2007-07-03 22:40 in /life/food/baking
2007-05-31 13:20 in /life/food/baking
I’ve been experimenting with variations on the basic no-knead bread recipe. Of course I’ve done whole wheat and rye breads, and I made a rosemary loaf once. This week I decided to really push it and try a variation based on the cranberry pecan rye bread in the Martha Steward Baking Handbook. I used 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of rye, and a generous tablespoon of caraway seeds. Then, once the liquids were added, I folded in 3/4 cup of chopped dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. The result was really quite good. I was worried the additions might weigh things down too much and keep it from rising properly, but while the bread is dense and hearty, it’s definitely not flat.
I really can’t recommend this no-knead bread enough. It’s literally no more than 5 minutes of work for a loaf of bread comparable to what you’d pay 3 or 4 dollars for. It takes a little practice to learn how to handle such wet and sticky dough, but it’s well worth it.
2007-04-01 23:50 in /life/food/baking
Thanks to a bit in last week’s Oregonian, I’ve gotten into the no-knead bread craze. I’ve tried it twice, on the last two weekends, and was quite happy with the results. Last weekend, I did the basic recipe. This weekend, I replaced one cup of all-purpose flour with whole wheat, and added a generous teaspoon of minced rosemary to the dough.
Both loaves turned out quite well. I preferred the purity and the quality of the crust on the first loaf, S. preferred the more substantial nature of the second. I think we agreed, though, that perhaps rosemary works best with just white flour and that I could probably have used twice as much of it.
Reading some of the discussions, it seems like the right cooking vessel is key to getting enough loft to the bread. I’ve been using our Emile Henry Casserole, which seems to be just about the perfect size, and has good heat capacity.
2006-12-22 18:00 in /life/food/baking
Thanks to my mom, we now have a shiny new KitchenAid mixer. (Well, really it’s mostly matte black, not shiny, but cut me some slack.) I used to make my own bread back in college, but haven’t in many years. In preparation for our dinner party last night, I made two loaves: an olive oil bread, and a cranberry-pecan rye bread.
The olive oil bread turned out to have a bit of a doughy taste. In retrospect, I didn’t do my usual +15 degrees temperature adjustment for this oven, and didn’t use a bread thermometer to decide if it was done (because the recipe didn’t mention it). For the cranberry-pecan bread, I did both and it turned out quite well.
2006-10-07 12:16 in /life/food/baking
Last year for Christmas, my mom gave us Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. Unfortunately, the oven in our old house was broken, so while we drooled over the pictures, we didn’t get much chance to use it. But now we have a fully functioning kitchen again, plus it’s baking season!
This past weekend, New Seasons Market had an apple tasting with about 20 varieties from the fall crop. A lot of them were really tasty, and I came home with about 10 lbs.
Going clockwise starting with the basket, they are Liberty, Arlet, Rosalyn, and Ambrosia. The Ambrosias are currently my favorite for eating out of hand. The Liberties, on the other hand, have the tartness and firmness that puts a singular thought in one’s mind, the logical combination of the preceding paragraphs.
2005-09-01 23:08 in /life/food
Squash blossoms are at the peak of their season now and a trip to the South Pasadena farmer’s market this evening yielded us a larger quantity than I’ve ever had at once. At just $5 per pound, we got half a pound, which works out to about 50 of them. Half went into a creme soup this evening. Tomorrow, we’ll have to figure out how to use the rest. Probably quesadillas or stuffed and fried.
2005-04-08 23:41 in /life/food
I love Indian food, but increasingly I find Indian restaurants hard to stand. It’s not news that Indian restaurants are all about the up-sell: rice, bread, lassis, condiments. However, lately it seems to be getting worse. Tonight, at a restaurant where the entrees weren’t all that cheap to begin with, plain white rice was $4 and a sweet lassi was $3.50. Hello! Yogurt, water, sugar, blend. I wonder if at some point people will catch on and get fed up with this.