Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Marvels of Stone

Servia bought some stone over the last week or so. The stone is fantastic. I finally took advantage of some of it today because I made some bread that required vigorous kneading and could not be done in the Kitchen Aid. It is the Polaine Miche which is made out of very temperamental first clear flour so I am still crossing my fingers that it will bake well tomorrow morning. But for now, check out the stone.
Granite slab for kneading
 Since we have tile in the kitchen and a finished wooden kitchen table, kneading was not a very feasible option. With this gigantic granite slab, I can now knead without making a mess. This is awesome and I really like kneading by hand. However, the bread took 20 minutes to pass the window pane test instead of 12-15 so I got really tired.
Cheese Plates
 Seriva also bought some small bits of stone for cheese plates. Granite (left) and beautiful onyx (right) are wonderfully colorful and awesome cheese plates. They will also keep the cheeses fairly cool.
Slate baking slab

My cooking stones are actually quite small which limits the size of the pizzas that I can make. I have one cheap oven stone and one 12"x12" piece of marble that was my first baking stone. So, as a surprise, Servia bought a 16"x16" piece of slate so we can make bigger ones. I'm super excited, especially since Egnatius and a family friend and I are going to make fresh mozzarella to put on the pizza.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I haven't posted in quite a while. It's just been a rough quarter at school. I added an extra class to my schedule and it's been a lot of work. I thought I would post a couple of recent things.

Raclette: I have wanted to try Raclette since I saw it featured in Tartine Bread. Warmed cheese to spread on bread...yum. When Ignatius and I were at the grocery store getting ingredients for chicken picatta one night, I stumbled across some and couldn't resist trying it. Not having an open hearth, I took a heatproof bowl and heated the cheese over a pot of boiling water. I spread it on some fresh oat bread and it was delicious.
Oat Bread
I really enjoyed it, although Ignatius tells me that traditionally raclette is put on vegetables and things other than bread. Oh well.

Ignatius' Cheese: On the subject of cheese, Ignatius used a Roman recipe from Collamella (spelling?) to make some cheese. However, Ignatius got worried that the cheese might have been problematic so he tried it after four days instead of the proscribed two weeks. However, the cheese was delicious, especially melted on bread (like raclette, kind of) and it got better as it aged over a two weeks.
Roman Cheese

Oyster Mushrooms: A few months back, someone convinced Servia to buy one of those Grow-Your-Own-Oyster-Mushroom kits. Anyway, they were pretty cool and we made some lovely risotto. It was very cool watching them grow.

More Oat Bread: I have been experimenting with the wonderful Oat Bread I mentioned previously. Here is one example of the loaves. More bread coming soon.
Oat Bread

The Granite Slab: As we have tile counters, kneading is a bit of a problem. I tend to use the Kitchenaid or alternative kneading procedures (like Tartine's) to avoid problems. But Servia went out and bought a granite slab for kneading and pastry work. It's awesome.
Granite Slab

More to come!