Monday, October 04, 2010

Buttermilk Pot Style Bread

This is it, my final no knead bread before having to return the book to the library. I thought I was going to be sad about it. In fact, I had been searching to buy a used copy online because I think it would be a great reference. Plus, I wanted to continue my quest to make a new bread every week to 10 days, rather than shell out the $$ to buy a loaf at the store.

Initially, I thought it was me but after making three different loaves, I'm convinced the recipes are good, but not the best.

I started with Peasant Style Pot Bread, probably the best of the three I made from this book. It was like eye candy. Beautiful to look and the scent that filled my home was wonderful. It But like some eye candy, it lacked depth. It had good, if slightly salty flavor. Not as good as the almost no knead bread.

The second was the French walnut bread. Not sure what made it French but I loved the use of walnuts. This bread was good but still not great. In fact, it was not as good as some nut breads I've purchased at the store. A negative for me was the difficulty in stirring the nuts into the dough before the 2nd rise. The nuts were not evenly distributed, and ultimately I believe this affected the loaf.

For my final hurrah (3 week limit at the library) I chose the buttermilk pot style bread because the picture was stunning. Light colored bread flecked with coarse salt, it was perfection. That should have been my tip off. You see, the picture and the description of the recipe did not jive, namely, the recipe said to bake the bread until it was deep brown. The picture of it was not even close to deep brown, it was more like the color of corn bread but slightly lighter. Once again, I had difficulty stirring in the buttermilk powder after the 1st rise. In fact, I had to use my hands to knead it in. I thought this was no knead bread! It was nearly impossible to stir in the powder. I mostly got it in but where it didn't, after it was baked, there were small yellow chunks, almost like the consistency of yolk in the hard boiled egg, on the softer side.

The loaf was not as light and as airy as I thought it would be. It was a little dense and soft. I would skip the coarse salt. It makes the bread look great BUT where you get a bit of coarse salt, you also get a large dose of saltiness. Not good. So after a few days, I picked off all the salt and that helped. It makes really great toast.

I recommend checking out the book at your local library, and trying some of the recipes. Start with a simple one just to gain your confidence and to realize how little work is required to make bread. I learned a lot. I continue to make bread every 10 days or so. Until Cook's Illustrated makes another no knead or almost knead bread, I'll continue with their original recipe. Love it.


Dishesdone said...

Great looking loaf! I have yet to try the no knead recipe, but I don't know what I'm waiting for, it looks delicious!

Katerina said...

Hi Nirmala, I don't know about taste but your bread looks very crunchy. Regarding the mini bundt cake I don't know how to adjust the bake time but I'll tell you what I would do. I would divide the mix to as many as is needed and then after the first 15 minutes, I would start to insert a touthpick every 3 minutes until the toothpick is moist but not with crumbs. I only assume that for a mini bundt cake you will need around 20 to 25 minutes. I don't if I was of any help. I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nirmala! I've been enjoying your bread posts- I'm a baking addict these days.
I haven't tried these recipes, but I have a couple thoughts that might help with some of your problems. For the French one, the best way to get some substance into a bread mid-rise is usually to flatten out the dough (hands or rolling pin), then add the nuts or whatever and roll it up.
For the buttermilk, I'm astonished the recipe said to add it so late. I've always seen it added with the dry ingredients when you're mixing the dough. Even then, I've found it's a good idea to sift it as it does get very clumpy.
Hope all's going well for you outside the kitchen :)

Rita said...

I love that photo; it does look good and rustic like it should. I enjoy making bread; I have to used the brad machine to do the workk but usually shape and bake it in teh oven. I have been studyin thse no knead bread, but never had the courage to try them. I admire for giviing it a shot.

Joie de vivre said...

I love previewing cookbooks by checking them out from the library. I've found some really good ones there, but also some that I thought would be good but I didn't really like. You can always check out the same book again next week! :)

Pam said...

There is nothing better than fresh baked bread.

Simply Life said...

another amazing bread! This looks like a great book - I love getting books from the library! You can always photocopy the recipes you're still hoping to try!

Stella said...

Yum Nirmala, that's a very nice looking rustic loaf of bread. I wish I could tear off a piece and have it with some vinegary salad right now;)
Hey, I was wondering if you have ever done a sourdough starter? I want to do one, but I'm a bit intimidated:(
p.s. Are you going to post the homemade pita? I like the idea of that!


I love that use make good use of the library! The breads have been utterly amazing--can't wait to see what else you've got up your sleeve!

Joanne said...

I used to cook with a lot of no-knead breads but, and I hate to say it, kneaded breads are way better. You should try some! THey're really not that much more difficult than no-knead and they taste great!

Julie M. said...

Despite how they tasted, they are definitely beautiful loaves! This final one takes the cake!

Even if they weren't the best tasting loaves, everything you learned about baking bread probably made it worth it. I've really enjoyed reading about all your adventures in no knead baking.

Design Wine and Dine said...

This bread looks amazing! I would love this mother too as she's always trying "no kneads" too! Rustic and wonderful...the color perfect!

Ameena said...

I have not had good experiences making bread. Frankly, ever single recipe was kind of a disaster.

I am jealous of your bread-making skills! I have a ridiculous craving for a rustic loaf of bread right now.

♥peachkins♥ said...

That is a beautiful bread!

Anu said...

Lovely Recipe...i have a surprise for you in my blog..

Foodessa said... do I count the ways of sharing your mild frustration and disappointment in some recipe books. Over the years I've waisted much food and valuable time on lack lustre recipes that were not proven but quickly rushed to publishing!

As I've mentioned before...we still buy our artisanal bread from a great bakery...however, yes...I'd love to dive in myself to get that baked bread smell in my home too.

Thanks for sharing your experiments ;o)

Ciao for now,

nancy at good food matters said...

Hi Nirmala--Well, YOUR bread is EyeCandy, too. The look of that loaf, coupled with the word Buttermilk, caught my attention. Sorry it did not meet your expectations, but this is how we learn! I think that Meryl's suggestion about adding the buttermilk powder sooner is worthwhile. I also like to knead bread, and think that there's something in manipulating the dough by hand that can give it depth.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Nancy