Food Blog

I love bread (probably not as much as Oprah, though)

Since getting my oven back, I’ve been on a mission to improve my bread-baking skills. My mom gave me a print-out of these instructions back at Christmas, and I finally had the guts to give it a shot. It required more patience than I usually have for cooking, well, anything, but I’ve got plenty of time.

The overnight-proofed starter+whole wheat flour+water mix ready to mix with more water and flours (rye, bread, spelt)

The dough, fully mixed and ready for a 24-hour rise

You guys. Bread dough feels so fucking good in your hands. I tried not to handle this too much, but it was a little addictive. If you haven’t made bread and you have any baking inclination, try it JUST SO you can feel the dough. It’s eeeeevverrything.

Fully baked loaf, dusted with semolina flour

I had a little trouble with the final rise–the damn thing stuck to the floured tea towel and left a bit of itself behind when I tried to dump it neatly into the (very hot) cast iron dutch oven to bake. But it turned out all right, with just a little oddball lumpiness on top. Character, I guess.

And the verdict is…

Seriously the most flavorful bread I’ve made by myself. And great texture. Well, we’ll see how it in the middle, and how it is when it cools. It’s quite lovely right now, though.

Food Blog

Spicy tomato soup with chickpeas and kale + homemade sourdough bread

The soup is very humble: a bit of this, a bit of that, whatever was handy, which was: a little bit of veggie broth, half a jar of tomato puree, garlic, onion, kale, chickpeas, oregano, red pepper, and balsamic vinegar. It’s thin and brothy but I like it.

The bread was the harder part.

My oven hasn’t worked for the last month, and today I finally had a repair guy come out and fix it. $210 and a new igniter and sensors later, I finally had my oven back.

I immediately made use of it by proofing bread. Which I had never done in the oven. It’s an easy-to-read panel, we’ve had it four years, and I’m the one who did the research before purchasing it, and somehow I didn’t notice the “PROOF” button until recently.

Now, I have been feeding a whole wheat sourdough starter since New Year’s, and I’ve made a no-knead loaf just a few times. I was happy to have the oven back so I could get back to that practice. (That, and roasting vegetables. Oh, how I’ve missed you, roasted veggies.) Before I’d set up a space heater in the bathroom for proofing the loaf – it took many, many hours; I usually let it sit overnight or even a whole day. The oven proof took 6 hours.

So I needed to come up with something for dinner to go with warm, crusty, homemade bread. What better than a simple soup?