For Christmas I got new tools for bread baking and so quickly did a couple of experiments to try them out. I had partial success so I’ll only briefly describe them.
First I asked for and got a fluted brioche pan so that was my first trial. I’ve done the “middle class” brioche before (medium amount of butter of the rich, poor, middle recipes of Peter Reinhart). Previously I did that recipe as a loaf and was pleased with the results. But this time I did it a bit different (way more mixing in the KitchenAid, the full six minutes the recipe calls for, and the dough was definitely more “silky”). So here’s what I got when I tried brioche a tete.
Not as pretty as the book’s pictures (the top part fell over a bit) and note the holes for the thermometer test. But it was really tasty, a really great texture, and great with some fruit preserves (no butter needed since the dough has a full stick).
Next I’m going to try it again, but do the panettone version with a bit smaller (1/5th of the dough) top part and hope I can get it to stand up straight. Properly formed and baked this is a great little treat.
My second wish and gift was a banneton and metal peel. I wasn’t quite sure how to use the banneton and found a YouTube clip so I rushed in to try. I didn’t use any recipe, just threw together some sourdough culture, whole and white flour, lots of instant yeast and a forced fast proof in the oven. I also had gotten a new metal peel and hoped it would work better than my wood one for depositing the proofed loaf on my baking stone (using both cornmeal and semolina worked well to prevent sticking). I just wanted to see the shape as I knew the taste wouldn’t be ideal. But I forgot to slash it before getting it in the oven so I did a couple of quick slashes (poorly done) and so it didn’t look too great, but it’s approximately the effect I wanted to make a boule.
The bad job of slashing I did created that big crack in the top which really ruins the appearance (the right set of crosshatch slashes would be cool). As expected the bread wasn’t very tasty (dry and too thick crust, I should have used more heat and steam pan). But at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Baking a really attractive boule with good taste would be a real accomplishment and something I hope to achieve, hopefully on the next try.
My need to relose the weight I gained on vacation and over the holidays precludes bread for a while longer, but hopefully I can show you a better version of each of these in the future.