two skinny jenkins

090928 – Pain de Campagne | BBA #22
090930, 10:13 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags:


BBA #22

These loaves were fun to shape!  Little did I know, this was to be my last bread for a little while.  After hurting my ankle a week ago, I took a bit of a break from baking.  Then i came back to bake this bread (I had been enticed by the photograph in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice).  Now I have started a new job and it looks like i am not going to have any time to bake or cook.  Today I worked 13 hours.  C’est la vie d’un architecte!  This is soon to become a Crock Pot themed blog!  I’ll be making meals on the weekend for the rest of the week.  It could be gross, or it could be exciting uncharted culinary territory!


This recipe was straightforward.  I used rye flour to makes these loaves (1/3 C) and can only slightly taste it.  I can only bake one loaf at a time in my oven (and i only have one baking sheet) so the two smaller ones spent a lot of extra time proofing in a couche (hence the light coating of flour on those two).  Even though i found this bread less interesting than the Pain a L’Ancienne or Ciabatta, Joe liked it and it made some really good…


Campagne Bruschetta

I just seeded and diced a tomato and mixed it up with balsamic, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.  I toasted the 1/4″ slices of Pain on both sides using the oven broiler, topped with the tomato mixture, then a tiny bit of cheese.  I broiled them again for just a couple minutes with the rack on the top oven shelf.  Total cooking/ prep time: about 10 minutes.  Can’t beat fresh tomatoes!

Check out more photos (plus tips) on FLICKR!


090916 – Pain A L’Ancienne | BBA #21
090917, 9:48 am
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Pain A L'Ancienne

BBA #21

my biggest bread baking blunder yet…

thankfully, this is a resilient recipe and it came out pretty darn good anyway.  I will start by saying that i was having people over to our apartment for the first time last night and so i had been multitasking at the time (at least in my head).  I was reading along the recipe for the first time while baking.  The oven was preheated and I was just about to slide the bread onto the baking stone when i realized i needed a steam pan.  The broiler pan i was used to using for this application had to be left behind in DC, and i just grabbed the closest pan i could find.  It was glass.  Multi-tasking.  I was probably only thinking about all of the flour i was going to have to clean up in the kitchen, the food i still needed to buy…


I have been through this before with the Italian bread when my parent’s oven light bulb got a sprinkle of water on it and shattered all over the bread.  At least this time, our oven is so narrow that the baking stone had completely protected the baking bread from the glass below.  As a testament to the resiliency of the recipe, after i had let the oven cool down and cleaned out all the glass, I reheated the oven and continued baking those three loaves.  They came out fine, and were met with many complements!

The last three loaves came out even better (so i recommend following the recipe the first time).  WHEN i make this bread again, I will try leaving it out on the counter for an hour or so, to mimic the Ciabatta recipe.  I noticed that my oven probably did not make it to the 500°F that it claims on it’s plastic knob.  In order to get a good golden brown color, the loaves baked for a rough total of 40 minutes, not the 18-23 that the recipe called for.

  • I observed that the recipe called for quite a bit less flour than i found necessary.  I found myself repeating this phrase in my head, ‘the dough should be sticky on the bottom of the bowl  but it should release from the sides’  as i kept adding flour and watching the dough hook glop around in the mixing bowl.
  • While shaping the baguettes, take extra care to only minimally manipulate the dough and only stretch them.  I made a few yo-yo moves with my baguettes, pulling them out too far then pushing back together.  While the dough is sitting on a heavily floured counter, this creates some funky, dense areas on the bottom of the loaf.


Click for FLICKR!

090912 – Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire | BBA #20
090912, 10:30 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DINNER | Tags:

Multigrain Bread

I can’t believe I’m on challenge #20!  I feel like celebrating.

Yet, I could kick myself.  Whenever i don’t read a recipe ahead of time (which admittedly happens often) I miss out on some long preparation that i should have started at the beginning.  Par example: 3 T cooked brown rice.  Ugh.  I had little flashbacks to the other night when joe and i cooked brown rice in the rice cooker and it took 45 minutes.  I have things to do today!  I cannot cook rice right now!  Well, luckily i remembered the microwave.  With a little improvising, i cooked precisely 3 T of short grain brown rice pretty well in our microwave.  Here’s how:

  • 2 T brown rice
  • 6 T water
  • 1/2 t safflower oil
  1. combine ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high power for 5 minutes.
  2. Add a bit more water (2T or so) if necessary then continue cooking on medium power for 4 minutes.  DONE!

I made a few small alterations to the original recipe.  For the soaker, i did not have any wheat bran on hand, so i just used 3 T millet, 3 T rolled oats, and 2 T cornmeal.  I have had a large flour container with 3/4 C of white wheat flour in it for some time now, so i replaced some of the bread flour with my remaining white wheat.  While working, i decided to bake two little loaves.  One loaf I topped with sesame seeds and flax seeds (most of which fell off while slicing), and the other with sunflower seeds.

Tonight i toasted the bread and used it for triple-decker tofu, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. It is really wonderful toasted

tofu sandwiches

Click for more photos: FLICKR.

090905 – Rye Bread | BBA #19
090909, 10:26 am
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Rye Roll

BBA #19

Woo Hoo!  I love our new camera!  Joe (only half joking) observed that it is going to start taking an extra half hour before meals so that i can take all the pictures i want. We had been looking for a while at getting the Cannon sx1, but Joe found a great deal for our T1i on Slickdeals.

The rye bread did not come out quite like i expected, but it is still good.  I ended up using ‘regular’ rye flour and i think this had a big impact on the final product. Being new to Boston/ Cambridge, i have not quite.  Still, I was glad to make two loaves this week.  I froze the pretty, spiral loaf (wrapped in aluminum foil and bundled in two plastic grocery bags) after letting it cool completely. It had been baked an a loaf pan and was perfectly peaked over the rim.

Roll sans Egg

The second loaf I made marbled, freestanding on a baking sheet with two little rolls (photo above).  I was worried that the rolls (2 of the 12 pieces for the marbled loaf) would be overdone when i cooked them the same time as the loaf, but as you can see they came out great!  For fun, i did one with and one without egg wash.  The wash made a big difference.  Though they both taste good, the one without just looks really dry and stale.  Neither one lasted long.  They were both eaten before they got a chance to cool.

BTW: this bread made some delicious grilled (Vermont cheddar) cheese with onion…

Rye Grilled Cheese

Check our more fab shots taken with our new toy on FLICKR!

090902 – Washington Post Published!
090902, 10:16 am
Filed under: BBA Challenge, FUN

The Washington Post published an article today about the BBA Challenge! (link to article)

Unfortunately the link to my blog was not included, but I am still very excited to have my picture in the Post!

090829 – Light Wheat Bread | BBA #18
090829, 9:41 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, LUNCH | Tags:

Light Wheat Bread

BBA #18

new kitchHere is a shot of my new kitchen! Surprisingly, it has more cabinet space than our last one (even though the apartment is 50% smaller) and i find it is easier to work in. One cook at a time.

I, like a lot of Americans right now, don’t have a lot of expendable income, and so i have not yet bought a copy of the Bread Bakers Apprentice.  I have been checking it out from the library in DC (and then for a short while in Charlottesville).  I have not yet gotten my driver’s license for Massachusetts, and therefore cannot yet get a library card here.  I could not find the recipe for ‘Light Wheat Bread’ on Google BooksPanic.  Luckily, Smitten Kitchen has published the full recipe on her site!  Thanks to her, i am saved for this week, and should be able to get my hands on a copy from now on.  For free.

Also to save money, i did not buy the powdered milk that the recipe called for.  Instead, I substituted 4 T regular milk for 3 T of powdered.  Otherwise i followed the recipe exactly and the bread came out GREAT.  It was a little on the sticky side after 10 minutes of kneading, and approximately an additional 1/2 C of flour (white wheat flour added during kneading).  I sampled a slice while it was still warm and it was delicious with bit of jam on top.  This will also make some excellent sandwiches.  I think next time (there WILL be a next time) I will try adding some sunflower seeds to mimic my favorite bread in Charlottesville – sunflower wheat from Bread Works.

Check out more of my Light Wheat Breadmaking photos on FLICKR!

090820 – Kaiser Rolls | BBA #16
090823, 7:57 am
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DINNER | Tags:

Kaiser Rolls

BBA #16

So far so good! I have been SO glad I decided to do this Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge.  Marathon training is probably the BEST time to be consuming such vast quantities of bread.

I made these rolls for Joe’s and my sendoff dinner that his mother threw us the other night.  She invited my family and his grandparents over for the day before we move up to Boston.  Our ‘vacation’ in Charlottesville went by too quickly!  We did a pretty good job of keeping ourselves busy.  We bought and reapulstered dining chairs, refinished a new bed frame, drove an hour to Lynchburg to buy a lamp at this great little second hand furniture shop called Loft 3F, made pillows, and baked and ate some bread.

Since I wanted to make enough large sandwich rolls for 10 adults, I made a full pâte fermente recipe and 1 1/2 x recipe of the kaiser rolls.  I made these in ONE day, by adding a double yeast in the pâte fermente to speed up the rising process.  This is probably a big no-no, but the rolls came out very well anyway.  After mixing and proofing, the fermente sat i the fridge for about 4 hours.  From there I followed the rest of the Kaiser roll recipe, using a little more than 1 1/2 times the recipe ammount of barley malt syrup.  I baked the rolls for just 14 minutes using the oven’s convection setting and they came out golden brown.  They were a little hard on the outsided but tasty and soft on the inside.

If i were to make thesea again, I would (1) allow time to properly follow the two day recipe and (2) try to mimic a kaiser roll cutter for forming. The method shown on page 82 of looping the dough around looked pretty, but had a tendancy to fall apart.

Homemade BBQ Sandwich

Beef brisket BBQ recipe coming soon!

FLICKR photo link.