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food porn

April 5, 2010

So, I will admit that I am really obsessed with reading food blogs. Mostly because of the beautiful pictures. They make it seem like their kitchens are flooded with light, gorgeous ingredients, and nifty bowls and vases. And that they spend all day making things that smell good and, most importantly, eating. I realize that this is probably not the case, but it’s partly what’s inspired me to cook more. That and the fact that I do have a beautiful kitchen now, someone to cook with and for, and friends who are really into dorking out about food. So since I’ve been cooking a bunch more, I thought it would be cool to set up a site to share recipes, etc. It can’t compete with all the awesome food porn out there, but I’m hoping it gets me to keep cooking even more since I’ll be able to brag about all the lovely things I’ve made for those of you not close enough to try them.

One of the blogs I read a lot is Smitten Kitchen, which is ridiculously beautiful. G saw this recipe for dill bread on that site when he was looking around for bread books to get me (thank you!!). I started making bread a month or so ago, but haven’t really moved passed white milk bread, which makes pretty delicious sandwiches. I made the dill bread last night and I’m now completely impressed with myself and inspired to tackle all sorts of new breads. One day even croissants!

I only changed the recipe slightly from Smitten Kitchen’s. Her recipe called for bread flour, but I used an all-purpose flour that’s basically a whole wheat flour made to be like an all-purpose flour, and it seemed like that was fine. I made the bread in my KitchenAid mixer, first using the mixing blade and then switching to the dough hook. I also ended up adding more flour (probably about a 1/4-1/2 cup more) than the recipe called for because the dough was pretty wet.

It looks beautiful after you mix it. I don’t think you can tell from the picture, but up close you can see little specks of the wheat germ. I definitely recommend using red onions because it adds a little more color. I let it rise in my oven for about an hour and half the first time and an hour for the second rise after punching it down and folding it into a loaf. I turn on the oven for about a minute so that it’s about 80-90 degrees when I put the bread in to rise. That seems to work pretty well. When it gets warmer I think I can just let it rise on the counter.



To shape the bread into a loaf after the first rise, I flattened it out on a floured cutting board and then rolled it, pinching the inner seam of the roll each time. When I got to the end I tucked the ends under. This is how I’ve been making my white bread. I once tried to just fold it together in thirds, but I found a big air pocket in my bread that time. So far no problems with this method.

The bread turned out really well. I think my bread pan is a little small so it kind of mushroomed up over the side. The crust, which gets brushed with butter and sea salt, is super tasty. We’ve just been eating this plain since last night, although G suggested that it would be good to make with prosciutto and goat cheese. Yes please.

dill bread

Adapted only slightly from recipe on smittenkitchen.com. You can find that recipe here

ingredients

1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast

1/2 cup water at 105-115 degrees F

3 cups flour

1/2 cup chopped red onions

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon wheat germ toasted (I used my toaster oven for about 1-2 minutes)

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup large-curd cottage cheese (I’m not sure what kind of curd I used)

1 egg

A little extra butter and sea salt

directions

Let the yeast and the warm water sit in a small bowl so the yeast can soak for about five minutes.  

Put the flour, onions, dill, honey, wheat germ, salt, egg, and yeast in the mixing bowl and mix on low with the paddle until the dough looks blended.  I’m sure you can also do this by hand.  Add flour or water if you need to.  Then knead with the dough hook (or by hand) until the dough can form a ball and is elastic, smooth, and not too sticky.  Prep a large mixing bowl with olive oil and put the dough ball in there, rolling it around so it get covered with the olive oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, but not too tight, and let it rise for about 1.5 hours, or until it has about doubled in size.

When that’s done, deflate it and fold it into a loaf.  Put this in a buttered loaf pan and gently push it down.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes.  The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Mine read about 190 degrees when I stuck a thermometer in the bottom.  



One Comment leave one →
  1. Sherry permalink
    April 5, 2010 9:56 pm

    Love the photos! Keep on baking and sharing.

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