Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Zephyr Art TN: Autumn Cooking and Baking

    It's getting cooler outside and that makes me want to bake and cook! (A common passion for most people during the colder seasons, I guess.) Yesterday morning I woke with the thought of  dinner of chicken soup and bread. Really good bread. So, I went to one of my favorite recipes: the master recipe for Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. This is a no-knead bread dough recipe that bakes up like a crusty, golden loaf of deliciousness. It has a nice crispy crust with an inside texture like I can hardly find here in Middle TN. (Miss you NY!)

Besides the final product, another wonderful reason to make this dough is that the recipe mixes enough dough to last awhile in the fridge. As the dough ages through the two weeks it keeps chilled, it takes on a sourdough flavor that is complex and brilliant. Just pinch a bit from the loosely covered container and there you go! Bread! Every day! Today I mixed up the super large batch: 13 cups of flour, 6 cups of water, 3 tbs. yeast and 3 tbs. salt. Sounds massive, right? It is, but I am bringing some to a friend this evening and it really is so good after it's been in the refrigerator, I wanted to make sure I had enough to last.

After the mixing and rising and chilling in the bowl, I let the bread rise, uncovered and shaped on the pan, for 40 minutes and then popped it into a 450 degree preheated oven. 

It was fabulous. Even better, it can be fabulous again tonight with hardly any thought since the dough now lives in my fridge for two weeks. If it can hang on that long with me here. My dad would say it "tastes so good, makes you want to slap your mama-in-law", which I would never do, because I love my mother-in-law. But it is that good.

I also made a Caramel Apple Crisp. I had a few caramel apples left over from my 3 year old's birthday party  so I decided to experiment. This is where cooking is so much like visual art. You see immediate supplies and make something pretty. (Well, sometimes ugly. There was a point in time where the look of most of the things Eppie and I baked made us laugh SO hard. They were always tasty, though. ) 

Here's what I did:
I cut up all the caramel apples and put them into a baking dish with about two tbs. of butter. 

Then I pulsed together in the food processor: 2 tbs. butter cut into pieces, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I sprinkled 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon on top of the apples and butter and then layered on the oat mixture. 

I baked it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and stirred it up a bit to get the caramel worked around everything. Then it was in for another 20 min. and done! Apple-y, tasty, sweet. I served it with vanilla ice cream. Yum. What more is there in fall?

1 comment:

  1. I love all your documentary pictures. Especially the caramel apple ones. Yum Yum.