So this might be deviating a little from my original plan of making a bread blog.
The reason why I haven’t posted in a while is because I have been working on food other than bread. I haven’t given up on bread yet, but I need to go to the library and check out recipe books again. They’re too expensive to buy, especially the ones I want!
I have been making lots of granola from scratch, so I thought I’d post the recipes here. Feel welcome to comment if you have any questions or requests.
This is adapted and altered from the New York Times recipe, which is my favorite granola recipe so far.
Fresh pasta makes a huge difference. It just feels so different in your mouth, and it tastes amazing. I got the idea for making beet pasta from some food blog (I read so many on TasteSpotting that I forgot which one), but I decided to go on and make pasta in more colors: Red, Green, and Yellow. I wish I had had spinach for the green pasta, but the pesto did make it taste delicious. Next step: Black pasta with squid ink.
I really wish I still had my friend Adams as my photographer. These pictures don’t do justice to the pasta. Note: Colors are not enhanced. The beet color is really that intense.
(Recipe after the jump.)
My dad requested that I try making soda crackers. It’s painfully simple, and I’m sure it’s better for you than Saltines, which include the following ingredients:
ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID), SOYBEAN OIL, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, BAKING SODA, VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES (EMULSIFIER).
Try just five ingredients (not to reference Pollan’s texts…)
I was in Paris taking a French class a couple of years ago, and we had to listen to a dialogue on tape about a boy and his mom at the bakery.
The boy would say, “Mom, can we get some croissants?” And the mom would say, “Yes, honey.” Or something like that.
In class we were asked whether the boy was asking his mom for bread. I said yes. The teacher turned around and said, “Wrong!” Then everyone in the class agreed that he had not asked for bread, but for a pastry. So, I learned that croissants are NOT bread. At least not in France. But I’ll include them in my bread blog.
I’ve been intimidated by croissants ever since my interest in bread-baking started, but I bought some fine butter, and my friend DanB has been requesting them for some time, so I decided to start. Does anyone else have requests?
I got the best recipe, according to Cook’s Illustrated (in a kind of insane manner, they test a recipe ~40 times to find the best way to make it.) You have to pay to see their recipes online, so I signed up for a free trial to see this one. And I’m sharing it with you!
I had to change my address. blogspot/blogger was a terrible website. Wow. It just had a horrible interface and HTML problems and bugs I never want to deal with again. I still need to change some of the HTML so mariasgoldenoven.tumblr.com doesn’t look so much like a newspaper, but tumblr does look much more promising…
Semolina flour is made from durum wheat. Durum means “hard” in Latin (similarly, in Spanish “duro” means “hard”). Durum is the hardest species of wheat, which means that it has high protein and gluten, so when the flour is mixed with water and yeast, strong gluten bonds form. This makes a rich, high-protein, puffy bread, or a tough dough, which is why semolina is commonly used to make pasta.
This is probably my favorite bread-dinner. It’s like a calzone, but inside a flower pot. It’s beautiful to serve at the dinner table, fresh out of the oven.
Technique inspired by Jamie Oliver.
Ceramic flower pots.
4 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (if you use all-purpose flour, omit the olive oil)
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups water
Cornmeal for dusting
For filling (use finer ingredients if possible - you can pick whatever you want here, really):
Cherry tomatoes (squash them onto the dough)
Salt + freshly ground black pepper
Put the flour on a counter and make a hole in the middle, like a volcano.
Throw in the salt and yeast. Put the water and oil in the middle and start stirring with a fork, incorporating more and more flour every time. Finish off by kneading until you get a silky, uniform dough (5 minutes).
Divide the dough into six (for my size pot, less for larger pots).
With a rolling pin, stretch out each piece as if making pizza.
Now fill up the bread. Tear the mozzarella and put it on the dough, squash the tomatoes onto the dough, add some parmesan, add the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Fold in the sides to create a round package, and flip it over. Put it in one of the well-floured ceramic pots. Do this for the rest of the pots.
Let the breads rise (covered by a towel) for an hour while the oven is preheated at 450 degrees Farenheit.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is brown. Let cool and serve. You can either take the bread out and serve it, or just leave it in the pot.
Roll out the dough and put the goodies inside.
Press the cherry tomatoes onto the dough.
Close into a round package by folding in.
Put into the pot.
Repeat with the rest.
Bake until the top is brown.
As you cut it open you will find a surprise in the bread!
Anadama bread is originally from New England. It has oatmeal and molasses. The legend about the origin of the name goes like this (according to a not-so-reputable source):
"A fisherman, angry with his wife, Anna, for serving him nothing but cornmeal and molasses, one day adds flour and yeast to his porridge and eats the resultant bread, while cursing, ‘Anna, damn her.’ "
My easy attempt at making rye bread. This is kind of a wuss rye bread (mixed with other kinds of flour), but it’s delicious! I exchanged the more commonly-used caraway seeds for cumin seeds, and I got a curry-like bread. Next step, darker rye bread, like the kind you eat with salmon and capers in Scandinavia.
First loaf this year! A classic French bread with a kick, and with the beautiful banneton pattern.
Note to self (and other artisan bread bakers): I wish I had scored the bread (cutting a 1-in-deep slice through the middle) before baking it because it kind of rose through a crack on the side while in the oven. These are minor details, but I like to notice them to change them the next time.