Yesterday I used my new cloche for the first time. I chose to use a Crusty Country Bread recipe that came in a small pamphlet with the cloche. The recipe was courtesy of Williams Sonoma so I had much faith that it would produce a successful product. I wasn’t disappointed.
After kneading, the dough had a shiny, elastic skin, was easy to manipulate, rose beautifully and enjoyed a tremendous oven spring. The finished product was picture perfect and the crust was crisp and crackly. The inner crumb was moist with a nice texture. It is a satisfying loaf of bread but not as textured, chewy or grainy as I prefer. But the cloche performed beautifully producing a picture perfect loaf of artisan bread.
While the bread dough was rising and baking, I tried another quick bread recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book. Bran muffins have always been a favorite of mine and I also wanted to try to make parchment paper holders much like the bakery uses. Aesthetically they please me more than the plain cupcake papers that I recently used for my sourdough blueberry muffins.
The results are in…taste wise, the recipe is a keeper and I would give it an A Plus, but aesthetically they scored a D minus. My parchment paper cups were semi successful, but the muffins spread more than rose so they weren’t picture perfect. The taste though was molasses laden, moist, chewy and full grained.
My learning curve continues to climb but I must say it is nice having the right equipment that can make a job easier. Can savory breads and other goodies be produced without that equipment?…for sure, but what fun to find the tools that work best for me as well as make it easier on my arthritic joints.