I made another loaf of bread, adapting Jim Leahy's No-knead Bread recipe slightly - instead of 3 cups of (wheat) bread flour, I used 2 cups of bread flour, and 1 cup of rye flour. And like the first loaf last week, I added caraway seeds.
It came out just as great as my first attempt, and I had the same dobts and misgivings as I made it. "just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers" - what, like a pound? That stuff is REALLY sticky. "gently and quickly shape dough into a ball"? How so? My bread didn't want to be a ball, it kept flattening into a disk. I was wondering if I'd done it wrong, but decided to ignore the voices in my head and just bake it, and that seemed to be the right decision.
Upcoming variations I am planning:
substitute the water with buttermilk
add herbs and spices, like freshly chopped rosemary, dill, coriander, or cardamom
add olive bits
add bacon (yeah, you knew this was coming, didn't you?)
try out a long baguette loaf soon as I figure what vessel to bake it it
make a sweet version with cinnamon and walnuts or pecans
150 g (1 1/2 sticks) butter 4 eggs 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar 20 g (2 tbsp) vanilla sugar (buy it, make your own, or use 1 tbsp of liquid vanilla flavoring instead. Being a good German, I use Dr. Oetker. :-)) 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 150 g (1 1/2 cups) flour 4 medium size apples butter to grease the form
20 g powdered suger 10 g (1 tbsp) vanilla sugar
How to do it:
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Let it cool off, but not harden.
Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt into a creamy mass.
Add the cooled butter, baking powder, and flour.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C aka 400F.
Peel, quarter, and slice the apples into thin slices. Mix into the batter.
Grease a 9 inch spring form pan or pie pan, fill with the apple batter, set on the lowest rack.
Bake for about 50 minutes.
Set on a cooling rack for a few minutes. Remove from the spring form pan. Dust with the powdered sugar/vanilla sugar mix.
I lifted this from the fine photo blog Obama Pics Daily. Isn't it nice to see that Obama's appointees are such a diverse mix of people, and not just all old white men? I am really pleased at the number of women and the range of skin colors on his team.
We went to see the Uffington White Horse today. This is not my picture - you have to be in the air above it to capture it this well, and it wasn't quite as green. Still, it was a great expedition, we had a good walk up the hill, and nice enough weather. I am fascinated by this figure, which may or may not be a horse (some say it's a depiction of the dragon slain by St. George here), and it's apparently the oldest chalk hillside figure in all of Britain, dating back about 3000 years.
Took the Oxford Tube into London today. The Oxford Tube is not, as you might expect from the name, a subway line - it's a bus. An English double-decker bus, no less, and I scored the front seat up top, where I had the bestest view. Got out at Victoria Station and walked down towards the Thames and the Tate Britain, because they had BACON!!!!!! Francis Bacon, that is.
I'd seen some of his paintings before, and really wanted to check out this exhibit. Well, that, and it's BACON!!!!!!!
This was a great exhibit - a retrospective of Bacon's entire career, sorted into different overarching themes, and explained and annotated well. I especially liked his earlier works, where the figures are shadowy and obscure, and some of the paint looks like it has run in the rain, and then his very late triptychs, and especially the set of three self-portraits:
(I didn't take this picture - it's from an AFP news story that says that these Francis Bacon self-portraits failed to sell at a New York auction just a few days ago.) Don't ask me how paintings exhibited in London can be on auction in New York. Maybe Bacon did several sets of this? I dunno. I just wanted to say his name again anyway. Bacon Bacon BACON!!!
Lying between the Ridgeway and the River Thames, the Vale of White Horse stretches from the edge of Oxford to the threshold of the Cotswolds. Its enchanting landscape is marked by a mysterious pagan past - the very name comes from the oldest chalk figure in Britain dating back to around 1000 BC.