Category Archives: BBA Challenge

Italian Bread

BBA Italian Bread

Italian Bread from the BBA Challenge.

Mushroom Bruschetta

BBA French Bread & Chanterelles

French Bread from the BBA Challenge and the joys of the Chanterelle.

BBA Focaccia & New Beginnings

These bread images were captured over a span of 10 minutes, the shortest-ever photo shoot in the history of this blog. It was done while the living/kitchen/office space of our previous home was cluttered with a manic array of boxes, bags and countless knick-knacks that a patient and helpful friend was slowly carting out into the trunk of her car, destined for our new (and bigger) apartment a short ride away. The past two months have been a crazy whirlwind of travelling and moving, so I am

English Muffins & Eggs Benedict

Peter Reinhart’s easy English Muffins from the BBA Challenge, served up in a deliciously indulgent breakfast of Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon.

Cornbread Muffins & Cranberry Walnut Bread

When the weather starts cooling off, that’s when you know it’s time to start turning on the oven and dirtying your hands in…..flour. After a month of pudding, tarts and cakes, I was only too happy to get back to the therapeutic rhythm of kneading bread dough, shaping it and coaxing out the heady, comforting scent of freshly baked bread from a ball of dough. Picking up where I left off in the Bread Bakers’ Apprentice Challenge, here’s the last of the two

Cinnamon & Cinnamon

I’ve been wrapped in cinnamon for the past week as part of the BBA Challenge, so here’s a double-barreled post on Cinnamon buns and Cinnamon raisin walnut bread. Both breads were relatively easy to make (though not without their challenges, as described below), and surprisingly I was more fond of the raisin walnut bread than the cinnamon buns! Not much of a raisin-lover myself, I really enjoyed the little pockets of grape glucose that the raisins brought to the loaf, perfectly

Peter Reinhart’s Ciabatta & A Recipe

Wet. Dough. Those two words pretty much sum up my weekend Ciabatta attempt in the latest installment of the BBA Challenge. I was excited enough about the recipe, with its wet and sticky dough to sink my fingers into and the adventure ahead as I tried to transform my ’50s gas transplant into a hearth oven as part of the quest for the perfect Ciabatta. Similar to the Artos celebration bread, Ciabatta-making begins with a Poolish or a Biga pre-ferment that is made a day ahead. With a busy

The Post-Modern Challah

Following the last two enriched (and flavorful) breads in the BBA Challenge, the sixth bread in Peter Reinhart’s book brings us to the  Jewish celebratory bread, Challah. I had seen this braided, glistening loaf many times before at the bakery close to the office where I stopped to get coffee, wondering if I should get a slice of that brioche in the display, until I read its tag. Its unfamiliar name was enough to stop a pre-caffeinated me from expanding my standard breakfast choices

Casatiello, your Sandwich in a Slice

It has been way too long since my last post on the BBA Challenge with our summer holiday and jet-lag getting in the way. But I’m back now and raring to catch up with the rest of the bakers! To continue my scandalous love affair with the Brioche, Peter Reinhart brings us across the border into Italy for the Casatiello. Aptly describing it as a ‘savory Panettone’, this bread begins with a sponge starter (yeast, flour and milk) and finds its fulfilment with the addition of cured

BBA Challenge #4 – Brioche, je t’aime

Ahhhhh la brioche! Any cookbook with a brioche recipe has a guaranteed spot on my shelf. I cannot adequately express the depth of my love affair with this buttery cake-like bread, how I spent so many days and nights fantasizing about its airy texture and indulgently rich crumb, mentally walking through each step of Damien Pignolet’s formula, before finally making my first attempt 3 years ago. Armed with a wooden spoon and tons of elbow grease, I finally mustered the courage to bake my

BBA Challenge #3 – Bagels

I present to you, the Recession Bagel. One of these stiff chewy rings will last you a day’s lunch and dinner – assuming of course, that you have an average Asian appetite like mine and are not training for an Ironman or Sumo event (in which case, I’d give you two). Reinhart’s recipe, which required the dough to be shaped into 4 1/2-ounce rolls, were meant to deliver 12 large bagels or 24 mini-bagels. Thinking that ‘large’ couldn’t be all that large, I

BBA Challenge #2 – Artos, Greek Celebration Breads

My days have been filled with yeast, flour, gluten, enzymes, and all things bread-related as I catch up with the rest of the food bloggers on the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. Artos is the second recipe in Reinhart’s book, a master recipe for a variety of Greek Celebration breads which are baked and blessed during services at the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. The name itself meant “leavened bread” in ancient Greek, but today is used to refer to

BBA Challenge – Anadama Bread

So! I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon, joining more than 200 other food bloggers around the world on the Bread Baker’s Apprentice (BBA) Challenge. Organized by Nicole at Pinch My Salt, the idea is to work through all the recipes in Peter Reinhart’s book, Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, a week at a time. You can read more about the Challenge here and bake along if you’re interested. We start with Anadama Bread, a traditional New

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