What’s better than fresh hot bread straight from the oven? (Well besides some delicious fresh butter on it!) What’s better is that this is a NO KNEAD recipe, couldn’t be easier. The dough will keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks after mixing and there is nothing to do except pinch off a big piece, let it come to room temperature and bake it. The dough makes wonderful pizza, focaccia and flatbread as well. The authors, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, use Gold Medal Flour for their bread but I am a die hard King Arthur Flour fan. Read about flour and how to measure and then decide for yourself which to use. I use this dough for bread, flatbread, pizza and rolls, check the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for other recipes. This is a book you must have on your shelf. Buy it now from Amazon, click here.
I like baking my bread in a Le Crueset Dutch oven and I give directions for that procedure, the Artisan Bread website will guide you in other methods. If you like using a starter for your bread, the authors also give you instructions on how to incorporate that method into your bread making.
If you learn to weigh your flour you’ll have much better results in the end product. Actually weighing ingredients for recipes is really much easier and the recipe comes together much quicker and more efficient.
Watch the video made by King Arthur Flour on how to measure flour here,
I’m posting my edited version of the bread but you can visit the authors website and read the original recipe with updates and tips. Go here for recipe
This was a great year for tomatoes! My early tomatoes are giving it one last push before they succumb and my late (heirloom) tomato bushes are full with big beautiful green tomatoes. What we haven’t been able to eat (and share) I’ve been freezing for later use. Remember I told you how to freeze them? Just plop the whole or cut up tomato on a baking sheet and put in the freezer until frozen solid, then put them into a freezer bag or other container and put back in the freezer. This allows you to pick out however many tomatoes you need at a time and no need to peel before freezing. As they defrost the skin will slip right off and if you want to remove the seeds just cut in half as usual and squeeze out the seeds.
Homemade brioche is really pretty easy with most of the work being done by the dough. Plan ahead as it needs an overnight rise in the refrigerator. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour and they say (correctly I might add) that this recipe should be done only in a stand mixer. The dough is quite wet and sticky and it took 20 minutes to come together using my stand mixer. That was the hard part, well not really, the hard part was waiting overnight before I could bake it but the resulting French Toast was well worth the wait.
After the overnight rise, I cut the dough in half and made 1 small loaf and 3 good sized buns (for burgers). Then you have to play the waiting game again for a few hours before you can bake them. The long overnight rise and the room temperature rise before baking results in a beautiful crumb and delicate taste. The aroma while baking, of course, will drive you wild. The bread turns a rich golden color (don’t be afraid to cover them while baking if they start to brown too quickly) and is a very soft, light bread when it’s finally ready for you to eat.
I’m going to freeze the buns for a future use and perhaps part of the bread for toast and French toast in the near future. I did make a test batch of French Toast with a little butter and real maple syrup and woofed it down. It would have been delightful with some summer fruit but the last of the farmers market fruit was eaten yesterday in a peach-blackberry cobbler.
This is great recipe to try over the weekend. Mangia!
Summer is almost here and if you can’t visit the Islands we can certainly take some of the traditional Hawaiian foods and tweak them to our recipes and summer picnics. Our next cooking class uses many of these ingredients and we show you ways to incorporate them into your backyard parties.
While we can’t host a traditional luau in the tasting room we can enjoy a luau type picnic with foods of the Islands. In ancient Hawaii men and women ate their meals separately but in 1819 King Kamehameha removed all religious laws and taboos and men and women began eating together, creating the first luau feast.
The name luau refers to a dish made with chicken wrapped in taro leaves (luau), and baked in coconut milk; it’s served with slightly salty, smoky Kalua pig (pork). Kalua means ‘the hole’ and refers to the pit (an imu oven) the pig is cooked in. Simply put, the pig is steamed over a long period of time and is similar to a smoky pulled pork dish.
We’ll be doing our Kalua pork in a pressure cooker but the flavors will be able to develop while we talk and prepare other side dishes that use traditional Hawaiian ingredients. We might even be able to talk Tammy into a little hula (we know she can)!
Join us in the Temecula Olive Oil Tasting Room, Seal Beach for our fun little Hawaiian party. Learn a little about Hawaiian tradition and a conversation about cooking with pressure cookers!
Our class goes off next week! Thursday, June 11th 6:30 p.m.Make your reservation today!
For Reservations Call (562) 296-5421
Meet my friend, Christina Peters, photographer, and experience adventure through her eyes and lens. Christina’s new website, tastyfstops.com, chronicles her adventures through food, farms, travel and more. She began her new adventure in my spring garden and through her lens and my recipes we’ll bring you through one (or more) harvests of my potager (vegetable) garden. Sign up for Christina’s newsletter and follow us through spring and summer into fall and winter. Enjoy.
It’s berry season in the garden and my blackberries and boysenberries are off to an early start. This is one of Christina’s beautiful, succulent shots and here’s a tasty little recipe to get your summer started right! Blackberry Crumb Bars
And speaking of summer, check out the new cooking classes for June, we still have a few seats for this Thursday also. Two summery classes in June, A Summer Picnic Party and an Adult 4th of July menu. We’ll be hosting one more class in July (on the 9th) then I am off for another knee surgery and won’t see you back until the end of summer! So grab a spot while you can.
April in the Garden
Chef Debbi will be presenting a seminar, ‘Al Fresco Mothers Day Brunch’, at the South Coast Plaza Garden Show on Sat. April 25th, 12:30 in the Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams home store. Chef will be talking about spring vegetables, edible flowers and demonstrating a ‘Microgreen and Baby Lettuce Salad with Spring Vegetables, Edible Flowers and a Pomegranate Vinaigrette’ and serving that along with a Seasonal Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
The seminar is free but seating is limited.
What To Do in The Spring Garden in So. California
You can get another crop of spring vegetables, peas (in cooler climates), asparagus, spinach, lettuce and last chance to plant artichokes from seedlings.
Plant from certified organic ‘seeds’.
Spring and Early Summer
Plant early season, cherry, heirloom & indeterminate varieties
Choose plants that are stocky with a thick stem, about the size of a pencil. Don’t choose plants with flowers or fruit on it, your tomato plant needs to develop strong, deep roots before starting to flower. Remove lower leaves and plant the seedling up to the first two set of leaves. All those furry little things on the side of the stem will turn into roots for you.
Companion plants to tomatoes are carrots, basil, lettuce and parsley.
All kinds of beans! Bush, pole and dried beans for winter soups and stews.
Companion plants to beans are corn, potatoes, radish and carrots.
Plant pole beans at the base of the corn and squash around the beans.
Beets, Turnips, Carrots and Radish
All grow underground in loose soil and can be grown in less sunny areas of the garden.
All kinds of peppers can go in the ground, planting companions are spinach, basil and tomatoes.
Early squash can be planted but hold off on pumpkins until June if you want them for the fall holidays.
Cilantro, Basil, Thyme, Dill, Fennel, Chives and most herbs will do well now.
Watch out for runners and re-seeders such as mint, oregano, borage, lemon verbena and pineapple sage for a few.
Now is a good time to amend your soil for the long summer growing season.