Photo courtesy of Elle from Pancakecroissants
This month the Bread Bible Alpha Bakers tackled the Ricotta Loaf. A simple and sort of quick bread to make. The ricotta gives the bread a different texture and taste which some of the bakers liked and some didn't. I was one of those who didn't quite care for it but it did smell amazing while it was baking.
Let's start off with Elle who took that awesome picture you see. I don't think it's quite fair that she has such a great little helper in the kitchen. Elle chose to do the free form version of the bread and I think it looks great. She also had a little help from her Mom, Vicki, who suggested making an aluminum boat to hold the ice cubes. Genius! Elle thought the bread was decadent and dipped it in Earl Gray tea with cream & sugar, of course.
Vicki, Elle's Mom described the loaf as not a fluffy yeast bread, not a dense tea bread but somewhere in the middle with a flavor all its own. She tried it with some lemon curd she just happened to have in the freezer. (Don't we all?) The bread was good, it's very good, too good with jam and even better with lemon curd.
The person who had the most help with the loaf had to be Patricia. Her daughter actually made the dough since Patricia had to teach a cooking class. After much struggling with the food processor, her daughter wound up kneading the dough by hand. She forgot the salt but they figured they could just knead it in when it had risen. The poor dough was tossed in and out of the refrigerator for 3 days just waiting to be baked. When it finally came out of the oven, it was beautiful. Also very tasty because it didn't last long.
My favorite post came from Marie. Remember, she's baked all these recipes once before. The second time around for this one was just as good as the first time. Unfortunately her food processor died but as Marie put it, for a good cause. The first time making it, Marie opted to not slather the bread with the melted butter, being health conscious and all. This time, butter! Her new motto - "When you're 70, you can do whatever you want to." The caveat to this is you have to actually be 70.
Our over-achiever of the group, Kim did some experimenting and actually made 2 loaves. Not really on purpose but rather because she started with the wrong flour. I've never done that before :( Anyway, she used both unbleached bread flour and unbleached AP flour. The recipe called for AP flour. I thought her experiment was cool and it seemed that the bread flour loaf rose higher, was heavier but had a more open crumb. Unfortunately, Kim didn't like it enough to make it again but the experiment was awesome!
Nancy decided to add a little extra butter but the food processor wouldn't have any of that. So Nancy had to knead the dough by hand. She thought the loaf had a lovely even crumb and wonderful flavor. I want to go to her house for breakfast because she had the best breakfast. Sliced ricotta loaf with leftover ricotta, arugula and a fried egg. Nom, nom!
Dense and delicious! Handsome? Why yes! That's what Catherine thought of the bread especially after the coat of melted butter. In my mind, butter makes everything handsome!
Kristina had my thoughts exactly. There are not a lot of photo opportunities when all the ingredients are white, more white and brown. Unless there is a pop of color - eggs! She thought the bread had good flavor and served it with butternut squash soup. That sounds mighty tasty.
Finally, Faithy thought the dough had moon craters in it. What a fun description. She thought it was a cross between a scone and bread. It tasted good but Faithy prefers a more fluffy, cottony bread that will last at least 2 days. Precisely!
So another month in the books. Next month it will be the Prosciutto Ring. A "meat loaf", hehe!