Bread Making Progress?????

The Broa Portuguese Cornbread experiment was a disaster. Very dense, coarse “corn” bread and I’ll try it one more time, but definitely prefer my grandmother’s cornbread recipe at this point. Baked the last of the Broa dough and the second batch was better. Definitely edible, but not what I envision cornbread to be. More of a peasant loaf, coarse-grained, chewy and probably good for sopping up soup or stew juices.

Portuguese Cornbread – Broa

Having received a “snow” day pass from work (in Texas we are ice and snow challenged), I am experimenting once again. Following the same recipe and using 100% whole wheat flour (even though I know whole wheat makes a heavier bread!…stubborn and persistent I am) I tripled the yeast in this batch to see if I could get more rise.

First loaf of this batch into oven after Broa loaf out. Confessions are good for the soul so here goes. I turned off the oven for a few minutes and apparently forgot to turn it back on so for 30 minutes this loaf “baked” in a cooling oven. When the timer went off (see I do remember to set a timer), this is when I discovered the oven was off. So, I returned this literally half-baked loaf to the oven for another 12 minutes and it is cooling now. Preheated the oven again and placed the second Boule loaf into the proper temperature oven.

100% Whole Wheat Boule

In the meantime, I mixed another batch of Boule dough using white all-purpose flour. I’m exhausted right now, so when the second whole wheat comes out, it is nap time for this experimental baker! Tonight I will bake the all-purpose loaves and reevaluate my progress then.

Half baked loaf wasn’t bad but tossed it anyway. The second whole wheat loaf was excellent and I enjoyed a slice to sop up the au jus from the braised short ribs I cooked yesterday in my crock pot. I did get a little better rise by increasing the yeast content.

100% Whole Wheat sliced – dense, coarse but edible – Wheat berry seeds mostly fell off and too hard to eat. Still learning! Next time I’ll grind them a little.
100% all-purpose white flour boule

Now it’s time to switch to a different book, Bread Alone by Daniel Leader & Judith Blahnik. This time I plan on following the instructions to a “T” (hard to do but I’ll try) since this book’s bread making process seems to be a lot more complicated than the previous book. Once I find my way to a decent looking and tasting loaf of bread, my plan is to start at the beginning of a book and bake my way to the end. I have always loved making bread so the term “work” never enters my thoughts. The whole adventure is exciting, rewarding and fun.

100% all-purpose white flour boule and loaf

Get out the butter and jam!!!

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