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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Italian Bread BBA #15

We have had a couple of crazy weeks here. Matt stopped by to help lay floor, keep me company in the kitchen and eat bread. Then, Emily and I flew to Pittsburgh to help Matt move into his, shall we call it, fixer upper house. Perhaps slum is too harsh. Joe came home from his summer job, to lay floor and help cook, kept me company in the kitchen and then left for Pittsburgh too soon. Emily is back in high school, with an important piece of paper...

And I am back at work. My life style is affecting my baking, but I think that I am back in the groove.

I am so intrigued by the bread that the Bread Baking Babes have posted, Black Russian Rye. Take a look at the pictures at My Kitchen in Half Cups. The thought of making bread with old bread and coffee intrigues me. But something has gone wrong with the starter that lives in the back of my refrigerator, complete neglect on the part of the baker I'm afraid. So Paul has posted step by step instructions on how to start your own starter with pineapple juice on his blog, The Yumarama Bread Blog. I just had to give it a try. So his starter is doing its chemical thing on my counter.

I made a biga yesterday so I could make the Italian bread today. Very easy bread, the fermenting and rising times never take quite as long in my kitchen. I worry about the AC slowing things down, but it never does.

I divided the dough into two and made one batard and six rolls. Got to love that batard word, which means in french exactly what you think it does, an illegitimate child, not quite a baguette. Tom and I had a discussion about which cooking method we should use. Interesting because Tom does not bake bread. He has been very supportive of the BBA challenge. As he informed me this morning, he is a major stakeholder. He does the majority of the bread eating, while I do the bread baking. Interesting perspective. We decided to stick with the softer crust for the first batch. I prepared the oven for hearth baking. Which I often wonder will be the step that results in a cracked oven window or third degree burns...

The rolls came out of the oven and made me wish that I could post smells. What an aroma. And then we did the unthinkable. We tore into one of them without waiting the appropriate hour, we didn't even wait ten minutes. This may be my new favorite bread.


  1. Oh my this looks so good, very well done.

  2. What a hilarious post...loved reading it & was tizzy by the time I figured out whgo was where and at what time doing what...and then of course, the poor baking gets neglected. A pineapple juice starter...interesting. Your bread does sounds delish...wish you could have trapped the aromas!

  3. I'm found myself tizzy a lot this summer. Too much coming and going. The starter is moving along. Can't wait to try it in some bread.

  4. LOL... love your sense of humor! I especially got a kick out of the "preparing the oven for hearth baking." Every time I do that, I worry about the same things you stated....either the oven glass is going to break and/or I'm going to get burned.

  5. So far so good, no one has blogged about cracking their window!