Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Almost Perfect Bread

Yesterday was Monday Lunch day and I finally had the opportunity to make a terrific loaf of bread from a recipe I originally found at Michael Ruhlman's blog, as posted by guest chef Bob del Grosso. The original recipe, with photos, left me with some questions, so that's what my comments contained. Well, Bob was considerate enough to email me his response, and I'm so happy he did because the bread was very, very tasty. It's still not exactly like the artisan breads I can buy elsewhere, but I'm getting there. Now if I can only learn how to achieve those great air pockets inside the loaf, I'll be very happy.

Anyway, I used the bread to make sandwiches, yes, leftover Easter ham, Swiss cheese, homemade Dijon mayonnaise, and lettuce, served with one of my home-canned dill pickles. Oh, that wasn't the end of lunch. I also made winter squash soup with chipotle pepper. Actually it was a beautiful golden Hubbard squash, that I had bought last fall at the Farmer's Market from my friend, Marsha. I am very impressed that it kept so well, for this long, in my root cellar! I began with a mirepoix, added garlic and a chopped, canned chipotle in adobe sauce, mixed in some flour, then added homemade chicken stock and the pre-cooked squash. Before serving, I mixed in some creme fraiche. I loved it. I hope my customers did too.

Dessert this week was simple: some chewy oatmeal raisin cookies as well as some chocolate chippers. My son had come home from university for Easter and I had to make some of his favorites....

Soon it will be my birthday and I'm finally going to get a digital camera! Once that happens, perhaps I'll also be able to figure out how to add photos to this blog. In the meantime, if you want to see how the bread looks, you'll have to visit Bob's blog, A Hunger Artist. And if you love cooking like I do, check out Ruhlman's blog which receives numerous comments, hosts guests (like Bob del Grosso as well as Anthony Bourdain), and lists his books, all of which I highly recommend. For that matter, I like Bourdain's books as well.

As you can see, cooking is one of my favorite activities so I really like Monday Lunch day....

1 comment:

Bob del Grosso said...

Hey Linda.
I found the link (obviously). Thanks for the kind words!
To get the holes to come out larger make sure you are using hi-gluten flour, and push the final rising a bit to make sure the sponge is full of gas (CO2 ) before it goes into the oven. Also make sure the oven is cranked (check the temp with an oven thermometer to make sure your regulator isn't off.)and be sure to put hot water in the steam pan.

If none of that works you can try upping the gluten content a bit with some wheat gluten.