I have a habit of going on cookbook binges and then having them sit on my shelf for ages without trying a recipe. It’s not that I do this intentionally, life just happens.
I never bought the Momofuku cookbook that everyone has sitting on their shelves. But Momofuku Milk Bar was instantly on my list when it came out. I can’t even tell you how long it has been sitting on my shelf before I used it. Continue reading →
I had my fair share of baguettes in Paris on my honeymoon. I even went through a baguette and cheese withdrawal when I got back home. How could you not after having it every day for breakfast and for a snack?
I haven’t tried my hand at baguettes yet, but I wanted to use Maggie Glezer’s book, Artisan Baking. I bought this book on a whim with the rave reviews it got from other blogs, but it’s mostly sat on my shelf. Maybe it’s still too advanced for me?
Baguettes take a long time and it’s pretty much a whole day affair if you decide not to wake up at the crack of dawn. The end result is worth it, a crust that shatters once your teeth hit it and a nice chewy interior.
This is probably a bread to reserve for the weekend when you can dedicate your time to it.
Every year I say I’ll make something for St. Patrick’s Day and I never do. Last year the most I did was put a few drops of green food colouring in beer. I’m happy to say that I finally made soda bread, something that has been on my to bake list for awhile. And the bread was almost as simple as adding food colouring to beer. Honest.
This version of soda bread is souped up and deviates from tradition with the added butter, whiskey soaked raisins, and sugar. If you like the taste of scones or biscuits, then you need to try this bread. And don’t skip making the Irish whiskey butter, it really adds something to the bread.
I think I may also have gotten drunk off of the whiskey fumes — it was pretty strong! I usually shy away from raisins being in baked goods, but I didn’t mind them in the bread. I would probably omit them next time just for simplicity.
I only recently became a Cook’s Illustrated fan. It just looked too intimidating for me. After buying one of their magazines I’ve been a fan of them. They let you know exactly what they’re trying to achieve and if something is too fussy, they’ll find a workaround for it. So while recipes might not taste as mind blowing as possible, the trade off is less effort and time. Great for when you don’t want to be chained to the stove all day long. And the taste is still really good.
More Best Recipes is a follow up to The New Best Recipe. The original has many more recipes and this is meant to compliment it. There are also two sections that are new: make ahead cooking and cooking for two.
I really like the recipes in this book and many are already being in regular rotation. The only recipe that I wouldn’t make again is the stir-fried portabello mushrooms. I have a pretty low sodium tolerance and with all the salt heavy products in it, we just couldn’t finish the dish and had to throw it out. This book also converted me into liking no knead bread. The added beer and easier handling techniques really improved the original recipe. The olive and parmesan no knead bread? Fantastic.
I also tried out the ciabatta bread. It’s formulated so that it doesn’t end up being so flat so you can split it in half for a sandwich.
The flavour was good and the dough was easy to handle where most ciabatta dough is a sticky mess. The only problem with this bread is that it disappears so fast!
I make bread frequently enough that I now have a small collection of books solely focused on bread alone. There’s something about the smell of bread baking in the oven and having a slice while still warm slathered with butter.
This isn’t the healthiest bread I’ve made, but it’s also one of the tastiest breads I’ve made (bread and cheese — can you even go wrong there?). This recipe is from Peter Reinhart’s new book Artisan Breads Every Day. It was nice to be able to mix the dough and have it sit in the fridge for a few days before baking. This makes it easy to fit into your schedule. There’s a lot of cheese involved so it’s a good way to use up any leftover cheeses. I did a mix of cheddar and cambozola and I think next time I’ll make one entirely of cambozola. My huge stand mixer had severe issues handling this dough. In the recipe it says to knead at medium-low which is a 4 on the KitchenAid. I can usually knead doughs at the speed required, but my mixer was struggling so much that I was afraid it’d break. Even at speed 2 it struggled.
After rolling up the dough and placing it in the loaf pans, I recommend having a baking sheet below to catch any cheese drippings. One of my loaves oozed cheese out onto my baking stone which was a terrible mess to clean.
I put one loaf in the freezer and one to eat. The one that wasn’t frozen was very fluffy and soft, the frozen one being more dense. I’m not sure if that had to do with me freezing it or how I rolled up the dough.
Despite some set backs, this bread is definitely repeat worthy. I scarfed almost a whole loaf of bread in no time.