Here we are, 16 breads into the challenge and on a roll. *groan* OK, OK. Lame jokes aside, baking one bread per week—sometimes more—has been just the thing I needed to eliminate excuses and finally get around to utilizing this wonderful bread book.
I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with 200+ other amateur bakers. Want to join in the madness, or just learn more about this semi-crazy undertaking? Check out the following links:
- Pinch My Salt BBA Challenge page—master resource for the challenge
- Buy the Book Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
- List of Breads See what's coming up.
- Blogroll See who's baking. Great list of some amazing foodie (and not-necessarily-foodie) blogs.
- Flickr Group Photos, photos and more photos!
- Twitter Search for #BBA to find challenge tweets.
This is a two day bread, utilizing pâte fermentée, the same pre-ferment used for the BBA French bread. After all of the weighing, mixing, kneading, etc., we come to the shaping.
See the book in the background? Take a good look at the picture of what the rolls are supposed to look like, because my rolls? Yeah, they don't look anything like that.
With my trusty scale, I weighed hunks of dough to get them all about the same size. I was shooting for 100 grams. Someone in the group mentioned that this seemed the ideal weight.
Each hunk of dough is then shaped into rolls and left alone for about 10 minutes for the dough to relax. SHAPING TIME!
See that cool plastic, fancy cutting tool thingy that's supposed to make the signature "Kaiser Roll" shape? DON'T BUY ONE. They're a waste of $6.95 (+S&H) or whatever it was because, as you'll see in a minute, it's just about worthless. But if you happen to know the trick to getting this thing to actually MAKE the correct shape, please post about it in the comments. I'm curious to know if there is some magic twisting motion involved or if the directions in the recipe cause some of the problems.
What you're looking at are the bottoms of the rolls. Here's where things went a bit squiffy. According to the directions, you're supposed to line a baking sheet with parchment paper, mist it with spray oil and dust with cornmeal. Then he says you're supposed to put the rolls, cut side down on the parchment. I'm thinking "the parchment" means the one you just prepped. But... but... it's covered with cornmeal. Sooo, that's why the tops of my rolls have cornmeal all over them. Not a bad thing, not at all, but I'm thinking Mr. Reinhart meant for me to put them on some OTHER piece of parchment for this first after-shaping rise.
So you cover them up and let them proof for about 45 minutes. They get all nice and puffy. Then you flip them over...
And they have to rise AGAIN. Hey, I'm used to this whole bread waiting game thing, but these seemed especially time consuming. I was thinking, "Cool. After 45 minutes, I can pop these in the oven and they'll be ready just in time for dinner. *reading, reading* Wait, What? ANOTHER 45 minutes?? Gah!"
So I waited some more.
You see that middle roll on the right? I used the cutter on that one again because I wanted to run a test. It seemed odd to put the cut side down and squish the cutting marks all to hell, so I thought It'd see what it would do left to rise like that. Yeah, it didn't make a bit of difference.
Can you tell which one I re-cut? Don't feel bad, I can barely tell myself. But it's the one that looks the least like a star. Or sand dollar.
The super-special shaping tool make a dandy star shape. So if that's what you're going for, by all means, knock yourself out and buy one.
By now you're probably thinking, "Sheesh. Did she hate making these things or what?" Actually, no. It was pretty fun and different from any of the other breads we've done. It just felt really, really looong. Thank goodness they tasted fantastic. I mean, look at that crumb:
So, they had a weird, very un-Kaiser Roll-like shape. Psshht. Who cares. They were awesome.
p.s. Apparently, I need to learn how to turn on the iron every now and then. I have a nasty habit of using seriously wrinkled linens in my photos. Whoops.