Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toasts Two Ways: Sauteed Mushrooms with Camembert and Harissa, Artichoke, and Mozzarella

I have some extra bread in the house since I’ve been baking from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I started with the pugliese which didn’t turn out quite right. That bread is made from a wet dough and should be very open in structure with a chewy, holey crumb. The process of making the dough went fine, and it came out of the oven looking great. However, when I cut into the first loaf, I was less than thrilled with a somewhat tight crumb lacking those characteristic, gaping holes. Those two loaves went into the freezer for crouton use at a later date. I moved on to ciabatta with poolish. This is the same style of dough, and again, the bread should have been full of holes throughout the interior. Again, it was less than ideal. This time, the flavor was amazing, the texture was moist as it should be, but the structure was wrong. I’ve double- and triple-checked the recipes to be sure I didn’t skip something or do any step out of order, and I’ve concluded I’ll just need to keep practicing. The flavor of the ciabatta saved it from being doomed to the freezer, and I decided to make some cheesy toasts with it to hide the look of the failed crumb.

I received a sample of Normandie Camembert from Ile de France, and thought the earthy notes of the cheese would pair well with mushrooms. So, for the first of two toasts, I sauteed cremini mushrooms with chopped rosemary and scooped them onto slices of my ciabatta that had been toasted under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil. I added camembert which instantly softened and melted its way around the mushrooms. This was a camembert with character, a red wine kind of cheese, and mushrooms were the right choice to go with it.

The second type of toast is from Donna Hay magazine. I mentioned I had cut several pages from that last issue I read. This toast version was made by schmearing harissa on the toasted bread and then topping it with marinated artichoke quarters and adding fresh mozzarella. Once built, these toasts went back under the broiler so the mozzarella could transform into a deliriously oozy, lovely state. It’s an interesting combination and one I never would have thought to create, but the spicy harissa and marinated artichokes were delicious under the melted cheese. Even if you have perfect bread that can proudly show its face, both of these toppings are worth trying. 

I’m submitting this to Yeastspotting where you’ll find some seriously well-made bread.



28 comments:

  1. This looks sinfully delicious. The cheese,the artichiokes...the bread! Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Magnificent! I'll have one of each please.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm putting these toasts on the list of ways to satisfy sinfully cheesy cravings! Good way to use up bread too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Both look fabulous to me. I had trouble making pugliese too (although not that recipe). This is exactly the reason that people are afraid to make bread!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don't make me choose between the two ways. I'll have them both ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very unique Lisa. I never thought of combining camambert and harisa together.

    ReplyDelete
  7. you just gave me an idea on what to do with mushrooms...

    ReplyDelete
  8. love the sight of the oozing cheese. love both toppings :)~

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ohhhh yes please...., one of each for me too :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wish I had some tips for you regarding the bread baking, but I have to say, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to real serious artisan breads! You've definitely mastered the art of toast-making however. This topping combination sounds glorious!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those are some luxurious toasts daaahling!
    *kisses* HH

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lisa, when I did the BBA CHallenge, both breads (Pugliese and ciabatta) disappointed me as far as the crumb goes. It happened to many of the bakers who made them, so you are not alone. I've made ciabatta from other recipes that turned out a lot better, I do think Reinhart over-proofs and overkneads in many of his recipes (that changed in his new books)

    At any rate, your toasts are mouth-watering....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sally: Thank you! It did seem like a lot of handling for a dough that was supposed to be airy. I'll have to compare the techniques in his new books.

    ReplyDelete
  14. ho my I don't think I can choose! Love mushrooms and love spicy food too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lisa, both toasts look totally divine! I like the mushroom one slightly more.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What do you think is going on with the breads?? os it the recipes themselves? Or something with the weather maybe? I notice that in Florida with a lot of things....

    Anyway, my first thought after looking at your photos was this: why can't we have THIS for lunch every day?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love all the ingredients here - especially the harissa!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sauteed mushrooms are so easy and versatile. I love them like this on crostini or in omelets or as a side to roasts. Hmmm, I could crunch on a few of these toasts quite happily.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wonderful little appetizers and timely too with the holidays coming right up!! I am intrigued by the idea of the harissa with artichoke hearts - have bookmarked this to try soon!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love that mushroom and that meting cheese. I would just eat both :P

    ReplyDelete
  21. How come everyone gets Il de France cheese except moi?
    I got a huge box years ago for winning a contest, and no not a morsel of brie!
    Love your cheese toasts!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Awesome save! Still haven't re-started my frozen mother starter but now that I know what to do with all the crappy loaves I'm sure I'll be turning out for a while, I'm getting closer.
    You should have seen all gallon bags of bread crumbs in my freezer from loaves that didn't turn out on my first attempt at working with a starter!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh wow, I love this, these sorts of snacks I can eat forever. What great combinations.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oooh can these be paired up for a meal in itself? Love the flavors! All they miss is a bottle of wine.

    ReplyDelete
  25. wow!!! this is soooo mouthwatering...beautifully done!
    anything with Camembert is my instant favorite :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. That looks so so good! I LOVE mushrooms. I recently made this portobello mushroom tower and it was so yummy!

    ReplyDelete

Blogging tips