Bread Archive

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

new york deli rye bread

new york deli rye

If you love rye bread, you probably live in one of two worlds: one where you can get it at the ready or one in which you long for it, because the supermarket stuff just doesn’t cut it. Realistically speaking, this post is for the the second group as I live in the first one — The Big Apple, Pastrami Central, A Place Where Bagels Are Fresh All Day And Night. And yet, even here I can only think of a handful of places with reliably good freshly-baked rye bread at the ready. And that may be a generous estimation.

first rise

So here is a recipe to satisfy all of us: New York Deli Rye Bread that you can make at home, no matter how far your home is from the Lower East Side. It’s hearty from all of that whole grain flour. It’s substantial enough to host your favorite sandwich. It freezes like a charm and it has a workaround if you’re one of those people (like me) who love rye bread but loathe biting into caraway seeds. And while it may not be the most traditional way to discover one enjoy bread with butter and a sprinkling of flaky salt, that is exactly what happened to me today when all I could think of was what I could put on this delicious bread next.

rye bread with butter, radishes, salt

Continued after the jump »

Friday, August 14, 2009

grilled eggplant and olive pizza

grilled eggplant and olive pizza

A few months ago, a friend called to say that she was telling her office mates about how I love to grill pizza and they set to searching for my recipe on this site and couldn’t find it. Gulp, I said, I’ve just never written it up! From that day forward, I made it my Summer Priority to walk you through pizza on the grill, but I have failed at each turn. Either we’ve made the pizza too late in the evening and the pictures came out anything but appetizing, or the day I decided to try again, it has rained. Seriously. If you want thunderstorms to suddenly threaten, let me promise to make you grilled pizza for dinner.

18 green oliveseggplanteggplant, grill pangrilled eggplant slicespizza dough, part whole wheattopped, ready to finish cooking

Last night was the final straw, or the day I finally threw my hands in the air and declared that a proper introduction to grilled pizza will probably have to wait until next summer. (Fortunately, Jen and Dietsch at Last Night’s Dinner won’t make you wait that long.) I have had this grilled eggplant and olive pizza on the agenda even since I spied it in this month’s Gourmet and knew that it immediately needed to get in my belly. Four days later (a typical time lag these days from “idea” to “execution”, sadly) I had the ingredients amassed, the energy to give it a try and even a friend’s yard to grill in, thus of course, the weather went downhill. But I persevered, climbing into the far reaches of our linen closet where we stash kitchen stuff that doesn’t get much use (whispering hello to my 12-inch wedding cake pans and canneler molds), unearthing my cast iron panini pan (hey, close enough, right?) and setting to grill to my heart’s content, weather be damned.

grilled eggplant and olive pizza

Continued after the jump »

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 »