Monday, March 2, 2015

Rustic Italian Bread

Hi friends! Greg and I made this Rustic Italian Bread as a fun weekend project! We were doing some stuff around the house and figured – why not? We had all the ingredients and had some free time. The bread needs to rest for an hour to an hour and a half each time, so there is definitely some waiting around time needed.

We used the recipe from our favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen. We had previously made dinner rolls from this cookbook for Christmas Eve last year, and they were phenomenal! We’ve also made a Holiday Bread Wreath for 2 years now and it’s a family favorite! Recipe from Food Network Magazine (see post here). So we have a little bit of bread making experience.

In terms of appearance and presentation, this bread is impressive! It rose very nicely. I scored the X on top a little too big, i'll know better for next time. In terms of taste, it was just good. Not great. I think it was a little bit dry. We sliced some and tried it with some olive oil and cheese and it was great. Tasting it alone left a little to be desired. I'm not sure if it was the recipe or us, but it didn't give us the WOW factor that we were looking for.

Another thing was the parchment paper. We baked the bread on our pizza stone. The cookbook said to leave the bread on the parchment paper to bake. I even trimmed the paper so it didn't hang over the edge of the pizza stone and burn. However, when it came time to transfer the bread to the cooling rack, the parchment paper was completely baked onto the bottom of the bread! We just cut off the bottom and it was fine, but I don't think I will bake on the parchment paper next time.

All in all it's a fine bread, just not EXCELLENT. There are variations of this bread within the cookbook, so perhaps we will try one of those next - bread baked with rosemary, nuts, etc.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

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