I interrupt the steady stream of sugary treats coming out of my kitchen to bring you these massive sourdough popovers. Seriously, LOOK AT HOW BIG THEY ARE.
I love baking bread with my sourdough starter, I really do. But sometimes, I want to bake bread on a whim. Sometimes, I want it to be a one day project – a one morning project, even – rather than a two to three day project. This is why I also love baking bread with commercial yeast, because when Nate asks for sandwich bread on Saturday evening, I can totally get it done on Sunday morning without having to do any planning or waiting for my sourdough starter to come out of hibernation.
Pain de mie is the French version of a sandwich loaf, commonly used to make the croque monsieur sandwich: a delicious combination of ham, melty cheese, and béchamel sauce on grilled bread. To die for. Traditionally, pain de mie is baked in a loaf pan with a lid so that it comes out perfectly square with a crunchy crust on all four sides, but I chose to bake it without a lid, and it is probably the most perfect-looking loaf of bread I’ve ever made! I think that comes down to the fact that I didn’t divide the dough into two loaves, and instead baked the whole thing in one 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, which gave it plenty of opportunity to rise up in a nice dome. I further broke from tradition by using one-third whole wheat flour, milled in my WonderMill grain mill. The bread is light and airy but it also has a nice wheaty flavour and a little bit of texture. A win all around, I’d say. I’m looking forward to sandwiches this week!
For the recipe, head over to the Grain Mill Wagon blog.
This post has been YeastSpotted and submitted to Barbara and Sandra‘s Panissimo bread showcase, hosted in December by Barbara of Bread & Companatico.
fresh bread with butter – nothing better!
I’d never heard of a kolache until I saw a recipe posted on the Homesick Texan blog for strawberry cream cheese kolaches (written in response to the awful explosion in West, Texas) with an interesting back story of how this Czech pastry got so popular there. Apparently lots of Czech immigrants settled in the “Czech Belt” of central and south-central Texas, and now the kolache – a yeasted pastry usually with a fruit filling, sort of like a danish but without the laminated dough – has become widely available at bakeries, gas stations, and truck stops and is synonymous with road trips for many Texans. Like the doughnut and the cupcake, it is gaining popularity outside of Texas as well with unique, artisan interpretations both sweet and savoury.
The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7, 2013. As we share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity. Visit Valerie’s blog, A Canadian Foodie, on the 15th for a round-up of this month’s posts.
As usual, I’m a few days late with this month’s Canadian Food Experience Project post… but it’s because I wanted to get this recipe right before sharing it. This month, Valerie has asked us to talk about the Canadian harvest and what it means in our lives. For me, the harvest means apples. For as long as I can remember, autumn has brought with it falling leaves and a large box of apples sitting in one corner of the kitchen, perfuming the house with their sweet-tart scent, until either my Mum finally got around to making apple sauce or apple crisps, or I baked them into pies. When I was young, the apples came from my grandparents’ trees, and in more recent years they came from friends of my parents. This year, I scored some truly gigantic Bramley apples from a co-worker’s trees.
The past few months have contained a lot of cakes – chocolate cakes, to be specific. And not for me, but for other people, which is almost more fun because I get to bake my heart out without worrying about who will eat it all.
Back in August, my lovely friend Tanya asked me to make some chocolate cupcakes for a baby shower, the theme for which was the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, so I did what I could to turn the cupcakes into teacups without resorting to fiddly fondant or store-bought teacup paper liners.
I baked the Cook’s Illustrated Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes in some pretty floral cupcake papers to simulate china cups, filled the cakes with chocolate ganache, and frosted them with the rebar chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.
A few days after Thanksgiving, I found myself with an abundance of two things in the kitchen: leftover turkey and green tomatoes, salvaged from my weather-beaten-and-dying tomato plants. I kicked off Operation Leftover Turkey with a batch of turkey enchiladas with green tomato salsa (I used this recipe, doubling the salsa and subbing the tomatillos for green tomatoes – it was extremely delicious), but I still had more turkey to use up. Thanksgiving: the meal that keeps on giving.