For our first official Bread Braid, we were to use the Master Recipe in HBin5 and make three separate breads: one loaf, one Epi or Wreath shaped bread and Spicy Whole Grain Snack Crackers. What I love about these HBin5 and ABin5 doughs are that you only have to mix up ONE batch of dough and there are so many things you can do with it.
My younger daughter, who happens to be my favoritist 24 year-old in the WHOLE WORLD, gave me two brotforms for Christmas.(She'd still be my favorite 24 year old even if she didn't get me these - but it didn't hurt!!!) I've been lusting after brotforms for years and finally put them on my list this year. I used them to make my loafs:
The loaves aren't baked in the forms. You generously flour the forms, put the dough in them to rise and then, ever so gently, turn them out onto the baking surface to bake. Gorgeous!
Next up were the Epi and Shaped Wreath. This was a challenge - the technique is hard to grasp through photos (for me anyway.) I gave one to a neighbor and ate the other - just for research purposes of course!!
Last task was the Spicy Whole Grain Crackers. These were a bust for me - both in texture and taste. I definately didn't get these thin enough, so they were chewy - and not in a good way. Others involved in the Braid used a pasta machine to roll the dough extra thin. I didn't like the way they tasted either. This is how they looked:
I had hoped to bring these with me to a New Year's Eve dinner, but they ended up in the trash can - much to my dog's horror!!
The above mentioned favorite 24 year-old daughter also gave me a cookbook for baking with Agave syrup. I've discovered over the past five years that sugar has a really bad effect on the way I feel, both physically and emotionally. I try to limit my refined sugars. I made this Pear Frangipane Tart for my dessert contribution to the New Year's Eve dinner and it was a great hit:
I was very pleased with how it looked and tasted. I highly recommend the book if you are interested in trying agave. Thanks, Weelette, for the great Christmas presents. Love ewe.