Monthly Archives: August 2018

A box grater isn’t just for cheese….

Tartine Bread summary: burnt bread doesn’t have to be a fail; so you think your grater is just for cheese…; not to mention that your file and rasp aren’t just for carpentry; how to rescue bread burned on the bottom;

When we first started baking bread in our combo cooker and began to REALLY go for that dark as mahogany, “bien cuit” look, this kind of problem with a burnt bottom was happening relatively frequently. Sure, the bread looked fabulous on top.

Dflat chord

But it was black as the ace of spades on the bottom.

oh dear

Who knew a box grater would come in so handily? And a file and rasp from the tool box….

rescuing burnt bread

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so you think you don’t like okra, eh?

summary: fried okra hash; Vivian Howard’s compelling words; rooftop garden;

I’m calling [this] hash, for lack of a better word. Whatever its proper name, this is magic draining on a paper-towel-lined plate – Vivian Howard, Chapter 18: Okra, Deep Run Roots, p404

In late June, in the middle of reading the okra chapter in Vivian Howard’s truly wonderful book, “Deep Run Roots”, we immediately put down the book, jumped on our bikes and sought out okra to make okra hash for that night’s dinner.

Deep Run Roots

Because, unlike many poor misguided people, we love okra. Or rather, we love okra as long as the scary slime has been cooked out of it.

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This is Our Kind of Music!

Catalan Potatoes summary: how hard is it (really) to make garlic paste? – Epicurious video investigation; fake news; what to do with garlic paste; the wonders of alioli made with home-grown “Music” garlic; Catalan potatoes; some opinions about garlic;

“One rule in life”, he murmured to himself. “If you can smell garlic, everything is all right”. – J.G. Ballard (1930-2009), High-Rise

'Music' Garlic Once again last fall, I planted “Music” garlic.

I don’t care that we don’t really have enough sun in our garden. I don’t care that the resulting heads of garlic are a little smaller than they should be.

Can you smell the music? I can!! Everything is all right….

I first saw the following video on “Facebook Watch” on 13 August; it conveniently (for FB) left out the plug for the Epicurious website. It turns out the video was originally on the Epicurious YouTube channel on 2 January of this year (at least I think it was originally there), with the words,

Watch as 50 people try to make garlic paste by any means necessary, including peeling, cutting, mincing, smashing and squashing. […] Browse thousands of recipes and videos from Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and more. Find inventive cooking ideas, ingredients, and restaurant menus from the world’s largest food archive.

YouTube: 50 People Try to Mince Garlic | Epicurious

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In the Heat of the Night (BBB August 2018)

go directly to the recipe

Bread Baking Babes August 2018 summary: recipe for Yeasted Blueberry Coffee Cake; brioche; hot weather baking; information about Bread Baking Babes;

At ten minutes to three in the morning, the city of Wells lay inert, hot and stagnant. Most of its eleven thousand people tossed restlessly; the few who couldn’t sleep at all damned the fact that there was no breeze to lift the stifling effect of the night. The heat of the Carolinas in August hung thick and heavy in the air. – John Ball, In the Heat of the Night

Sigh. Late again. I WAS going to be ontime. I really was.

I blame it on the Dog Days. Even though it isn’t Dog Days yet. It sure is hot enough though. It went up to 31C yesterday. And now, only a few hours into today, it’s still 24C. And stinkingly humid. “Stifling”… “Thick and heavy”…. Make it stop!

But enough (almost) whining, and on to the heart of the matter:

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Yeasted Blueberry Coffee Cake

BBB August 2018

Brioche dough is so soft and silky, I look forward to making it just to enjoy the feel of it under my hands. The finished dough is so full of life it requires constant deflating duing its maturing rest in the refrigerator. […] Do not allow the dough to rise more than the number of times recommended […] or the rise will weaken the sturcture and cause the bread to be heavy.
– Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Bread Bible, p485-486

This month, Judy (Judy’s Gross Eats) chose yeasted blueberry coffee cake for the BBBabes to bake. At first, I imagined I was going to use wild yeast only.

Ha. As if. The heat and humidity got to me. It also made our wild yeast extremely unpredictable.

Happily, we still have some active dry yeast in the fridge. And beautiful wild blueberries in the freezer. I was set!

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