Friday, February 16, 2018

A decade of Bread Baking Babes: Happy anniversary!!

It has been 10 Years since I was asked to join a Bread baking group of women, who baked 1 bread a month, talked, laughed, learned, drank and shared together. It has been a very special time. Thanks Tanna and Karen (baking soda), who started this group,  for asking me, I have loved every year and every bread of it. And I'm proud to say I've baked them all (120). I had such fun looking at them all, and thinking: Oh that was a good one, and this one so delicious, wow we really baked a lot of divers breads. Happy birthday to all Bread Baking Babes, former and current ones and all Bread Baking Buddies too!

And on a sad note, this is the last time I've baked with the Bread Baking Babes, 10 years has been great, but I decided to step aside after all this time and all these breads and leave my Babehood. Thanks girls for all the fun. But now we first turn to this months wonderful bread to celebrate 10 years of Bread Baking Babes.

This month we go back to the first challenge we baked; the ROYAL CROWN TORTANO. Then I baked the bread twice with two different kinds of white flours and they turned out pretty good.This time I used Canadian strong white flour, didn't wander from the recipe like I did then; So I did let the bread rise upside down and I didn't hold back on the water and remembered to save my potato water for it. The only thing I did again was being scared that it wouldn't turn out good in the end.

This is a slow riser. My bread dough ring started out nice and plump, before I covered it with plastic and a tea towel. My daughter passed the kitchen counter where the bread was rising (or not) and lifted the towel, just to be sure there wasn't anything under it (she wanted to put something on it), that's how flat it was. It was hardly 2 cm high and had spread out a lot. O no, how will this ever become the glorious festive bread that I (k)need this month? Well nothing to do about that, just plop in on the fierce hot baking stone, pour some hot water in the tray underneath, close the door and don't look at it for at least 20 minutes. This bread felt the pressure of becoming a festive bread for this anniversary and it puffed up like a balloon. Now we were talking! It turned out to be the best, airiest, chewiest crumbs and perfect crust I have baked when making this recipe. Is that luck or did I really learn something in those 10 years! A very happy baker that 💖🍞! 

So Bread Baking Buddies out there, this is a beautiful bread to bake and we would be delighted if you would bake along to celebrate 10 years of Bread Baking Babes and Buddies! Bake, tell us about it and sent it to our UberBabe Tanna, who started all this fun together with Karen 10 years ago. Deadline 29th of this month. Happy baking!

Don't forget to check out the other Bread Baking Babes, current and former ones! I will add their links as they come online at the bottom of this post.

Royal Crown's Tortano (revisited: BBB Challenge #1 & #120)
Recipe Quantity: One 1200 g tortano
(PRINT recipe)
Time required for recipe: About 19 hours, with about 20 minutes of active work
Note about recipe: start this recipe the night BEFORE you want to bake the bread.

Recipe synopsis
The Evening Before Baking: Make the starter and if you like the mashed potato.
The Next Morning: Mix the dough and let it ferment for about 4 hours. Shape it, proof it for about 1 1/2 hours, and then bake the bread for about 45 minutes.

The evening before baking: making the pre-ferment:
1/4 tsp instant yeast
240 g (about 40ºC)
100 g unbleached bread flour
85 g  small potato

Stir the yeast into the water in a glass measure and let it stand for 5 - 10 minutes. Add 90 g of this yeasted water (discard the rest) to the flour and beat this very sticky starter until it is well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let it ferment until it is full of huge bubbles and sharp tasting, about 12 hours. If your kitchen is very warm and the pre-ferment is fermenting very quickly, place it in the refrigerator after 3 hours of fermenting. In the morning, remove it and allow it to come to room temperature 30 minutes to an hour before beginning the final dough

Preparing the potato: For efficiency, you may want to prepare the potato the night before. Quarter it, then boil it in water to cover until it can be easily pierced with a knife tip, about 20 minutes. Drain; if desired, reserve the water for the dough. Press the potato through a ricer or sieve to puree it and remove the skin. Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Bake day: mixing the dough
575 g unbleached bread flour
420 g water, including the potato water if desired, lukewarm
14 g honey
60 g potato puree
15 g salt

By stand mixer: With your hands or a wooden spoon, mix the flour and water into a rough, very wet dough in the work bowl of your mixer. Cover the dough and let it rest (autolyse) for 10 - 20 minutes.

Fit the mixer with the dough hook. Add the pre-ferment, honey, potato and salt and the mix the dough on medium speed for 15 - 20 minutes, or until very silky and wraps around the hook and cleans the bowl before splattering back around the bowl. This dough is almost pourably wet.

Fermenting and turning the dough:
Shape the dough into a ball and roll it in flour. Place it in a container at least 3 times its size and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it ferment until doubled in bulk and filled with large air bubbles, about 4 hours. Using plenty of dusting flour, turn the dough 4 times in 20 minute intervals, that is, after 20, 40, 60, and 80 minutes of fermenting, the leave the dough undisturbed for the remaining time. Do not allow this dough to over ferment or ferment to the point of collapse, for the flavor and structure of your bread will suffer.

Shaping and proofing:
Turn the fermented dough out onto a well floured work surface, round it and let it rest for 20 minutes. Sprinkle a couche or wooden board generously with flour. Slip a baking sheet under the couche if you are using one for support.

Sprinkle a generous amount of flour over the center of the ball. Push your fingers into the center to make a hole, the rotate your hand around the hole to widen it, making a large 4 inch opening. The bread should have about 30 cm diameter.

Place the dough smooth side down on the floured couche or board and dust the surface with more flour. Drape it with plastic wrap and let it proof until it is light and slowly springs back when lightly pressed, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheating the oven:
Immediately after shaping the bread, arrange a rack on the oven's second to top shelf and place a baking stone on it. Clear away all the racks above the one being used. Preheat the oven to 230ºC.

Unwrap the bread and flip it onto a floured peel or a sheet of parchment paper. Do not worry about damaging the bread as you handle it; it will recover in the oven as long as it is not overproofed. Slash it with 4 radial cuts in the shape of a cross. Slide the loaf onto the hot baking stone and bake until it is very dark brown, 40-50 minutes, rotating it halfway into the bake. Let the bread cool on a rack.

(adapted from Artisan Baking Across America by Maggie Glazer)

Check out what the rest of the Bread Baking Babes (current and former) 
baked for this 10th anniversary:
Karen Baking Soda - Bake my day!


Karen said...

Wow! Yours is perfect. I had the same experience as you. One flat ring! Thank goodness for oven spring.

Karen Baking Soda said...

So gorgeous, I love those nice slices you got! So sad to see you go though 😭

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Gorgeous Lien, yes perfect! When we get oven spring it is a joy.
It has been a glorious 10 years. You can retire, take a break but do always remember: Once a Babe, always a Babe. It can't be undone dear.

Elizabeth said...

It looks gorgeous, Lien! What a good lesson you are giving too - clearly, it's a good idea to follow the recipe!

I still cannot grasp that you are really stepping aside and trying desperately to think of some way to cajole you into changing your mind. It has been so lovely playing in the kitchen with you!

Wait! I know how. I will just refuse to believe it. Because, as Tanna says, "once a Babe, always a Babe"!

Katie Zeller said...

I shall miss you - but 120 different breads is a prodigious legacy.... Well done! And you leave as your started... Enjoy whatever comes next and do come back - you know where we are (I'll save a space and a bottle on the back bench)

Elle said...

A glorious bread for an important Anniversary! Have enjoyed baking bread with you so much and it is hard to believe you won't, but breaks can be good and 120 breads baked is awesome Lien. Since you will always be a Babe, hope to see you sometime in the Kitchen baking bread with us again - maybe next February. In the meantime hope there will still be freshly baked bread in your oven for you to enjoy.

Cathy (Bread Experience) said...

Your loaf looks perfect! Congratulations on baking all 120 breads! You will be missed as a Babe! Best wishes for your future endeavors!

hobby baker Kelly said...

Oh my goodness, your loaf is so perfect! Quite the result to end on, and we will miss you!

Ilse said...

Looks good to me! ;)