Sometimes I thought this day would never come. Today I baked my final Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge bread: Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche. Yay me!
This bread took a lot of preparation. The recipe itself takes three days. On Saturday, I fed my starter, thinking that I would make the sponge on Sunday, but I didn’t get a chance to. Then I figured that I could make this recipe work on weeknights, instead of waiting for the weekend to bake, like I usually do.
I mixed the sponge together before I went to bed and left it out overnight.
The sponge was pretty dry, and I was afraid it wouldn’t get “very bubbly,” but it kind of did:
The next day when I got home from work, I took it out of the fridge to warm up. Then I roasted the onions, grated the Asiago in my Cuisinart, and chopped up the chives and green onions.
I found that one bunch of green onions was slightly less than two ounces, where one bunch of chives was slightly more, but I just went with it.
Not only was this the recipe that took the longest to make, I think it probably was the one that cost the most to make, too. I bought cheap Asiago, but still it was $7 for a pound of it, not to mention out of season chives and green onions.
Not to mention most of a bag of bread flour. PR mentions that you won’t be able to mix this in a stand mixer because the recipe is so big. I was concerned that it might not fit in my bowl, either. Here is just the flour and yeast for the final dough.
Then I had to mix in water and the sponge.
By the end, I gave up on my dough whisk and just mixed it with my hands. Still, it took a while. Then you add olive oil and salt. My friend Kristen got me these cute pinch bowls. I don’t know if you can see, but the olive oil is almost overflowing the green bowl. D’oh!
Then you add the chives and green onions and half of the cheese and try to mix all of it with your hands. Here is the point in the BBA recipe where I start to wonder if all of the add-ins will ever fit in the dough.
They always do.
Then I proofed the dough for two hours, until just before I was going to bed. I divided and shaped the dough. I didn’t bother to weigh it and just cut it approximately in half, but one of the pieces turned out noticeably bigger than the other.
I refrigerated them both until I got home from work tonight. Once I got home, I took them out. After leaving them out for two hours, I started preheating the oven.
I brushed them with olive oil and dimpled the dough.
Then added cheese.
And roasted onions. I weighed my onion before chopping it, and it was more than 8 ounces, but I was disappointed that I had so few onions in the end. I might make more next time.
Then I put them both in the oven, complete with the hearth oven steam and spray method. I had a problem because I was going to switch shelves and rotate the pans at 20 minutes, but the top one puffed up so much that I didn’t think it would fit on the middle shelf. So I left them on the same shelves, which was a mistake.
The middle shelf one turned out lovely:
The top shelf one puffed up in the middle, and the cheese browned way too much, and the roasted onions charred until they were no longer recognizable as onions. It will probably taste good, but I am not going to post a photo of it. I am going to post photos of the pretty one.
This bread is very savory and delicious. A perfect bread to finish on! Now I just have to figure out how to wrap it, since I think it is too big for my bread bags.
So I completed the BBA Challenge! It took me longer than I thought it would, but I am glad I saw it through. I learned a lot about bread and about baking. And I tried some amazing recipes.
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice is the first cookbook I have made every recipe from, and here are my final thoughts on the breads.
BBA recipes that I would DEFINITELY make again in the future because they were delicious:
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- English Muffins
- French Bread
- Kaiser Rolls
- Light Wheat Bread
- Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire
- Pain de Campagne
- Portuguese Sweet Bread
- Potato Rosemary Bread
- Basic Sourdough Bread
- Vienna Bread
- White Bread
- Whole-Wheat Bread
- Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes
- Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche
19 Clear Winners
These recipes I might possibly make again in the future. They didn’t amaze me with their awesomeness, but they were good, solid recipes:
BBA recipes that I probably wouldn’t make again unless specifically requested to do so:
- Anadama Bread
- Corn Bread
- Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread
- Pane Siciliano
- 100% Sourdough Rye Bread
- Poilane-Style Miche
- Pumpernickel Bread
- Sunflower Seed Rye
- Swedish Rye Bread (Limpa)
- Tuscan Bread
Both the Casatiello and the Corn Bread might be in the delicious category if only I ate meat. I don’t think the vegetarian versions I made quite did them justice.
BBA recipes that I would like to try again because I feel I could do a better job than I did with them at the time:
That’s a pretty good summary for a cookbook.
The question now is what is next for Goth Panda? For a long time, all I have been posting about are the breads for this challenge. I have some ideas for GP’s future but I need to work out the details. Watch this space for future GP developments!