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Posts from the ‘Yeast Breads’ Category

Hot Cross Buns

Last year I made hot cross buns, I liked them so much that they have become an Easter tradition. The recipe I made last year was really good,  but I’m always on the hunt for one that could be better. I use King Arthur Flour and love their recipes. My go to dinner rolls are from their site and they are the best, last years hot cross buns were also a King Arthur recipe.  In reading over this recipe I noticed that there is very little rising time involved, 45 minutes for the first rise and 20-30 minutes for the second rise, thats it. I chose to make them on a warm day to make the rise that much easier. The dough comes together quickly, it’s a very wet dough and now I know why they say to use a scoop and plop them in muffin tins, it does give the option of making them free form in a round pan (I chose that option). If you make them be warned the dough is hard to handle, it’s very sticky and soft. I first oiled my hands to try to form the balls and then changed to flour and let me tell you my hands were a sticky mess. I can deal with that but it makes forming the dough balls difficult. The recipe makes 18, I made them larger and it yielded 14. They also are not exactly round, sort of mishapen but they are very soft and fluffy.

Both recipe’s are similar in technique, I like the use of potato flour in these rolls, potato always yields a very soft moist roll, the flavor is good, however I liked the look of the other rolls I made more. Maybe I will play around with this recipe and see if I can’t get them to look better because they sure are delicious. So pillowy soft, a wonderful recipe and after tasting them I forgot about the sticky messy dough.

Ready to rise

Hot Cross Buns

Recipe from King Arthur Flour site

1 cup raisins, golden raisins or dried fruit (I used mixed dried fruit soaked in rum)

2 tbs rum or water

3 3/4 cup all purpose flour (Because the dough was so wet I added 3 tbs of flour to make it cohesive)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup potato flour or potato flakes

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 tsp instant yeast

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg (next time I will use 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 3/4 tsp cinnamon)

1/4 tsp allspice

2 large eggs

4 tbs melted butter

1 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Glaze (Optional but recommended)

1/3 cup sugar

4 tsp water

1 tbs vanilla extract

Icing for cross

1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

2 tbs soft butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs cream or milk

  1. Mix together the raisins and rum or water in a non-reactive bowl. For best absorption, use a microwave-safe bowl, cover the bowl, and heat for 1 minute, or until the mixture is simmering. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the Princess Cake Flavor (if you’re using it), eggs, water, melted butter and the raisin mixture (including any remaining soaking liquid), then beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be cohesive, but not smooth; that’s OK.
  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest/rise in a warm place for 45 minutes; it’ll get a bit puffy, but won’t really increase much in size.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 18 muffin cups. If you have just one 12-cup muffin pan, use aluminum foil cups for the remainder of the dough; or make free-form buns, and place them in an 8″ round cake pan.
  6. To make the glaze: Stir together the glaze ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, then heat in the microwave until the sugar dissolves when you stir the mixture. Set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
  7. Use a muffin scoop or 1/4-cup measure to fill the muffin cups; each should be about 3/4 full. If you have a scale, use about 77g (2 3/4 ounces) dough in each cup.
  8. Brush the lukewarm glaze atop the shaped buns.
  9. Let the buns rise, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’ve risen just over the top of the cups.
  10. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and quickly turn them out of the pans onto a rack; if you wait too long, the glaze will cause them to stick.
  11. Allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes before icing.
  12. To make the icing: Combine all the icing ingredients in a small bowl and beat until thick.
  13. Use a pastry bag and tip to pipe thick crosses onto the buns. If you don’t have a pastry bag, fill a sturdy plastic bag with the icing, squeezing it down into one corner. Snip the tip of the bag off, and squeeze the frosting onto the buns.
  14. Store, well-wrapped, for 2 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to a month.

 

Bread To Celebrate The Harvest And A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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First of all, my post yesterday was supposed to publish today, I must have done something wrong when I scheduled the post, I decided not to pull it and didn’t mention it hoping no one noticed the discrepancy. It is actually one year ago today that my Nando passed.  Thank you all for your kind words and support!

August 1 is the day that the harvest is celebrated, it is nearing the end of the summer and fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready for harvest. We are also inching closer to the Fall (my favorite season) looking forward to cooler temperatures, apples, pumpkins, sweaters, leaves turning a beautiful color, Halloween. Well, I guess you can tell how much I love the Autumn. To celebrate a plentiful and abundant harvest I made some bread. This bread has been posted on this blog numerous times, it’s a recipe I use over and over each time with stellar results. The recipe is from my friend Cynthia @The Solitary Cook. She is a professional chef, baker, caterer, restauranteur, she is amazing. The bread always turns out good. The recipe makes a lot of bread. I made a large boule, 8 rolls and still have bread dough resting in the fridge that I will make tomorrow, it gets even better with a good long rest to develop. The grilled cheese sandwich was inspired by my dear friend Cheryl (cheffie cooks Wiser, aka super woman who successfully runs 9 blogs, I have mentioned her before. She made this wonderful grilled cheese sandwich and although I cannot find it on her site, I wanted to give a shout out to Cheryl who inspires me all the time.

I made the bread yesterday and it was dinner with a salad made from tomatoes from my garden and from the farmers market and some tomato balsamic jam and olive oil to dip that bread in.

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This is an abbreviated version of the bread recipe without the wonderful tutorial from Cynthia, follow the link to her blog for expert directions.

Rustic Italian Bread

Makes 3 loaves, or 2 loaves and 8 rolls (You decide)

Preferment

12 ounces warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast or 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I used 1 tsp instant yeast)

2 cups bread flour

Mix everything together, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until double in bulk. Then refrigerate overnight.

The Bread Dough

16 oz warm water

2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 tsp instant yeast ( I used 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast)

1/4 cup warm milk

approx 1 heaping tbs of honey

The preferment

2 tsp salt

4 cups bread flour

2 cups all purpose flour

Note: If using active dry yeast add the water and yeast and whisk to combine. If using instant you don’t have to do that you can add everything together.

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix until it is completely combined there should be no streaks of flour. Turn off the mixer, you will let the dough rest it’s called autolyse. Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit for 20-30 minutes. When you see the dough after you have let it rest it will come together nicely when kneaded. Turn the mixer on and knead for at least 5 minutes, if the dough is too wet add a little more bread flour so it’s cohesive. You will know when the dough is ready by doing the windowpane test, grab a walnut size piece of dough and stretch gently with your fingers, if it doesn’t break it’s read, if it does break knead a little longer to develop the gluten.

Oil a very large bowl or 2 large bowls, plop the dough in, turn over so it’s oiled on top. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until doubled. Once it’s risen you can take as much of the dough as you want and make some bread, put the other dough in the refrigerator to rest for up to 2 days.

Once risen, form your bread onto a parchment lined baking sheet, dust with flour and cover with a tea towel and let it rise for about an hour. To know if it’s ready it should have almost doubled in bulk and when you gently press your finger onto the dough the indent should stay not pop back.

While your bread is rising pre heat the oven to 450 degree’s. Slash the top of the bread approximately 1/2 inch deep, dust with flour and place in the oven, throw in some ice cubes and reduce the heat to 425 degree’s. Turn the pan around after 15 minutes and bake approximately 35-40 minutes depending on the size of the loaf or rolls. The bread should sound hollow when tapped and be a nice golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich – No recipe required

Grilled zucchini

arugula (optional)

sauteed shallot or onion

tomato or tomato jam

cheese (I used taleggio)

Butter

olive oil

bread

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Grill the zucchini and saute the shallot until nicely browned season with a little salt. Put it all together and grill in olive oil and butter until crispy golden brown and cheese is melty and gooey.

 

Hot Cross Buns And New Food52 App

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This recipe comes from The Bakers Catalogue/King Arthur Flour. I am working my way to Easter and Hot Cross Buns are an Easter tradition for many. I have never made them before, I’ve bought and eaten them and love them but never tried making them myself. This recipe sounds easy enough, I love the boozy fruit in the buns and am a sucker for that sweet cross on the top of the bun.

They turned out just beautiful, soft and pillowy, they smell amazing and have a very good rise. They are really delicious and made only a few minor changes mainly with the dried fruit and the soaking liquid and they turned out so good that I will do it again just as I made them.

On a completely unrelated topic, Food52 launched a new app for ipad and iPhone that I am having so much fun with, it’s all about cooking without a recipe or #notrecipes. Half of what I make does not involve a recipe except for baking. It’s a fun app, you interact with other cooks and there are great food52 contests as well. Try it out, it’s very cool, a real source of inspiration and it’s free.

Hot Cross Buns

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Makes 12-14 buns

Buns 

  • 1/4 cup apple juice or rum(I used Poire William)
  • 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit(apricots, golden raisins, cherries,cranberries,pears)
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants(didn’t use currants used golden raisins)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature (Used 2% but recommend whole milk)
  • 3 large eggs, 1 separated
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice (I used allspice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Topping

  • 1 large egg white, reserved from above
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Icing

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing (It was very thick but was better thick than too thin)

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a 10″ square pan or 9″ x 13″ pan. (I used a sheet pan lined with parchment)
  2. Mix the rum or apple juice with the dried fruit and raisins, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave briefly, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and the plastic starts to “shrink wrap” itself over the top of the bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Note: If you worry about using plastic wrap in your microwave, simply cover the bowl with a glass lid. I don’t microwave plastic at all, heated in a saucepan, poured into a bowl, covered and sat aside.
  3. When the fruit is cool, mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine, till the dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit and any liquid not absorbed.
  4. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.
  5. Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. A heaped muffin scoop (about 1/3 cup) makes about the right portion. You’ll make 12 to 14 buns. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.
  6. Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.
  8. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.
make sure they cool completely before adding the cross

make sure they cool completely before adding the cross

  1. Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.
These hot cross buns are delicious.

These hot cross buns are delicious.

Rustic Italian Rolls For Fiesta Friday #105

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This is not exactly conducive to dieting, I have been baking bread, a lot of bread lately. the good news is I give away some and freeze some. One recipe of The Solitary Cooks rustic Italian bread makes 3 medium size loaves, boules or batards. With this batch I made 2 boule and 8 sandwich size rolls. Just a hint, once I make the dough and it proves at room temp I put it in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours, believe me,  this is a good thing, the bread develops incredible character and flavor. I also stagger the making of the bread. I made the 2 boule yesterday and the rolls today. I have never gone more than 72 hours in the refrigerator but I can’t imagine it would be bad to even give it an extra day. Building character is a good thing.

2 Boule

2 Boule

The rolls are perfect sandwich size, or would be a generous dinner roll. Because they are portable and delicious and who doesn’t like bread I thought I would bring them with me to Fiesta Friday #105. This week Angie’s co hosts are Lily @ Little Sweet Baker andJulianna @ Foodie On Board. Hope to see some (or all) of you there and bring a dish, it will be fun. Guaranteed!!

I am giving the link to the recipe which I have done many times, Cynthia, The Solitary Cook gives amazing, explicit instructions on how to make this bread also including a link to her instructions on making the preferement or biga and I want you to go to her site and read it. She is amazing.

gorgeous rolls

gorgeous rolls

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A Trio Of Bruschetta

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I participate in a cooks collective headed up by Sonal from simplyvegetarian777, you all know Sonal. She will ask those that participate in this Facebook event to come up with a recipe and link it to the Facebook page. This time, since the Superbowl is around the corner she asked us to prepare super bowl appetizers or snacks. This was right up my alley since lately I have wanted food that is simple to make, takes very little time to cook, is snack size and delicious. I have made multiple loaves of this Rustic Italian Bread, I wrap it and freeze it and it is just as good as the day I bake it after some time in the oven to crisp and thaw.

There is really no recipe here, I am sure you have all had bruschetta, so simple to make and you can have an endless variety of toppings.. I made three different types all taking almost no time at all to prepare. They are wonderful as a starter or even a meal. You can make the tomatoes and squash and pesto ahead of time and refrigerate, I like to do that because putting these together will be quick and simple. There is really no recipe for this you can make them as you like and to suite your taste. The Super Bowl challenge must be vegetarian or vegan, this is a meat free zone. I love the idea of bruschetta with varied ingredients and flavors.

The Bruschetta

Ricotta, roasted tomato and basil

Parsley,basil,garlic and pine nut pesto with tomato, shaved parmigiana drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Oven roasted butternut sqush with sage and ricotta drizzled with honey..

You will need the following:

Start with a loaf of good rustic, peasant bread

Garlic 2 cloves – 1 for the pesto and the other to rub on the bread

olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes – enough for oven roasted and sliced on top of the pesto

herbs, I like basil and parsley and dried sage for the squash

Ricotta

Cheese, romano and parmigiana

butternut squash cut into bite size pieces.

honey

pine nuts-toasted

Pre heat oven to 375. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle with dried sage and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. You can roast the tomatoes at the same time. Cut in half and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper takes approximately 30 minutes in the oven.

Make your pesto: In the food processor add a handful of Italian flat leaf parsley a couple of basil leaves, a clove of garlic, toasted pine nuts and grated cheese. Process until it’s chopped and then add 1/4 cup olive oil while the processor is running.

rustic italian bread

rustic italian bread

Slice your bread in approximately 1/2 inch thick slices diagonally.  For the ricotta and roasted tomato and pesto bruschetta rub the bread lightly with a clove of garlic, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with the tinest amount of salt and place in the broiler just until it starts to toast, don’t let it get dark. Spoon some ricotta on a slice, arrange some roasted tomato, sprinkle some grated cheese and return to the broiler for a minute or so, just to heat it, it will get a little browned on top. Before serving drizzle with olive oil and place some basil leaves on to garnish.

Spread the pesto on the bread, add some sliced tomato and shaved parmigiana, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For the Butternut Squash bruschetta, spread some ricotta on a slice of bread, place some of the roasted squash on top and place in the oven on broil for about a minute just to heat it and get slightly browned. To serve drizzle with some honey and sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt and some ground pepper.

More Bruschetta ideas

More Bruschetta ideas

 

 

 

 

Recipe Redux Bread From The Solitary Cook

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Next Week it will be 4 years since I started the blog and I want to feature just a few recipes from my first week of blogging,  this recipe was posted on January 22 of 2012,  Rustic Italian Bread, the recipe comes from my friend Cynthia whose lovely blog The Solitary Cook has been around about as long as mine, we have known each other longer through Food52 which is where we met. I have linked the recipe and did not copy it into this post, Cynthia is a teacher, a chef and a real artisan, her recipe explains everything involved in making a loaf of bread, it’s a tutorial so click on the link above to see the recipe on her site. Before Cynthia, making bread scared me. Her gentle and comprehensive recipes helped me overcome my fear of failure when it came to yeast breads. Note: Here is the link for the preferment which will need to made before you make the actual bread dough.

I love this bread, it’s simple to make and the result is a lovely loaf with crisp crust and soft pillowy inside. It’s delicious!!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy a slice of this crusty delicious bread is so simple. Good butter, watermelon radishes, sea salt and honey. I get most of my produce which is sourced locally from Farmigo, I have talked about them before, it’s an a la carte CSA, love it!! The radishes and butter are from local farms and the honey was a gift from a friend it is sourced in Manhattan, Hells Kitchen, there is actually a bee keeper in a community garden there. The honey is amazing.

Love local food

Love local food

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Or for breakfast, fried bread, lightly buttered pan fried in olive oil, oven roasted gold tomatoes and a medium soft egg. Quick and easy and hey who doesn’t love fried bread.

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Thanksgiving Preparation

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom for food52

I don’t know where the time went, next week is Thanksgiving. It dawned on me today so I started prepping. I make the same thing every single year, no change there would be a coup if I did. Part of me didn’t want Thanksgiving to get here even though it’s my favorite holiday, it’s my first without Izzy and Nando and I feel sad.  That said I have started prepping, write the shopping list, order the turkey, make what I can in advance, bread cubes are drying in oven as I type this. Took a whole chicken out of the freezer to make stock. There is a lot of work and planning that goes into one meal and I do what I can in advance. Is that what you do? I usually have 8-10 here for Thanksgiving. How many do you have over?

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What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you cook/host the meal or go to friends or relatives. Have you started preparing? Would love to know what everyone does, I know that some of you from other countries do not celebrate Thanksgiving. What is on the menu at your house? Traditional or non traditional or a mixture of both. Here is my menu with links to the recipes.

Butter and herb roasted turkey

Dressing

mashed potatoes- yukon gold, sour cream. butter salt and pepper

brussels sprouts- oven roasted

corn – steamed and served with some butter

homemade potato dinner rolls

cranberry sauce- use the recipe on the ocean spray package but sub fresh squeezed orange juice for the water and add some orange zest.

pumpkin and pecan pie – I usually just use the pumpkin pie recipe on the can of LIbby’s pumpkin, may do something different this year from my good friend Johnny at Kitschen Flavors.

I have a pretty strict time line making as much as I can in advance.

Done in advance:

Make chicken stock (need for dressing)

Make cornbread and air dry (2 days before I make the dressing)

Dry bread cubes for dressing (doing that today)

Cranberry sauce made ahead and refrigerated (making it this weekend)

Make compound butter for turkey (Monday)

Make pie dough and refrigerate (Tuesday)

Day before:

Prep the turkey putting the compound butter under the skin, and refrigerate.

Make dressing cover refrigerate.

Make the bread dough, form into rolls, cover and refrigerate until a few hours before baking them.

Make the pies plus an extra for a friend, the apple and pear tart

Thanksgiving Day:

We eat late around 5:30 or 6PM. I’ve heard that most eat early like lunch time. This is actually the easiest day, I have already done a lot of the work. Set the table, get the wine ready, refrigerate the white, let the red breathe/decant.

Turkey goes in at around noon – I get at 18-20 lb turkey and it’s done in 3 ish hours because of the fast cooking method I use in my graniteware pan.

Peel potatoes and cut and let sit in cold salted water until ready to boil. (Usually around 4PM)

Make the corn and brussels sprouts.

Bake the dressing

Bake the rolls right before dinner is served so they are hot.

Whew, it’s a lot of work but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Love Thanksgiving!!

Izzy And Nando

Izzy And Nando

 

My First Ever Sourdough Loaf And I’ll Bring To Fiesta Friday #50

 

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

I must tell you I was very nervous about this loaf, but with Ginger’s expert advise and soothing reassurance by jove I did it. A beautiful crusty sourdough loaf. Now the original recipe used whole wheat flour, I got mine out of the fridge and the first thing I noticed was a little bit of a rancid smell, that got tossed so I had to improvise. I used bread flour, barley flour and wheat germ. I think the resulting loaf is wonderful and I hope that Ginger is proud of me.

The loaf is so good I decided to bring it to Fiesta Friday #50, a milestone really, 50 consecutive parties and Angie shows no sign of slowing down. Full speed ahead and we are only 2 weeks away from a full year of Fiesta Friday’s. Amazing isn’t it, so this week the party is hosted by the effervescent and ever present Angie@The Novice Gardener and our lovely co hosts are Selma @Selma’s Table and Sue @birgerbird. Enjoy the bread everyone and I am also bringing some hand churned butter from my CSA to slather on!!

In conclusion, this bread is INCREDIBLE, the crust is crisp, the inside is soft, it has complex flavor because it’s sourdough. This recipe is a keeper and well worth the effort. I am now more comfortable with levain and will be making this loaf on a regular rotation.

Dough after an overnight sit in the fridge

Dough after an overnight sit in the fridge beautiful dough

The recipe calls for 3 cups whole wheat bread flour, since I didn’t have whole wheat flour here is what I used: Next time I make this loaf I am going to weigh the flours and include that in my notes.

3 cups bread flour

1/2 cup barley flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

It’s a very soft dough, you have to work quickly when transferring to the hot pot. I didn’t really have to shape it since the dough is soft it kind of conformed to the shape of my pot nicely.

I did not get a photo of the dough in the pot, it’s hot, you have to work quickly, slashing the top, sprinkle with a little flour, get the lid back on and put back in the oven. Don’t be tempted to lift the lid while baking, leave it be it has to build up steam. I was so tempted to do that but held myself back. Was dying to see what the bread looked like.

crust is so crisp

crust is so crisp

Side Note: The levain I had left after making the bread dough was put in the fridge and will be fed today to make yet another loaf of delicious sour dough bread. I also want to make note that I am decreasing the amount of salt in the recipe to 2 1/2 tsp.  Also, I used an oval 36cm, 4 Qt pot. Smaller would also work.

Big loaf

Big loaf

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Making Levain, A Gift For Nando A New Kitchen Toy, Community Pick On Food52

I follow a lot of blogs, love them all and wish I could make every recipe on all of them. Sometimes I see a recipe and think this is something I have to make right away, usually it’s a recipe that challenges me. This is the case when I saw Ginger’s great recipe on her wonderful blog Ginger And Bread  she posted a recipe for WholeWheat Sour Dough Bread, which is baked in a cast iron dutch oven and looks so crusty and delicious I had to make it. The challenge for me is making levain, I have never made it before and a good friend sent me some that she made which I promptly killed in what can only be characterized as a slow painful death. So far Ginger’s levain recipe has proven to not only be simple but it actually works and I have not killed it. Now I did not own a cast iron dutch oven but have wanted to get one for a long time so I decided to buy one (ended up with two) I went to my favorite home goods store Williams Sonoma and found a great deal on both, a Le Creuset oval Cocette, (4 qt) in a lovely shade of green and then I saw a very reasonably priced Lodge round cast iron dutch oven, the Lodge is on back order but I got the Le Creuset today. Love it and I will use it to make this wonderful sour dough loaf.  I will post the photo’s of the bread after I make it,  hopefully tomorrow. The dough is doing a slow rise in the refrigerator overnight.

Le Creuset

Le Creuset

So here is my levain, rather shaggy looking right?  This is Day 6, my kitchen is quite cold so it didn’t rise very much but Ginger said thats ok, be patient.

shaggy levain

shaggy levain day 6

On Day 8 I put the levain in the refrigerator for 2 days, when my dutch oven arrived I took it out, fed it again (1 cup flour and 5 tbs water) and let it sit in the oven with the light on. Here is how it looked when I got it out the next day. Can’t wait to make the bread.

fed and puffy

fed and puffy

My really good friend Jocelyn (Daisey Angel’s Mom) got Nando a gift, he is blind and lately is not getting around very well and she found this amazing device called Muffins Halo. A woman with a blind dog invented this to keep them from knocking into walls and bumping their heads. Ingenious right? Here is Nando with his Muffins Halo on, he is still getting used to it but already he is not bumping his head when he wears it. This was the best gift ever.

Nando in his Halo

Nando  not happy at first in his Halo

He can drink his water with it on

He can drink his water with it on he’s liking it

Finally I was so happy to see that my recipe for White Pasta With Garlic Parmigiano Breadcrumbs was picked and photographed by Food52. That was such a nice surprise today. I love this recipe, it’s so easy and delicious. I posted this recipe a while back on the blog, had not really thought about it until I saw the contest for Best Family Recipes. This was something my Mom used to make only without breadcrumbs that was my idea. It’s so simple pasta, ricotta, milk and parmesan cheese. It’s great like that but thought bread crumbs pan toasted with butter,olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and grated cheese would be wonderful on this simple pasta dish.

Photo by James Ransom for Food52

Photo by James Ransom for Food52

White Pasta my photo

White Pasta my photo

 

What Will You Serve For Thanksgiving?

Dressing or stuffing

Dressing or stuffing

Some of you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but here in the US this is probably the biggest food holiday of them all, it’s also a time to remember how much we have to be thankful for. For me the Thanksgiving meal is steeped in tradition. Every year I make the same meal, I have tried adding something different but in the end, the best is always the tried and true recipes.

Do you try new recipes or stick to the tried and true?

Is it Potluck or do you do all the cooking?

What do you make, or do you go to someone else’s house for the meal?

I bake pies for friends, this year I am making apple, pumpkin and pecan for both my table and for my friends. I have will have 6-8 people over, family and friends.

How many will be around your table?

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

Thanksgiving 2014

Butter and herb roast turkey– compound butter under the skin and steam roasted

Dressing– cornbread and bread with a lot of other things. My signature dish.

Mashed potatoes- Yukon gold, sour cream and butter. I like super creamy smooth potatoes so I use a food mill.

Corn

Brussels Sprouts- I am going to make this recipe this year from my friend Bevi, it’s a Food52 contest winner

Gravy

Cranberry orange sauce (see recipe below)

Homemade potato rolls

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

For Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Apple pie right out of the oven

Apple pie right out of the oven

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice + 1 tsp orange zest
1 12-ounce package Fresh or Frozen Cranberries ( I always buy Ocean Spray)
Combine sugar and juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups. Optional- add the zest of 1 orange for a stronger orange flavor. I always make a double batch because I must have it for the leftovers.

The Wine

Can’t forget the wine, this year I have a magnum of Christian Bernard Select Black Gamay (A beaujolais), I also have Rioja, 2001 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia,  Pernand-Vergelesses 2008, premier Cru Sous Fretille (Grand Vin du Bourgogne) I’ll pop the bubbly with dessert and serve coffee too. What are you drinking?