Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We Might Need to Knead

Borage Plants and Summer Sandals

So we get this gardening magazine now that has this section that tells you about national food days, and thus I am oddly informed with the infobit that today is National Apple Pie Day. I can also tell you that April 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day and that December 6th is National Gazpacho Day. Can I just interject a WFT here? I am all for food celebration, but what is with the totally out of season themes? Who the hell wants to have anything to do with a bunch of chilled tomatoes in the middle of December?


It has been windy here. Like hang on to your purse kind of windy. The poor peas, newly trellised by B. this weekend, could barely keep their grip on the lowest rung, and the garden is fairly well windswept at this point, after almost four days of being blown to bits. When we picked up the chicks and took them for an outdoor adventure, they would squint their tiny little eyes, ruffle their feathers, and hunker down – chickens, like myself, are no lovers of the gust, the gale, the squall. Speaking of chickens, here is one who scrambled its way up to B’s shoulder. Appallingly cute I tell you. She even gave him a few nips and nuzzles behind the ear.

In leftover weekend excitement: I tried baking bread again. The first time was such a total disaster that I didn’t even mention it. As it turns out, I didn’t have the right kind of yeast. Actually, yeast aside, the truth is that so far I suck at baking bread. Like many, I thought the idea of a no-knead bread sounded pretty fabulous, so both my first disaster this winter and the loaf below are versions of that idea. For those of you new to this, part of the way this bread works is that you let it rise for an eternity, like 18 hours if you’ve got it. But damn, our house inevitably gets pretty chilly in any 18-hour cycle, and those yeastie beasties want some heat (or at least something more inviting than a 60 degree kitchen) to do their thing. So this last loaf was just tasty enough to keep me trying. Really, the flavor on this loaf is great, but it’s too dense. So I am going to try a regular bread recipe with a less than eternal rise time and see what happens. Stay tuned.


themanicgardener said...

That looks pretty yummy, Heather. But about "raising" bread in a cold house--try putting it in a warm (NOT hot!) oven. Set the oven to "warm" (200 degrees or less) while you're kneading (or mixing), then oil a bowl (I just oil the bowl I used for mixing, but for some that's a yuck situation) dump in the dough, turn it so it's oiled all over, lay a clean cloth over it, TURN OFF THE OVEN, put the bowl in, and check every half hour or so.

Have you tried a beer bread? That's one of the best no-knead breads we've done. Never looked as pretty as your loaf, though.

Don't forget your banjo--

queenbeehoney said...

An awfully pretty loaf!

Ashley said...
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