Monday, December 14, 2009

A bread for all seasons...

I had my first encounter with baking bread this weekend. The Pedant has already baked several loves, and I didn't do the work all myself (hooray teamwork!) but I did more work than just pre-heating the oven and eat the finished product (although there was much of that last night and this morning).

We had a bottle of beer still from the last time we made bread (the America's Test Kitchen Almost No Kneed Bread calls for 3 oz. of beer which helps in the cooking process). I'm not a beer drinker and TP seldom drinks beer that's not "fancy" so we often have a random bottle of beer in the fridge from some cooking project we never made or a 6-pack we bought several months ago for the cooking project. And, since bitten by the bread making bug, I suggested we make Bittman's Brown Bread again.

We made the Brown Bread Saturday evening (after the ravioli debacle) and let it rise overnight. It came out really well. We doubled the recipe to freeze some. One batch (we made two smaller loaves) was a bit wetter than the other and came out nicer, but both were amazing. Bittman suggests spreading whole grain mustard on the bread. And boy, does that taste good! Especially when it's still warm. I had it this morning with some peanut butter which wasn't perfect but still tasty.

We also set the Almost No Kneed Bread last night and used most of the beer to make Bittman's Beer Glazed Black Beans. I'd say we do that much of the time we're making bread (and vice versa) since the black beans call for a cup of beer and the bread calls for 3 oz. Plus, the black beans are just too delicious.

Tonight, TP is making dinner from his new cookbook and I'm making my famous butterscotch brownies for a work party tomorrow. Hooray!


bluesleepy said...

Ooo that almost no-knead bread looks WONDERFUL! I'll have to try that sometime. The only Dutch oven I have whose lid can withstand 500ยบ is cast iron. Would that be ok? I also love this recipe for bread. It's like a sourdough, and oh so yummy. Plus dead easy.

Sherbs said...

Ooo...that does look easy. The no kneed bread is amazing. I'm sure cast iron is ok. If you have one with a plastic top (like out le cruset) you can actually buy for like $10 a metal knob)