Testing a formula for sourdough ciabatta, and inspired by my friarielli, I decided to fill the holey crumb. Using a mix of porchetta and a splash of Korean mustard (Burnt & Salty), it was a simple process. Reheat some sliced pork, spread some oily slicked broccoli di rape, and all is good!
While foraging my fridge New Years eve for a dessert ideas, I decided to make a cake with some puff pastry, specifically an epiphany cake, Galette de Rois. Lapsed in all religiosity, I'd rather make these symbolic cakes and meals to my faith in good eats. Prayers answered, crunchy airy and full of pistachio's!
Multi tasking while baking a büche can be stressful. It's a complicated bake. So when I attempted a chocolate sponge and got a brick instead, well, I decided to try again. This time, I wanted to try using soy lecithin powder. Google led me to this fabulous formula from Roberta Pezzella, a vegan pastry baker who works for Gabrielle Bonci. Despite previous doubts about modernist food (nevermind the vegan approach) but heck, this made an awesomely healthy butter cream. Moist and airy, and with fabulous flavor, nevermind sugarless, too. At least sorta!
Over the holidays, I made a large batch of Panettone for gifts. I also wanted one to post on Christmas for breakfast. As usual, all were leavened naturally with some long proofing and haphazard hanging upside down with wooden skewers! What was really nice (besides the taste) was my mother calling with a compliment. She asked if I'd make more for her friends for gifts as she really liked them. Nothing like a praise from my original inspiration around food (and love), mama!
Stir the Pots is going to Cuba. To be precise, we're going to Santiago de Cuba.
We will be there for two weeks to research the local cuisine and ways that this island is adapting to an emerging tourist economy. If you have any suggestions on great local chefs, foods (from bread to drink) or anything culinary, let us know. In the meantime, Jeremy will keep the heat going in the NYC kitchen.
Sottocaso is the name of a pizza group that is inviting and delicious. There are three New York City locations; Boreum, Williamsburg and soon in Harlem. My friends Laura Giromini Arrigoni and husband Luca are the team firing up these fine pizza Napoletana in wonderful open space. I visited the one in Williamsburg, joining my buddy Gennaro Pecchia for pizza, drink, and some foozeball (table football, another area where Laura is a champ). Besides delicious pizza, we had some deliciously prepared gnocchi from Chef Ruggero Vittorini, a native of Rome!
This year's stollen is a hybrid that I tapped into the method for making from Maggie Glazer's book, Artisan Baking in America. Stollen usually with yeast, are a fast-raising (eggless) dough. It's far different than Christmas breads like Panettone. But with its crunch of almonds, perfume of spices, and bite of citrus peel, it makes for a deliciously addictive tea cake. This one had no marzipan in the middle. But I didn't mind, as there is almond paste in the dough. Yeast is optional.
Inspired by Gregoire Michaud's EM micro-organism baguettes, I made a batch with wild yeast. The results were amazing. The crust was somewhat soft but still had an eggshell. And the crumb? Sublime and filled with the "Special K flavor," Ian Lowe's definition of umami!
Back to Louis Lamour's baguettetradition. Baked a few batches, including one for a charity function. Louis' formula is a sure path to a perfect Parisian baguette. And the steps are simple; autolyse, bassinage and retarde! If those terms are unfamiliar, I invite you to look them up for a robust explanation. In the meantime, I offer photos for inspiration. These are fabulously tasty with an eggshell crust and holey crumb!