Darkness in April (BBBuddies – errm – BBBuddy, April 2018)

summary: April 2018 Bread Baking Buddy; BBB Lariano-style Bread gallery

How could we resist a “chewy tangle of wheat, coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel”? :-)

BBBuddies April 2018Bread Baking Buddy (BBB): Lariano-style Bread

Not all the BBBabes made the BBBs’ April 2018 bread. After all, April IS a very busy and rather taxing month! But those who did bake the bread liked it very much, even if some were afraid of the dark….

We could not believe how wonderful the crust is. The crumb was also terrific. Lahey is right; this bread is fabulous – me, (blog from OUR kitchen)
We really enjoyed this bread. It has an amazing power to stay fresh for several days. I took a couple of slices to work when I was running late and put them in the toaster. Suddenly, everyone was wondering “what smells so good?” – Karen K (Karen’s Kitchen Stories)
[I]t’s excellent bread. I’ve just had 4 slices and look forward to toast in the AM and sandwiches for a picnic tomorrow. – Tanna (My Kitchen in Half Cups)
Just a light tang of sourdough with a lightly chewy crumb and crisp crust. Of course it made phenomenal toast. It is mostly definitely worth a bake – Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)
Baked the bread after I started my starter anew but to no avail. Me and sourdough starters don’t do well together. My bread didn’t rise at all so I had a eh.. flatliner! I thought I took a pic but can’t seem to find it. – Karen (Bake My Day), via FB
I was excited to have a chunk of free time well before the April deadline, so, instead of waiting until the last minute, I decided to bake the bread early. And, the bread? A lemon-fennel wholewheat bread […] Little did I know that the recipe challenge changed without my knowing. – Judy (Judy’s Gross Eats)
There is a certain kind of madness that sometimes takes over when a true baker discovers wild yeast and the whole art of sourdough. […] The bonus is amazing bread that you didn’t have to pay $10 for. – Pat, aka Elle (Feeding My Enthusiasms)
If you’re a whole grain lover (and if even if you’re not), you’ll adore this Lariano-Style Bread. […]
It received two thumbs up from the board members of my local community garden. – Cathy (Bread Experience)
I found my bread did not have a very open crumb and was slightly dense. None of this took away from the bread though. […] [T]his bread is great for soaking up sauce and soups – Aparna (My Diverse Kitchen)
The Bread Baking Babes went a little dark this month. […] I’ve also been told that the crust should be very dark and a few black spots are even better, adding a caramelized taste to the crust. It all must be true. I would never doubt Babes – Katie (Thyme For Cooking)

I don’t know if it was my waffling about what recipe to choose, or the dark crust, or the fact that the bread is wild yeast, or the general business of April, but I received only one email at the end of April! (continue reading )

Dark, isn’t it? …Lariano-style Bread (BBB April 2018)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Lariano-style bread; where are the BBBabe hosts of yesteryear? … that’s right, I’m hosting again; can’t stop waffling and switching; snow?! in April; origins of sourdough; not much is needed to make bread rise; a Bread Baking Babes (BBB) project;

Hey!! Didn’t I just choose the recipe a couple of months ago?! Talk about jumping the queue!

Initially, there were two recipes that I was thinking about. One is in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s fabulous book “The Bread Bible” and the other is in Laurel Robertson’s book “Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book”.

I fell head over heels in love with this rustic bread at my first dinner at The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California, in Napa Valley. […] It is down-to-earth, dense, wheaty, crunchy with sees, and wonderfully wholesome, with a distinctly sour depth of flavor
– Rose Levy Beranbaum, sourdough wheat bread with seeds, The Bread Bible, p466
The Lemon and fennel combination make a delicate, buttery, light and tender loaf.
– Laurel Robertson, lemony fennel bread Laurel’s Kitchen Bread book p.239 (Fruit, Nuts and Seeds)

I was leaning towards Beranbaum’s recipe but the others were excited about Laurel Robertson’s lemony bread. So for a few seconds, that’s what was chosen. And then…

When I innocently told T about the choice for April, he blurted out, “Ewwww!”. And the real waffling began!

Not long ago, we read Rachel Roddy’s wonderful book “My Kitchen in Rome” and were entranced by her description of Lariano bread. But she doesn’t include a recipe for it. However, Jim Lahey was also inspired by Lariano bread and has created a recipe.

In the morning, if you stand near the front door, as I did every morning for five years to make coffee, it is the smell of bread, thick, yeasty waves of it, that creeps under the front door. […] My favorite [bread] is pane di Lariano; naturally leavened, it has a chewy crumb that’s slightly sour, a good crust and a bottom hard enough to tap a tune on […] Whichever bread Romans choose to buy, or indeed make, it is central to the way they eat, so much so that it’s taken for granted and is noticed only by its absence. […] It is nourishment that predates pasta in Rome by centuries; More often than not, bread is the first thing to arrive on the table, usually in a basket lined with a napkin, and the last thing to be removed. It is nourishment that predates pasta in Rome by centuries; an accompaniment; a utensil (when the dish permits, many Romans eat with a fork and a crust of bread); and the agent of the final swipe, or scarpetta, of most plates. Quite simply, a meal is unthinkable without bread.
– Rachel Roddy, My Kitchen in Rome, p 67
There is a town outside of Rome called Lariano. It grows a special kind of wheat, known as Lariano wheat, and the bread made in this town uses whole wheat Lariano flour. It is a dusky gray and has a peculiar grit to it. […] You can however, make [the bread] with ordinary whole wheat flour, and it will still have an awesome, complex, earthy flavor. […] My absolute favorite part is the crust. At a very high temperature, when the crust browns so thoroughly that it is just beginning to blacken in places, the whole wheat begins to caramelize. The flavors that result are out of this world—a sweet, chewy tangle of wheat, coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel.
– Jim Lahey, Truccio Saré (whole wheat sourdough), The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook, p93

How could we resist a “chewy tangle of wheat, coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel”? I didn’t even ask T what he thought. I knew he’d be thrilled….

Bread Baking Babes’ Lariano-style bread, April 2018

Lariano-style bread

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Sneak Peek at BBB recipe for April 2018

go directly to the recipe

BBB Wonder Toastsummary: early announcement for the April 2018 BBB recipe; dottiness; Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors; Toasting;

We recently went to Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors” exhibit at the AGO in Toronto. At the end of the exhibit, just before entering the Obliteration Room, we were handed a card with dots.

Kusama Obliteration Room (CBC News)

By the time we were at the exhibit, there were WAY more dots covering everything in the room….

But, all those polka dots inspired me! I just happen to be this month’s host for the BBBabes. To celebrate the coming of spring at last, I decided I couldn’t wait until the middle of the month to announce this month’s BBB project.

It’s so easy and fun that everyone will want to join!

So, without further ado, I give you BBB Wonder Toast.

So. What do you think??? Are you in?*

(continue reading )