Sunday, December 10, 2006

From great coffee to ridiculous bread

This is coffee how it's meant to be. Caramel Cappuccino, the perfect cup for let's say around 1 am, not ready for lunch yet due to the hotel breakfast, but tired from walking and shopping, a little pick-me-up to strengthen you for another walk. Coffee addicts like me are treated well in Vienna (the secret? they say it's the Viennese water...). What about a Wiener melange around 16.00? Or maybe a Kapuziner in the morning? (mocha coffee with just a little whipped cream) or would you rather have an "Einspänner"? (tall black coffee -grosser Schwarzer- with lots of whipped cream, which is traditionally unsweetened in German-speaking countries). Coffee in Vienna is served on a small individual tray and accompanied by a glass of water which makes drinking coffee in my opinion a treat. So many choices, so little time...

Back home it's back to our usual black coffee, sadly enough I am not able to recreate the Viennese coffee, but trying to adjust to normal life again a simple cup of coffee will help get me through the day. And baking bread of course! To illustrate it took some effort to get my feet back on the ground I'll show you this bread.... It is a recreation of Beth Henspergers Shepherd's bread I have been making quite a few times. As usual my timing was a little off and that resulted in baking bread in the middle of the night..... Again! Don't know why but instead of dividing the dough in two or three loaves I just plunked all of the dough in the Römertopf for it's final rise. Slashed a pattern on the top, put the dome on....and after only 20 minutes I was shocked to see the dough pushing the lid off.... That was about the time realized my mistake, not ready to abandon the mission I just put it in the oven as it was, removed the lid after 10 minutes baking time, and waited, decided to lift the bread very carefully out of the topf after 20 minutes and waited some more till this mega-bread was done. Hurray for the internal thermometer! The egg is just there to show you just how big this bread is. You see how the pattern on top disappeared? The crumb looks promising though. The abundancy of eggs in my fridge inspired that same day to bake a Challah from Maggie Glezers book and that turned out very well. The little boule on the right disappeared miraculously during the wait for the shepherds bread to finish.... Don't blame me!


  1. Well, you weren't kidding! That is one fantastically large loaf! Looks like if you cut it in quarters, you'll have four loaves of bread. Yes, the crumb looks beautiful.
    So, if we can't blame you for the miraculous disappearence of the little boule, whom should we call on for that honor?
    When you come to Dallas, I know I can get you great coffee you'll fall in love with and want to take home BUT you'll need to bring a little miraculous boule for me.

  2. You're the best bowlingball-baker I've ever seen....
    And about the coffee: Since a week I have a perfect cappuchino -milk making machine (also used by the kids for creamy hot chocolat)so come and get one !
    Love your Vienna impressions.

  3. I love your great big ridiculous bread! It is like a cartoon, yet looks very edible indeed, all the same. You were clever to keep your cool and take its temperature. The challah is lovely.

  4. the Challah looks great!

  5. Karen,

    Op zijn Gronings: 'n schier stoetje!
    De vertaling: een mooi brood(je).

  6. Sorry,
    foutje bij het plaatsen, het was van mij; Peter/papahkilo

  7. I love that big bread! It looks great! I have a huge clay pot maybe I'll try baking bread in that :)

    The challah also looks wonderful...another bread on my to-make list!


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