Culinary Goods

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culinary goods

Welcome to Culinary Goods a journal written by Trevor Walker. It includes a growing collection of simple recipes that I refer to when cooking for our own family and some reflections on (mostly) culinary topics. Feel free to post comments and share your own family's tried and true recipes.

Christine’s Italian Bread

breadmaking

A while back one of my former professors at U-Vic made a posting to comment on the closing of the store and to share a favourite recipe.   It’s been a long time since I was a student in the School of Environmental Studies and it’s really nice to feel the ongoing support of the community there.  Thanks to Nancy Turner and Christine Scott for sharing this recipe:

CHRISTINE’S ITALIAN BREAD
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar or honey
1 tsp salt
about 4-5 cups white flour (or whole wheat, and add oatmeal, cornmeal, sunflower seeds, flax seed or other)

Add yeast, sugar and salt to warm water and let sit until yeast is dissolved. Add flour (and other option ingredients), slowly until a thick dough consistency is reached, then knead 50-100 times, until dough is smooth (smear your hands with olive oil to prevent dough sticking to fingers). When dough is in a large ball, place in large bowl, coated with olive oil. Brush with oil, and cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk. Divide dough in half, form into two oblong loaves, and place on cookie sheet, well spaced. (sprinkle corn meal or oatmeal on sheet to prevent loaves from sticking). Slash loaves with diagonal cuts, and place loaves into cold oven. Set temperature to 400 degrees and bake about 45 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Tonight I made Christine’s Italian bread and we ate it with bowls of Portuguese Fish Soup.  I typically make ‘no-knead’ breads but tonight much enjoyed the bit of kneading, shorter rising, and lack of a resting period in this recipe.  I chose to use a cup of spelt flour, a cup of Vancouver Island Red Spring Wheat (from True Grain), and two cups of regular organic white flour.  It was great with the soup and I’m looking forward to slicing up the remaining bread and toasting it tomorrow morning.

posted January 10, 2012 in All Recipes, breads

Brioche Cinnamon Buns with Chocolate

cinbuns

On Wednesday evening I made dough for brioche (click for the recipe) from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook and on Thursday morning we let it rise, popped it in the oven, and soon were enjoying a wonderful sweet buttery loaf with our coffee.  The recipe following the link doesn’t detail the actual baking of the loaf: place in a bread pan (butter it unless it’s non-stick - see note below), allow to rest for an hour and 20 minutes, preheat oven to 350 degrees, brush the top of the loaf with an egg which has been beaten with 1 tbsp water, and then bake the loaf for about 40 minutes.

So far we’ve baked several recipes from the cookbook including the basic Boule recipe, the Caraway Swirl Rye, Crusty White Sandwich Loaf, and the Olive Oil Dough (our standard for pizza).  The Portuguese Fish Stew recipe was good too. Flipping through it I’m excited to see we still have many new recipes to experience such as: Babka, Panettone (for next season), Almond Brioche ‘Bostock’, Challah, Lavash, Pretzels, and Oatmeal Bread (I’ll be making this one soon).

We often use a pizza stone and peal for the Boule recipe but we also have great success with our Kaiser loaf pan.  The authors state that a pan with a non-stick coating is essential for their method but I find that with a little oil or butter on the Kaiser pan (which doesn’t have the non-stick coating but is evenly dimpled) the loaves come out without much effort.

I halved the brioche recipe to make dough for two loaves.  Anton has been asking for cinnamon buns (he remembers the ones we used to get from Sally Bun, which was so temptingly near the store) so this morning Erica used the second round of dough to make decadent brioche cinnamon buns with chocolate (my fuzzy photo of them above).  She was inspired by a recipe for Cinnamon-Nut Buns on the Martha Stewart website. Erica substituted the brioche dough for the dinner roll dough used in the recipe.  The result was fantastic. There is only one left and I’m doing my best not to reach for it now.

In my e-mail today I received a link to a beautiful video on the Art of Bread-Making from Kinfolk Magazine.

Dutch Oven Bread from Kinfolk on Vimeo.

Wishing you many moments of grace and contentment in 2012 - and hopefully many fresh warm loaves too!

posted December 31, 2011 in breads, with coffee