I was really excited to finally have a one-day bread again (I looked ahead and there's only one more one-dayer!), but I started it late last night, so I ended up drawing it out to two days after all. Another reason I was excited is that this bread has been getting pretty yummy reviews from other BBA Challengers.
This bread starts with a sponge made of bread flour, sugar, yeast, and water, which takes 60 - 90 minutes to foam and rise and "look like it's on the verge of collapse." Mine poufed all the way to the top of the bowl in only 60 minutes.
So I mixed everything together: bread flour, sponge, lemon extract, vanilla extract, orange extract, eggs, powdered milk, sugar, salt, and unsalted butter (which I also used in place of the shortening that's called for). I only had to add 1 tbsp of water for the dough to come together. And because I was alone downstairs (the kids were theoretically in bed, although in actuality hubby was playing go-back-to-bed-go-back-to-bed-go-back-to-bed-go-back-to-bed with the little guy), I actually got to knead by hand! The bread was just as described: soft, supple, and very easy to knead. I got a nice windowpane and stuck the dough into my measuring cup to rise. It was supposed to take 2 hours. 2 hours later, after our romantic Valentines dessert/movie were over, the dough had barely moved. So I stuck the whole thing in the fridge and decided to deal with it the next day.
This morning, I pulled the dough out early, and it took a few hours to rise. Then I went to divide it in two, form it into boules, and put it in pie plates. And then I discovered that I only could find one pie plate. So I put 1 lb of the dough into the pie plate. Luckily, I'd read this brilliant idea from a fellow BBA Challenger, so I pulled out my muffin tin and divided the rest of the dough into 1 3/8 ounce mini-boules.
I let these rise for about 5 hours. The minis looked great, but it became clear that the larger loaf was never going to fill the pie plate as it was supposed to.
So I heated up the oven and baked them: 20 minutes for the minis, 35 minutes for the larger loaf. The smell was heavenly.
The result was a soft, fluffy, extremely flavorful bread. Most people have talked about eating this bread with a simple smear of butter. We've always eaten this bread (packaged as Hawaiian bread) with spinach dip or artichoke dip, so I may have to whip some of that up tonight. As a once-a-week French toast household, I will also (of course) have to try that . . . it's on tap for Wednesday night dinner!
Well, I caved to peer pressure (from my husband) and whipped up a quick dip. I enjoy hot artichoke dip in basically all of its forms: with spinach, with crab, with cream cheese. This is not the richest or the best version I've ever had, but it was quick, easy, light(ish), and tasty, and I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand.
Artichoke dip, adapted from this recipe from Bon Appetit
Mix in 2 cup mini-casserole or ramekin:
3 tbsp mayo
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 14.5 oz can of artichoke hearts, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 oz grated Parmesan
1/2 oz grated Asiago
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Top with 1 tbsp additional cheese and broil for 2 minutes.
The sweet of the bread with the salty/savory of the dip was a tasty combination. The artichoke dip also worked well with the last of poolish baguettes.
And then, due to a couple of missteps regarding what we were supposed to have for dinner tonight, we ended up making the bigger loaf of sweet bread into French toast. I don't think this was as good as the French toast we made with the Artos, which I still think was the best French toast ever, but it was pretty tasty.