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BBA Challenge #39: Vienna Bread

I don’t think I have ever had Vienna Bread before, but I was excited about making it. It looked like it would be similar to French and Italian breads, and it did not disappoint.

I made a pâte fermentée two days before I mixed up the actual bread dough. The dough was very soft.

Ready to Rise

It took slightly longer than two hours to double, but I realize I forgot to get a shot of the doubled dough. I baked this bread yesterday on New Year’s Eve, and it seems like my picture-taking was sparse.

I decided to make loaves instead of pistolets, so I divided my dough into two pieces and shaped them into boules. This was near the end of the twenty minute resting period, and you can see how the soft dough spreads. Very different from the Tuscan bread.

Boules

Then I formed them into bâtards and put them aside to rise again. You can see air bubbles in the dough below. Usually when PR instructs to shape carefully so as not to deflate the dough, I laugh internally, because I don’t think I am ever able to shape the dough gently enough to not deflate the dough. It might have worked this time, though.

Shaped

I let them sit for longer than specified again, because I have been having trouble getting my dough to rise. But I might have let them sit too long, because they started to bump into each other. I slashed them, badly. The dough was so soft that it caught on my lame and made unsightly rips in the dough. And after I was so proud of my slashes on the last two breads.

Ready to Bake

I did all of the hearth baking techniques, and waited for my bread to be done. It took the full thirty minutes.

The bread rose noticeably in the oven, and also spread out to bake my two loaves together. Nevertheless, they turned out very pretty.

Baked

Crumb

I had this bread this morning for breakfast, and I enjoyed it a lot. It is like a hearth bread, but the small amount of shortening and egg added make the crust and the crumb both slightly softer than French or Italian breads. It had a really nice flavor. I opted not to do the Dutch Crunch topping, which I had never heard of before, but I think I might like to go back and try that, too.

I wonder if the bread could be baked as one two-pound loaf, instead of two one-pound loaves. The one-pound loaves turn out so small that they don’t make decent-sized sandwiches, in my opinion. I think this would be a good bread for sandwiches if it could be baked into larger loaves. Vienna bread gets a solid four stars.

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