recipe: dutch oven bread

A few days of recovery time after my baguette fail, I was ready to try a crusty loaf again. My Uncle posted this recipe for a Dutch Oven style bread on my Facebook wall.

I was just reading about this method of bread making in my new obsession, Ruhlaman’s Twenty. The theory is sound, bake the loaf in a clay pot, the steam trapped inside creates the crispy crust, finish the baking time with the pot uncovered; and you have a crispy artisan loaf on your hands.

I was a little skeptical of the recipe. It looked way too simple, bread can’t just sit over night be baked and turnout like that?! I stand corrected.

My bread turned out a bit salty, that was probably my fault, I never measure salt (one of those, put it in the palm of your hand things), and I must not have been paying close attention; just be warned.

But as you can see, it turned out quite beautifully. I want to try a whole wheat, and a kalamata olive loaf. Also, the recipe originally used a cast iron pot, I used clay with great success.

Dutch Oven Bread:
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Makes 2 loaves
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3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours.  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a clay pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

help: baguettes

I tried. I thought for some reason I could do it. f.a.i.l.

When they came out of the oven I thought I had succeeded. The crust was sounded crunchy and wonderful. But after they cooled they turned out to be nothing more then tasteless, white, baguette-shaped, bread-like tubes.

Have any of you ever successfully made baguettes? Is it even possible in a home kitchen? I am hunted by the memory of a real French Baguette sold on every corner in Paris.

I used this recipe.

(real life picture for you)


recipe: brie and apple baguettes

My lovely readers!

I am back stateside! I am so excited to show you what I have learned about food durning my trip, and also share my picture with you!

To kick off the string of French food, that I assure you is coming, is a
baguette sandwich. My sister and I had this on a small town right outside Omaha beach. We decided to recreate it tonight for dinner. And I must say, we nailed it. We were only missing the crash of the French seaside.

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Also, we added chicken to one of the sandwiches, you can see it on top. You can add meat, or leave it just cheese and apple!

1 large baguette,cut in half, or 2 small
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1/2 large wedge brie, sliced
A handful baby spinach
Butter, softened
Course ground mustard

Slice the baguettes down the middle. Spread one side of the opened baguette with mustard, and the other with butter.
Arrange a thin layer of spinach inside each baguette. Add a layer of apples on top of the spinach, followed by the brie, finish with another layer of apple slices.

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I am super stoked to show you my pictures from my trip! It was an amazing trip! Inspirational with the foods I ate and the sights I saw.

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photos: produce portraits

 

 

Who does that? Who decides that the produce sitting in the fridge needs to have it’s portrait taken? Sometimes I wonder if I am wired right. My mother wonders too.

I am in a sort of “dip”, if you will, with my food photography. I follow a few food stylist and photographers online, and oh my gosh! Why are they so good?! I guess at some point they were 18, trying to teach themselves how to properly photograph a dish to look like a mouth-watering delicacy? Even at one time the famous Pioneer Women was figuring out what color dishes look best when styling a dish. One day, one day, I will figure this out…

recipe: red raspberry muffens

We have a h.u.g.e box of recipes that my mom has collected, or that I cut out from magazines at a very young age (I remember my mom trying convincing a 6-year-old-me that I didn’t need to cutout another chocolate cake recipe). Most of them I have never tried, others are tried and true. This recipe was one of the never tried before. But they will become a tried and true. Though I would consider this much more like a cupcake, but I am not complaining.

1/2 cup butter

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

2 cups raspberries

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Oven:375

Cream the butter, and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients in a seprete bowl. Alternate the milk and the flour mixture into the creamed butter. fold in the raspberries.  Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes.

books: two books you have to know about

I just have to share with you two books that I am reading that I am absolutely taken with.

The first is Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujarin I love, love, love this book! I read it cover to cover when I first got it, and now I keep it always close at hand to browse for food photography, and styling inspiration. If you are at all interested in food photography get this book. I am not joking, it’s worth it.

 

Right now, my bedtime reading is Will Write for Food  by Dianne Jacob. I am only about a quarter of the way though it, and it is so inspirational. It covers everything from food blogging, food writing, writing cookbooks, and so, so, so much more. When I read it, and I get so excited, it makes me want to jump up and down, sing, and finish my cookbook and show the world (you know that feeling?).

 

Do you have any good book recommendations? I am eating up (no pun intended) anything that has to do with cookbooks, blogging, and food writing. What are your thoughts?

recipe: mini rhubarb tarts

I can’t remember in what movie it is, but there is a scene where a lady is talking on the phone to a caterer, I think, and orders a tart with a warm rhubarb filling. I couldn’t seem to get that idea out of my head, and this is what I came up with. Do you remember what movie that it? I think it’s ether the re-make of “Freaky Friday”, or “The Devil Wears Prada”? It’s driving me crazy.

Crust:

1 1/2 cups flour

a dash of salt

1/4 cup cocoanut oil

1/4 cup butter, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons icy cold water

Mix the flour and salt together. Toss in the butter, and cocoanut oil. Using your fingers, break the cocoanut oil and butter into the flour until you get a cornmeal-like mixture. Slowly add the water until it becomes a dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 350.

Pull the dough out of fridge, and tear off small pieces and press into small tart pans. Bake the shells for 20 minutes, or until pale golden.

Remove the shells from the pans, and fill with rhubarb sauce recipe, below, serve warm.

Filling:

1 1/2 cups ruhbarb, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

Put the cubed rhubarb into a small sauce pan, add about 1/4 of an inch of water. Cook the rhubarb until tender, then add the dissolved corn starch and sugar. Continue to cook the mixture until thickened, and the rhubarb has fallen apart.

recipe: croissants

Oh croissants, one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind.

This is my third, or fourth time making croissants, and each time they get better and better. I am no where near a well made bakery croissant, but dang, these are good. I filled some with cheeses, others with chocolate (highly recomended) and just left some plain. I love to do some ham and cheese when I have it on hand, what a perfect lunch.

I use Tartine’s recipe for croissants, you can find it here. Of course, who else would you bother following when it comes to pastry?