Taste and Create Part 2: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

May 24th, 2008


For my second recipe for Taste and Create IV from Veronica’s La Recette du Jour, I made Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Although, I never thought I would get caught up in the no-knead bread fad…I have! I love having fresh bread! This makes it possible more frequently. There is also the extra benefit of not angering my roommates by covering the kitchen with flour. No matter how hard I try to clean up…we still find flour in the oddest places!

When I saw this recipe, I was excited because Veronica said it was possible to mix it up, throw it in the fridge and pull out a bit when you want some fresh bread! So, I tried it and I am very happy with the results. I am thinking about throwing in another loaf right now. Veronica gives her readers some excellent advice and tips, especially if you are not cooking in America. I was lucky on this one as the recipe was written in cups and based on the flour I can get here. She recommended using a pizza stone and not worrying about using an oven thermometer. I took both tips and it work well! Delicious!

And now for a tag and award…

Elle of Elle’s New England Kitchen tagged me with”Look What I Made.” Started by Farida at Farida’s Azerbaijani Cookbook, I was asked to make a list of recipes I have made from other blogs. I love this tag because it is great to see what other recipes people have tried.

1.
Butterscotch Mascarpone Cream Layer Cake from Tartelette
2.
Pasta & corn salad with red bell pepper sauce from Kitchen Unplugged
3. Chicken Pot Pie with Cilantro Biscuits from Wandering Chopsticks
4. Chocolate Tribute Cake from Veronica’s Test Kitchen
5. Chubble* Bread from To be Mrs. Marv…

My tags….
1. Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
2. Lore of Culinarty
3. Veggie Girl
4. Kristin of The Pearl Onion
5. Nemmie of Cast Sugar

Sylvie of A Pot of Tea and Biscuit bestowed this wonderful award upon me. Thank you so much Sylvie! It made my day!

I struggled to figure out who to award this to, as I read so many worthy blogs, but finally decided upon…

1. Kevin of Closet Cooking
2. Jen of Use Real Butter
3.

You all have excellent blogs and I look forward to reading them everyday!!!

Simple Crusty Bread

Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough

Cornmeal.

1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pan sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

P.S. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Dollar Dish Duel Update and some Olive-Thyme Bread!!

April 23rd, 2008

First, an update regarding my Dollar Dish Duel. We have a logo thanks to my boyfriend. I was always joking that I needed to date a man who could help me with my blog. Well, the blogging gods answered my prayers with this one. We spent a very romantic evening designing a little logo for my event. So, if you would like, please put the logo on your entry to help publicize the event. Thank you!

You are entering, right? Why wouldn’t you? You have a chance winning this awesome cookbook…

Ok, enough about the Duel. Let’s talk about this delicious bread that I have already dangled in front of you. Lately, I have been in what I like to call my European mood. I start craving warm fresh breads, rich soft cheeses, large crisp salads and some really good red wine. Maybe it is the beautiful spring weather that puts me into this mood. I just want to sit on my balcony basking in the sunshine with my meal or maybe not…

Monday it rained a lot! As I was trudging home from the metro, the water seeping into my ballerina flats and splashing up my legs, I fixated on the thought of warm fresh bread smothered in brie. In fact, I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to use. Vegeyum from A Life (time) of Cooking recently made a no-knead bread that would be ready in a little over an hour. Walking into my apartment, feeling like a drowned rat, I went quickly to the kitchen and put it all together. I had some olives and thyme left over from the Fig and Walnut Tapanede I made last week so that also went in. While the bread was rising, I ran to the store to grab the brie and salad fixin’s. I forewent the glass of wine this time knowing that I would be driving over to my boyfriend’s later for our Logo Designing Date. When I got back from the store, the bread was all ready to go. I threw it in the oven and fifteen minutes later, I had to use a great deal of self control not to burn my mouth. Thankfully, I have found that by the time you take some photos, your food is normal cool enough to eat. My roommates and I devoured it with the brie. A fabulous dinner! And yes, I even has some salad to feel semi-healthy, I swear!


Olive and Thyme Focaccia
(adapted from vegeyum’s My Deliciously Fast No Knead Focaccia)

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups approx of tepid water
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
salt

1. Mix the sugar, 1/2 cup lukewarm water and the yeast with 1 Tablespoon of the flour, making a sponge, and let sit in a warm place for 15 minutes.
2. Mix the flour, yeast sponge, olives, thyme and enough of the remaining water to make a sticky dough.
3. Add additional water if you need it. The dough should be a little wetter than you would normally make dough.
4. Leave the dough to rise for 1 – 1.5 hours.
5. Place the risen dough on a bench and divide into two. Shape each on a tray with well oiled fingertips.
6. Bake in the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit around 10 – 15 minutes, or until cooked and lightly browned.
7. Eat while still warm.

P.S. Go to vegeyum’s post for more variations and tips. Her blog combines delicious food, exceptional photographs and cultural insights that I enjoy reading everyday. I would highly recommend checking it out.

I’m going to Carolina…

March 20th, 2008


In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Ain’t it just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I’m gone to Carolina in my mind
-James Taylor

Tomorrow morning, I’m heading down to the good ole’ Carolina to spend Easter with my family. After college, I never moved back. Regardless, I am still a Carolina girl. I love my Heels (and they will be winning the tournament)! I crave real southern sweet tea, biscuits and Carolina BBQ! I sometimes slip into a southern accent! My roommate gets a kick out of the way I say, “I am going to be a laaaw-yer”, drawling out those last few syllables. I’m looking forward to going home tomorrow, watching the Heels’ game with my family and basking in the sunshine!

This recipe has nothing to do with Carolina but I’ll get one up here soon. Instead this one hearkens back to my Italian roots. This week I did not do much cooking, as I knew I was going out of town for the weekend and had some dinner plans. I threw these bruschetta together with leftovers from the fridge. My roommate loved them and she even took a bite to show you.


Ginny’s Leftover Bruschetta

4 slices French bread
1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

4 teaspoons grated Parmesan
4 tablespoon Mozzarella

1. Toast the slices of bread in the toaster oven (or under the broiler) until slightly brown.
2. Rub the toast with the garlic clove.
3. In a frying pan over medium, heat the olive oil.
4. Add the mushrooms, red pepper and green onions. Cook until softened.
5. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning and add the tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Cook for a minute or two longer until the vinegar evaporates off.
7. Spread the vegetable mix among the toast and sprinkle with the cheeses.
8. Put back into the toaster oven (or under the broiler) until the cheese is melted.

P.S. The key to making good bruschetta (and I learned this from an Italian friend) is to rub the bread with a garlic clove when it is first toasted. This makes the bruschetta all evenly garlicky and you do not have to worry about chopping the garlic super fine.