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Nov 30, 2012

BBA Challenge #38 Tuscan Bread, #39 Vienna Bread, #40 White Bread, #41 Whole-Wheat Bread

The next installment about my journey baking my way through The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart. I started the project in August of 2011 (pre-blogging days) and finished in August of 2012.

BBA Challenge #38 Tuscan Bread

tuscan bread

So here's the deal about this bread. It does not contain salt. I once accidentally left salt out of a bread recipe before. Taste? Cardboard.

This bread calls for a cooked flour paste that is made the day before to develop flavor to substitute for the lack of salt. Whatever, in the end I added salt. I just wasn't willing to go through all of the work to make something I'd probably hate. Who needs another bread pudding to recycle mediocre bread. 

Verdict: While I can't speak to the original recipe's flavor, I was happy with my bread. I definitely recommend experimenting with the flour paste concept because it does add another dimension. Oh, and my loaves, aren't they pretty?

BBA Challenge #39 Vienna Bread

Vienna bread

Vienna bread is similar to French or Italian Bread, but enriched with sugar, barley malt, egg, and butter. This softens the crust and and tenderizes the interior. The mottling on the top of the bread is Dutch Crunch, which is a combination of flour, rice flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil, and water paste brushed on the loaves prior to baking. 

Verdict: Pretty good, but not "oh wow" good. 

BBA Challenge #40, White Bread

White bread

If the only white bread you have tried is store bought, you must try making your own. There is no comparison.

Verdict: Make your own white bread. Make this bread. Don't put up with bad bread. You can find the recipe here. 

BBA Challenge #41, Whole Wheat Bread

whole wheat bread

This is probably the best 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf recipes I have baked. I did make some changes:

  • I added 2 T of vital wheat gluten
  • I added a bit more water
  • I made one loaf in a 10" x 5" pan instead of two one pound loaves
  • My second rise was much faster than the recipe
Verdict: Great 100 per cent whole wheat bread. Get the book. Make these breads.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Nice round up of your BBA breads! Your photography is stunning ~ makes me want a slice of each loaf! I haven't brought myself to try the rye breads; I've given those away and the recipients loved them. I do have a relative that is on a low salt diet and may appreciate the Tuscan bread. I heartily agree with your last two statements: make your own bread (white or wheat) you will never go back to the store bought variety, and to add VWG to your wheat breads which give it structure, tenderness, and increased shelf life. Bake on!

    1. Thank you so much Frieda. I really appreciate your comments! I did grow weary of the string of ryes in the book, especially the pumpernickel.

  2. After reading your blog I went directly to Amazon and bought the book - I am so inspired to bake bread! Thank you. :-)

    1. If you ever have any questions, let me know!

  3. Wow, I'm impressed you baked your way through that book. No wonder you're an excellent bread baker. I want to be like you when I grow up :o)

    1. This from Hanaa the Baker? I want to be you when I grow up!

  4. Oh, I'll take one of each! But I especially love that crackly top on the Vienna Loaves. One of these days, I'm going to bake my own way through this book. One of these inspire me, Karen.

    1. Thanks so much Heather. I'm not sure I'll do it again, but it does feel good to flex new muscles on a regular basis.


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