Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My not so serious challenge

After a long hiatus from both baking and blogging, I am ready to get back into the trenches and bake my heart out. Every year on my birthday (election day this year!) I issue myself a challenge for the year (last year it was to start blogging - which I achieved, albeit with some fits and starts) so this year I'm challenging myself to bake my way through Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" until I become expert at every type of bread in there that appeals to me.

Don't worry, this isn't going to be one of those "Julie and Julia" things where I force myself to bake every recipe whether I think anyone in this house will eat it or not (we throw away too much food as it is). I can't see either of my children taking a fancy to cranberry nut bread or some of the other more exotic breads Reinhart gives techniques for. And, although I plan to make stollen for Christmas, I'm going to do it with dried fruits and candied ginger like I did last year, even if I do use the BBA's recipe.

So I guess the short answer is I'm going to do it my way (cue Frank Sinatra here, please).

Because I'm waiting for my order from King Arthur flour to bring me diastatic malt syrup, I won't be starting with bagels, so I think the first to go will be ciabatta, which is just fine with me. I'm all about crust, let me tell you, and ciabatta is pretty much two chewy crusts with a little bit of crumb in between, hard on the teeth but heaven otherwise. I'm heading downstairs right now to mix up my poolish to get started.

Whoo hoo! Another year, another adventure.

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