It’s a pain to read through the first time, but the recipe is actually pretty easy. I am discovering that the secret to the kind of bread I like is something called a “pre-ferment”, and I’ve been playing with the poolish kind.
If you have a kitchen aide, this is really easy. You just need to be home on a Saturday til about midday.
You just read the recipe, right? Now, of course I cheat. Because Karen. I make the poolish in the bowl of the Kitchen Aide Friday afternoon when I get home from work, and cover it with wax paper and a bread towel. When I wake up Saturday, I pop it on the mixer with the bread hook and follow the steps. Except, when she says to pull and fold the dough, I give it a spin for thirty seconds in the bowl, and just toss the bread towel over the mixer between times. Why? Because it’s much neater, and I don’t have to either a) leave my counter crusted in flour for four hours, or b) clean the damn thing off every 45 minutes for four hours.
This recipe makes a nice loaf that has a firm, moist inside and nice crust. I throw the bread towel over the loaves as soon as they come out of the oven so the crust isn’t too too hard. Give John Frum’s blog a read – he has an amazing amount of knowledge.
I’ve been seeing this puppy hopping about on Pinterest. Four hour baguette! The pictures looked so credible – surely it must be true! So easy! So fast!
This was some delicious white bread. But, francophile with a respectable amount of Parisian experience that I am, I simply cannot call this a baguette. A baguette is more than a shape – it’s a specific weight, and crust, and texture. And you can’t achieve those things in four hours, which I knew on the inside when I decided to try the recipe. But hope springing eternal and all that crap.
Bread snobbery aside, this is a really good bread. We enjoyed it with some chorizo lentil soup. Then gave lots to the neighbors so it wasn’t in the house.
Try it. Keep the dough a little stickier than your comfort level, though.
You see, two weeks ago I made some asiago and ham scones with pear honey for the office. Only the scones were *way* too sweet. I needed a remix, a scone redemption if you will. And I had this gorgeous thyme in the fridge….
This will be a quickie post – not a lot to it. Got the recipe at Marmiton [link removed 6/1/24 – it is getting me spaminated]. Used a cast iron skillet in a 500* convection oven.
It was….fine. And, btw, that cheese wedge is that new vegan brie-compatible,White Alder. It, too, was…fine. Had it not cost the week’s coffee money (since it is only available at Whole Paycheck), I might have been more impressed. But, to be able to have a cheese-like substance in our house is a good thing.
Put a cast iron skillet in the oven, and preheat it to 500*. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk til smooth - should be the consistency of crepe batter. Add more ice water as needed.
Once the oven's hot, take out the skillet, brush some olive oil to make a thin coat. Pour in half the batter and smooth it out - it should not exceed 1/8" thick.
Bake about 7 minutes - you'll know when it's done. The edges will pick up and the top will be dull and perhaps golden. Pop that bad boy out of the skillet, oil it again and put in the second half of the batter.
Eat immediately, cut in to squares and liberally sprinkled with fresh ground black pepper.
I have a deep dark secret. I cannot throw away a banana. When they go brown in our house, in to the freezer they go. Then, one day I open the freezer and it’s like they were banana tribbles. When the hell did all those naners get in there?! Oh, wait. Right. So….time to make some banana bread it is.
Betty Crocker has this amazing BB recipe that I’ve barely tweeked. It’s really yummy, dense and moist and full of bananaloids. It comes together lickity quickity.
Having good, solid tools for cooking makes the process easier and more fun. In that vein, I am always on the lookout for serious quality bakeware. Home Goods is a great place, especially around the holidays. I love my Chicago Metallic pans – they are serious shit. Heavy. Nonstick. Steel. I reduce my temp by 15* to the recipe because of their dark finish, but they are awesome.
Sprinkled with sugar. They get so sparkly!
And now, the whole house smells great. Waiting for these babies to cool and slice seems like it will take forever.
Alrighty – two beautiful loaves. One for us, one for the neighbors (you remember the neighbors, the ones who bring us all the goodies from M-O-M? Yeah, gotta take care of each other.)
Banana Nut Bread
Beautiful, moist and buttery with good banana flavor
3/8/2015 – Well, this sucks. This post was hacked and deleted, and I don’t have a back up. Stupid hack fucks. At least we still have pictures, and honestly this is the same scone base I always use, just with two Tbsp clementine zest and 1/2c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries added and skip the lemon and pistachio, and the glaze is made with the juice from those clementines.
Oh, holy shit ya’ll. I just tried this fantastic cracker recipe from the Oh Dear Bakery blog. Instead of the Italian seasoning, I used a littled dried minced garlic and TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, and added some coarse black pepper on top with the salt. These are fast. And addictive. Make at your own risk. I could not stop eating them as I was shooting. Bill said they’re yummy. Well, I’m off to make a whipped cream cheese with lemon zest, dill and shallots to schmear on these fuckers. And to taunt Bill, obviously.
Make these. They’re awesome.
They put the crack in cracker.
Crunchy herby bits of addictive goodness that are mix to eat in half an hour.
1/3 cup olive oil plus about a tablespoon for sprinkling on top
Sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to sprinkle on top
Preheat your oven to 450*. Throw everything except the sprinkles in the kitchen aid with the paddle. Mix 30 seconds, or until dough forms. Divide in to two balls. Take a sheet of parchment the size your cookie sheet, and roll that dough to about 1/8" keeping it as rectangular as possible. Repeat with the second ball. Drizzle on the last Tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with the sea salt and the course ground pepper. With a pizza wheel, gently slice each lengthwise to get 6-8 strips. Then take a fork and lightly score the strips about every 1/2" or so.
Bake 10-ish minutes - they should be golden brown and smell done. When they're cool, break the strips in to cracker-sized chunks.