Beer. Cheese. Bread.
August 8, 2015
That’s three of your major food groups, right there.
And it’s my first venture into my newest cookbook, The New Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day. Which I came by through a bit of happenstance that’s been a happy little adventure, thanks to Amazon.
It started when I got my spiralizer. In the way that one purchase has of leading to another, I decided I needed a spiralizer cookbook. So I logged onto Amazon and bought one. Went to check out, and it told me my total was $0.00. Something about a “store settlement applied.”
H’mm. Got no clue what that means. Let’s add another book and see what it does.
Added another spiralizer book. Went to check out. Still $0.00 due. I still have no clue where this mysterious “store settlement” came from, what it’s for, or how much it is. Well, let’s add another one and see. Don’t want to leave any money on the table. Don’t know if this mystery money will carry over, or what.
I decided on Artisan Bread because I’d copied a couple of recipes from it during a recent retreat. Pretty cool technique — you mix up a batch of dough, keep it in your fridge, and pull out enough every day or so to make fresh bread for that day. No kneading, no muss, no fuss. Pretty decent bread, too.
That one took my total due to $3.71. Which I happily paid, and settled down to await the arrival of my books two days later. (I love Prime shipping.). I still have no idea where the “store settlement” came from, but I learned a long time ago not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
So. Artisan Bread. The premise is that any bread you make yourself is generally going to be superior to bread you buy, at least until you get into such complex baked goods as croissants and such. The recipe I had copied was for your basic French loaf — flour, salt, water, yeast — which also serves to make a flatbread, and I made it several times.
What I like about this bread and its technique is that it lets you bake only as much bread as you want. You just want a little loaf for one person for a couple of days? Make it. You want loaves to give to friends? Make ’em.
There are all sorts of recipes in here — French bread, brioche, olive oil breads, sweet breads, multigrain breads, even gluten-free breads. Technique is the same. Make up the dough, plunk it in the fridge, make bread when you get ready.
This Wisconsin beer cheese bread — it uses 12 ounces of beer (I used Green Flash Double Stout) in place of the water, and a cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Good stuff. Good thing, as there are three more loaves’ worth of it in the fridge.
You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em get hungry for a loaf of bread, let me know. We’ll whip up a batch.