Bread Archive

Thursday, July 9, 2009

lemony zucchini goat cheese pizza

lemony zucchini goat cheese pizza

I’ve been at a bit of a standstill in the kitchen this month. It’s not really a lack of ideas vexing me, but a lack of desire to spend any time in front of a stove or oven now that the weather is so delicious, I believe I at least owe it the courtesy of spending time out in it. Sure, there are savory tarts and summery salads and even another burger bun recipe on my agenda; there’s a cake in my fridge that’s so pretty I will not be the least bit offended if you mount a protest that I am waiting until next time to tell you about it, but I need to level with you: I have not cooked a real dinner for us in over a month. A month! Perhaps longer.

really simple homemade pizza dough
spreading the goat cheese

None of this has stopped me from bringing home mounds of produce each week from the markets. My current (boring) preggo cravings are green beans and summer squash, and I’ve made countless batches of this salad and this sauté but a proper meal, they are not. Today I staged an intervention with myself once and for all. I figure it can’t just be me that is unmotivated to cook a decent, light summer meal and that the only solution would be to create something worth rallying myself — and others — over.

yellow and green zucchini
lemony zucchini pizza

Continued after the jump »

Friday, July 3, 2009

light brioche burger buns

light brioche burger buns

Do you know what this is? This is It. This is the hamburger bun recipe I’d been obsessing, dreaming and fretting over when I had my Incident back in May, which was namely that I’d spent a ridiculous amount of time and ingredients fighting a no-good recipe with a decidedly average finish. Since then, my frustration has faded somewhat, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that perhaps they weren’t the end of the world, they just weren’t the thing I was looking for: they were more of a limp white bread bun — the kind so easily purchased at a store under any generic brand, it made little sense to eek them out at home — and I wanted something a little more moist and rich. I wanted something better, the kind of thing that you knew you weren’t going to get in any plastic bag.

bun batterbuns, ready for second risepouffy bunswarty but i love them anyway

In the six weeks since, I have waded through nearly 100 burger bun recipes, all submitted by you kind folks with promises that they’d be better. I saw white bread buns and challah buns and whole wheat sourdough buns and you-name-it buns and, gah, I barely knew where to begin. And then, just as I was halfway through the early steps of a totally different hamburger bun recipe that, if all goes well, will be a wonderful, unusual complement to these, I dropped that effort completely in the pursuit of the Light Brioche Buns run in the New York Times article this week on the elements of a perfect burger.

light brioche buns

Continued after the jump »

Monday, May 4, 2009

cinnamon raisin bagels

cinnamon bagel, home on the range

There are a whole lot of foods that I’m not sure are even worth the trouble of making at home, though I suspect this list varies by what you have accessible in your neighborhood. I feel fairly certain I won’t be making any falafel sandwiches in our new kitchen, especially now that I’ve discovered our proximity to the $2.50 perfection at Mamouns. I’m not even sure I’ll ever make pirogi again, after finding my fluffy, light pirogi nirvana this weekend at the Ukranian National Home. And in general, I’ve never seen a whole lot of purpose in making bagels from scratch in New York City — save a one-time baking frenzy — and certainly not when we lived less than two blocks from our bagel ideal, Murrays. (I’m a little lost for a decent bagel in the East Village — anyone? I think we’ve been spoiled.)

making the spongerinsed raisinsmalt syrup16 bagels

But all bets are off when you’re at a cattle ranch 90 minutes from the nearest city in Northeastern Oklahoma, where I’m pretty sure your best bet to land a decent handmade, water-boiled bagel is to tackle them in your own kitchen. Plus, when you’re visiting someone who had just recently discovered her fervent passion for bagels with cream cheese and lox, it is your New Yorker duty to come armed with fresh, delicious cream cheese and lox from Russ & Daughters. And so we did. But then we demanded she make her own bagels.

bagels, proofing

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

black bread

slicing the black bread

It is ridiculous to think that on a site where I have shared twenty-nine bread recipes that I have yet to tell you about my favorite bread. Way to hold out Deb, right? I mean what were the other breads, just teasers? Well, yes.

black bread is the ingredient-est
some black bread dry ingredients

I’m not sorry, though, because my favorite bread contains perplexing things like chocolate, bran, molasses, shallots and fennel seeds, things that any sane person would know are completely insane to intentionally put in the same place. It has seventeen ingredients, which also goes far to explain why I don’t make it more often. (Remember, I’m the person who ran out of cinnamon making cinnamon rolls; do you actually think I can be counted on to have seventeen things at once?) Put all of that together and you’ll see why I know this bread is a hard sell.

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, March 28, 2009

bialys

bialys

Growing up, I never gave bialys much thought. The bagel shop where I briefly worked in high school had us front-end people take bagels off the machine rollers, pinch together the centers, schmear them with the onion filling and leave them on a tray for the professionals to bake, and that was about far as I’d considered them — a bagel variant. Oh, and that they were excellent toasted with salted butter.

It was reading The Bialy Eaters, Mimi Sheraton’s pursuit of the chewy, onion-topped kuchen from Bialystok, Poland to Paris, Argentina and Miami Beach, Florida, that was a turning point for me. Although though the book is true to the subject at hand — bialys — the subtext is really about the narratives from the scattered remnants of Bialystok — only a handful survived the pogroms and Holocaust — recalling what they can about the rolls they used to make and eat. I hadn’t realized exactly how scarce they were, and became a little obsessed.

pinching the rollsbialys, second risesauteeing onion-poppy toppingstretching the bialyspooning the onion toppingbialys, ready to bake

Continued after the jump »


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