The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge

22 May 2009

Sourdough Anadama Bread, bunnedThe Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge has begun! It’s all about going through The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, beginning to end, and making each bread recipe in order. The goal is to do about one a week, more or less, and learn a lot about making better bread. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice is extolled in many bread-making circles as it explains the bread baking process to amateurs, us, in a way that’s accessible and will allow us to make really really good bread.

It’s closed to new participants, so I can’t join in officially, but like many others, I’m joining in unofficially. I’m officially unofficial… Erm…

For me, there are a few wrinkles. There are always wrinkles. 🙂

  1. I don’t use commercial yeast at all. Ever. I don’t digest yeasted foods well at all, and there’s no point in making bread that I can’t eat. Sourdough, or natural leaven, or wild yeast, however, I have no problems with. All of which means that I’ll be converting all recipes to sourdough that aren’t already. That also means modified rising times since sourdough takes longer in addition to at least slightly modified flavours.
  2. I can’t get all the ingredients here that exist in the US/Canada. We can’t get bread flour, high gluten flour, or anything like that. We can’t get malt syrup or gluten or other bread improvers. We can’t get molasses or cornmeal or polenta or rye flour or… All of which means that, when ingredients are listed in a recipe that I can’t get, I’ll be even further modifying the recipe with ingredients that I can get locally. It’ll be fun! 😀
  3. My oven is broken. Yeah, I’m a bit of a broken record on it. 🙂 It only gets up to around 400F-ish, so if any recipes call for hotter temps, I won’t be able to do it. Well, not the way the recipe intended, anyway… 🙂

Sourdough Anadama Bread, loafNone of this will stop me, of course. I’m used to modifying and experimenting and this is no different. 🙂

Do you want in on the BBA Challenge? Great! You’ll need a copy of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

You can follow the tweets on Twitter by searching on #bba. Or you can join the BBA Challenge Facebook group. Or you can join in the fun on Flickr. Or you can follow the link to Pinch My Salt, where the madness began. 🙂

…and you can leave comments on my blog with permalinks to your blog entries about the challenge. 🙂 I’d love to read about your experiences with the challenge!

To follow along with all my blog entries relating to the Bread Baker’s Apprenctice Challenge, I’m using the tag BBAC – otherwise, it’d just be too too long.

ETA: Over at Pinch My Salt, there’s now an FAQ which includes “It looks like the BBA Challenge has already started, is it too late to join?” (the answer is no, it’s not too late), so if you’re interested in joining, head on over and read the FAQs. And then start baking. C’mon, you know you wanna… 😀

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About LMAshton

Howdy and welcome to my site! I'm Laurie and I'll be your, er, hostess today. :)

I'm a Canadian expat currently living in Singapore. I'm married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. We also lived in New Zealand for half a year.

I cook Sri Lankan curries, sambols, and mallungs. I bake bread using wild yeast (sourdough that isn't sour). I bake on the stove. I experiment with Indian / Malaysian / Indonesian / Thai / whatever cuisines interest me. And I experiment wildly.

Life is an adventure. Join me! :)

If you want to know more about me, click on the "About" link in the navigation bar above. :)