Fraudulent Sourdough Bread

January 26th, 2015

Sourdough Bread 2

I am always inspired by fellow bloggers.  I sometimes wonder why we even bother with cookbooks when we have such talented people who blog about food on a regular basis.  Monique from La Table de Nana is one of those bloggers.  Among several recipes in one of her recent post, I was attracted to this round of crusty bread full of seeds.  She adapted the recipe from another blogger, Lady and the Pups.  The premise behind the sourdough bread is that you don’t need a sourdough starter.  The sour taste comes from the yogurt that is a part of the mixture.  It is so easy, especially if you kneed it in a stand mixer.  The only difficulty is time.  Time to let it ferment for 6 to 18 hours.  But you might as well just go about your business while the dough does its thing.  There is very little hands on work.

Staub Cookware

 

One of the reasons that I wanted to try this bread is because it is supposed to be baked in a heavy covered casserole.  I have been waiting to share this news with you.  I was fortunate to win a set of Staub Cookware from one of my favorite sites, the folks at Food52.  Food52 was founded by former New York Times food editor Amanda Hesser and food writer Merrill Stubbs.  The site offers home cooks everything from recipes to food related articles.  It has an active community of over 300,000 members.  They offer recipe contests in which I have participated.  So far 2 of my recipes have been selected as “Community Picks”.

With the publication of Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook My Kitchen in France, they held a contest offering a set of the beautiful French cookware from Staub.  All that was necessary to win was to leave a comment on their website each day of one week.  They gave away 4 sets.  I won one of them.  I was expecting, perhaps, some small individual cocottes, . . . maybe a small oval baker.  Much to my amazement, right before Christmas three large boxes were delivered.  I received a 5 quart round cocotte with lid, a 9.5 inch oval baker, and a 12 inch skillet (not shown here).  I told David I needed nothing more for Christmas.  Staub is amazing cookware, much like Le Creuset.  The matte black pieces are all featured in Mimi’s cookbook.  By the way, I also won one of her cookbooks.  Since I had already purchased mine, I gave this one to my talented daughter-in-law for Christmas.

Sourdough Bread 1

The bread baked in the casserole couldn’t have been better.  I’m sure any heavy duty casserole would do, but there is something satisfying about cooking in beautiful vessels.  I highly recommend this bread.  I love the cracked appearance of the loaf.  It is hard on the outside and soft inside, just as a good sourdough loaf should be.  You can make it without the sunflower and flax seeds as the original recipe suggests.  Monique even suggested that I try it that way first, but I loved this version.  Thank you for a great recipe Monique.

FRAUDULENT SOURDOUGH BREAD

  • 3 cups (405 grams) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp (8 grams) salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast (if fermenting for 18 hours), or 3/4 tsp instant dry yeast (if fermenting for 6 hours)
  • 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (385 grams) plain unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, optional
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds, optional

Instructions

  1. In a stand-mixer with dough-hook, or in a large bowl by hands, mix bread flour, instant dry yeast, salt and plain yogurt, plus seeds if using, on medium-low speed for 2 min until a dough forms. If the dough is too dry and has difficulty coming together, add 1 tbsp more plain yogurt. If you’d like, continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed, or with your hands, for a few more minutes until springy. The dough should be very sticky, but able to retain shapes.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let ferment at room-temperature for 18 hours (NO MORE than 20 hours or the yogurt may spoil and become bitter!), or 6 hours depending on your schedule (note that the amount of yeast varies). The dough should almost doubled when finished.
  3. After fermentation, dust the counter with flour then transfer the dough on top. Use just enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking, fold the dough gently (without crushing all the air bubbles inside) over itself like folding a letter. Turn 90 degrees and fold again. Then shape the dough into a ball-shape. Transfer to a piece of floured parchment paper, then cover a large bowl on top and let proof again for 1 ~ 2 hours. The dough is ready when it almost double in size again, and should not spring back when you press it with a finger.
  4. 45 minutes before the dough’s ready, preheat the oven on 450F/225C with a large dutch oven, or a heavy-bottom pot (both should come with lid) inside. To bake the bread, lift the parchment paper to transfer the dough into the preheated pot, cover the lid and bake for 30 min. Then remove the lid, and bake until the crust is golden browned.
  5. Let cool on a rack for 20 min.

 

Printable Recipe

Parmesan Bread

October 20th, 2014

Parmesan Bread 1

Pain au Parmesan or Parmesan Bread is a recipe from Patricia Well’s The Paris Cookbook.  I picked up a copy of this book recently at an antique mall.  Even though it was written over a decade ago, the recipes are current and inviting.  I am a committed bread lover, so this recipe for Parmesan bread appealed to me immediately.  Patricia was inspired to adapt this bread recipe from the Boulangerie Onfroy in the Marais.  The bread is fine textured with a pungent Parmesan flavor.  It makes a great BLT.  I have also been enjoying it as toast with a tomato topping.

Parmesan Bread 2

But what is so wonderful about this Parmesan bread is that it easy.  It can be kneaded in a stand mixer and takes little hands on time.   Each slice of this fragrant bread brought me back to the beautiful boulangeries of Paris.

Boulangerie Onfroy

We have been in Florida celebrating our joint birthdays for the last week.  Here are a few pictures of the event.

Birthday Mimi and kids
I was so happy to have the grandkids with us.

Birthday Kristen and MichaelOur thanks to all of our friends and our wonderful family, including our Son Michael and DIL Kristen above, for a stellar celebration.  Aging can be a beautiful time of life.  Thank you Mark for the pictures that captured the event.

PARMESAN BREAD

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 3/4 cups ( 1 pound ) bread flour, or more if needed
3 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3/4 cup)
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for egg wash

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water, and stir to blend.  Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Then stir in the oil and the sea salt.

Add the 3 3/4 cups flour and the cheese all at once, and mix at medium speed until most of the flour has been absorbed and the dough forms a ball.  Continue to knead until the dough is soft and satiny but still firm, 4 to 5 minutes.  If necessary, add a little more flour to keep the dough from sticking.  Transfer the dough to a clean, floured work surface and knead by had for 1 minute.  The dough should be smooth and should spring back when indented with your fingertip.

Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Punch the dough down and shape it into a tight rectangle.  Place the dough in a nonstick 1-quart rectangular bread pan that has been buttered.  Cover it with a clean cloth and let it rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash.  With the tips of a pair of scissors, snip the top of the dough all over, about 15 times, to allow it to expand evenly during baking.  Place the bread pan on the bottom shelf of the oven.  Bake until firm and golden brown, and the bread sounds hollow when tapped, about 35 to 40 minutes.  Transfer the bread to a rack to cool.

Printable Recipe

 

Prosciutto Breakfast Rolls

August 21st, 2014

Prosciutto Breakfast Rolls 1

 

Do you occasionally buy convenience items like refrigerated crescent roll dough?  There are many things you can do with it besides rolling the triangles into crescent rolls.  I do like this take on a different way to handle crescent roll dough.  Instead of separating the dough into triangles stop at the rectangles, pat the seams closed and you have the perfect size for a slice of prepackaged prosciutto.  It fits like a glove.  Then all you have to do is roll it up and slice the log into two pieces.

Prosciutto Breakfast Rolls 2V

 

Viola!  An easy roll up for breakfast.  To guild the lily,  brush a mixture of grainy mustard and honey on the rolls before you bake them.  This made a great change from our usual Canadian bacon and English muffin breakfast.  Although homemade is best, an occasional easy option is nice to have on hand.

PROSCIUTTO BREAKFAST ROLLS ( Katie Brown )

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 (8-ounce) packages refrigerated crescent-roll dough
8 thin slices prosciutto

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons country-style or grainy Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray heavy large baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Open 1 package of rolls.  Unroll crescent dough and separate into 4 rectangles ( do not separate dough into triangles; press perforations together).  Top each dough rectangle with 1 slice prosciutto.  Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough rectangles jellyroll style.  Cut each crosswise in half.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet, seam side down.  Repeat with second package of crescent rolls. (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.)

Whisk honey and mustard in small bowl to blend.  Brush tops of rolls with honey mixture.  Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Printable recipe

 

Souffleed Omelet with Canadian Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

May 28th, 2014

Souffleed Omelet 1

This is an easy breakfast dish and very impressive when it comes out of the oven.  Photographing it is another story as it deflates rather quickly.  But, when cut into and served, it is creamy and luscious.  I love the texture of the eggs and the bits of ham and herbs.

Souffleed Omelet 2V

I have so much basil this year that I am putting it in everything.  It holds its own with eggs.  But you could use other herbs.  This souffle is one of those dishes that is easily adaptable.  Substitute sausage or cooked vegetables for the Canadian bacon, parsley or tarragon for the basil, or cheddar cheese for the Gruyere topping.  It doesn’t matter.  The magic still happens and it comes out of the oven puffy and golden.  I liked this so much that I made it two Sundays in a row.

Souffleed Omelet 4

This time I used a combination of fresh tarragon and basil.  David wants to try it with sausage and cheddar next time.  But I am also thinking about that leftover zucchini and corn.  I am sure all of you could come up with some wonderful combinations.  This is a keeper.

SOUFFLEED OMELET WITH CANADIAN BACON AND GRUYERE CHEESE  (Adapted from Gourmet)

6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2
3 tablespoons flour
8 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces freshly grated Gruyere cheese

In a flameproof 1 1/2 quart baking dish cook the bacon in the butter over moderately low heat for 5 minutes, or until it is golden, stir the mixture to coat the sides of the dish with the butter, and remove it from the heat.  In a bowl whisk together the cream the flour, the eggs, the basil and the salt and pour the mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle the mixture with the Gruyere cheese and bake it in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the omelet is puffed and golden.  Serves 4 to 6.

Printable recipe

Zucchini Flans and a Giveaway

May 8th, 2014

Zucchini Flans 1

I have been following the blog Manger for a while now and am thrilled that the author Mimi Thorisson is coming out with a new book this Fall.  Manger is the French word for “To Eat”.  Mimi lives in the Medoc region of France with her husband and growing family.  Her blog is beautiful both in her prose and the photography.  Her husband is a professional photographer and is responsible for the ethereal images.

 

A Kitchen in France 2
To celebrate the publication of her new book  A Kitchen in France, I will give one lucky winner a copy of the book.  Since it will not be published until this Fall,  you will have to wait to receive your copy.  Mimi’s food is as unique as she is with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.  I have tried several of her recipes and have been very happy with the results.

zucchini flans 2V

These Zucchini Flans are very easy to make and a good use for the ubiquitous summer zucchini that will be in our markets soon.  They make a lovely light breakfast or side dish for any of your summer meals.  I changed the recipe a bit by using basil instead of mint.  They are very adaptive and gluten free since they use cornstarch instead of flour.

To win a copy of the cookbook, you have two chances.  Leave a comment on this post for one chance.  Follow my new Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen Facebook page for another chance.  Let me know in a separate comment if you are following me on Facebook.

ZUCCHINI FLANS

2 large zucchini, sliced in half-rounds
5 eggs
4 tbsp cornstarch (maïzana in France)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
A handful of chopped basil
1/2 cup grated cheese (Emmental or Gruyère)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced finely
½ tsp nutmeg
Salt & black pepper

Preheat oven 180°C/ 350 F
Slice zucchini thinly in half rounds. Slice shallots and garlic finely. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and fry shallots, garlic and zucchini for a few minutes, until slightly golden.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cornstarch, then add grated cheese, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Combine zucchini/shallots/garlic, lemon juice and sliced basil – stir gently.
Pour mixture into a muffin pan. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, until slightly golden on top.
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