This month the fabulous Bread Baking Babes baked an usual savory offering: Asparagus Bread. At first I was a bit dubious, but then I read further and the bread started to sound better and better. With the adoption of two recommended variations to the recipe I was in business.
- I made a half recipe.
- As soon as I saw that the recipe could be made with part white whole wheat I knew I’d make the loaves that way. I ended up using 150 g bread flour + 100g white whole wheat.
- I had all of the ingredients on hand except for asparagus. The recipe mentions “p. e. spring onions” as an acceptable substitute. I’m not sure about the “p. e.” part, but my refrigerator was harboring some lovely “
- I used the green parts of the spring onions, and sautéed them in a bit of olive oil until lightly browned. Then I simmered them in a splash of white wine until softened.
- This bread was a great place to use black walnuts!
- I tried to drain and dry the arugula as much as possible, and used shredded Parmesan.
- I took a chance on my fresh yeast, and it was still strong after 4+ weeks!
- I mixed and kneaded the dough entirely by hand. It was a bit stiff, so I kneaded on olive oil surface, and wet my hands with water to moisten dough just a bit. After about 10 minutes I had a lovely pliable, elastic dough.
- The recipe makes petite loaves; my single loaf fit my little oval banneton perfectly. I’ve never used the banneton before, and I was excited to see how it would work! I made sure to flour it heavily. After forming the loaf, I placed it seam side up in the basket. I probably should have sealed the seam and tucked the ends a little bit better, as the loaf kept popping open during the second rise! I kept pinching the dough closed.
- The recipe had some interesting baking instructions. As directed, I used a steam pan at the bottom of my oven, and started with the oven at 480 degrees for 5 minutes, then turned the oven down to 390 degrees. I opened the oven to let air in every 10 minutes. My bread tested done at around 35 minutes.
- My bread popped right out of the banneton. Isn't it beautiful?
This was a wonderful country bread filled with savory flavors. It smelled and tasted unusual and delicious. The crumb is sturdy yet moist. I enjoyed the bread warmed with dinner and toasted with an egg for breakfast. My husband took a small piece to be nice but didn’t really care for it. Here’s his direct quote, “I think bread should be bread and vegetables should be vegetables.” Oh, well, more for me!!
I'm sending this bread to Yeastspotting, a wonderful weekly compendium of yeasty goodness.