Cheesy, easy breadsticks

20160820_190807Well received by the youngsters.  From Jamie Cooks it up.

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Kozunak

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Speaking of Bulgaria:  Clearly underproofed, but time — time…  Still, turned out alright for eating, except, the kids are so conditioned, that when Jared took a bite he recoiled in revulsion:  Sweet!  He accused, “You don’t make sweet bread!”  Eventually he agreed it was alright, but avowed he liked the sour types much better.  He is an upstanding young man, indeed.

Outside of those conditioned, it was excellently received and devoured rapidly.  A delicious, sweet, eggy bread — in this case, with chopped dates replacing raisins.

Ari-ancini rice balls and bread sticks

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Ari has long kept us well fed with tasty little treats, and this summer has branched into main course fair, usually dragging the meme one into it as well — she who would be quite piqued by that opened cupboard in the background.

The first meal was a big stack of meat pies that went over very well.  They were surprised that none were left:  We are in the land of the pasties, ladies.

This time, they wanted to try and replicate some of their favorite out-dining food fare, the arancini rice balls and bread sticks at the Olive Garden.

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Though the visual aesthetics may need a little work, the bread sticks were — flavor-wise — better than their reference:  Very tasty — perfect salt, garlic butter, chew and texture.  It was hard not to eat too may.

The rice balls were beaucoup big!  Nice crust and delicious, cheesy rice within.  They were far less salty than the OG variety (which is not a complaint), and served with a little marinara, they were a marvelous meal.

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Sourdough

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The ol’ levain is back to humming along with great consistency, and producing loaves that are super sour.  Super, like, not as in unpleasantly sour, but as in superb, magnificent – delectable.  Super, as in the boy is eyeing the loaves as they leave the oven and imagining a grilled cheese – his favorite use of such a loaf:  Hide the fontina!

This is perhaps the finest made to date, might even exceed the Greatest Loaf Ever Made – in terms of flavor, bead and consistency:  Nice, crunchy crust, with chewy, moist interior – a good bite on the bread; nice resistance, but not tough.   Modest air pockets – not too big and perfect for sandwiches.

The sour is spectacular, but overwhelms the purported purpose of the bread which was said to cater a whim for garlic and rosemary – forgiven, though.

The initial flour hydration seems wholly unnecessary, and incorporating the levain and water was so difficult that the dough had to be thrown into the ninja for that purpose.  That started off well, but eventfully nearly sent the machine across the room as the dough enshrouded the hook!  More reasonably, just add water and levain to the salted flour and leave the challenge to tease free well adhered dough off the hook.

The initial rise spent overnight at about 70F, the second for nearly six.  Final proof took about three hours and the lid was eschewed in favor of a water pan and a few spritzes of the wall in the first few.  Called done after 25.

Chocolate chunk & sesame seed muffins with mandarin zest

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This mouthwatering medley caught the eye at Curls & Carrots, where they were properly named satsuma, olive oil and sesame muffins — relabled to reflect the most prominant flavor and visual along with what cousin to satsuma resided inside the refrig..

Very nice compliment of flavors, mostly the entwining of the chocolate and orange, but a nice subtle sweetness added by the banana and apple.

Clearly, gluten free is not an objective here, but these provided the opportunity to exhaust the brown rice flour that has been camping out in the freezer for a while, now, and the gluten-y wasn’t missed — a nice texture and bead, and still, just a bit chewy.

Flippant Friday expurgation 4: A seedy looking character

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Bob has taken a decided turn toward the tempered — while still making fine loaves, the streak of splendidly sour has ended:  Notably, with an attempted recreation of the best loaf ever made!  It, again, was not again — so several seedy loaves were made to ascertain if it was just that loaf, or symptomatic of deeper, underlying problems.

Sadly, the latter, so Bob has been nurtured with some rye (he’d started making some – a bad sign) and will take a week or two to chill.

Bread experience

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From seedy to classic, pretty much perfect in flavor and texture.  The mystery is whether that’s due to superior recipes and instructions, the levain, dumb luck or a mysterious combination.  Done right, the loaves last (could last, if not all eaten) at least two weeks without becoming stale and/or moldy — qualities not shared by failed loaves…