Archive forSeptember, 2008

Japanese Pickles (Tsukemono): Hakata-Style Cabbage Pickle

I’ve been wanting a Japanese pickle press for a while, but all of the ones I’ve seen have been pretty big and I feared they’d take up too much room in my refrigerator and make far more pickles than two people could reasonably eat. I probably could never make too many traditional dill pickles for Mark to consume, but I generally intend tsukemono to accompany a single meal and only need two servings at a time. So when I saw a small press at Soko Hardware in San Francisco’s Japantown last weekend, I snatched it up. I also picked up a tsukemono recipe book, Easy Japanese Pickling in Five Minutes to One Day. This book is not completely vegan, but it is mostly so.

Many Japanese pickles are made by extracting excess water from veggies by applying weights to them. The plastic pickle presses you can find in Japanese markets (or online) work by applying pressure in the form of a spring that clamps a lid down onto the pickles. A special press is not at all necessary, however. In fact, this particular book describes how not to use a press. Instead, it suggests placing the pickle ingredients into a bowl, covering with plastic wrap, and using cans or other weights to press the pickles.

I chose a simple pickle (most of them, in fact, are quite simple) last night, using my new press instead of the cans-in-a-dish method recommended by the book. The pickle press simply eliminates a little extra work (and plastic wrap, which I try to avoid) and also provides easy storage of leftovers.

Nakata-Style Cabbage Pickle

400 grams cabbage (check out that “baby” cabbage I got at Wegmans! It weighed 412 grams: perfect!)
2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp water
1/2 carrot, julienned
30 shiso leaves (I used fewer, but was very glad to be able to trim my rampant shiso plant, which for some reason is not only not dead, but thriving)

Core the cabbage.

In the words of the book, “Slice to fit a small rectangular container.” Their pickles ended up retaining layers, looking a bit like a cabbagy petit-four, but I made mine “scattered”, much like the sushi I served it with. So basically I just chopped the cabbage into bite-sized pieces:

Place the cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and water. Mix together using your hands. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to soften.

Meanwhile, julienne the carrot and cut the shiso leaves into bit-sized pieces (I used kitchen shears). When the cabbage is ready, squeeze it dry, then layer in a pickle press (or a rectangular container), alternating with rows of shiso and carrot.

If using a pickle press, put the lid on and tighten the screw as much as possible:

If you don’t have a pickle press, cover the vegetables with plastic wrap, place a small plate or bowl over them, then put a can or other weight onto the plate or bowl.

Let the pickle stand for 30 minutes. Makes six servings.

This was a nice, light, “clean”-tasting accompaniment to our meal, even if it didn’t look as pretty as the picture in the book.

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Scattered Sushi

Mark requested “tofu and rice” for dinner last night and looking for inspiration, I flipped through Asian Vegan Kitchen. I decided to make Scattered Sushi from that book. Wegmans didn’t have the lotus root called for, so I substituted dry tofu (which also satisfied Mark’s tofu request). At the author’s suggestion, I substituted bamboo shoots for the shiitakes because as previously discussed, I hate mushrooms.

Scattered Sushi

Before running up to the grocery store, I stuck a piece of kombu into 4 cups of water. This gave me enough dashi when I got home to prepare the meal below and make 2 servings of miso soup.

4 ounces dry tofu, cubed (original calls for 3.5 ounces lotus root, soaked in vinegared water)
1/2 cup dashi
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar or 6 drops stevia
pinch of salt
1 medium carrot, julienned
4 Tbsp dashi
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar or 2 drops stevia
pinch of salt
1 8 oz can bamboo shoots, shredded (or 10 dried shiitake mushrooms)
2/3 cup dashi
3 Tbsp sugar or 18 drops stevia
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup snow peas, strings removed, and chopped in half
sushi rice
1/2 cup white sesame seeds, toasted
pickled ginger for garnish
1 sheet toasted nori seawood, cut into strips, for garnish

Prepare sushi rice. I guess I should do a tutorial on this sometime, but all I do is cook it in a rice cooker, then cut in seasoned rice vinegar and salt with a rice paddle when it’s done. I don’t even measure those things, so it wouldn’t be much of a tutorial. Just follow the instructions on your package of sushi rice, then season with sushi vinegar and salt to taste.

Combine 1/2 cup dashi, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar or 6 drops stevia, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Add the tofu or the soaked lotus root and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (until lotus root, if using, is tender). Drain and set aside.

Combine 4 Tbsp dashi, 1/2 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp sugar or 2 drops stevia, and a pinch of salt in the same small saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, until the liquid is almost absorbed. Drain and set aside.

If using shiitakes, rinse and soak in water for 5 minutes, then remove hard stems. Place the mushrooms or the bamboo shoots in the small saucepan with 2/3 cup dashi, 3 Tbsp sugar or 18 drops stevia, mirin, and soy sauce and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. The liquid may be nearly or completed absorbed if you are using mushrooms, however, it probably won’t be with the bamboo shoots. Drain if necessary and set aside.

Blanch the snow peas in salted boiling water. Drain and set aside.

The book didn’t suggest serving the scattered sushi with the typical soy sauce and wasabi you’d eat regular sushi with, but I wanted to try out the real wasabi I’d gotten from Penzey’s, so before assembling the sushi, I mixed some up so it could sit for a few minutes:

To assemble the dish, place sushi rice in a bowl, then “scatter” with sesame seeds, the prepared vegetables, pickled ginger, and nori slivers. Serve at room temperature.

Best served with miso soup and pickle!

Mark rated this meal as “simple but very good” and gobbled it up very quickly. Speaking of Mark, as much as I loved being in San Francisco, it was very good to be back in my own kitchen with my two favorite boys:

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National Book Festival

Today Mark and some friends and I attended the National Book Festival, where they served free vegan beverages!

Water! I also enjoyed a Clif bar while I was there, but I had to supply that. Really this is just about the lamest, most obvious ploy to make yet another non-food post. I just wanted to gloat about meeting Sir Salman Rushdie!!!

I stood in line to have a book signed by him after he did a Q & A, which was very crowded and therefore extremely difficult to get photos of, particularly as a somewhat height-challenged individual. This is the best I could do:

He was smart and funny!

Immediately after the Q & A, we rushed over to the book signing line, although he wasn’t scheduled to begin signing for another hour. While I stood in line, sweating profusely in the extremely humid DC heat, I gave Mark my camera and let him go wander around taking pictures. While he was out doing so, he ran into Rushdie being carted over to the signing tent!! He got to shake his hand and take this picture! How fair is that?!

Just before Sir Rushdie’s Q & A, Neil Gaiman did a reading from his new book, The Graveyard Book. I consider Neil Gaiman to the The Nicest Person In The World. It’s also always a pleasure to hear him read.

I’m surprised any of the pics of him turned out, since I could barely see him either.

OK, I am DONE with non-food posts, I swear! In fact, I’ll have TWO food posts for you tomorrow. The pictures are uploaded and everything; but it’s too late for me to write them up tonight. And I just remembered I need to go crack and soak some soybeans so I can make tofu tomorrow.

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Last post from San Francisco

Today is my last day here in beautiful, wonderful San Francisco. I take a red-eye back home to Mark, Tigger, and Brachtune. My friend and I are hitting up the Haight today but although I think I am going to lug my camera with me, I won’t have a chance to post again until I’m home.

Last night we ate at an Indonesian restaurant. I had a “tempe” and tofu dish that looked like this:

Not a very good picture, I’m afraid, but I had to use the flash and I didn’t want to disturb our neighbors, who were pretty close to us, by taking more than one picture. As it is, they asked me twice if I am a food critic. They also suggested that posing as a food critic would be a way to get good service in restaurants. Anyway, after the meal I asked the waiter if they made the tempeh on the premises and he answered affirmatively. I could tell that it was homemade, though, without even asking. It just has a more lovely texture than store-bought. Theirs was even better than my homemade tempeh, but the somewhat unfortunate thing is that after eating their tempeh, and after making my own, and finding it so much better than store-bought, I’m not sure if I can buy it any more. The unfortunate part is I’m not that great at making it and sometimes fail. I am getting better though and I ordered more starter before I left, so hopefully soon I’ll be a tempeh master.

Yesterday I took a Victorian house walking tour because I love Victorian houses. That obviously has nothing to do with food, but I’ll share a couple of photos anyway since my posts have been so wordy lately.

This is a block in Lower Pacific Heights:

These are a couple of Queen Annes:

This is an Italianate house I thought was pretty:

Too bad the houses I saw on the tour ranged in price from 3 million to 30 million. Apartments in Victorians are 1 million. Oof.

Well, time to pack up and check out. I will surely be leaving my heart in San Francisco.

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More from San Francisco

I ordered in from Golden Era again tonight, because hunger came on suddenly and I was waiting for my friend to call me upon her arrival from the airport. Above is a not-very-good-but-the-best-I-could do shot of the Spicy Beef Stew, which is really pretty good, although as there is no A/C in my room, a bit too warming! The “beef” has an amazing texture and the broth is a Vietnamese-flavored, spicy, warm yumminess. It also has potatoes, carrots, tofu, and basil. I was a little conferenced-out by the end of the day and wanted something comforting: this certainly filled the bill.

My friend called the very second I focused my camera for the shot above, and I’m off to her apartment in a few minutes. She lives near City Lights, and I’m about to finish The Secret Scripture, so I think I’ll be dragging her over there. City Lights is a must-stop destination every time I’m here; I think it’s my favorite bookstore in the world after The Strand (although Normals holds a special place in my heart as well). I stopped by the hotel cafe to get a beer to enjoy with my meal and noticed the bartender was reading The Trial, so I a bit uncharacteristically (being immensely shy) struck up a conversation about it with him and we consequently engaged in a little Kafka-love fest. Have I mentioned I love this city?!

OK, this is NOT turning into a book blog, I swear. Soon we’ll be back to all food, food, food! Ok: food, Tigger, food, Mark, food. I can’t believe I’ve been making all of these non-recipe posts. And in fact you wouldn’t believe how much I miss cooking. Don’t get me wrong, the food here is amazing and there are almost too many choices, but I really prefer it when I rent a flat when traveling so I can have a kitchen. Not only is it cheaper, but I have a perverse love of grocery shopping in other cities. I did go to Whole Foods today to pick up a lunch since I wasn’t going to have time to go out between conference sessions, but Whole Foods doesn’t really count. It’s not THAT different than my Whole Foods.

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A completely non-food post to right a wrong

Good news everyone! I was reading The Secret Scripture between conference sessions today and happened to look at the author photo on the inside jacket cover and thought to myself, “hm, that doesn’t look anything at all like the vain man I saw on the website last night”. Turns out I had spelled “Barry” incorrectly as “Berry”! The real Sebastian Barry doesn’t seem to have one of those newfangled web sites I’ve been hearing so much about (here’s a page about him, however), and I can go back to enjoying this book very much, thank you.

Just got back from seeing Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, which I quite liked.

Sorry for the non-food post (and distinct lack of photos…forgot to get on that USB cord today; not that I’ve actually yet photographed anything other than some tofu yesterday); just didn’t want to look stupid for any longer.

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Hello from San Francisco

I have had a great day despite being on my own in San Francisco! I’m here for a conference that begins tomorrow and although I am eagerly looking forward to meeting up with my dear San Francisco-resident friend, she had to be out of town today.

My flight was at some unfathomably early hour, so I arrived four hours too early to check into my hotel. No problem, I cheerfully dropped off my bags and hoofed it on down to JAPANTOWN! Man, I love Japantown! I bought a tsukemono recipe book (for way less than Amazon is offering it), a pickle press (that doesn’t look like that one because I finally found a more 2-person sized one at Soko Hardware; the reason I never bought one before was all the others I have found have been so huge), a bento box, a beautifully painted ceramic citrus reamer, a doo-hickey for brushing my cast iron pan with a thin film of oil (in lieu of the pastry brush I currently use, which never gets really clean and therefore makes a mess), and a beautiful scarf (the one non-food item I purchased all day). Have I mentioned my love of Japantown? Then I had a vegan soon tofu at a Korean tofu house that was really yummy. Soon tofu recipe coming to an ieatfood post near you soon! I generally don’t mind eating alone if I have a book with me, so I quite enjoyed my solo lunch. I wish I had brought my camera just to show you my delicious meal, but alas, lugging it around with all its accoutrements is kind of a pain and I knew I was going to be buying a lot of stuff, AND it was drizzling when I left the hotel, so the camera stayed behind.

After checking in at the hotel, waiting 45 minutes for a huge herd of French people to use the elevator ahead of me (they were there first) 4 at a time (the maximum capacity of said elevator) (I took the opportunity, while waiting, to practice my very rusty French (most of what I remember from my many French classes seems to involves biblioth√®ques and Barbu, so I imagine these people were wondering what’s wrong with the crazy American who wants to play cards in the library)), and then walking down to the civic center to check in at my conference, and THEN hitting up the thrift store near my hotel, I started to think about dinner. It was at this point in time that I realized my hotel is less than a block from Millennium! This would have been much more exciting if Mark were here, though. Although I don’t mind dining by myself in most circumstances, I think Millennium is a little too fancy for solo eating. It’s more the prices than shame at being alone. But then I learned that Golden Era was just a block away as well! DO I LOVE THIS CITY OR WHAT?!?

I phoned in an order of Spicy Gourmet “Chicken” for take-out, trotted on over there, picked it up, stopped next door for a big ol’ bottle of beer, and headed back to my room (congratulating myself on thinking to pack a bottle opener; I’m a genius). (The jolly man at the liquor store, seeing my take-out container and noting my beer purchase asked me if I were heading back to my apartment for a relaxing evening. I just smiled and said, “I sure am!” I love that I’m always taken for a local in this city. I tell you, the love I have for this city is completely reciprocal!)

I photographed the “chicken” for you! I really did! And then I realized that although I managed to bring a bottle opener, I completely forgot to bring a USB cord, so I can’t upload my photos! (Shows my priorities, I suppose.) I think I’ll pick one up tomorrow, though, so I’ll edit this entry and include a picture of it. It was pretty tasty, although slightly more authentic-tasting than I’m used to. Mark and I would LOVE to live near a place like this though. (Well, we sort of do, actually.)

Update:
Here’s the photo!

At first I was disappointed that my friend won’t be in the city tonight because it’s Saturday and it seems like I should be out doing something. But honestly, between getting 3 hours of sleep before my flight and just an hour or so on the plane, then walking further and up more hills than Mark probably did on his weekly hike through the woods back at home, all day long, I have to say that kicking back in my hotel room with some yummy vegan food, a nice, refreshing beer, and watching some Frontier House on DVD (because I’ve been on a big kick of re-reading all the Little House on the Prairie books lately and thought it would be a good tie-in) is actually a great way to spend my evening. AND I’ll be all perky for the conference tomorrow!

And now I have to confess something non-food oriented (those of you that tune in for food and/or cats only can sign off now). I’m still reading Infinite Jest (I mentioned in an earlier post how shocked I was that David Foster Wallace happened to commit suicide while I was in the middle of it), but it’s far too large for me to try to transport across the country and then carry around in my purse while walking many miles all day, so I had to choose a different book to travel with. I chose The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Berry because it’s the favorite to win the Man Booker Prize this year and I often (but not always) like Booker winners. So I was going to casually mention to you here that I was reading it (because you can see it in some of the pictures I took of my dinner), but when I did a quick google search to get a link for it, I accidentally found myself at the author’s website (WARNING! DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK IF YOU WANT TO TAKE ANY OF HIS BOOKS SERIOUSLY.) Apparently he believes himself to be male model or something. I don’t know; the multiple automatically-refreshing glamor shots really turned me off. Which reminds me quite strongly of the time Fortinbras forced The Corrections on me, but sternly instructed me, “do NOT under any circumstances look at the photo of Jonathon Franzen on the back cover, in fact, I PLEAD of you to cover it up with electrical tape so I never have to see it again”. (Oh, do both Fort and I labor under the strange and perverted impression that to be good an author must look like this?) I’m just going to concentrate on the fact that one week from today, I will be face-to-face (for a few seconds as I awkwardly shove this book at him to sign) with this man.

Update: Ugh. Just so you know, I happened to pause Frontier House to write this post just seconds before they murdered a chicken. I realize times were very different back then and I’m actually glad the participants are being forced to see where their sanitized chicken nuggets really come from (except factory farms are even worse than what they are experiencing), but the historian who has been teaching them how they will have to live was holding one of the chickens in her arms, saying, “in just a few moments we are going to kill these chickens…”, and it just broke my heart because the poor chicken was sitting so calmly, so friendly, so trustingly, in her arms, just as my cats sit in my arms, and then they just lopped its head off.

Well, apparently I’m not cut out for life on the frontier, that’s for sure.

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Spicy Tempeh

Tempeh SUCCESS again! Yay!

I checked Asian Vegan Kitchen out of the library last week. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I couldn’t resist any book with a title containing the words “Asian”, “Vegan”, and “Kitchen”. In looking for a dish to showcase my homemade tempeh, tonight I chose Spicy Tempeh from this book.

2 Tbsp peanut oil
3 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 medium tomato, chopped
4 dried red chilies, sliced
2 slices galangal
4 Tbsp palm sugar
2 salam leaves
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 Tbsp tamarind juice
1/2 tsp salt
14 oz tempeh, sliced into thin strips, deep-fried
1 cup peanuts, deep-fried
2 Tbsp kecap manis
celery leaves, for garnish
red bell pepper, sliced, for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the shallots, garlic, tomato, chilies, and galangal for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add the palm sugar, salam leaves, water, tamarind juice, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the palm sugar has dissolved.
3. Add the deep-fried tempeh, deep-fried peanuts, and kecap manis. Stir constantly over high heat until the sauce has caramelized.
4. Stir with rice, garnished with celery leaves, and red pepper.

I made a few changes, the most significant being I didn’t deep fry anything. I pan-fried the tempeh and just used roasted peanuts. Since the peanuts were salted, I omitted the salt. I used bay leaves instead of salam leaves, and I used tamarind concentrate, not juice, which made it sort of “sweet and sour” in addition to “spicy” (and salty), but i liked it that way.

Mark liked it!

Tigger was ambivalent.

In other news, I will be in San Francisco, my favorite US city (shh, don’t tell New York!) from Saturday through Thursday, so if you don’t hear from me for a while, that’s why. I’ll have my camera and laptop, though, and SF is a vegan haven, so I may pop in to say hi. I’m fairly familiar with SF, but if anyone has any suggestions for must-see or must-eat items, drop me a comment!

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Grandmother’s Bean and (Non-)Bacon Chowder

It’s another Pig-approved post!

When my mother saw my Smoked Seitan Butt post and noticed it included vegetarian bacon bits, she thought I might like to try veganizing the following recipe of my grandmother’s:

Bean and Bacon Chowder

1 lb. pea beans (washed)
16 slices bacon (1 lb.)
2 cups chopped onions
2 (28 oz.) cans tomatoes
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. basil
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
4 beef bullion cubes, dissolved in 4 cups boiling water
2 T. sugar

Simmer beans in 4 cups water for 3-4 minutes in Dutch oven. Cool 1 hour. Drain water. Fry bacon until crisp; crumble and add to beans. Save bacon drippings. Saute onions in drippings until golden. Add to beans with tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, tomato paste, bullion and water, and sugar. Cover and simmer 4-5 hours or until beans are cooked. Makes 4 quarts.

So that’s exactly what I did yesterday! Here’s my version; I’ve also halved her amounts:

Bean and Non-Bacon Chowder

8 oz navy beans
1 small or 1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup diced UnPork
1 28 oz or two 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted is good here)
2 tsp vegan “beef” bouillon
1/4 cup vegan bacon bits
1 Tbsp sugar or 9 drops stevia
1/2 tsp basil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups water

Soak the beans overnight. (Or you can quick-soak them as described by my grandmother above.) Dice the UnPork.

In a Dutch oven (preferably cast iron), heat some olive oil. Add the onions and UnPork …

… and cook until onions are beginning to caramelize and UnPork is crispy, deglazing the pan with white wine (or broth or water) as necessary.

Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a simmer, then add the bouillon and stir to combine.

Add the rest of the ingredients, …

… cover, and simmer for 4 to 5 hours or until beans are done.

If I had realized that this was going to take 4 to 5 hours even after soaking the beans for what turned out to be 24 hours, I would have made it in the pressure cooker, which I suspect would have taken 45 minutes. I was thinking it would take 2 hours. We probably could have eaten it after 2 hours, but I wanted the beans to be softer, so I kept staving off hunger with a slice of beer bread and waiting another hour…until it was midnight. I also had to add water to thin it back out a couple of times. Next time it is definitely the pressure cooker!

I can’t say that I remember eating this at my grandmother’s, but the aroma was very familiar, so I guess I remember smelling it.

Serve with a loaf of crusty (and preferably beer-filled!) bread and salad.

Something about this chowder made Mark want to pose like a senior portrait. Mark is a unique individual.

This is unrelated to food (although he did write an article for Gourmet magazine), but David Foster Wallace is dead. This is especially shocking to me because I am actually currently reading Infinite Jest. RIP, David.

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Quick and Non-Experimental Tomato Soup

The Smarkster isn’t feeling well today and among his complaints is that he’s hungry but doesn’t want food. I suggested soup and he asked if I’d make tomato soup. It’s so easy that although I wanted to make it as quickly as possible for him, I figured I might as well take pictures and write it up for the blog while I was at it. I just went to Penzey’s last weekend and have a bunch of new spices I’d love to have played with, but I figured if Smark wasn’t feeling well, it wasn’t the right time to experiment.

Quick and Non-Experimental Tomato Soup

1/4 onion, diced
1 small or 1/2 large carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
14.5 ounces vegetable stock or vegan broth (1 tomato can-full)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
fresh basil for garnish

Saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a soup pot.

Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. Let cool for a few minutes, then blend, either with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.

Reheat if necessary and garnish with fresh basil. I didn’t have any fresh basil so I threw a small cube of frozen basil in the pot and stirred until melted.

Here’s hoping Smark feels better!

Caution, soup is hot!

I forgot to give him a lemon wedge, but if I were serving myself, I’d probably squeeze a little lemon over it. I think fresh lemon brightens everything.

I put a loaf of Jeffrey Hamelman’s beer bread into the oven to bake just before starting the soup. I plan to serve it with dinner.

There are two things that bread bakers hope to achieve in every loaf of bread, but which sometimes seem to happen randomly, perhaps when Fornax is smiling upon you: oven spring and a crust that literally crackles as it begins to cool after removing from the oven. Oven spring is the extra rise you get a couple minutes after putting the loaf into the oven. This you can control a little bit, in fact, scoring (slashing) is done to control how oven spring affects the bread (by giving the crust a location to expand), but it seems like some loaves spring right up in the oven and others don’t much at all – and that the only deciding factor is luck! I’ve made three different kinds of bread from Bread so far and all of my loaves have had great oven spring. And when I pulled this beer bread from the oven, it started crackling delightfully as I was taking its picture!

I have been really happy with the loaves I’ve baked from this book, and there are so many, many loaves to go! It’s an excellent book and the loaves are a pure delight and joy to bake. Everything just seems to go so smoothly when I follow these recipes. If you are serious about learning to bake bread, I highly recommend this book, although it’s pretty intensive and there are only a few photographs (there are simple drawings that illustrate techniques where necessary). If you are thinking only casually of getting into bread baking, you may find Peter Reinhart’s books a bit more accessible. You could start with this book, but you’ll have to be prepared to read in order to learn the techniques…not look at pictures. For someone who pretty much has the hang of the basics of bread baking but who wants more practice, this book is absolutely perfect.

I can’t wait to taste the beer bread. It’s made with roasted barley, whole wheat flour, and BEER! I only made one loaf instead of the two the recipe was scaled for, which meant I had half a beer leftover this morning. Which meant I drank half a beer before breakfast this morning. Was that wrong?

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