Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Bread Bomb

Usually, when we unveil a recipe, what you see is the (hopefully) beautiful and tasty end result.  But sometimes, the process of recipe development and testing can be so disastrous that it's funny.  Witness my bread bomb in the photo above.  Call it the ugly side of recipe testing no one ever gets to see...until now.  I couldn't resist sharing this flop.

For more than a month now, I've been working on developing a new recipe for sandwich bread.  By design, the yeast bread in our cookbook is quite hearty.  We love it, but it's also not the best when you're looking to smear some PB&J between two slices of fresh bread.  Hence, I set out to create a pretty drastic variation of our standard yeast bread, aiming to create something I'm calling "sandwich bread."

Versions 1.0 and 2.0 were steps in the right direction.  When tweaking a new recipe, we'll typically adjust only one or two variables in a recipe at a time, so that we have a clear understanding of how that change affected the final outcome.  But for version 3.0, pictured above, I decided to throw caution to the wind.  I changed 3 or 4 major variables, and not by just a little bit.  Curious to see what would happen, I basically pushed them to the opposite extreme of where they had been.

My intention was to create a very wet, loose bread dough that would rise easily and be light and airy once baked.  Well, it rose too easily, basically exploding over the top of the bread loaf pan.  After the photo was taken, it then completely collapsed back in on itself.  So in a sense, version 3.0 both exploded and imploded (no small accomplishment).  All I can say is, thank goodness I had the foresight to put a cookie sheet in the oven under the loaf pan.

Version 5.0 is now complete, and as you can see, it's a huge improvement.  It was essentially a rush to the middle - a compromise between versions 1.0 and 2.0, and versions 3.0 and 4.o.  At this point, it's very close to being ready to share.  Version 6.0, and at the very latest, version 7.0 should be the final version posted here on NGNP.  Stay tuned!

- Pete

21 comments:

Camille said...

I'm totally excited about this! All I can think about is a fluffy slice of bread that can be made into a lovely sandwich! Thanks for all your hard work, and the ensuing clean up!

woolie_pieces said...

Thanks for sharing the pic of Version 3.0 - it's good to see that good, tastey recipes have works and flops in their history.

I just got your cookbook and have loved it so far, and I'm eager to try out the new recipe when you share it.

Excellent foresight with the cookie sheet.

theMom said...

This reminds me of the accident I had once that my kids nick-named Elephant Bread. This was back in the gluten baking days. The bread rose so far, it hung over the edges. But being glutinous, it didn't fall all over, just hung and held on. Not wanting to waste the ingredients, I baked it anyway.

The finished product when sliced, from the minds' eye of my children, looked like the profile of an elephant. The tail was the dough hanging off one side of the pan; the other side, being a bit thicker, represented the trunk.

I can't wait to read about the final product.

bakingbarb said...

I swear I'm not laughing! My first attempt at gluten free baking looked a lot like that.

peterbronski said...

Thanks Camille! Fortunately, in this case the "clean up" was edible. =)

Hi Wookie... Glad to hear you've enjoyed the cookbook! I think that gluten-free baking has more "flops" than any other kind of cooking. But once you sort it out, oh boy it's tasty.

Hey theMom... Thanks for sharing your story about Elephant Bread! It made me smile. =)

Hi BakingBarb... Feel free to laugh away! We certainly did!

Cheers, Pete

Deanna said...

I love reading posts like this. It's refreshing and empowering to know that even the best have utter disasters. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your recipes. I wonder if you have any bread recipes that substitute baking soda for yeast?

peterbronski said...

Hi Deanna... Are you taking pleasure in our pain? =) Glad you enjoyed the Snafu!

Hi Anonymous... Off the top of my head, I don't think we do. But I'll double check with Kelli. If it turns out we don't, I'll add it to our list of recipes to develop!

Cheers, Pete

Marilyn said...

How did you get this picture of my oven? I share your pain & am looking forward to the recipe!

Love the cookbook.

peterbronski said...

Hi Marilyn... It's the funniest thing. My oven door is apparently an inter-dimensional portal that leads to the kitchens of other gluten-free foodies! =) Glad you love the cookbook!

Cheers, pete

gfe--gluten free easily said...

I laughed when I read this and even more when I saw the photos (pictures never show up in my feed, even when I hit display images). Thanks for sharing! Brilliant on placing that cookie sheet below ... you must have had a sense of foreboding to do that.

Shirley

peterbronski said...

Hi Shirley... You know, it's funny. I've never before placed a cookie sheet beneath a loaf of bread I'm baking. But for whatever reason on that day, I decided it would be a good idea. I lucked out! =)

Cheers, Pete

Pat said...

I've made this bread recipe a number of times now since you posted it and it has turned into a family favorite. I love how easy it is to make and the short rising time. Even the non-gluten-free eaters like it! When's the next cookbook coming out?

peterbronski said...

Hi Pat... So glad you've enjoyed the bread recipe! An announcement about the next cookbook should be coming in the next several weeks.

Cheers, Pete

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Be glad you had that pan underneath! That always happens to our apple pies.

Katieburst said...

This was a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. It helps me not to get too stressed when trying new recipes. I am not the best cook, so I am bound to make mistakes. I will definitely remember to have something under my bread pans, just in case! Haha.

peterbronski said...

Hi Katie... Yeah, we all make mistakes from time to time! That uncertainty - especially in baking - is part of the fun! =)

Cheers, Pete

livesimply said...

Can I use whole milk instead of 2%? I'm wanting to make it today. Thanks!

peterbronski said...

Hi LiveSimply... Whole milk should be just fine!

Cheers, Pete

Lizel said...

The other question is, we do not have potato flour. Only potato starch. Can I use chick pea, soya or tapioca flour instead? I am desperate to bake a bread, because you cannot buy any gluten free stuff here. We are years behind the rest of the world....

Thank you very much, regards
Lizel

peterbronski said...

Hi Lizel... Follow the instructions in this post for substituting alternate ingredients for the potato:

http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/2010/04/artisan-gluten-free-flour-blend.html

Happy baking!
Pete