Monday, February 23, 2009

Being a Buddy with Bread

I've wanted to be a Bread Baking Buddy, someone who makes and posts about the bread of the month baked by the Bread Baking Babes, but something always got in the way. This month, just in time for their first Anniversary, I finally managed to carve out the time to do it. It was a good month for it, too. The recipe for the BBB Anniversary Bread is Carol Field’s Pane ai Cinque Cereali con Noci, also known as Five-Grain Bread with Walnuts,Adapted from The Italian Baker by Carol Field.

The Kitchen of the month is Tanna's My Kitchen in Half Cups, which is very appropriate since she is described as the Den Mother of the Babes. The bread is chock full of walnuts, has five yummy grains, and makes a delicious loaf or two. I made both of mine into oval loaves and had them do the final rise and their trip in the oven on a baking pans for these loaves. As a result, they were flatter and wider than sandwich loaves, but really beautiful with two kinds of slashes on the top. One is what I've heard is a traditional wheat grain slash. The other is just diagonal slashes.

Both loaves were given a milk/egg wash and they came out of the oven shiny and brown and gorgeous.

Often when I make bread using the stand mixer I let the dough hook do most of the kneading. This loaf was different, perhaps because the walnuts are added along with the flour near the beginning instead of being kneaded in once the dough is elastic. The dough hook just didn't want to hook up with this dough, so I had fun kneading it for a while.

Once the loaves where shaped I put them in the fridge and went off to work. When I got home they had risen a little, but the most interesting thing was that they looks a bit pale purple. I think that had to do with some chemical reaction to compounds in the walnuts. Once baked the purple hue mostly went away, but it did look weird for a while before baking. Sorry, didn't get a photo...dinner was underway and photos were not encouraged by Sweetie.

This bread is delicious, with a hearty taste from the different grains and some crunch from the walnuts. I was hoping for a stronger walnut flavor. Next time I might use some walnut oil in the dough and maybe even more walnuts. The crumb is good and the bread is moist enough, but not too moist for my taste.

Thank you Bread Baking Babes for a year of bread adventures, even though it was mostly vicarious enjoyment. Guess I'm finally a Buddy.

You can find the recipe at Tanna's blog, My Kitchen in Half Cups. I followed it very closely, using barley flour instead of the rice flour, but otherwise baking the recipe.


  1. How very brilliant to do the milk/egg wash! That would solve the anemic look this bread can have . . . well done!!
    I really enjoyed the walnuts in this one.
    So happy to have you baking with us for this one.

  2. You did a fine job baking these loaves, the taste is really good isn't it. THanks for baking with us.

  3. I absolutely love the flavor of this bread, but I agree - more walnuts are always in order. And I giggled when I saw "yes, another bread post." Nothing wrong with bread, yours looks fabulous!

  4. The wash on the crust was exactly what this bread needed. Brilliant!
    Great job on your loaves,
    Thanks for baking with us!

  5. OH I'm so happy your a buddy this month!!

    My bread was purple too and it stayed kind of purple. Made for an interesting bread pudding.

    Thanks for baking with us this month!

  6. Anonymous2:13 AM

    Yours look so wonderful and not to compact.