Hello, my name is Karen and I am a bread baker. I like to share with you today that I didn't enter in the BBA Challenge.
I know. I should have. See, I know I would fail. Give up. Start baking again, switch from one book to another. I know it's not allowed. But the sheer temptation! The peer pressure! Everyone is doing it!
What? What do you mean it's not Bread Bakers Anonymous? Ack!
So I can tell you I baked an almost white mountain bread and I loved it!
adapted from Beth Hensperger the Bread Bible
makes two 9x5 inch loaves
3/4 cup warm water
1,5 cup warm milk
1 tblsp instant yeast (which is far more than I would use normally)
3 tblsp vegetable oil
3 tblsp honey
2.1/4 tsp salt
5 cups white bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
For the very precise and extensive directions I gladly refer you to the book, I skipped a few steps and used the "volcano method".
In a large bowl using a wooden spoon or in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed, combine yeast, water, milk, oil, honey, and 3 cups of the flour until a shaggy dough forms. Sprinkle the remainder of the flour plus salt over the dough and let rest for 20-30 minutes, you'll see the batter bubbling up from under it's flour blanket.
Start mixing again, start on low and slowly increase speed to medium until a soft dough forms that just clears the side of the bowl.
Mine was doing exactly that after 8 minutes of mixing, leaving a small clump of dough in the bottom of the bowl.
Place the dough in a lightly greased deep container. Turn the dough once to coat the top and cover with plastic film. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1,5-2 hours.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to deflate. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of two 9-by-5 inch loaf pans. Without working the dough further, divide into 2 equal portions with a metal scraper or a knife. Pat each into a long rectangle; fold the dough into thirds, overlapping the 2 opposite ends in the middle. Beginning at the short edge, tightly roll up the dough jelly-roll fashion into a log fitting the size of your pan. I only own one 9x5" loaf pan but I found that my 22 cm spring form pan is a nice match. Made a nice round boule to fit that spring form.
Cover loosely with a plastic wrap let rise again at room temp until the dough is full doubled in bulk and about 2 inches over the rims of the pans, about 45 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 390°F. Remove the plastic wrap and slash the loaves, no more that 0,25 inch deep. Immediately place on the centre rack in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown in colour. If the bottom crust is too pale, (try to pinch the edges to confirm it's all around done) remove the loaf from the pan and place it directly on the rack for 5 more minutes and check again. Transfer the loaves from the pans immediately, put on a cooling rack. Let them rest for at least 15 minutes.
Somehow the simple ingredients add up to more than just a basic white bread, I really liked it a lot; some butter, a little well aged cheese. This bread doesn't need much to shine.
And for all you bakers out there: Go girls go! I will follow your adventures closely, and cheer from the sidelines!