Last week I was proud of myself for the delicious Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes. This week I am blown away by the amazing Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche. I only wish I was at my house at some point when it was light enough out to get a decent picture of this bread.
I started off this bread in a panic. I had refreshed my starter for the first time in over a month and it seemed to go OK. When I made the sponge (day one of three that it takes to make this bread) it sat out for over 8 hours without so much as a bubble letting me know that it was alive. I was worried that my starter, which I have been cultivating for five months. Luckily Daniel advised via Twitter that it is really difficult to kill a barm, so I gave it another shot before burring it in a private ceremony. It worked. I used about 1/4 c. more water the second time, which seemed to do the trick.
Once it was bubbly I put it in the fridge and waited for day 2. On the second day I roasted the onions and made the dough. Once it had risen once I put it in the fridge to rest over night. Then I waited a five hours and decided to cheat. I pulled one of the loaves out of the fridge and let it proof for two hours. After that I painted it with olive oil and poked it down with my fingertips (sometimes bread making is like kindergarten). Once it was sufficiently poked I covered it in asiago and roasted onions.
It smelled divine while it was baking. I patiently pulled it out of the oven and waited an hour for it to cool. I busied myself with making creamless creamy tomato soup so I wouldn't be too tempted.
After an hour I cut into it. I was rewarded with intensely flavored bread. The top layer of cheese created a crunchy crust. Perfect for dunking in soup.
This bread is the last bread in the Bread Baker's Apprentice. I cannot believe it's already over. I have loved almost every minute of it. I never imagined I could make the breads that I have made. I have much more confidence as a baker now.
I'm not done with my resolution of baking a loaf of bread a week. I'm sure I'll be pulling this book out again soon. I have Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads, which I plan to explore in depth at some point. I had planned on sticking with breads that can be made from start to finish in an afternoon, but with winter coming I could use an excuse to stay in all weekend and bake.