Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mutant Loaf Takes Over

This is what happens when you do not flour your bannetone well during the dough's second rising. You get a dough that will not release from the basket, resulting in a mutant loaf.

We'll call this loaf, Fred. No, Fred is not the name of a bad ex-boyfriend or the black sheep of the family. "Fred" is just a name I picked out of thin air, so please accept my apologies if "Fred" happens to be your loving husband or your cherished son. I'm sure that your Fred is very handsome.

What my Fred lacks in looks, he makes up for in (you guessed it!) personality. Now 25 days old, Bertha has grown more complex and she is making bread that has good chew and, most importantly, a nice tang. This loaf tastes like French pain au levain! Fred is delicious! It took a little over 3 weeks, but my starter, a little salt, water, and flour has finally resulted in some bread that is kick ass, if I may say so myself.

I just wished I had floured my bannetone better. Drats.

More bread musings: as much as I enjoy kneading bread by hand, using a mixer to do most of the job results in a much better product for me. Why? Because I add just barely enough flour for the dough to become a ball. It's a wet, sticky dough that is hard for me to handle. I let the mixer do most of the work, then take it out and knead it for, at most, 3 minutes. Even after the dough is mixed well, it is hard for me to handle. Sticky and wet are good things for a dough to be, for they will result in a loaf of bread that is chewy and full of holes instead of a paperweight.

The tutorial is coming soon! I'm thinking about doing it in parts, so those of you who want to follow along may do so. We'll have our own bread along! It would be really cool if we could all post pics and our notes in our respective blogs. If you're game, let me know in the comments section and I'll link you so others can follow your progress. We can decide on a start date together Tuesdays are a good start day because Tuesday through Thursday, you make your chef from scratch. On Friday, you transform your chef into a starter. On Saturday... BREAD!


  1. I can almost taste 'Fred.' He would be warm and with a smidge of real butter on him.


  2. I'm up for a bread-along. Will I need a starter?

    I'll have a food episode coming up in my blog too - paneer. Yummy!

  3. I should have read better - we are making a starter. Goody!

  4. how about I judge the bread along - everyone can ship me samples of their bread and I will happily eat and judge them!

    have fun - no time for baking for me but I am very jealous - the bread sounds wonderful!

  5. I use to work for a man, named Fred. He was full of life, great with wood, and loved wine.

    I love that you name your breads. Fred, the Bread. Bready Freddy. Gives it character, personality, and a warm touch. Love it! :)

    Fred, you're so delicious with Jam and Butter. Mmm, come here, so I can dip you in some Pesto Sauce.

    Fred made of flour and so full of power. He isn't quite sour, and as strong as a tower. Fred, was in my head, who then turned into bread. Grateful, he's not dead. The beasty yeast, keeps him alive at least. :)

  6. Mmmm, breadalong.



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