Friday, 19 April 2013
Do you get tired of kneading? Sometimes, I do. Especially if I find myself with nothing interesting to think about. Because, let’s face it. Kneading is somewhat repetitive. It’s hand-wringingly repetitive.
Others clearly have the same feeling. Some people resort to using machines to knead.
I’m not wild about using machines. They take up so much room and they’re so loud. And they aren’t easy to clean – I’m always worried about cutting myself….
Other people, like Ken Forkish (Ken’s Artisan) and Chad Robertson (Tartine Bread), forgo kneading entirely and hand-mix and fold their bread doughs in a container.
I prefer to mix [the final dough] by hand in the dough tub, rather than kneading it on the counter or using a mixer. It’s simpler, faster, and entails less cleanup, and it’s fully effective. The dough stays in the same tub from the autolyse step until it is divided and shaped into loaves. [...] No fuss, no muss!
- Ken Forkish, Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza, Basic Bread Method, p. 67
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
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Bread Baking Babes (BBB) April 2013
“I won’t!” said Mary.
“I’ll make you,” said Colin. “They shall drag you in.”
“Shall they, Mr. Rajah!” said Mary fiercely. “They may drag me in but they can’t make me talk when they get me here. I’ll sit and clench my teeth and never tell you one thing. I won’t even look at you. I’ll stare at the floor!”
- Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, Chapter 16
This month, Natashya (Living in the Kitchen with Puppies) chose the BBBabes’ challenge. Initially, I blanched because I thought the bread was going to be filled with fresh tomatoes.
All I could think of was: where on earth are we going to get decent fresh tomatoes in Toronto in April?!
But of course, I should have known better. You would think that I would be familiar enough with my reading skills (and content retention) by now.
It turns out that the filling choices were perfectly designed for a cold April kitchen.
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
We went out for a little break yesterday and ended up riding 10 km on our bikes going on a wild goose chase to various supermarkets in the general vicinity.
We! Could! Not! Find! Dried! Tarragon!
Well, that’s not entirely true. We did find some in Kensington Market on the weekend, but rejected it because it was grossly overpriced. $3.00 for a little tiny amount in a little envelope?! Are they kidding?
Tarragon grows well here in Toronto (except in our shady garden…). Of course, we use fresh in the summer when we can get it from various gardens. And in the fall, I dry whatever decent fresh tarragon I can find. But here it is April – a rather chilly April – and we’ve run out of dried tarragon. (I think I used the last of it in Easter’s beet and horseradish salad.)
The chives have emerged in the garden but I can’t tell yet whether our tarragon survived the winter. (continue reading…)
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
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Easter just isn’t Easter without hot cross buns, is it?
-me, Hot Cross Cardamom Buns, April 2009
When I made the brioche birds last month, I took a photo and then carefully put the birds into the freezer so we could have them for Easter morning.
I know myself. I knew that I would not manage to take a photo on Easter morning AND post it in time.
But alas. I did not take outside circumstances into consideration. Of course, I should have – especially by now, after more than twenty years of happy marriage to someone who loves eating as much as I do. Yes, I really should have.
Sometime in the middle of last month, here’s how the conversation went:
he: [carrying a tray with cups and mid-morning tea] Your little birds are delicious!!
me: [distractedly] I’m glad you lik… [sitting up straight] What?
he: [enthusiastically] I love the brioche birds! They’re your best bread! I just pulled two out of the freezer and they took no time to heat up. They’re really good! You should make those all the time!! Do you want me to get one for you?
Ha! The best laid plans. Guess what hot cross thing I was doing last Saturday morning? (continue reading…)
Sunday, 31 March 2013
At last spring seems to have arrived. Or at least it seemed so yesterday. It was beautifully sunny. While brioche dough (with a little ground cardamom) was rising in the kitchen, we took advantage of the beautiful weather to ride our bikes through the neighbourhood to get supplies for today’s feast.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
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Bookmarked Recipes #22: Red Hazeret
Red Haz-e- what?? Or at least that’s what I said when I saw Shulie’s (Food Wanderings) post
When we went over the Egyptians’ afflictions every year in class, around Passover, I worried about rain of frogs and locust. My shoulders cringed, sitting still in the small, wooden chair in class, my jaw tense. I kept my mouth tightly shut though I had much to voice. I wriggled as a contortionist to shimmy away the itchiness at the thought of lice. Ten plagues, oh the possibilities of plights to be distraught about, even though I am an Israelite. I was the protagonist in my very own tragic post biblical drama.
- Shulie Madnick, Food Wanderings, Red Hazeret – A Horseradish & Red Beets Relish
I read this and thought, eeeeek!! I too can’t stop cringing at the thought of rain of frogs and locusts.
Luckily, I have a very short attention span though and quickly forgot my squirms as I read further into Shulie’s post to read about Red Hazeret, a relish made with beets and horseradish. It sounded quite similar to the beet salad that we make. But instead of chili flakes for heat, it would use horseradish – fresh horseradish, that is. There’s really no other way to go.