Recommended Baking Adventures February 2014

In the cold, cold winter, there is nothing more satisfying than a slice of warm bread. It certainly feels like we’re hungrier for heavy, warm food in the winter months. There’s also something pleasing about using your whole body to make something– especially when going outside to exercise is inadvisable.

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” – James Beard

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I moved to the second recipe in Beard on Bread, Home-Style White Bread. This bread was richer with the addition of milk and butter to the dough. Overall, it was much easier to work with than the basic white and had a nice, thick crust. Delicious!

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Home-style white bread crust shot

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Cornmeal bread

Feeling inspired by the success of the home-style white, I moved to another recipe in the James Beard book, Cornmeal Bread. Not to be confused with corn bread, this bread incorporates some cornmeal into a traditional bread dough and comes out with a slightly crispier texture with a little grit. It’s delicious, and perhaps the best recipe yet. Next time, I plan to incorporate a little more cornmeal– maybe 3/4 cup rather than the suggested 1/2 cup.

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Starting place of the most decadent lasagna ever.

This Valentine’s day, we revisited a delicious but complex lasagna recipe from Sam Sifton in the NYT. We’d made it once before, for guests, and were impressed but the recipe was too expensive, rich, and time consuming to make a regular.

The lasagna combines herbed olive oil, four types of cheese, béchamel, and mushrooms. Truly a pleasure. The herbed olive oil is especially worth making and using regularly.

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Voila!

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