Friday, April 16, 2021

Bread Baking Babes: Olive Oil Wreath



This month’s Kitchen of the Month is Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories.  Our challenge was to make a bread wreath using a lovely olive oil dough.  My personal challenge was the shaping part.

While I made the full recipe for the biga, I halved the recipe for the actual wreath, primarily because I don’t have any counter space that is 42” long.  Using a 21” strand of dough  gave me the opportunity to make the loaf several times, experimenting with the shaping part.  (Although I should have also scaled down the cutting distance from 3” to 1 ½”.  That occurred to me at 3 am one morning.)

The first test was forming the wreath, letting it rise, then making the cuts just before baking.  I have this fear of deflating the dough when I cut or score, and I’m sure that did happen, because the dough just didn’t seem to rise that much.


The second test was forming the wreath, making the cuts, then letting it rise.  This turned out to be a puffier loaf, but the cuts sort of blended together instead of being more separate.  The crumb was better than the first loaf.  And, if you squint, you can imagine the wreath shape.


For the third test, I used the remaining biga and made a whole loaf (no wreath), and I did the scoring before letting it rise.  I was happy with the result, but I’m still struggling with scoring time:  before or after rising?  I don’t understand how bakers can make intricate designs and not deflate the dough.


That said, this is a great dough for any shape of bread.  I’ll continue to work on my scoring/cutting so they don't look so demented.

If you’re interested in baking along with us, go to Karen’s blog for the recipe, and send her your information by April 29th to be included in the Buddy roundup.


I'm also sure you will enjoy seeing what the other Babes made!




hobby baker Kelly said...

Boy I hear you on the lack of 42 inches! I got out my tape measure and was pushing things back and trying to find any section that long. Just barely had it. I love how your boule turned out! My wreath didn't puff very much but there was a point where the finger dent puffed right back out and I took that as good enough to snippy snip. I'd kind of like to practice that technique some more just on the traditional pain d'epi baguette shape, just to get the angle and the "almost all the way through" worked out.

Elizabeth said...

42 inches? Was there something about 42 inches in the recipe? (Ha. And I imagined I had read through the recipe really well and would pass every test about its contents.)

Your wreaths are wonderful! I love how demented they look - mostly because you achieved points on the cuts.

I know what you mean about scoring. I made a wreath and a boule. The wreath cutting was pretty much terrible. The boule scoring turned out to be invisible.

Quel relief that the bread tastes good.

Karen said...

I probably should have mentioned that you can make two 21 inch ropes and join them together, lol. I'm pretty bad at scoring but somehow have mastered the scizzors, lol! Thanks for baking along.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I feel I have failed to score as well. I try to console my self that practice does give great tasting bread if not beautiful bread. So I practice 😉
42 inches of counter can be a challenge. I used to have a butcher block breakfast table that I could use; one of the best parts of that was it was the perfect height for shortie me to knead.
Love all your experimenting!

Cathy (Bread Experience) said...

I had some epiphany's about this bread at 3am in the morning as well. Now, why didn't I think about rolling out two 21-inch pieces. You got some good oven spring for sure and your crumb looks lovely.

Katie Zeller said...

But it was good to eat, right? Nothing else counts ;-)