Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ode to King Arthur

Today I received my King Arthur flour catalogue.  It's equivalent to the feeling that arose within me when the thick JC Penney catalogue arrived 2 months before Christmas when I was 10.  I want to flag every page.  Sure, I'll try cooking with some lemon curd.  Yep, I'm so in need of a scone pan.  Who wouldn't want to try out the abundance of flours? 
 I'm such an Italian.  I love my carbohydrates.  I love cooking with good ingredients.  I am convinced that my baking won't turn out the same if my husband comes home from the grocery store with some other sort of flour.  Since winter has decided to stick around in all of it's icy glory, we have been spending a lot of time inside.  Time inside means we get creative in the kitchen.  King Arthur and I are on a first name basis. 

Here is my latest favorite recipe:
Triple Cheese Bread
(a King Arthur recipe)
3/4 cup water
2 tsp yeast
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-purpose flour
2 Tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tblsp butter (soft)
1/2 cup Cabot Cheddar (shredded)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
3 Tblsp grated Parmesan Cheese

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water.  Add the sugar to activate the yeast.  Mix dry ingredients together and add all of ingredients together with the yeast.  Knead in the mixer or by hand to make a soft dough.  
If using a mixer turn on a floured board and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled (at least 45 min).  Keep in a warm place.
Deflate the dough, form it into a 9 inch log and place it in a 9x5 loaf pan.  Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until the bread domes an inch above the rim of the pan. 
Bake the risen dough in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before slicing. 

Bread making has become an integral part of our winter days.

Charlie is an old soul.  He likes his bread buttered perfectly.  If the butter is not spread evenly, he points it out.  He brings me his slippers each morning to put on his feet.  
I love this boy.
And some other baking - (King Arthur inspired, of course)

Julia's creativity at work.

Pink strawberry ricotta pancakes for Valentines Day morning.
Spreading the love to daddy.
We are looking forward to spring around here - I think it may give us some permission to let up on the carbohydrates!  But for now, nothing beats waking up to homemade cinnamon bread baking in the oven on a snowy morning!