I am going to let you in on a secret, I love fruit breads! I don’t buy them often but when I do I skip my normal breafast and eat the toasted bread with the tiniest sliver of butter, my idea of heaven. So when I started flipping through my copy of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread I was overjoyed to see so many wonderful recipes that I could try at home.
So the thankfully for me the second BBA bread is Artos which is a Greek Celebration bread, there are three different varieties – the first is a spiced dough, the second adds some dried fruit and nuts and the last hard-cooked dyed eggs! I choose to make the second one Christopsomos and to shape it as such (the others are a simple boule shape, this adds a fancy cross on top).
The first step is to make a Poolish, which is a starter you make the day before with yeast, flour and water. You mix it up, leave it for 3-4 hours till it goes bubbly and then put it in the fridge overnight. Which is pretty simple for day 1. Mine didn’t look anywhere near as foamy as this bubbly poolish but it did have this consistency when I tried to remove it from the dish.
It’s only now that I have created my second loaf that I realised all the mistakes I made in the first one. When you time 10 minutes it’s a lot longer than you think, especially while kneading dough. I think I got bored quite quickly with the kneading last time, and I would be surprised if I kneaded for longer than 5 minutes let alone 10. I also skipped the windowpane test, which is the test to make sure the dough has been kneaded for long enough.
This time I followed the directions much more carefully, it helped that I had the whole day to knead, proof, shape, proof, then bake the bread, unlike last time when I was too busy, this time the rest of my day could fit around my bread baking.
This time when I sliced it I knew it was much better, it looked so much more like bread that you would buy, it had the right amount of bubbles and the density was much lighter than my attempt at the Anadama bread.
The taste is lightly spiced, and is definitely a bread, unlike the Cherry and Almond Bread I baked recently which is much more like cake.
I see a week full of fruit bread and butter on my horizon, and I am definitely going to make this again – need to get that cross on the top symmetrical!