Friday, May 15, 2009

Bread Bakers Anonymous (Almost white mountain bread)

white mountain bread, originally uploaded by BakingSoda.

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.

slice white mountain bread

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!


  1. Too bad you did not join the challenge because you certainly make beautiful breads :)

  2. You'll still have to hold my hand.

    You always get such beautiful bread Karen. What'd you do the round one in, looks like a cutie to me.

  3. * Thank you Helene, I am definitely inspired by the whole idea and sure was tempted.

    * Tanna I used my 20cm/8" springform, discovered that it is just the right size for a 9x5" loaf.

  4. Eating a slice right now, I do agree with you! And now I need to start using my spring pan as a bread form, that is really a brilliant idea, Karen!!

  5. Bread Bakers Anonymous, I love that! Your bread is beautiful, I love the shaping of it. You are right, good bread doesn't need much to shine.

  6. They look beautiful!

  7. I was looking for a recipe (since I ran out of sugar last night) for honey bread - I'll still make it today though even though I'm restocking the sugar. ;)

  8. I succumbed to the BBA. This loaf looks lovely, and Beth Hensperger's book is one of my absolute favorites!

  9. Hey I seem to have missed this post completely. I was sooooo tempted too to join the circus, but glad I am free to bake or not bake what I like at this point. If it would have been an 2-week (or monthly) challenge they would have won me over. Love your bread -as always.
    (Funny thing is I still baked an anadama bread this week, just from another book :0 )

  10. @Lien; I baked two different Anadama's the other week, just to compare... See, we are inspired!

  11. Dit brood moest ik ook proberen; inderdaad, heerlijk brood, makkelijk te maken, voor herhaling vatbaar dus!

  12. That's not a bad idea at all, baking along! Maybe I should have thought of that ... oh well, it's too late now!

    Your bread is looking great, and you got me curious about the volcano method again, which I've heard about, but never tried.

  13. Just started a new event at my blog - Saturday Baking Day, which I so cleverly called "Bake My Day!" And then I decided it was so clever that surely lots of other people had thought of it too. A google search led me straight to your beautiful blog! I'm adding this bread loaf to my list for next Saturday!

  14. Whipped up these loaves today - So WONDERFUL!! Thanks for the inspiration.


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