Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bread Baking Babes: Cutting edge bread for our 8th Anniversary!!

Cheer along with the Babes; we celebrate our 8th anniversary of baking bread as a group! The past eight years took us to all corners of the earth, baking wet and flat, high and low, from the whitest to the darkest flours. A journey in flours.

This month Tanna as our Kitchen of the Month had us bake a fragrant loaf, the baking process is one that makes me feel like I am really baking bread. This bread takes time, not so much hands-on work but time in developing flavours.
Making a starter, letting it rest, assembling your dough, not much kneading but resting and folding the dough makes for a well developed loaf of bread.

For the recipe I gladly refer you to Tanna's My Kitchen in Half cups, you can find the full recipe there. I'll give you the minimum directions here so you can get a feel for the bread.

Bare Bones: Caramelized Onion Bread
(Adapted from: “Bien Cuit” by Zachary Golper, Peter Kaminsky & Thomas Schauer)

A starter is made consisting of white rye flour, water and a pinch of yeast. This will rest overnight on your counter.

Then the rest of the dough is made with all of the starter, white flour and a little buckwheat flour. No stand mixer, no dough hooks needed just your hands a scraper and a big bowl to pull the dough together. The kneading is done in 4 turns; just folding and tucking with 45 minutes rest inbetween.
Somewhere inbetween you will add glorious caramelized onions; patting your dough out in a rectangle, sprinkle/smear the onions on top and fold in.

See? You need some time but not much work to do.

Then the dough is shaped and rests in your fridge overnight, then baked in the morning. And then? Then you need to wait.... and wait.... because the recipe will tell you to slice the bread only when it has rested for.....drumroll..... at least 4 hours but preferably 8 to 24 hours!!

This bread is about scoring as well. You know those beautiful slashes that are made in the skin of the dough just prior to baking? Oh yes!

I promise your house will smell wonderful! First those onions and then the baking of bread with the onions.

My notes:

-  Reading is an art.... counting is an art. I thought I excelled in one, not the other. This time I flunked both. I folded 3 times, almost forgot to add in that glorious bowl of onions. Then I was so happy I did that I forgot to rest and fold the last time. Oh well.

- Oh about reading... did I mention I accidentally doubled the starter? Then thought oh never mind I will just have to put half in tomorrow.

- Ofcourse I didn't. I just held the bowl upside down. And fished approximately half out with a spoon. Sort of.

- I baked one right after it came out of the fridge and I think the lighter crust and the airbubbles(?) are caused by that. The other one was baked an hour or so later and came out with much darker crust.

- Scoring: I tried two different patterns. Just for fun. I like scoring!

- Haven't tasted yet, trying to save them for dinner tonight together with beetroot-carrot goat cheese salad and hamburgers. Very much looking forward to that!

Though the Bread Baking Babes (BBB) is a closed group, you can bake with us as a Bread Baking Buddy every month and here’s how it works.

Tanna is your host this month. Bake this caramelized Onion Bread according to the recipe and post it on your blog before the 29th of this month. Please make sure you mention the Bread Baking Babes and link to this BBB post in your own blog post. If you don't have a blog do not hesitate to bake and email Tanna with a pic and your experience. 

E-mail  Tanna at: comments my kitchen at mac dot com with your name, a 500px wide image of your bread and the link to your BBB post. She will then send you a BBB badge for this bread that you can then add to your post on your blog. The round up can be expected around the 2nd of March. 

Happy Baking!


  1. I LOVE your bread and you always get to me with your writing. Great way to do the "recipe" write up. Sometimes I think one of the things I've had the most trouble with is reading. Over the years though I've come to understand that bread is really really forgiving and that's a very good thing.
    Always Karen always, I can't put onions in a skillet and not think of you and Thomas Keller ;-)

  2. Oh my goodness, look at that gorgeous scoring!

  3. It has indeed been a journey in flours! And I can't believe it took us this long to try buckwheat (this is the first time, isn't it? Or have a failed yet another memory test?)

    Ah, it makes me so happy to see that I'm not alone in my inability to read and comprehend. I'm still not sure what I missed in this recipe (except the caramelized onions - I know I somehow (heh) managed to omit them.)

    What did you do with the unused half of the starter?

    1. The rest of the starter is still on the counter, I've managed to feed it and will use it in potato rolls... Sounds like a plan right?

    2. Excellent idea! Make sure to use some of the dusting mixture on the rolls to make an attractive design.

  4. I had trouble reading (completely overlooked the honey) and following directions, but the bread was still good. Not as gorgeous and yours! Love that it baked up differently after different amounts of time out of the fridge. Cool. Well done!

  5. That scoring and that dark crust are glorious!! You got a great loft in your bread too Karen!

  6. Reading and counting are highly over-rated. It's all about the eating. Oh Wait.... you waited. How could you not rip into those beauties!

  7. I think you nailed the scoring and the ben cuit Karen! Gorgeous loaves and great oven spring.

  8. Love your scoring! That white flour really looks fluffy in this bread. I didn't really read or count well eiter. I left it far longer than 45 minutes in between and I think I folded once more than I should have. bread is so forgiving.
    Happy anniversary Babe!


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