Peter Reinhart’s Challah

by A.J. Coltrane

Easter called for another Challah, this time I tried Peter Reinhart’s, from his book Artisan Breads Every Day. (Last year was his “Double Celebration Challah“. For comparison, here is my 2nd attempt at Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Brioche, a recipe which I found to be a pain to parse.)

This year’s Challah was […]

What I Had In Mind Focaccia

by A.J. Coltrane

A two-hour focaccia:

I feel like this may have been the best “quick” focaccia yet.

The Tweaks:

3% olive oil in the dough. That’s lower than in oil than most of the focaccias I’ve made in the past. The crumb was lighter than in past attempts, and the bread got a lot […]

Beranbaum’s Bread Bible Basic Brioche — Take Two

by A.J. Coltrane

A brioche for the Pet Store Guy:

What’s interesting is that one side expanded more than the other side. Again:

The slash was down the middle when I made it — that’s how far the “center” shifted as the bread expanded.

So why did one side rise more than the […]

Beranbaum’s Bread Bible Basic Brioche

by A.J. Coltrane

For Thanksgiving I thought I’d try baking Beranbaum’s Bread Bible Basic Brioche.

The recipe is here on Epicurious. The process involves many steps, and I had to re-read it multiple times to parse what she really meant and to make sure that I had the timing right. (For the “loaf”, use Steps 1-6, […]

Bring Your Baguette Dough To Work Day

by A.J. Coltrane

Earlier this week we came into possession of a goodly amount of Chanterelles. As in previous years, that meant we’d pass them along to Iron Chef Leftovers, and he’d cook dinner for us. (More on that later.)

We needed something to sop up sauce, and a regular No-Knead Bread wasn’t going to fit into […]

Tomato Bread

by A.J. Coltrane

We had company the other night, and I wanted to make a short-notice bread. Lacking the time for the flavor to develop on its own, I decided to use tomato puree from the freezer in place of some of the water.

I went for a slightly higher “hydration” bread, with the expectation that […]

Peter Reinhart’s Double Celebration Challah

by A.J. Coltrane

From the Bread Baker’s Apprentice — Peter Reinhart’s Double Celebration Challah. The “Double Celebration” indicates a double-decker of braided dough — a smaller braid sits on a larger braid. I increased the recipe by 1.5x because we were feeding a crowd:

Ingredient Measure Baker’s % Bread Flour 27 oz 100 Sugar […]

More Baguettes

by A.J. Coltrane

I’m finally getting comfortable enough with the baguettes to bring them places and introduce them to friends.

That’s a No Knead on the left that I lightly slashed a couple of times. It wound being a fairly attractive example of the type.

I made six baguettes altogether, in two batches of […]

Encouraging A Better Rise For The Big Sandwich Bread

by A.J. Coltrane

When we’re feeding a crowd I’ll make a big-*ssed sandwich — it’s basically the same size as a sheet tray (18″ x 13″). For the last GNOIF it was … either a ciabatta with a little bit of oil in the dough, or a focaccia with no oil on top and no dimples. It […]

Closer To The Truth Baguettes

by A.J. Coltrane

The middle of December saw the Not-Pretty Baguettes.

Tonight’s are much more photogenic:

The crumb was decent but not exceptional. This may be to be expected given the relatively small diameter of the breads:

Notice how the open spaces are directly down the center — the area that was slashed.


It’s basically […]