Modern Baker Challenge: Yeast-Risen Specialties (Part One)

You may have noticed I have disappeared.  I have (sort of) been keeping up with baking, just not the blogging part.  To prove it, here’s my chocolate babka and my ginger pannetone from the Modern Baker Challenge.

Neither of these turned out exactly right.  In one case, the results were still delicious, in the other case not at all.

First the chocolate babka.  As I may have mentioned before, I have found my doughs made from the Modern Baker to be far too wet.  I don’t know exactly what’s going on–I don’t think it’s something environmental (damp weather, etc) because it doesn’t happen with other recipes.  While this wasn’t fatal to the babka (far from it–I was begging visitors to take the final produce so that I wouldn’t eat it all), it certainly made it nearly impossible to handle.  I wanted to put it in my kugelhopf mold but I barely got it on to a cookie sheet.   Rather than “shape” the dough I did my best to cajole it into something approximating a loaf. Still–sweet dough with chocolate and walnuts?  Of course it was good.  I’d make it again, but I’d have to add a bit more flour!

As for the ginger-scented pannetone–um, it ended up in the trash.  I don’t know what happened.  Was the taste of ginger too strong?  Did I spill excess vanilla in accidentally?  Was I just too distracted while I was kneading to develop a good crumb?  Do I just not like ginger as much as Nick Malgieri (a quick glance through the cookbook certainly indicates he is a fan)?  In any case, I’ll be sticking to my other pannetone recipes in the future. 

Here’s the photo–In this case, it tastes as bad as it looks.


4 thoughts on “Modern Baker Challenge: Yeast-Risen Specialties (Part One)

  1. Wow, the chocolate babka looks good! I was kind of hesitant to make it because I didn’t really like the chocolate babka from Reinhart’s ABED, but now I think I have to give this version a try! Too bad the pannetone didn’t work out.

    • I know–once you start weighing, you just can’t go back. I wish the book said at the upfront: “I assume a cup weighs ‘x’ ounces” so you can do it yourself. I do understand that some people prefer using traditional cups or don’t have a scale, but if you do…

  2. Thanks for the tips. Always fun and educational to see what goes on in other people’s kitchens. That photo of the Pannetone at the end is really wild…wow, I didn’t know a bread could do that, wonder what was up with that…will be interesting to see other posts on this. I have made pannetone before and always had good luck with it…will be interesting to see if I can make this version or not. Your chocolate one looks great!

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