Monday, November 16, 2009

My Bread

Jim Lahey's new book My Bread just came out and its fantastic. I remember trying his no knead bread recipe way back when the NY Times ran an article on it years ago. I loved it then but hadn't made it in a while. I just bought the book and it inspired me not only to make it again but to play around with different ingredients. I made two this weekend: a cranberry walnut loaf and an olive loaf. Oh my goodness, they were both delicious (perfect crust; soft inside) and as easy as I remember it to be years ago. A friend at work told me to replace a few tbls of water with some beer for better flavor, and she was right (Cook's Illustrated played around with the recipe a while back and came up with the beer idea). If you want to make people in your homes happy this winter I suggest buying the book for inspiration (most of the recipes are variation of the same theme) and start making some of the easiest and wonderful bread you will make at home.

As an aside, the same friend here also told me how to make homemade butter. I did and it was absolutely delicious. Imagine the taste of fresh creme and sea salt in a perfectly spreadable butter. Try it, you won't be disappointed!

Take some fresh whipping cream and mix in your kitchen aid. Add some salt to taste. Let it whip beyond the point of making whipped cream. At some point it will fall and separate into curds of butter and buttermilk. Save the buttermilk for another use (I made buttermilk and herb salad dressing with Pt Reyes blue cheese ... inspiration from the Ad Hoc cook book which is also fabulous). Take the curds of butter and squeeze out the remaining moisture. Put into ramekins and sprinkle with really good sea salt.



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