Monday, May 19, 2008

3 loaves, no fishes




I love baking bread. Everything from taking out your frustrations while kneading the dough to smelling the intoxicating smell of bread wafting from the oven is really exciting. However, all that work to make one loaf of bread, one loaf that often disappears in a mere day or two? Not so good. So, I decided to feed not one, but two big batches of sourdough starter and make not one, but three big loaves of bread last week!



I decided to make two loaves of sandwich bread. As you can see above, the silicone pan expanded a bit! The bread on the left is a combination of white bread flour, rye flour, and semolina flour, with cranberries and a maple sugar swirl, topped with poppy seeds. The bread on the right is a combination of white bread flour, spelt flour, and rye flour, with raisins and a cinnamon/date sugar swirl.



Here they are out of their pans and ready for the cooling rack. I was so happy with how they came out, especially because I improvised and didn't really follow a recipe.



You'll notice my swirl skills need a little bit of work! This bread still tasted great and made wonderful cinnamon toast.



Ok, you can barely even see the swirl in this loaf! But it's there, I promise!



The final bread was a free-form loaf, the same as the raisin bread above, but without the cinnamon swirl. I love the combination of dried fruit and sourdough bread because the resulting bread is flavorful, but not too sweet, and perfect for sweet or savory uses.



Here's an X-treme close-up of a raisin poking out of the bread. Baking multiple loaves of bread at one time is a great strategy. It doesn't take considerably more time or energy to make three instead of one, but you are left with a bigger payoff for that work. The great thing about sourdough is that it acts as a natural preservative, and so breads made with sourdough starter don't go stale as quickly. However, to keep them at optimum freshness (and to guarantee that we wouldn't finish them too quickly!) I sliced and froze half of each loaf. This makes for convenient toast at a moment's notice. It's also fun to experiment with ingredients and flavors. Next time you decide to make a loaf of bread, why not make two? Or more?


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21 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Your bread loaves ALWAYS look incredible, Bazu - so inspiring!! I REALLY need to work up the courage to bake yeast-containing breads...

springsandwells said...

Yum,
swirling skills aside, the loaves look so beautiful. I like the idea of experimenting a bit more with other kinds of flours and adding in fruits and such. Hmmmm!

:)
ps. I found a great Iranian market in San Jose this weekend, of course I thought of you!

aTxVegn said...

Those are all beautiful! And too many big swirls just separate anyway - your are perfect.

Emmie said...

Damnit bazu, I need to get myself some sourdough starter. I've been putting it off forever because I am a lazy person and I'm afraid I'd kill the sourdough but every time I see one of your posts (or other bloggers posts) about sourdough breads I just have this urge to doooo it.

I have this suspicion that life will be prefect ones I get my sourdough baking going.

The breads look SOOO good. All I have at home for breakfast this morning is cheap soymilk (bleh.) and cheerios.

Celine said...

slice in my mouf now?

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

What a great idea! I haven't been making bread lately due to a lack of time, but maybe I could find a moment to make a few loaves & have extras for later!

Mihl said...

And you tell me I should open a bakery? Come on Bazu, let's do it together. Your cranberry-maple swirl bread would definitely be a hit!

Kumudha said...

Wow! so many wonderful breads.

I'm inspired to bake bread after seeing this...

Liz² said...

oh man, I *wish* I could go through bread that quickly. dried fruited sourdough wouldn't last me too long, though, admittedly!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

impressive bread!!!

madness rivera said...

Oh yea. This is what I'm talking about. I'm so tackling bread in the next month. Thanks for the inspiration. The loaves look amazing!

Melody Polakow said...

they are gorgeous! You have a great knack for bread making...

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

These look delicious. So glad that I found your blog. I am a very strict vegetarian with a goal of becoming vegan

crystal said...

Really beautiful*.
*(your blog and your bread)

Hannah said...

Amazing bread! Now that I'm done with finals and home at last, you should hopefully see a few loaves from me pretty soon as well... Just gotta hop back on the sourdough train!

Rural Vegan said...

Bazu, I've been having so much fun with your sourdough starter. I've made pizza crusts and pancakes so far, and this weekend I'm hoping to follow your lead and make loads of bread.

Michelle said...

wow that bread looks perfect! very impressive.

Anonymous said...

Nice camera! What kind is it?

bazu said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks! I don't have a fancy camera- all my photos are taken using a Canon PowerShot A620.

Anonymous said...

did you change the length of time you baked the loaves because there are 3 instead of 1? or did you change the temperature of the oven? or did you change both? I really need to know. my oven is standard size. thanks
geraldine

bazu said...

Hi Geraldine,

I baked the two sandwich loaves together, and the free-form loaf separately, but kept the oven temperature the same in each case.