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Archive for February, 2013

by Sarah Steimer

My baguettes didn't wind up looking quite as sexy as the photos from the original recipe - but they taste and texture was pretty near spot-on for a baguette. I had to make a few tweaks because I don't have a bread stone, but I think the baguettes turned out pretty darn well overall.

My baguettes didn’t wind up looking quite as sexy as the photos from the original recipe — but the taste and texture was pretty darn near spot-on for a baguette. I had to make a few tweaks to the recipe overall: I used an upside-down baking sheet in place of a bread stone and a Dutch oven with ice to create steam instead of a cast iron skillet. I don’t think my tweaks made a huge difference, but learning to bake your own bread involves a lot of trial and error. It takes some time to learn how to knead the dough just right or to figure out the perfect amount of time the bread needs to bake, but you won’t get too many complaints from those who benefit from your experiments.

  • 1 1/2 cups tap water, heated to 115 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • oil
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

Whisk together the yeast and water in a large bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy. Stir the flour in with a fork until dough forms and all the flour is absorbed. Let the dough sit for about 20 minutes so the flour may fully hydrate.

Add the salt to the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. I needed to add additional flour to my surface pretty regularly because the dough was fairly sticky. Just try not to add TOO much flour!

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a cold oven and let rest until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Working on a lightly floured surface, form the dough into an 8-inch-by-6-inch rectangle. Fold the 8-inch sides toward the middle so the edges meet. Next, fold the 6-inch sides toward the center so those edges meet. Return to the bowl, seam side down, and place in the oven for 1 hour.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 14-inch rope. Place a piece of lightly floured parchment paper on an upside-down baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the parchment. Lift and crease the paper between the ropes to form long pleats. Place two tightly rolled kitchen towels under the long edges of the paper to support the loaves. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 50 minutes.

While the dough is rising, place a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack of the oven. Place a baking stone on the rack above the skillet. I do not have a baking stone, so I used an upside-down baking sheet instead. Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees.

Once the oven is ready, remove the plastic wrap and towels from the dough. Flatten out the paper so the loaves are spaced out. Use a sharp knife or razor to slash the top of each loaf at a 30-degree angle in four spots, with each slash about 4 inches long. Use the edges of the parchment to carefully guide the loaves onto the hot baking stone (this is a good time to have a friend help). Place the ice cubes in the skillet so steam forms, thus allowing the loaves to rise fully before a crust forms.

Bake until the loaves are dark brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Cool before serving.

Makes three, 14-inch baguettes.

Recipe adapted from: Saveur

*We’re loving the smell of fresh bread wafting from our ovens in February. See all of our On the Rise bread recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Don't judge! You'll drop a gremolata-pine nut bomb on your plate, too.

Don’t judge! You’ll drop a gremolata-pine nut bomb on your plate, too.

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled, trimmed and minced

Heat the oven to 350. Arrange the pine nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Lightly coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add a single layer of eggplant slices to the pan. Cook on each side until tender and golden-brown, about 3 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat until all of the eggplant is cooked.

To make the gremolata, combine the parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl, and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Arrange 3 or 4 eggplant slices on each plate and top with gremolata and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Makes 3-4 servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

    This was my Valentine's Day dinner! I narrowed it down to three different fish dishes and let Bill choose his favorite. I served this over a simple fried rice - just rice, veggies and soy sauce.

This was my Valentine’s Day dinner! I narrowed it down to three different fish dishes and let Bill choose his favorite. I served this over a simple fried rice – just rice, veggies and soy sauce.

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar
  • 2 salmon filets, skinless
  • sesame seeds
  • green onion, chopped

Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and vinegar. Pour the sauce over the fish either in a shallow rimmed baking dish or in a freezer bag. Let marinade for about 15 minutes

Remove the fish from the container and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler and cook for about 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. The salmon is cooked through when it is opaque and can be easily flaked with a fork.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion. Serve over fried or steamed rice with vegetables.

Makes two servings.

Recipe adapted from: My Little Gourmet

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Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing in our very first giveaway! You guys look good in green. :)

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing in our very first giveaway! You guys look good in green. :)

"The Laurel's House Bread Book"

The prize: “The Laurel’s House Bread Book”

This giveaway thing is fun, huh?

We drew the cutoff for entries this afternoon and were very pleased with the small pile we received. Several people had more than one card in the bowl, which definitely makes things interesting.

Thanks again to those of you who participated!

Are you ready to see who won this lovely vintage bread cookbook?

Drum roll, please!

*

*

*

*

*

Sara, lover of croissants, you are the winner! Congratulations!

Sara, lover of croissants, you are the winner! Congratulations!

Sara, please email your mailing address to us at dkscooks@gmail.com, and we’ll send the cookbook your way as soon as possible!

Thanks again, guys! Would you like to see more giveaways in the future?

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by Caitlin Saniga

Roasted garlic soup

This soup was smooth, creamy, garlicky and beautifully aromatic, thanks to the bay leaf and white wine. For leftovers, I added a big scoop of rice and some steamed asparagus, which made it into almost a risotto and was also terrific.

  • 1 large garlic head, whole, unpeeled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • chopped scallion, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a serrated knife, cut the top off the garlic head so that the tip of each clove is exposed. Place the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bay leaf and fold the foil to form a packet. Place the packet in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Cool slightly. In a small bowl, squeeze the garlic head until all of the roasted flesh is released. Discard the outer husks the bay leaf.

In a large heavy-duty saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil and butter, add onions, and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the potato, chicken stock, white wine, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for 35 minutes.
Using a blender, purée the soup in small batches until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Heat until warmed. Do not boil. Keep warm until ready to serve.
In a large pan over medium heat, drop Parmesan by the rounded tablespoonful into 4 separate clumps. Cook undisturbed until the cheese crisps up and turns golden-brown. Transfer the pan to the fridge, placing a hot pad underneath, and let cool for 2 minutes. Dab the cheese crisps with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
Ladle the soup into 4 bowls. Place a cheese crisp on the surface of each bowl of soup. Garnish with chopped scallions. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from: Country Living

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"The Laurel House Bread Book"

Have you been loving our On the Rise guide this month? Then you’d probably enjoy this copy of “The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book,” which includes many more bread recipes than we’ll ever be able to provide. Read on to find out how you could win it.

In the warm and generous spirit of our bread guide this month, we’ve decided to start a new feature on the blog: giveaways!

The book is in as good of shape as a book from 1984 could be. The pages are clean, and the illustrations are as wonderful as ever. Here's a look at book's first page.

The book is in as good of shape as a book from 1984 could be. The pages are clean, and the illustrations are as wonderful as ever.

The first of our prizes ties in closely with the bread guide’s theme. Caitlin happened upon a retro copy of “The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book” during a recent trip to a used book sale in Roanoke and fell in love with the quirky illustrations that dot the pages of the book. Inside this 1984 edition’s 447 pages are recipes for a variety of breads, including loaves, quick breads, bagels, biscuits, rolls and more.

Each recipe provides detailed instructions.

Each recipe provides detailed instructions.

Authors Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders and Bronwen Godfrey also spend a good portion of the beginning of the book explaining bread basics in detail, such as methods for adjusting dough consistency, kneading, letting the dough rise, checking for doneness and more. A description on Amazon calls this book “the classic bestselling cookbook devoted to baking light, healthful, delicious bread entirely from whole grains.” It seems like a great bread guide for beginners and experts alike.

And we want to share it with you!

How the giveaway works:

You’ll have until noon on Monday to enter for chances to win the cookbook. At that point, we’ll use a drawing to pick a random winner, and we’ll announce the winner in a new blog post later that day. That winner will need to email us with their mailing address so we can send along their prize.

Ways to win:

  • What’s your favorite type of bread? Leave your answer as a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered in the drawing once.
  • Share our Facebook post about this giveaway on your own Facebook account, and you’ll be entered in the drawing once more.
  • Retweet our tweet about this giveaway, and you’ll be entered in the drawing once again.

That means you could have up to 3 entries.

Any questions? Good luck!

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by Sarah Steimer

I love a nice, light sandwich for lunch, and these two don't require many ingredients and hardly any time. Cut off the crusts and slice into smaller bites and you also have some great tea sandwiches.

I love a nice, light bite for breakfast or lunch, and these two don’t require many ingredients and hardly any time. Cut off the crusts and slice into smaller bites and you also have some great tea sandwiches.

For the radish and scallions over Greek yogurt:

For each sandwich, use one piece of bread. Spread each piece of bread with about 2-3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt. Top with one small, thinly sliced radish and one scallion, sliced on an extreme angle. Sprinkle with fresh crushed pepper.

For the apple with cinnamon over ricotta:

For each sandwich, use one piece of bread. Spread each piece of bread with about 2-3 tablespoons ricotta and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Top with 1/4 of an apple, such as a Gala, sliced thin. Sprinkle again with cinnamon.

Recipes adapted from: Bon Appetit here and here

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