Let’s Talk Bread, BLTs, and Local Honey (BBA – Artos)

Only the heel remains from the two loaves of Anadama bread baked several days ago. Although I doubt it will be a staple in our household, the Anadama is an exceptional bread for eating with peanut butter or jam. But where it really shines? The humble BLT sandwich. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better BLT than on that bread. The slight sweetness and corn flavor really complements the tomatoes and bacon, and the added crunch of the cornmeal is just the thing for a sandwich that really relies on an excellent combination of textures. If I’m making bread with plans for BLTs, I can’t think of a better bread!

For breakfast, snacks, and heck! we even ate a slice for dessert last evening, I’m heartily recommending the next bread from the BBA challenge, Artos (Greek Celebration Bread).

Using either a starter or poolish, the recipe takes two days. I went with the poolish, because I don’t feel as if my starter is quite ready for use yet. Among other ingredients, the recipe calls for honey, so into the pantry I went.

More and more of us in the United States (and likely in many other countries also) are privileged to live close to at least one farmer’s market, and sometimes more than one. Most of the honey currently in our home is from one such market we stopped by last year. One booth was devoted entirely to the honeys of Horseshoe Point Honey right here in our town. Like many people nowadays, we put real effort into finding local products, and we were thrilled to find Horseshoe Point! The booth held 8-10 types of honey, all available for tasting. We came home with several, including one my husband wasn’t thrilled with, but my daughter and I adored. Buckwheat honey. Google it and you’ll find the descriptions poetic. Dark, primordial, earthy, and strong are just a few of the descriptors. Others are less generous, mentioning that it smells like a horse barn. Truthfully it does smell haylike. And it’s strong, have I mentioned that yet? But if you’re looking for a honey to bake with (or put into a strong smoky tea), you can’t beat buckwheat! That’s the honey I chose for our version of the Artos Bread.

The poolish was nice and bubbly when I removed it from the fridge yesterday morning, and as it warmed it continued to grow, threatening to spill over onto the counter from the measuring cup. The dough needed a bit more flour than I expected, most likely because it’s pretty damp here at the moment, what with the rain that we’re expecting for the next few days. Toward the end of the kneading, rather than adding the traditional dried fruits and nuts, I went with those we keep on hand because they’re among our favorites: dried blueberries and peaches, as well as 50% salted and roasted cashews. (Thank you, Trader Joe’s!)

Both rises went well, and the end product is nothing short of stupendous! I have to say though that the resulting bread is huge. I may halve the formula should we not go through it as quickly as expected. The only change requested the next time it’s made came from my daughter. Would I please make it with just the fruit next time? Once again, a Bread Baker’s Apprentice bread is delicious, and a hit with the whole family.

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3 responses to “Let’s Talk Bread, BLTs, and Local Honey (BBA – Artos)

  1. Loving the Trader Joe's love. 🙂
    Looks yummy!

  2. The bread looks superb!!

    MMMMMMMMM,…

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