BBA Challenge: Artos Bread

The second bread in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is the Artos bread. The Artos is a Greek Celebration bread. Traditionally, this bread is served as a Christmas bread, referred to as Christopsomos bread. In the Christopsomos version, the bread is typically studded with nuts and dried fruit, then formed into boule decorated with a pretty cross. Knowing that the family is not a huge fan of fruity, nutty bread, I chose to do the basic Artos version. The Artos is an enriched and spiced bread.

I learned how to make a poolish with this bread. A poolish is a type of a starter. You combine yeast, water, and flour and let it sit on the counter for a few hours until bubbly ripe, then transfer to the fridge for at least a day until you are ready to bake. This poolish is a precursor on the baking knowledge scale to a more traditional sourdough starter or barm.

As far as putting this bread together, it reminded me a bit of challah until the spices were added. I added cloves, cinnamon, all spice, and almond extract. I formed the bread into a boule. While baking, this bread smelled heavenly. I took it out of the oven. The thing was huge! We cut into it as soon as we could. We were both a bit underwhelmed. It wasn’t a bad bread. The consistency and flavor were spot on. Just wasn’t crazy. That’s ok with me. It was still fun and I learned a bit.

I am excited for the upcoming BBA recipe – bagels. Peter Reinhart’s bagels seem like a step up from the bagels I made a short while back. Hopefully that will fare better to our palates.
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