Friday, January 7, 2011

Feast of Breads

My poor husband is clueless. Bless his heart. We have been married almost 20 years, and yes, he does have a fault. He is a terrible gift giver. I am seriously considering getting a standing gift registry at several different stores in the area. So, once again, for the Christmas season he comes to me in desperation wanting ideas for gifts. No matter how hard I try, he just can't do it. So, I usually end up getting myself several "gifts" and let him know what he has gotten me.
When he told me about a week before Christmas, yet again, that he was clueless about what to get me I said "you know I have some things in my Amazon cart that I would love to have". Before I could finish my sentence he begged me to get them, you know, from him.
I had gotten this book from the library a few week ago and decided that I just had to have one myself.

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Edie had introduced this book to me and her readers a while back but I had never taken the time to try it. Had I only known what I was missing out on!

I bought the book and the pizza peel that of course I could not live without, and why not get the container for the dough, because the huge bowl I was using was taking up way to much space in my fridge. Plus Amazon insists that you must have these products to compliment your book. Worth EVERY penny!

So with all of this free time I have had on my hands lately with snow days and Christmas break, I have gone nuts making bread.

I grew up eating bread as a staple in my diet. In Chile, where I grew up, they eat bread at EVERY meal. (kinda like in Mexico and other Central American countries they have tortillas at all times and at every meal)
"Pancito" (a diminutive for bread) for breakfast, a "pancito" with lunch, definitely a "pancito" for afternoon tea, this tea time is called "once" (which means eleven, so I have no idea why it is called that, "once" is usually at about 4:00 - 5:00 in the afternoon). And of course you would have some "pancito" with your evening meal. The bread in Chile is quite different to American bread. It is much like European bread, not so white, or soft. It is denser, chewy, and has a hard crust.
The bread is actually called "pan batido" (which literally means "beaten bread)or "marraqueta". This is what it looks like:


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Yumm, just looking at it makes me home sick.
Usually you just eat it alone or with real butter. For "once" it is wonderful with fresh cheese, smashed avocado (no, not guacamole, just avocado smashed with olive oil and salt), or jelly. The most popular, at least with me, were peach or quince jelly. This is what quince jelly looks like:

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This is what a quince actually looks like. It is very sour. The only way I would eat it is with salt like a granny smith apple, or am I the only weirdo that likes granny smiths with salt? A quince is even more bitter than that and it has a very weird consistancy, kind of like a pear(grainy), and an apple (hardish). They make this very interesting, grainy, yet yummy tasting jelly.

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Anyway, enough of that rabbit. I will have to feature some of my favorite chilean foods on here some other time.

Back to the bread.

So here is what I have made so far.

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It is TO DIE FOR!!!


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All of those were made with the same "basic" dough recipe. They have others for pizza crust and sweet breads. Pizza crust and focaccia are my next project. I tried one of the sweet ones. This is called "brioche"


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It's just a little sweet and buttery, kind of reminded me of Mexican sweet bread, only better and not so dry.

With that same dough I made these "beignets" (a french fritter or doughnut). They disapeared within 5 minutes!

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Want to come on over? Any time. I love experimenting with bread.
Not quite my "pan batido", but it will do. I believe I will have to go find and order me some "dulce de membrillo" (the quince jelly), smear it on my fresh artisan bread, fix me up a cup of "te con leche" (hot hea with milk), close my eyes, say something in spnish, laugh, and imagine if only for a moment to be at my friend Marcela's house, enjoying her sweet company and talking about boys!



*Note: "once" is pronounced on-say, sort of, you know, the gringo way.

2 comments:

  1. I also have this book and have recently been baking lotsa wonderful bread! It has been so easy and such a special treat to have fresh homemade bread!

    Did you use the basic dough or the brioche dough for your cinnamon rolls? I made some caramel rolls using the brioche and they were amazing! Just wondering if you can make them with the basic dough as well?

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  2. This is an amazing cookbook! I adore the simplicity of it! You must try the dinner roles with carmelized onions...they are to die for!!!! Have fun cooking!

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