Saturday, February 26, 2011

Out of order, but who cares.

Today was our last bread baking class.  (Pictures from last week are on another SD card and will be the subject of another post.) A reporter and photographer from the Courier-Journal came to write a neighborhood feature story on us.  The former was a bit intrusive (seriously, don't talk to me when I'm weighing out ingredients) but the latter was very nice.  We had a conversation about lenses and his beautiful full-frame dSLR.  But anyway...we made whole wheat Irish soda bread in honor of St. Patty's Day.  I learned a few things from this:
1.) Whole wheat flour is not that bad (if it's King Arthur).
2.) I do not like currants.  They tasted too much like raisins, and became bitter after baking.
3.) Some dough is just meant to be soft and wet.  It's hard to resist the urge to add more flour.

 Whole wheat flour has a pretty yellow color and an interesting texture. 
 Mixing the wet ingredients
 Ball o' dough (very sticky and wet)
 Our free-form loaf, decked out with instant oats and currants
 Scoring (by the knife expert in the household)
 Our finished loaf---after we discovered that the currants tasted bitter, I picked them all off. 
All of the finished loaves looked fantastic!  The bread was chewy and tasted like what I imagine a whole wheat biscuit tastes like.  I liked this bread better than the sourdough rye from last week.  Since we didn't have any other lunch, we consumed half of the loaf almost instantly.  o_O
The bread from all four weeks is portrayed in this pretty basket.  I can't take any credit for this styling---the actual photographer arranged it by the window first.

And now, time for some bonus bread!  While we were waiting for the Irish soda bread to come out of the oven, Chef H. demonstrated a fig and aniseed scone twist from Global Baker (except that it wasn't a twist for the sake of time).
 Fig preserves--I was dubious about these, since I have hated Fig Newtons since childhood.  I am very happy to report that these taste far superior, esp. when mixed with Saigon cinnamon and aniseed.  :) 

This was delicious---buttery and sweet, but not overly so, and with a wonderful soft pillowy texture that reminded me of my mom's blueberry streusel.  This would be a great dessert or breakfast offering.

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