe called for a whole cup, but I maybe used 1/2 because each ball was pretty full, hopefully this will not cause some sort of apricot disaster a lá Notting Hill.  You'll have to watch the movie if you haven't...

Finished product:

This is my attempt to slice my little loaf.  This one was the most like the good(pro) one of my two loaves.  If you'll refer to the professional baker's work you'll see that something has gone a little wrong with mine.  It did not form into one solid loaf with the apricots in the middle.  I have little apricot rolls.  The bread part tastes alright (not as good as the Brioche Têtes), and the apricots still didn't have a taste.  I may have found the most useless fruit ever.  Moral of the story:  I may make this again without the apricots and let it rise longer to try and let the balls grow together.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Say "Cheese and Onion Soda Bread"!

#23 Cheese and Onion Soda Bread!

There it is!  And it's so delicious!  Even if a piece is like a meal.

This bread is kind of like a hashbrown without the potato, though if I added some potato I think it would still work.  This one was fun to make.  It was a little fragrant since it had a whole onion, but it wasn't too bad.  My eyes did start to water a little, which never happens to me, even though I cook with onions all the time.

I still haven't mastered the proper cutting technique for soda bread.  I can't seem to cut the bread deep enough.  Even though it turned out fine, it should have looked like this:

I now leave you with a musical gem.

Your turn to talk...
A while ago, a friend sent me some recipes for different breads.  I'm going to start trying to make those in addition to my 100 99.  If any readers have suggestions for breads I should try, I'd love them.  Also if there is any bread that I make that you'd like the recipe for I'd be happy to post it or send it to you.  Have a super night!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Je te plumerai la tête...

"Je te plumerai la tête.  Et la tête (et la tête).  Alouette (Alouette)."

Everybody!  "OOOOOH!"

#22 Brioche Têtes!

It's been so long...I've missed baking, but life has been working against me lately.  Today's bread was an overnighter.  And I ended up having to let it chill (literally, in the fridge as per the recipe) longer than overnight.  In fact it chilled until this afternoon.

While I was waiting for the dough to rise in my awesome homemade (since I'm not a very good planner) muffin papers (pictured below with the têtes inside).  I whipped up my first ever batch of guacamole, which was AMAZING!  I also almost cut the tip of my thumb off.  I tried to photograph the damage but my sad, little camera apparently can't focus on a digit.  Let's just say my nail is a little shorter than it used to be.

Back to the bread.  Here's the dough before baking.  They're kinda like little snowmen...kinda.

Aren't they cute?  Once they went into the oven, things were pretty good (I finally got an oven thermometer and, boy, was that helpful) until I did a little toothpick check when they were supposed to be done.  They were definitely not, so I cracked the oven and left them in for another 3 minutes and the result was wonderful!

Finished product.

They tasted so great and the make-shift muffin papers were so effective that I will definitely use the same technique next time.

The little têtes kinda slid to the side on some of them, which had me a little sad...until I googled brioche and found this lovely painting by Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin:

"Stilleben mit Brioche" 1763

One last little historical fun fact:  The quote commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette, "Let them eat cake", is actually the French phrase "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" which appeared in a writing that was finished when M.A. was a child.

In case you're still reading and you don't have "Alouette" stuck in your head I leave you with this:

Au revoir!