Archive for October, 2009

BBA Challenge – Brioche

BBA Challenge: Bagels


When I found out that bagels was one of the breads in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice I got excited.  Dorkishly excited.  So excited I spoke about bagels constantly for a week.  So excited I immediately went to King Arthur Flour and ordered high gluten flour and some diastatic malt powder.  And a dough whisk.  Back when I was on a quest to perfect pizza dough I aquired high gluten flour from a local pizzeria.  I was tempted to do that again, but since I needed the other items I went ahead and bought it online.  Anyone considering making bagels or pizza dough, make sure you track down some high gluten flour.  It really makes all the difference in the world.

Because I can never make anything simple, I decided to make the plain bagels and the cinnamon raisin bagels from BBA.  My absolute favorite bagel in the world is the egg bagel.  Peter Reinhart mentions egg bagels in BBA, but does not include information on what exactly to do.  I knew from speaking to bagel makers that egg bagels are a completely different animal – which is why not every bagel seller will offer egg bagels.  I decided on a whim to email Peter Reinhart and to my delight he responded within the hour and included instructions on how to prepare the egg bagel dough.  I was so excited. 

For those who are interested, here is his response on how to adjust the formula.

Hi Allyson,
   You can add eggs and reduce the water by 1.5 oz. for every egg. I’d suggest starting with three eggs and see if you like that ratio. Adjust with flour and water as needed if the dough is too stiff or too wet.
   Let me know how it goes.
Peter Reinhart (blog)

I loved all 3 bagels.  I would without a doubt make any one of the 3 again.  I will say that even though you can retard the dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, that I prefered the over night dough for the plain and egg bagels.  The raisin bagel dough seemed to improve at the end of the 2 days, however it was still fantastic with a simple over night stay in the refrigerator.

I’ve also noticed that showing up somewhere (my in-laws, work) with bagels makes people happy.  The look on their face when you tell them that the delicious bagel they just scarfed down was hand made by you, well that’s pretty darn awesome.

BBA Challenge – Artos

Artos is a Greek Celebration bread.  It is sweet and spicy with a sticky glaze drizzled over top.  Typically it is one gigantic loaf.  Not kidding about the gigantic.  One BBAC participant claimed her loaf was so large someone confused it for a turkey.  I decided to instead make 8 rolls (the finished roll is about the size of a grapefruit).  My husband is anti-raisin, while I enjoy them – so 4 of the rolls have raisins, and 4 without.  I also opted to grind the spices myself with a coffee grinder.  The results are an extremely fragrant bread – it smelled AMAZING while it was baking.

BBA Challenge – Anadama

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was initiated by Nicole from  The goal is to bake every bread from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.  I’ve always enjoyed baking and I love a good challenge, so i’m jumping into this with both feet.  Much to my husband’s chagrin, that means buying every gadget/spice/flour that is mentioned in the book and has already resulted in a multi-store quest at 11pm on a Friday night attempting to track down the exact loaf pans I needed for the first bread, Anadama.

The formula (as it is called in BBA) produces either 2 larger loaves or 3 smaller loaves.  I opted for 3 smaller loaves for easier sharing with family and friends.


UPDATE:  After reading about anadama I realized that I failed miserably the first time around.  While it tasted good, it just wasn’t the bread it was supposed to be – Soft, light & good for sandwiches.  So I gave it another shot, and it became all it was supposed to be.  Photos coming soon.