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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Stepping Back in Time to the 17th century (BBB September 2014)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Robert May’s French Bread, based on Elizabeth David’s adaptation of a 17th century recipe; trying again with the stainless steel mixing bowl as a steam chamber; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) September 2014

Always adventurous, the BBBabes are time travelling this month….

Rob't. May's French bread Ilva is this month’s mastermind and decided to send us back to the 1600s.

To make French Bread the best way.
Take a gallon of fine flour, and a pint of good new ale barm or yeast, and put it to the flour, with the whites of six new laid eggs well beaten in a dish, and mixt with the barm in the middle of the flour, also three spoonfuls of fine salt; then warm some milk and fair water, and put to it, and make it up pretty stiff, being well wrought and worked up, cover it in a boul or tray with a warm cloth till your oven be hot; then make it up either in rouls, or fashion it in little wooden dishes and bake it, being baked in a quick oven, chip it hot.
Robert May, The Accomplisht Cook, or, The Whole Art and Mystery of Cookery, fitted for all Degrees and Qualities, Section IX: Baking, (1685 edition), p. 240

Robert May (1588 – c.1664) was an English cook for various aristocratic families of the English aristocracy. He was trained by his father and then sent to Paris, by the Lady of the House where his father worked, to train as a chef.

First published in 1660 and reprinted at least 5 times during the author’s lifetime, “The Accomplisht Cook” is considered by many to be the first major recipe book published in England, being written by a professional cook when most recipe books at that time were household collections written by amateur cooks.

Luckily for us, Ilva didn’t insist that we build wood fired ovens and create our own ale barms (although I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t at least one intrepid BBBabe who did just that…). (continue reading…)

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I’m suffering from flat blonde sandwich bread syndrome

stainless steel bowl summary: making flatbread unintentionally; using stainless steel mixing bowl as a steam chamber; (click on image(s) to see larger views and more photos)

There is nothing so disheartening as having to cut “sandwich” bread diagonally in order to get decent sized slices.

flat-ish bread Lately, I’ve been having a lot of problems with producing flat bread when I haven’t wanted to. The crust is also on the blonde side. I think the flatness is partly because it’s summertime and I may be letting the shaped bread overproof. Or perhaps the dough is too slack. Or perhaps it was a mistake to clean the oven. Maybe our bread LIKES to be baked inside encrusted walls….

But I just can’t believe those are really the reasons!

After reading the following in Lionel Vatinet’s book “A Passion for Bread” (thank you for the recommendation, Tanna!), I remembered about the wondrous success of this hat method in creating oven spring – why oh why did I stop doing this?? (continue reading…)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Wordless Not-Wednesday: what to do with all those apples

Filed under: food & drink,Wordless and/or Black & White Wednesdays — ejm @ 18:02 EDT
<o>Not Far From the Tree


!Pop!! Pop!!Pop! (»»»)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

BBBuddies’ Polenta Bread

BBB: Let's Get Bakingsummary: August 2014 Bread Baking Buddies; Polenta Bread gallery; about the BBBabes (click on image(s) to see the BBBuddies’ posts)

It’s August. How many are on holiday? How many will bake anyway? Will there actually be a gallery? :lalala:

Polenta Bread (BBBuddies)Bread Baking Buddies (BBB): Polenta Bread

This August, the BBBabes made polenta bread. (Here is the recipe we used.) Happily, I was the only one foolish enough to make “Glow in the Dark” Polenta Bread…. To make up for not having radioactive ingredients, one of the BBBabes was most intrepid and used her sourdough instead of commercial yeast to make her Polenta Bread. So did one of the BBBuddies.

Because of the wonders of technology, the BBBuddies come from all over the world. …I LOVE the internet! (continue reading…)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Words… My Word!

Filed under: cookbooks, etc.,food & drink,whine — ejm @ 18:40 EDT

summary: I don’t like what is happening to SAVEUR magazine; questionable word choices for articles about food and drink: devour, gobble, mushy; Goan shrimp curry; (click on image(s) to see larger views and more photos)

Is my love affair with SAVEUR coming to an end? (I’m seriously considering the idea of not renewing my subscription when it next expires….)

SAVEUR no. 167 I just finished reading the most recent SAVEUR magazine, The India Issue. And I’d like to have a word or two with them about what is going on there.

We were really excited when we saw the front cover and couldn’t wait to read the various articles. T was especially thrilled, hoping to relive some of the wonderful memories of his time in India and learn how much it has changed and/or remained the same.

The India Issue
Special Issue #167 is a love letter to India – its diverse landscapes, people, and of course, incredible food.
- | The India Issue
From remote tribal villages to frenzied capital cities, in India, food is life’s organizing principle. For this issue, we traverse the massive subcontinent, from east to west, from south to north and northeast, along the way dipping into restaurants and morning markets, the home of a nomadic herdsman and the palace of a raja, a wedding and a glossy movie set. [...] The journey into India can start with just one curry, one dal, or one lassi. Come along with us.
-SAVEUR India, The India Issue, (SAVEUR No. 167), p. 6

As we read through the magazine, we were more and more disappointed. The articles were short, almost to the point of briefness and few held any magic, but were simply reports about what kind of food people eat in various regions, rather than a glimpse into life in that remarkable country and an unspoken invitation making the reader want (neeeed!) to experience it personally. (continue reading…)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Glow-in-the-dark Polenta Bread (BBB August 2014)


go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Polenta Bread, based on Della Fattoria’s Polenta bread in Artisan Bread Across America by Maggie Glezer; extremely long-winded (as usual) account touching on reading labels carefully and using alternate methods to create a spiral design; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) August 2014

It’s corn season! J’adore corn. In all forms …even glow-in-the-dark!

polenta bread

It’s my turn to choose the bread this month and I wanted to choose something a little different from our normal bread but one that was made with only grains. Initially, I was going to suggest we make the yeasted cornbread from The Moosewood Cookbook. It is fabulous sliced and grilled on the barbecue then used as a “plate” for grilled meat and vegetables.

But when I looked to make sure that none of the BBBabes had chosen it before, I saw that one of us had chosen a yeasted corn bread already. :lalala: It was me! It was the very first BBBabe bread that I chose: Broa – Portuguese Corn Bread (BBB October 2010)

And then, as I was typing this up, I suddenly noticed that I hadn’t made the Moosewood bread with the BBBs after all. (I’m so embarrassed… clearly, I have no memory. Not to mention that I still can’t read.)

So. I thought I’d do something unprecedented and make something new. I decided to start by actually looking in the books on our cookbook shelf. It turns out that they’re not just for decoration… :lalala:

polenta bread I began by leafing through Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Breads Across America because it has such lovely colour photos. I got stopped by the amazing photo of Della Fattoria’s Polenta Bread on page 116.

Wow Wow Wow THAT’S the one!! (continue reading…)

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