Posts Tagged ‘bread’

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Olive you, a bushel and a peck

January 4, 2012

This past weekend was a milestone birthday for mrslovey, so I wanted to make her something special.  Something she’d love.  Something I find disgusting.  Ingredients and opportunity combined, and I found myself making this recipe from KAF, a rosemary-olive-asiago loaf.  After making mrslovey chop the olives (have I mentioned I find them disgusting?), the recipe pulled together quickly and easily, I and had the whole thing in the oven within 10 minutes.

The cheese on top turned into a nice savory, crunchy topping, the interior of the loaf was (according to reports) moist with good texture, and the herbs and cheese held up to the olives well.  A little on the rich side, but overall delicious (if you like that kind of thing).

I used sharp cheddar instead of asiago, and I didn’t have fresh herbs or green onions, so used some chives that we had dehydrated at the end of summer.  Other than that, I made it as written.  I saw a reviewer mention that they made this and loved it, but without olives, because they dislike them.  Really?  So pray tell, why did you decide to choose a recipe that says OLIVE in the title? Sheesh.  Anywho, while this was not a recipe that I chose to eat, mrslovey found it delightful, and that’s good enough for me.  I’ll keep making it for her as often as she wants, as long as I never have to actually *touch* the olives.  Seems like a fair trade.

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Whole Lotta Loaf

September 18, 2011

Zucchini, am I right?  It has a reputation as the tribble of the vegetable patch – reproducing at such a rapid pace that if you so much as blink an eye, you’ll be buried up to your armpits.  This summer in our house it was actually tomatoes and peppers that went on into infinity, but that’s another story for another time.

Anyway, zucchini.  I must admit, I’m not really a fan of summer squashes.  I have a fierce love of autumn squashes, but not so much the summer varieties.  So of course, we received a fair amount from our farm share this year.  For the most part we were able to foist them off on other people (hi Mom!).  We actually hit the point where we thought we had avoided them successfully for the entire summer…but we were wrong.  The end of summer finds us at the farm, listening in terror as our farmer says “here’s some zucchini that we had overlooked in the field, they’ve grown a bit larger than normal.”  And then she hands us the world’s largest zucchini.  Huge.  Enormous.  Gigantic.  Seriously, this thing is a freaking zucchini zeppelin, I am not joking.

Now, if you want to stay in your farmer’s good graces, you never, NEVER scrunch up your nose and saw ‘ewwww’ when they hand you something that they grew, even if it’s something you’ve disliked forever.  Nope, the correct response is to accept it graciously, and then go home and figure out what the hell to do with the damn thing.   Read the rest of this entry ?

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No ordinary ordinaire

January 30, 2011

I think the very first bread book I ever acquired was Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno.*  At that point in time I had no interest whatsoever in making yeast breads, but there were lots of shiny, gorgeous pictures, so I bought it anyway.  I figured if nothing else, it would be nice to flip through once and then add to the cookbook shelf.  As I paged through, however, I became intrigued.  This book is filled with tons of information, describing a wide variety of processes and techniques, and the accompanying pictures show what things should look like at different stages of the recipes.  Very cool, but it was still relegated to the shelf for several years.  Yeast bread is scary, am I right???
I finally picked it back up when I was frustrated at work one day and needed something outside of my comfort zone to distract me.  Turns out, yeast breads aren’t so terrifying after all.  They require a little more attention, but the payoff is totally worth it.  Working with the dough satisfied something inside me.  The texture, feel, and smell of first the dough and then the completed loaf soothed the savage beast, so to speak.  And for major bonus points, I discovered that kneading the dough was a great way to relax, pull some of the stress out of my shoulders, and it even seemed to help with some repetitive stress pain I’d been experiencing in my wrist.  These days I mostly use the mixer to knead, but every once in a while I’ll still work the dough by hand.

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oh autumn squashes, how I love thee

September 26, 2010

I love autumn squashes.  Can’t stand summer squashes, but dear lord I could eat autumn squashes every day if you let me.  Butternut, kabocha, acorn, delicata, sunshine, hubbard, pumpkin – yes, yes, yes.  When I came across a recipe last year that incorporated butternut squash into a yeast loaf, I knew I had to try it.  The resulting bread was a beautiful pale yellow, with just a hint of sweetness.  I brought some in to work, and coworker H has brought it up in conversation on a regular basis ever since.  Seriously, probably at least once a month there’d be a mention of the squash bread.  Definitely a sign of a successful recipe. Read the rest of this entry ?

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love is more thicker than forget

August 31, 2010

I’ve been sitting here for nearly two hours, trying to write a poignant and touching post.  My eyes keep filling with tears and I can’t see the screen.  So this is going to be brief, please pretend that it’s quality writing, and I’ll hope the spellchecker corrects what I can’t see clearly.   Read the rest of this entry ?
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make a good crust special

June 6, 2010

The first cookbook I decided to use was put out by the Trinity Lutheran Church Ladies Aid Society, Elkhart Indiana, circa 1975. Two lifelong members of the Ladies Aid Society were mrslovey’s great-aunts, and they had given a copy of the book to mrsloveymom, who later passed it to mrslovey.  Based on other recipes of the aunties that I’ve tried, I figured that any cookbook they endorsed would be safe to use for this experiment.  In addition, I really liked one of the sentences in the intro:  The recipes in this book have not been tested in laboratories but have been tried and tested by a special group of tasters; our family and friends. Sounds like exactly what I’m looking for!  I decided on Old Fashioned White Bread, by Barbara Brumbaugh, and got to work.

I was interested in the butter and milk added to the dough, and wondered how they would impact the final result.  I also really liked the ‘makes a good crust special’.  Really, how could I resist that?? Well let me tell you, this bread is DELICIOUS.  Nice golden brown crust, and a light, airy fine-grain crumb that has just the slightest hint of sweet to it.  This bread will be perfect for sandwiches.  The only modifications I made were to use butter instead of margarine, and I used the liquid milk option instead of the dry milk.  Other than that, I followed it totally as written.  You should make this bread soon, and you should make it often.  I know I’m planning on it! Read the rest of this entry ?

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it’s about time

March 30, 2010

From practically the first moment I contemplated putting things in a hot oven and seeing what happens, mrslovey’s been up my butt to make her some cinnamon bread.  Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid this request for nearly a decade now.  At this point it’s a running joke between us.  It’s not that I didn’t want to make it for her.  Initially, I was simply terrified by yeast breads, and I didn’t want to risk messing up something she was so excited about.  Eventually I became more confident in this area, but still never seemed to produce a loaf.  Want to know why?  I’ll tell you why – there are quite possibly one zillion recipes for cinnamon swirl bread out there, and no two are the same.  How the heck was I supposed to know which one was the right one?

Once it was confirmed that this month was yeast bread month, I knew that there was no way I could possibly avoid this task any longer.  Not wanting to be solely responsible (really, not wanting the overwhelming task of picking a single recipe), I sent mrslovey to the cookbookcase and told her to come back with the winner.  All I heard from the kitchen for about 30 minutes was the turning of pages.  Finally she emerged with an orange coil-bound book that I don’t recall ever seeing before. Midwestern church cookbook, 1975, hoo daddy.  “This, this is the one you’ll make!”  Ok, if you say so!  I figure if it failed miserably, I can always blame Mrs. Magnusen.

The recipe is written as if you’re sitting at the kitchen table while she’s making the bread.  A couple of the ingredients are kind of vague on how much, or else lacking quantities completely.  When it gets to the loaf shaping part, she goes on a complete tangent.  You could do it this way, or that way, or make some of this other thing and put this in it…it went on forever, swear.  From start to finish the written recipe was almost two solid pages long.  Now, I know that I can be chatty, but that was a little ridiculous.  Plus, I’m lazy and don’t want to type all that out.  So I present to you my interpretation, with far fewer words, and a couple of tweaks.  And how did it turn out, you ask, this long-awaited loaf?  I’m afraid the words I’d use to describe it could be considered sacrilegious, so in deference to Mrs. Magnusen, I won’t type them out here.     Read the rest of this entry ?