Woohoo! Stick a fork in me. I'm done! Here it is, ta-da
the last bread in The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge #43: Roasted Onion And Asiago Miche.
First, thank you Nicole for creating this challenge, XOXO. I learned a ton from baking 43 breads, found out what works, and discovered new favorites and appreciation for sourdough starter. Lately I have been using my wild yeast starter for almost all the yeast breads I bake outside of this challenge. I truly enjoyed this virtual baker's apprentice experience.
Now, about the bread. I halved the recipe because it is just too large for me to handle. It took 3 days to make this beautiful loaf. First day was for making a wet sourdough sponge which I mixed very late in the evening and left it on the kitchen counter overnight in order to avoid putting it in the refrigerator. The next morning it had grown and ready to be made into the dough. I loved the feel of the dough which was elastic, soft, and silky smooth like a baby's bottom. I did 3 stretch-and-folds within 1½ hours, total fermentation was 2 hours. It was then shaped into a boule, placed on a piece of parchment, sprayed with oil, covered with plastic wrap, then made to rest overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, the ginormous 11-inch wide miche with lots of air pockets was made to de-chill *is that a word?* for 2 hours on the kitchen counter. The top was oiled, dimpled all over, then sprinkled with more cheese and the roasted onion, and baked for 35 minutes. The bread is very pretty on the outside but the crumb although soft and moist is not open as described in the book. The large holes that were supposed to be in between the dimpled sections were missing. The bread is flavorful but not as awesome as my other favorite breads in the book, which is a surprise.
Having said that I will give this bread another chance, it has so much potential. Maybe I'll increase the amount of scallions and chives because their flavors seem to disappear in the bread or try another kind of cheese. I will probably let the dough rest more than 30 minutes after dimpling because this step deflated the miche which might have contributed to the tight crumb.
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
My top 10 favorite breads in the challenge
- Pain à l'Ancienne
- Pizza Napoletana
- Potato, Cheddar, And Chive Torpedoes
- Italian Bread
- Portuguese Sweet Bread
- Vienna Bread
- Kaiser Rolls
- Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire