The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge: No 1. Anadama Bread
Nicole over at Pinch My Salt came up with a fun idea. She decided to make every recipe in Peter Reinhart’s wonderful book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. Well, a few people asked to join her and soon Nicole had a tribe of over 200 bakers ready to take up the challenge. I am one of them. :)
Nicole says, The goal is to push our boundaries, learn new techniques, and introduce ourselves to breads we might otherwise never have a chance to taste. It will be fun, it will be challenging, it will be frustrating, but ultimately it will be rewarding!
I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm looking forward to challenging myself with recipes like rye bread, brioche and bagels. Every week (or so), I will be attempting a new recipe from the book and posting my results. I won't be posting the actual recipes, so if you want to follow along, please get a copy of the book. It is a real treasure and should be in every foodie's library. Also, check out the progress of the other participants. Show them some love and encouragement.
The first recipe I tried was Anadama bread. Anadama is a traditional New England bread made with flour, corn meal and molasses. The molasses gives this bread a wonderful, subtle sweetness. The outer crust is thin and not too hard and the inside is soft and sweet. Perfect!
The hardest part of making this bread was the kneading. I kneaded the bread for a good 12 minutes before the dough was perfect. I twittered that I was going to have arms like Michelle Obama by the time I finished all the recipes in the book. Heather from Flour Girl, replied that I should rename the bread "Michelle Obama Anadama". I think that has a nice ring to it.
The second hardest part of making this bread was waiting for it to be cool enough to slice into. Really hard! I loved the smell of this bread as it baked. It filled my kitchen with a warm sweet scent. I'd wear it like perfume if I could bottle it. The recipe gave me 3 loaves of bread. Each loaf was golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. I'd say my first challenge was a success. I can't wait to start the next one. Come back and see how I did next week.