I made a half recipe of this bread, making 1 very large round-shaped loaf. The final bread was huge, measuring 12" across.
The ingredients: bread flour, barm, olive oil, water, onions, salt, yeast, chives, scallions, and Asiago cheese.
This is a three-day dough, providing that you have the barm made ahead of time: one day for the sponge, one day for mixing and shaping, one day for proofing and baking. Margaret and I finished this together, and as an extra-special treat, Rebecca decided she would help us celebrate by baking it along with us even though she had completed the challenge two years ago. The three of us had a great time baking it on Twitter together, and for the first time, we all pretty much started and ended at the same time, proudly showing off our photos before heading out for the rest of our day.
This was a wonderful bread all on its own, full of flavor with a lovely texture. It didn't need butter or anything. The instructions were to wait "for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving." Do you see all that melty cheese on the top with those onions? Who is going to wait an hour to have a slice of warm bread with melty cheese and onions? I'm happy you agree...we didn't wait either.
This has to be one of my very favorite breads from this book. We ate it all on it's own, made grilled cheese with it, used it for lunch sandwich bread, and we still have a piece or two left. All of it delicious...the cheese and onions remind me of French Onion Soup...and we all know by now that FOS is my final meal...my favorite of all things food. I'm thinking maybe I should have a little of that last piece with French Onion Soup, or do you think that would be overkill? Nah. Definitely a repeat.
The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart is a wonderful book. When I first started baking from it, I knew next to nothing about bread baking. I signed up to do the challenge of making all the recipes in the book, starting at the beginning and continuing through to the end, with an optimistic attitude and not much else by way of skills or knowledge of bread baking. It didn't matter...the breads are not in order of ease (they are in alphabetical order), so early on I had some tough bread recipes mixed in with the easier ones and you know what? I had success with them all on the first try (meaning they all looked pretty great and we enjoyed eating them all)...THAT is a great recipe book, to be successful with the recipes on the first try is amazing. All the recipes worked, all the recipes were delicious...some more so than others, but personal tastes being what they are, that is to be expected. Now that I've finished making all the recipes, it's time to go back again and again and visit my favorites. Which ones are my favorites? Almost all of them...it would be easier to name the one or two that weren't my favorites, but I won't do that as they might be yours and I wouldn't want to influence your decisions on which ones to make or not. Make them all and decide for yourself...a challenge worth meeting.
You can visit the main group and marvel the breads. TA DAH!!! I FINISHED THE ENTIRE BOOK OF RECIPES.