Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bread Baker's Apprentice: 20/43: multigrain bread extraordinaire

Multigrain bread extraordinaire!

Such a name deserves an exclamation point. I think all breads should have such names: casatiello magnifique! Kaiser rolls eleganza! English muffins especial! However, sadly, in his excellent The Bread Baker's Apprentice, bread enthusiast and expert baker Peter Reinhart opts for the more sensible, straightforward names: casatiello. Kaiser rolls. English muffins.

Until you get to page 187, where for some reason Reinhart was moved to title his multigrain loaf, "Multigrain bread extraordinaire." It seemed a little randomly enthusiastic, especially for a nutritious bread that might not otherwise inspire such joie de vivre. Speaking for myself, I tend to get a little more excited by, say, a brioche made with enough butter to fill the business end of a dump truck. Brioche extraordinaire! That, I could expect.

But then I made the dough for the extraordinary multigrain bread. And in its bountiful rustic healthful glory, it rose so high atop its pan as to make me blush a little.

I baked it, and witnessed its surprisingly soft crumb flake away from its delicate crisp crust. I then took Reinhart's advice: "This bread...makes the best toast in the world." I browned a few slices in the trusty toaster oven, anointed them with an "appropriate" amount of salted Irish butter, and promptly enjoyed the best toast in the world.



The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge asks that we do not share Peter Reinhart's recipes, no matter how extraordinary or pedestrian. But you have the book. So turn to page 187 already!


Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:

One year ago: crispy chicken tacos
Two years ago: mustard chicken in phyllo
Three years ago: cream of mushroom soup


Rosemary & Garlic said...

This is one of my favorite breads from the book, we all dove it.

Anonymous said...

If you've read any of Peter's other books (Brother Juniper, Bread Upon the Water), you'll know that he has a special affection for struan. He centers the allegory of bread baking in Bread Upon the Water on a multigrain recipe, and he has featured a recipe for some form of it in nearly every one of his books. Having made several of his struan recipes, I understand why. It's such a wonderful bread. And, yes, it does make the best toast!

Unknown said...

I'd like to comment, but I can't get excited about bread with sticks and stones in it. How about some good old Italian bread for the old man.

Dianne said...

Maybe, just maybe, if you are lucky, you will get some sticks- and stone-less Italian bread for your birthday this week. Maybe.

Jim Biscardi said...

Dianne the loaf looks delicious, I have made multi grain breads before and they are full of flavor and texture.This recipe is our next challenge in our group, hosted by Chris at akuindeed.
I did notice in the light wheat bread recipe the amount of dough was too large for the suggested pan.Two pounds of dough requires a 9x5 or 2 7x3 pans. With the multi grain ,looks like that is the same issue with pan size,thus the bread has a huge top,it has no where to go but up.

Jim Biscardi said...

Opps! put my foot in my mouth again!Just read the recipe and it does call for a 9x5 pan, when I make it, I'll weigh the dough and see from there which pan would be best.Also since there is no photo given we dont know what it is intended to look like.

Dianne said...

Jim, I used my pullman loaf pan that day, just because I felt like it. I'm not sure of its dimensions, but I know it's not 9x5. So I'm not surprised that I got the rise I did!

Dianne said...

Oh, that looks sooo good!!!