I’m so proud! After my success with Ciabatta, I moved on to two different breads – white bread and Pugliese. Both efforts were successful. I’m still shocked when I open the oven and the bread looks good. But not as surprised as I am when I slice it and bite it and it actually tastes great!
The sandwich bread was baked in loaf pans, using unbleached flour and buttermilk. The recipe, from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, was easy to follow and didn’t require any pre-ferment. That meant I could get the bread baked in one day.
This bread can also have a fancier name – pain de mie – Reinhart reports. We really, really liked it toasted, with butter or jam (apricot for me, strawberry for Harriet).
Next came the Pugliese, named for a region of Italy. It’s a rustic bread that is typically round, so I made my first boules and prepared my first proofing bowls. Using Reinhart’s recipe, also from The Breadbaker’s Apprentice, I made a biga pre-ferment the day before baking and used both bread flour and durum flour. The bread was wonderful – especially dipped in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Rosemary. It didn’t last long!
I can’t decide whether baking bread is magic or science. I think maybe it’s a little of both. I’m hooked now. One of these days I’ll stop surprising myself.