Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire (BBA Challenge)

Why I insist on being honest with you, I have no clue. I mean, it's not like you'd ever find out that my first attempt at this week's Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge failed if I didn't tell you. I could have let you believe that I deftly tossed my ingredients together for this Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire with nary a care and produced this lovely loaf without so much as breaking a sweat.

In fact, I could have even gone to the bakery and bought a loaf of bread, brought it home and photographed it, then bragged about how wonderful it tasted, and you wouldn't have known the difference, would you?

Ah, but that's not how we do things around here. Eight years of Catholic schooling has left its mark on me and you all need to know that I got an A+ in Catholic Guilt 101.

Here's what happened. I decided to make the first batch of bread on a day when my kitchen was like 150 degrees and the dough fermented (triple fermented, even) in less than an hour. Here it is at about 50 minutes.

I should have kept a better eye on it, but since the stated fermenting time was 90 minutes, I got busy with other things and came back to an almost-overflowing bucket of dough. I punched it down and shaped it into rolls which I then left to proof. This proofing time was also supposed to be 90 minutes but here you can see that after only 40 minutes my rolls had over-proofed. I baked them anyway, and though short on looks, they tasted delicious.

Along with my more than adequately developed sense of guilt, I also happen to lean a little bit toward the perfectionist. Surprised? Didn't think so. I mixed up another batch of the soaker and promised myself I'd do a better job the next day.

The kitchen was cooler the next day and I kept a better eye on the situation. I also decided to make this batch into a loaf instead of rolls. Here's my loaf proofing under my custom made proofing box. If you'd like to purchase one of these from me, they're only $25.00, and as soon as I finish up the baby spinach that is in the one I have in my refrigerator, I'd be more than happy to send it to you. (Ain't this an ingenious way to reuse/recycle plastic folks?)

The resulting loaf of bread was better than I could ever have hoped for. I had heard from some others who'd baked this bread that it was over-the-top on flavor and texture. And I agree. It is fabulous. Chewy and flavorful, it's also great toasted. It actually reminded me of more of an English muffin than the English muffins I made for the Challenge a few months back. Delicious, simply delicious.

Thanks again to our fearless leader Nicole for taking on this challenge and inviting the rest of us to bake along with her.

23 comments:

Cathy said...

Your multigrain bread looks good enough to eat! I can't wait to make it. I started the soaker tonight.

june said...

There are NO failures when you're making bread..oh except maybe for the hockey puck I made a little while ago - anyway, see you got to eat fabulous tasting yeasty goodness not once but twice and I personally think they all look divine. Oh man don't tell me...is that REAL BUTTER????

Mags said...

Cathy: you're going to love it!

June: We are failure free... I got all my sistahs with me! (please refer to your email to get the gist of my frustration, ok?)

stephchows said...

ahh catholic guilt, darn it!!

ok... umm... where do I find the recipe so I can make this bad boy?????

Frieda said...

Excellent multigrain loaf...can't wait to make it next~

Moogie said...

What!!!!!

You mean we have to actually bake all this stuff we post on our blogs. I didn't see that in the fine print when I signed up. The local bakery will be disappointed when I don't show up today and buy that cake I ordered.

Debbie said...

I've never made home made bread before and this is a goal of mine. Yours looks wonderful!

Lady P said...

i love your 25 dollar bread proofing special slash spinach holder - i was all ready to ask you where the fheck you got that thing, and now i have to save my pennies so that i can order that handy dandy device - wanna have all my bread ducks in a row before i start baking bread see

Mags said...

Steph: I think The Breadbaker's Apprentice is still available on Google Books and you can find it there. We're not supposed to publish Mr. Reinhart's recipes on our blogs.

Frieda: Thank you. You will really enjoy this bread.

Moogie: LOL... you smart arse, you.

Debbie: If you look back to my bread failures earlier on in my blog, you'll see that I have come a long way. This challenge has really honed my bread baking skills.

Lady P: Isn't that crazy!! I had finished one of those big containers of spinach awhile back and I just tossed the container into the cupboard thinking that it would become useful for something... and it did!

Mustang Terri said...

Wow, that bread really looks great. I have really enjoyed the english muffins, I keep them in the freezer and have made 2 more batches so far. Can't wait to scope out the spinach for that lovely proofing box. Thanks for the idea. Mustang Terri

Cindy said...

We love your honesty. It's part of who you are and besides, it makes for a funnier, more interesting post. Who wants to read, "Here is my perfect bread!"??

I love the improvised proofing box. I am so glad to hear this bread has some texture and chew. I'm looking forward to it.

Mags said...

Terri: Happy to have been able to pass that little tip along. Thanks for commenting!

Awww Cindy, Thanks!

bewitchingkitchen said...

You are far braver than I am...

I just had a pretty lousy performance with the marbled rye, but went ahead and posted it, I am not doing it again! Maybe sometime in the future I'll give it a try

I am looking forward to this multigrain, but will be glued to the proofing dough :-)

Mags said...

Bewitching: You're going to love the multigrain, but yes, keep an eye on that dough as it proofs!

oggi said...

That's clever reusing the large boxes from the green grocer. I will follow your lead, next time I buy salad mix I'll use the container as a proofing box.

Your loaf looks fabulous! Now I want to bake a third batch.:)

Mags said...

Oggi: Glad you found my little trick useful!

misterrios said...

Ha! I knew I sensed some tomfoolery with the loaf proofer! It has the remains of a sticker on the bottom, though for a second there I was wondering where I too could get plastic injection machinery to make my own proof boxes to sell!

Yeah, I too have my failures, but they're often for "offline bread", if you catch my drift.

But your multigrain loaf looks awesome. Even the rolls looked awesome. We wouldn't have known they weren't so good if you hadn't told us!

Mags said...

Misterrios: I should have known I couldn't pull the wool over your eyes...lol (And I really scrubbed to get that sticker residue off of there too!)

Kelly said...

I know all about the Catholic guilt thing. I aced that one, too! The bread looks great! I loved this one - so tasty.

Mags said...

Kelly: Thanks for commenting!

Greg Esres said...

I've made this bread a number of times, but using the recommended amount of liquid makes the dough so wet that the dough hook can't mix it. I find myself using only about 1/4 of water and even then the dough is very sticky. My crumb ends up a lot denser than yours. What's the secret?

Mags said...

Greg: I'm not sure what the secret is but I used high-gluten (Sir Lancelot) flour instead of bread flour and my soaker grains were polenta, rolled oats and wheat bran, if that helps at all.

Greg Esres said...

==high-gluten==

Ah, that may explain some of the difference. The higher protein content would soak up some of the extra liquid. My soaker was the same as yours.