Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I love your friends, they're all so arty

Firstly: I've assigned myself fifteen lashes because I wanted to try out a Bountiful Baskets Week A, whatever the crap that is, and their Week A signups are on different days than their Week B signups, so I missed out. Some complaints I have about their site:

1. No explanation of what the difference is between a Week A and a Week B.
2. No mention of the fact that you might want to bring your own basket to cart home your stuff.
3. Their web design is sort of scrapbooky and in ugly colors.

But the produce was of such incredible quality, and the whole process so relatively painless that I will not quibble. If any of you are curious about this new beastie, fear not. I will figure it out and report back to you, my eating readers.

Secondly: do you sometimes want some nice, chewy bread with a thick crust, much like the no-knead bread, but you forgot to set it out the night before? Or maybe on the night before you thought, "Look, I am tired. I don't have time to stir together FOUR ingredients." I know that's what I sometimes think. That's why I'm thankful for our friend Tipsy Baker. Some of you may read her blog as obsessively as I do, so you will have already heard of this bread. But for the rest of you, here you go. You're welcome.

Moro Bread
from Moro, via Tipsy Baker

Mix together in a small bowl and let sit for a few minutes:
125 mL of tepid water (about halfway between 1/2 and 2/3 C)
rounded teaspoon of yeast

Mix together in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth and elastic:
3 C water*
2-3 C wheat flour
5-6 C white flour (you should have around 8 C total flour)**
1 T kosher salt
yeast water

seeds of your choice (when I do add seeds, I use 2 T each of pumpkin and sunflower, 1 T each of flax, sesame, teff and poppyseed)

This should be almost like a thick pancake batter in consistency--far too wet to handle. Oil 2 bread pans well and ease the dough into the pans with a rubber spatula. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let raise for 3-5 hours, or until double. Preheat oven to 450*. Bake at 450* for 25-40 minutes, then remove loaves from the pans and bake directly on the rack for 10-15 minutes more.

*Replace some of the water with whey, yogurt, kefir, or sour cream for a more robust flavor. Otherwise it can be sort of bland.
**Be careful with the flour. The original recipe goes by weight, not volume, so sometimes 8 cups is going to be WAY too much. Hold out a cup or two just in case, or just add more liquid (which is what I did--I ended up with almost a cup of extra liquid once).

Thirdly: right now there is a discussion going on over at Tipsy's blog. She is currently cooking her way through the Pioneer Woman's cookbook, and it has ignited a crapstorm (appetizing image, that) about PW's particular brand of cooking. Some of the comments have raised my hackles, for reasons that are obvious to long-term readers of this blog. Here is an excerpt from an email that I was going to send to Tipsy, but I wanted to be off-putting to a larger group of people, so I'm giving it to you instead:

So, the canned soup casserole. I don't know why so many people like those, but they certainly do. I hated when people would bring us meals when my mom was having a baby, because they would invariably bring some nightmare concoction with canned soup and tater tots and green beans in it. Bleh. There is one I had about five or six years ago that has pasta and chicken and cream cheese and canned soup and an Italian dressing packet and a crap-ton of butter in it that I could eat an entire crock pot of, but most of them are horrifying. Did [your son] like it? Because The Hulk would rather die than take a bite of a multi-texture sauce and pasta dish. So sad. He misses out on so much.

And I vigorously dispute the idea that one must choose EITHER canned soup OR good conversation, or that homestyle cooking must consist of value-added (such a dissonant term!) packaged ingredients.

My children stick their noses up at a good many of the foods, I cook, it's true. But that's because they're kids, whose mission it is to make their parents despair. The stuff they love is made the same way as the stuff they hate: without plastic. And this Thing I Do is not to turn my family into foodier-than-thou snobs. It's to teach them that real tastes better than fake, and that a good meal, like a good life, requires work. Also that we're better than everyone, and will be chosen first to ascend to the Star Chamber when the Day of Enlightenment arrives.

But we're not perfect, and convenience foods are not going to bring about the destruction of the entire human species (yet). And I should probably wash my dishes before I start my Baba Capra Discourses: The Value of Work lecture series.

Fourthly: I want to turn my front lawn into a mixed flower/vegetable garden. I think it would be cool and LESS TO MOW.


tipsybaker said...

I vigorously agree with your "vigorously dispute" paragraph!
Now I must try Moro bread with sour cream. I have a lot of it on hand as Pioneer Woman loves the sour cream.

Sarah said...

I love this bread. I mean, really? I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bread. It is ridiculously fast and so very yummy. Since yesterday (when I made the glorious little loaves), we've had it fresh and warm with butter, as toast with butter and jam, and then we cut it into cubes tonight and had it with cheesy fondue. So awesome.

All8 said...

Yum, more bread. You just can't beat hot, fresh, good bread. No way, no how.

A garden in the front yard is the only way to go. Not much real value to a swath of green grass desert. (Should we talk a little treason and make seed bombs when I come? ;D)

Amy said...

Great news ~ weeks a & b are the SAME!