About 3 weeks ago I bought Peter Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” from Amazon. It came highly spoken of by Heidi over at 101Cookbooks, and the recipe she printed of his for pizza dough I absolutely adore. I love bread, love making bread, but lacked understanding needed to really tweak bread or know why I was doing what I was doing to make yummy bread. So I’ve been pouring over his book and highlighting like a mad woman because the first quarter of the book is him talking about why we do what we do to make bread. He went into the science behind it as well as the meaning behind some of it. He went into the traditions. It was awesome.
Anyways, I thought to myself, “I wonder if Peter Reinhart has Twitter?” and googled it, since there isn’t an easy search engine in twitter. While I didn’t find him, I did find Nicole over at PinchMySalt, who JUST SO HAPPENED to be starting a challenge open to all people – to bake every bread in THE VERY BOOK I was reading. Coincidence? Probably, but either way: awesomeness. So I joined up and have been learning a lot from the more educated people in the group, and have put my input in a few times when I’ve been able to help out someone less knowledgeable than I am. It’s pretty awesome.
Anyways on to the bread!! The first bread in the book is Anadama, named after a troubled marriage and a husband who says “Anna, Damn’ er!” after being left with only molasses, cornmeal, and bread ingredients. So he added the molasses and cornmeal to the flour and salt and voila! Anadama bread.
I’ll keep this brief as I still have a lot to do today before the mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and grandmother-in-law arrive tomorrow for a short (but hopefully fun!) visit. Very nervous about them seeing my house – not the cleanest place ever lately. I’m digressing. On to pictures of bread!
This is the first step, a mixture of cornmeal and water that sits overnight. I put it in the bottom of the pantry since I was worried about it getting messed with by the boys 🙂
This is my sponge – sponges help increase flavor in the grains and make them more digestible. This was the first time i had done one, they are pretty awesome. Definitely make a difference!
I didn’t get to take a picture of the bread after it rose, but feel free to check out my flicker account which has a few more pictures on it. This is them in the bread pans, getting ready for their final rise before the oven.
Ahhh… look at that BEAUTIFUL crust!!!
Can I just tell you how much I loved this bread? Even Justin (my hubby) really enjoyed it. He said he gave our dog Lucky a bite and Lucky followed him around begging for more!
I’m excited to try the next recipe, Artos – Greek Celebration bread! I’ll get to try my hand at shaping bread, and really dealing with more than just flour-salt-yeast-water. Very exciting stuff!!!