Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Last weekend, I decided to make focaccia. I normally used Peter Reinhart's recipe from his American Pie book which made delicious focaccia, but a little too oily.

This time, I used the recipe from his latest book, Artisan bread everyday. This is also a no-knead recipe which is very nice. I also used some of the starter from tartine bread to ferment the bread.

The focaccia is proofed in the refrigerator overnight before baking in the 450F degree oven. This one I had to say is much better than the recipe from American Pie book, it is less oily, and I got nice even air pocket. Yum :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Country Bread Panini

This post is a follow up from the previous one. Tartine has changed their ordering policy. It used to be we can order bread in the morning for pick up in the same day. Now, due to its popularity, the bread has to be pre-ordered 3 days in advance - crazy huh. After my disastrous baking attempt, we bought Tartine bread and make some really great panini.

- Cured meat like salami or prosciutto 
- Pesto
- Fontina cheese
- Arugula
- Butter

Smear the butter on the outside of the bread. Layer meat, cheese, and smear pesto sauce. Then add the arugula. Bake in the panini maker for about 6-7 minutes at high. The panini came out perfectly - yummy :-)

Hopefully next time I can do this with my own bread.

Original Tartine Bread (now $7 per loaf with 3-day advanced order)

Cured meat with fontina cheese

Add pesto and arugula

Bake on 'high' for 6-7 minutes


Third attempt is a failure

My starter has been living happily in the fridge for the past couple months. My sister is visiting so I want to show off the great country bread, but it was a disaster. I screwed up the first loaf with the oven being off after I removed the combo cooker to put in the bread, and the second loaf came out with minimal oven spring, resulting in a dense loaf with large bubble in the middle :-(

I suspect it was the starter losing strength but still couldn't convince myself that was the case here. After a few researches on thefreshloaf.com, I came to two conclusion.
1) Overproofing - I think this is unlikely because I reduced time for both the bulk rise and the basket rise
2) Not enough tension - I think this is the culprit as I also reduced the number of stretch and fold.

Now, I am looking for a redemption. Hope to try again soon and will post the results.

Leavening passed the float test

After the bulk rise

First shaping

After the bench rest

1st loaf - disaster due to oven malfunction

Second loaf - rise but no ear

Finish loaf looks good

Poor oven spring - what a failure