Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
For the record: we had a brussels sprout and potato frittata for dinner. The real story, however, is clearly the pictured bread, which is from a recipe in Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery. It's really just a normal sourdough, with the addition of cocoa, chocolate, dried cherries, and a little butter. It's delicious, and will, I predict, be better in a few days when the chocolate has bloomed. I like Silverton's book a lot, but wish she'd given measurements in grams rather than ounces. Bakers go metric for the same reason drug dealers do: when accuracy matters, it's the only way to fly.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
This loaf has 50% kamut flour, 45% bread flour, 5% whole wheat, and is filled with sesame seeds inside and out. It is extremely good today, and I think will be better tomorrow and the day after. I dearly love sesame seeds. I also love kamut flour, and don't understand why the recipes I read call for (in my opinion) cautious amounts of it. Berenbaum recommends 6% (!!!). I'm sure she has her reasons, and they probably have to do with maintaining authenticity in her recipe for pain au levain, but luckily for me I don't care about authenticity. I care about using lots of kamut. This is a good way to do it.
I have been working on this 4-Eva. It's the project I picked up in between other projects, so it never got long stretches of attention. Moreover, it's knit with fine wool on small needles, so there are a *lot* of stitches in it, and I didn't have a pattern so I had to take breaks to figure out what I wanted to do and how to do it. I'm reasonably happy with the result, and encouraged to wing it more often.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
pan-seared; I mean, that's what it was supposed to be. I envisioned clear ruby fish-flesh but we ended up eating barely pink tuna instead. Actually, it was pretty good anyway. We had it with brown rice and okra (in case you haven't noticed, we are overrun with okra these days, as we are every August.)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
A lot of cooking has happened here lately. When I thought back I realized that in one twenty-four hour period I produced, in addition to regular lunches and dinners, two loaves of sourdough (pictured), a double batch of waffles, several dozen chocolate chip cookies, and a big bowl of potato salad. I don't know what came over me, but it all seemed pretty natural at the time. The bread is mighty good; both loaves used the same starter, but the loaf on the right has about twenty percent kamut flour, while the one on the left has rye and whole wheat. Let's call them identical (conjoined!) twins raised in different environments. The pictured okra family represents our first harvest.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Until I moved to the south I knew nothing of okra (except that I found it slimy), and until this summer (when my husband planted some) I couldn't imagine what kind of plant it grew on (okra trees?), and until yesterday I had no idea it produces flowers of incredible delicacy and beauty. Needless to say, along the way I learned that it can be *delicious*.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
with Indian spiced okra and the pictured French Country Boule. I think it's fair to say that this is the best bread I know how to make, and one of the best I've eaten. It's pretty simple (white, rye, and whole wheat flours), and, in my experience, hard to mess up. If I had to quibble with this loaf I'd say I over-salted just a wee bit, and I still haven't mastered oven spring, but on the whole, if this is as good as my bread gets, I can happily live with it. I learned two things this round. The first is that I dislike a starter made with all whole grain; both the spelt starter I made a while ago and the whole wheat starter I baked with last week made a bread that was too tangy for my taste. Even in a whole grain loaf I prefer a starter fed mainly white flour. The second is that preheating the oven and using a baking stone are both unnecessary steps. Following the advice of a number of posters on The Fresh Loaf (link to the right) I baked this in a cold oven, on a baking sheet, and it is both delicious and indistinguishable from loaves I baked on the traditionally recommended searing-hot baking stone. Since I always found pre-heating to be just that one extra step that turned the whole thing into a chore, this is big news for me.
with corn on the cob and okra. I made the okra following a recipe in the recent Food & Wine; I sliced it in half lengthwise, fried it in very hot oil, then seasoned with cumin, fennel seed, turmeric, and coriander. It was delicious; I'm doing it again tonight.