It all started innocently enough. A recipe here, some crockpot experimentation there. And then I found food blogs. Food blogs are amazing.
To be honest, I was probably predisposed. I’ve been helping my Italian mother in the kitchen since I was a very small child…and that woman can cook! I’m no where near as good in the kitchen as she is, but I’ve been trying my hand here and there. Sometimes I’ve failed. Other times it’s been oh so tasty.
Mom has, of course, been encouraging this. For Valentine’s Day, she got me a pizza peel, a pizza stone, a baguette pan and a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. And I’ve been completely sold. My first efforts went something like this:
Take all this stuff…
….mix some of it up in a bowl…
…until I get this sticky dough…
…let it rise a bit…
…then free-form a ball on my peel…
…give it a couple slashes once it’s risen and into the oven she goes!
Then, finally, voila!
Bread! Hot, crusty, toasty, delicious bread!
I’ve made a couple of these free-form loaves now, using both fresh and aged dough, experimenting with different kinds of yeast and different cooking times. Each loaf has been better than the last. Today, I decided to use some really aged dough—13 days in the fridge–to make a French couronne.
It’s without a doubt the tastiest bread I’ve made yet!
Soft and chewy on the inside, crusty on the outside. And so damn easy to make, it should really be a crime.
To go with it, I made this Market Day Potato and Leek Soup from one of my favorite food blogs, Kiss My Spatula. Her blog is beautiful and inspiring and chock full of wonderful recipes. This soup didn’t disappoint!
I paid a visit to Urban Oaks yesterday with Mom and Dr. Al and got fresh organic russet potatoes and leeks and parsley. The fresh ingredients made all the difference. I topped it with a spoonful of organic yogurt and dunked the slices of couronne right in there. Delish!
And, I have a ton of leftovers. Bonus!
So, I might start throwing in a few more food posts around here, especially since I have these pretty, fragrant and tasty herbs on my windowsils now.
But, rest assured, my knitting and spinning are still getting their rightful attention!