16 June 2011

Reruns, But No Less Delicious

I took a bit of a break from cooking the past weeks, which means no blog posts. Actually, that isn't quite true - I did do a bit of cooking this past weekend, but it was over a camp stove. Not anything fancy, not anything worth writing home about. To prep, though, I did make two loves of lovely lovely Struan, using the Artisan Breads Everyday recipe. It served us well, making all kinds of sandwiches you can imagine, as long as said sandwiches used an ingredient from the set of {peanut butter, jelly, cheddar cheese, honey}. So, really, not too hard to imagine all those sandwiches. E did have one suggestion, which I will try next time - removing the buttermilk in the recipe. Struan is incredibly soft and almost fatty for a bread, and it really doesn't need to be. I think a straight replacement of beer for the buttermilk might do the trick.
Not actually the struan
Due to the wonders of owning a car in San Francisco, I have to move it many mornings for street cleaning, where they run a loud truck down your street with an escort of parking ticket providers. On the plus side, I get to enjoy coffee and a snack at a random coffee shop while working. I also took advantage of this time to finally make ciabatta, pictured above. It is the same rustic recipe I use for mini baguettes, but it requires a much longer proof time. Three hours is what the book recommends - one of just sitting there, then two hours of proofing after shaping. I think the long time is to give the dough time to settle into its shape lest it rise up against you. Well, I'm not a very good oppressor. Look at that hunchback of a loaf.
The tastiness was not impacted. The cooking time may have been a bit off - book recommended 12 minutes, rotate, 15-20 minutes more. I gave it 12 + 20 and it wasn't quite done when I finally cut into it. I think the crustiness improvement method should have been used - after the allotted baking time, shut off the oven but leave the bread in it for 5 extra minutes.
The struan

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