Sunday, February 08, 2009

Notebook Three - redemption.

What surprised me about Notebook 3 when I went to flip thru it to write this post was 2 things. First, how many of the recipes in its 46 pages I've already tried, and second, how many damn good recipes are in here. Right now I'd wager that this one has better recipes over all than 1 or 2.

My mom's bean salad recipe is in here, and we know that's a winner. So is her Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta which is so good. Zucchini Fritters, Asian Smoked Chicken and Mu Shu Chicken are some other good 'uns. Also? Cheese Jalapeno Muffins.

Still on my to make list - Turkish Delight (sort of scared to try to make it), Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and Dill Pickles. Mmmmmmmm.

Although my plan for this cookbook reminisce was to make untried recipes from all my notebooks, from Book Three I chose a recipe I'd previously attempted. Back in 1997, when this book was being worked on, I bought a copy of Gourmet magazine which had a recipe for a baguette.

For some reason, I made it as a gift for a co-worker "friend". I don't remember why. What I do remember is the morning after I gave it to her, she came to work and ..... well, she trashed my bread. I no longer remember why she didn't like it, valid or not (I suspect not) but it shattered me. I'd been so proud of the bread, dammit! I didn't try to make bread again for years.

So when I saw this was the book that the supposedly horrid baguette came from, I had to try it again. And guess what? It was pretty ok bread. I've made better, but this was not too shabby.

Damn um, her. Whatever her name is. (I have an awesome memory for faces, but a real crappy one for names.)

One-a-Day Baguette Bruesch

Makes 1 baguette
The relatively large amount of salt in this bread is the secret to a full-flavored baguette.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105°‐115° F)
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt

In a large bowl sprinkle yeast and sugar over warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
With a wooden spoon stir in 2 cups flour until combined. Stir in salt and 2 cups of remaining flour until mixture forms a stiff dough.
On a lightly floured surface knead dough with lightly floured hands 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, kneading in enough of remaining 1/2 cup flour to keep dough from sticking.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled deep bowl, turning to coat with oil, and let rise, bowl covered with plastic wrap, until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Punch down dough and form into a long slender loaf about 21 inches long and 3 inches wide.
Put loaf diagonally on a lightly greased large or 17- by 14-inch baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, about 30 minutes.
Make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes on loaf with a sharp knife and lightly brush top with cool water.
Bake loaf in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until golden, and transfer to a rack to cool.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

There a few times when I think my poor memory works for me but not remembering this person's name would be one of them.
I'm enjoying your notebook reviews.

NKP said...

She was probably just jealous of your...
any or all of the above..
It is amazing how we can let one person burst our bubble. I can forget a whole handful of compliments and be defeated by one small slight.
So glad you tried it again!

Sara said...

Thank you Tanna, I am enjoying them too.

Natashya - you are the sweetest thing! You are right, it doesn't take much to knock us down sometimes. Something to work on. :)

natalia said...

I can't believe she did that !!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I can't believe she did that--after all the trouble you went to making her homemade bread. I think you should have made her another one...and then smacked her with it! ;-) I am only half kidding!

BTW--I am still so impressed with your notebooks!

Sara said...

Deb - you made me laugh! But this bread is too yummy to waste hitting people with. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree - damn those "friends" who trash our baking! This baguette looks pretty tasty.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I agree with Deb, though I wouldn't have wasted time making another I'd have bought the cheapest nastiest breadstick there was available and then hit her with it.

OMG, I mean you actually hand made bread for her and she had the cheek to trash it... I'm furious for you now and it was obviously a long time ago. I have issues! ;)

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