This week’s bread in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is called Artos and it’s a Greek celebration bread. It’s a spiced-up bread that’s usually served as a boule with a decorative cross over top. There are variations, such as ones that include fruit and nuts. I initially opted for the plain version and made it into a loaf simply out of laziness and for no other good reason. 🙂 Except for pain…
I halved the recipe and converted it into grams. I also omitted the instant yeast, instead going entirely with my 100% hydration sourdough starter for the poolish. I omitted the cloves because cloves do not react kindly with me and allspice because we can’t get it here. I added mace, ground as fine as I could (it comes whole at the grocery store – chunks of holey plastic-like alien blobs) – as well as ground cardamom. I further halved the almond extract because ours is vey very strong and a huge mistake to add too much, as I have learned – repeatedly – from prior experience.
Here’s my list of ingredients:.
- 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 38 grams (1.34 ounces) honey
- 29 grams (1 ounces) olive oil
- 85 grams (3 ounces) milk, lukewarm
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/2 teaspoon key lime zest
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 360 grams flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
I was going to add raisins, dates, and cashews, but I threw my back out doing the kneading. The dates would have required pitting and chopping while the cashews would have required chopping & toasting. I just wasn’t upfor it. Next time…
Usually when I make bread, I go with low-knead or stretch-and-fold techniques that are not hard on my very problematic joints, but because the whole point of doing this challenge, for me, was to learn about making better bread, I decided to follow Peter Reinhart’s instructions, including all the kneading, getting a better feel for the texture and handling, and also figuring out the window pane test.
Unfortunately, my back is a huge problem. Here it is, an hour later, and I’m still in massive pain. My hands are, too, but they don’t make me want to curl up in a ball and whimper. And no, no decent mixers in this country. A cwappy one I have, and I’ll have to start using it next time…
At 1 1/2 hours for the first rise, the bread had definitely doubled in volume. I created a fake, uh, whatchamacallit, free-form loaf shaping thing. Two sets of rolled up towels to either side of an aluminum 9×13" cake tin, plastic sheet coated in oil on top, and shaped loaf wedged in the middle. I have no idea if the ends are going to end up misshapen, or, for that matter, the whole thing. 🙂
Life is an experiment. 😀
At somewhere around an hour to an hour and a half (the alarm on my phone got shut off by accident), the loaf had risen to at least double. Hallelujah! I dumped it onto a baking sheet, whereupon it immediately and unceremoniously spread out. I slit the top of the bread – slashed would be the proper term, but either way, it’s beginning to sound a bit like a cliche from a horror film. 😀
And then I dumped it in the oven. And since I’d forgotten to mist it, opened the oven door a minute later, dragged it out, misted it, and shoved it back in.
Did the turn-turn-turn thing at 20 minutes (nice oven spring!), checked on it 20 minutes later, and yep, it’s got great color. Declared it done sans thermometer and let it cool.
I didn’t cut into it until this morning. Nice, tight crumb, slices evenly and thinly. Smells fruity. I like! Fahim, the hubby, thought it was a little spicy – too much cinnamon, possibly. He doesn’t like cinnamon. I love cinnamon. I would have doubled the cinnamon. I guess I’ll leave the cinnamon levels where they are, or possibly a bit less to appease him. 🙂
We mostly ate it for breakfast with butter and jam and liked it! And I’m going to make the fruit & nut version. Fahim loves fruit and nuts in his breakfast bread and I’m all about making the boy happy. 🙂
Additionally, I’m submitting this post to Yeastspotting, a weekly showcase of truly drool-worthy breads. In addition to this being part of Sourdough Saturday here on my blog. 😀
[pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-01.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-01.jpg.html" caption="happy sourdough starter, raring to go " alt=""] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-02.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-02.jpg.html" caption="mace (orange), nutmeg (brown), cardamom (green)" alt=""] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-05.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-05.jpg.html" caption="ground spices" alt=""] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-06.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-06.jpg.html" caption="just-mixed dough" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-34.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-34.jpg.html" caption="beginning of first rise" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-35.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-35.jpg.html" caption="beginning of first rise, side view" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-36.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-36.jpg.html" caption="end of first rise" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-46.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-46.jpg.html" caption="end of first rise, side view" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-47.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-47.jpg.html" caption="fake banneton/free-form loaf shaping thingie" alt=""] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-48.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-48.jpg.html" caption="beginning of second rise" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-50.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-50.jpg.html" caption="end of second rise" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-51.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-51.jpg.html" caption="slashed and waiting to bake" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090526-54.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090526-54.jpg.html" caption="side view – finished loaf" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090527-00.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090527-00.jpg.html" caption="cut loaf" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"] [pg-image src="http://pics.laurieashton.com/tn/20090527-01.jpg" link="http://album.laurieashton.com/v/SriLanka/kitchen/20090527-01.jpg.html" caption="thin slices" alt="Artos – Greek Celebration Bread"]