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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BBA Challenge: Pannettone

This week the challenge was Panettone bread. It is traditionally a Christmas bread with roots in Italy. I think this bread took me almost 2 weeks to make. First I pulled my barm out of the freezer. I made it back on the Greek Celebration Bread. I froze it like the book said. After 3 days in the refridgerator it was soft and ready to go into a bowl and I was going to give it a few days worth of feeding and revive it. So I thought....I couldn't revive it..finally I cheated. I added some yeast to it rather than start all over trying to make barm. Once I had some bubbles I had to make another sponge using the barm, milk and flour. I then had to wait another day while that bubbled up. Meanwhile while I was making starter I cut up dried fruits-I used pears, peaches, prunes, craisins, golden raisins and apricots. I added some orange zest also.

I got the dough mixed up, then let it rest for 20 minutes then added the fruit and nuts.

I then put the dough in an oiled bowl and let it proof.

I deflated the dough and added it to a cheesecake pan and let it rise overnight in the pan as it was getting late and I needed to go to bed. I baked it off the next day.

I would liken this bread to more of a cake consistency. It has nice flavor. If I had to choose a holiday bread to make though I would prefer a stollen to pannettone.

Thank you Chris from for hosting our challenges.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

This is my first attempt at Chicago style deep dish pizza. I found an authentic recipe I am excited to share:


1 1/2 packages yeast

1/2 Cup warm water

1 Tbsp. Sugar

3 1/2 Cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Cornmeal

1/4 Cup vegetable oil

1/2 Cup water

Mix the warm water, yeast and sugar together and set aside for the yeast to bloom. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl. Finally add the yeast/water mixture and kneed it to window pane.

Sauce: 1 28 oz Can 6-1 Brand tomatoes

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil

1 tsp Oregano

Salt to taste.

As my family happens to be fans of garlic and spicy food, we added a bit of Frank's Red Hot and about a tablespoon of minced garlic. After finishing the Pizza, my husband recommended adding some sugar as well to the sauce. Once again, all of these add-ins are to taste and your personal preferences.

The key to this sauce is the 6-1 Brand tomatoes-according to my source this is the brand of tomatoes that are used all over Chicagoland. I would agree it made a difference.

Add all the ingredients together and stir, set aside.

Let the dough sit at room temperature until it doubles. Once the dough is doubled kneed it for 2 minutes. Put it in a 14" round pizza pan. Be sure to oil the pan. Let the dough ball rest for 10 minutes.

Using your hand form the dough into the pan.

Once the dough is formed use a fork to dock the dough

Bake the dough at 475 F. for 4 minutes to set the dough. Brush the dough with olive oil.

Cover the bottom of the dough with sliced mozzerella

Next add the toppings-I used pepperoni that is purchased at a local Italian speciality store...Fraboni's.

Cover the pizza with some shredded mozerella cheese.

Add the sauce.

We also added some grated parmesan to the top of the pizza.

Bake the pizza the first 5 minutes at 475 on the very bottom shelf of the oven to get the crust really crisp. After 5 minutes move the pizza to the middle shelf and bake for 30 minutes.

BBA Challenge: Pane Siciliano

This weeks challenge was Pane Siciliano. It takes 3 days to make this. First you make a pate fermentee. The next day you mix the dough and add the pate fermentee. The third day you form it. As you can see from the pictures the dough really grows. I think I could have not had all 3 on the same baking sheet for when I make this again. I still like the basic french bread best so far. Check out other attempts of Pane Siciliano at our host's website:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BBA Challenge: Pain de Campagne

This week I made Pain de Campagne. I made the pate fermentee a few days ago. I left it in my refridgerator to proof. I brought it out and let it come to room temperature and cut it into 10 pieces. I then added it to the other ingredients in the mixing bowl. I mixed it together and did much hand kneeding also and let it proof in an oiled bowl.

I cut the dough into 3 pieces and decided to do the tradtion bread form called Fendu which means split bread.

I formed a baguette

I put a dowel into the dough

I floured the inside of the cut and repeated the process one more time.

I flipped the bread over to proof. I put it on floured parchment paper.

Once the bread proofed I flipped it back over and baked it on a stone.

The flavor was OK but was not as wow as when we did the French Bread. Thank you Chris from for hosting our challenges.

BBA Challenge: Light Wheat Bread

I did this challenge on a very hot day. The heat index was over 100 degree's. I thought I would see what happened when I proofed my dough outside. I had to add about 3/4 cup extra water to this recipe. I have a technique problem with this recipe. In the book all ingredients are added at one and mixed and we are told to add more water when needed. The thing is it is hard to get more water into already formed dough. I feel the better technique would be to hold back flour and slowly add the last 2 cups so that the dough could be more controlled. The dough was very stiff and I think that caused the tight crumb. The flavor was nice though. Thank you Chris from for hosting our challenges.

I added some melted butter to the top of the loaf as soon as it came out of the oven.