Sunday, September 27, 2009

This week's meal plan

Sunday: Pan-fried chicken breasts, sauteed spinach, cous cous, and tomato-basil-feta salad
Monday: Winter squash soup, green salad and bread
Tuesday: Omelettes and green salad
Wednesday: Baked kielbasa and sauerkraut with homemade pretzels
Thursday: Pasta with vegetables from our CSA box
Friday: Pizza with roasted vegetables from our CSA box
Saturday: Lasagna with swiss chard (from Ready When You Are by Martha Rose Shulman)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Breaking bread

Front loaf shaped by me, rear loaf by 3-year old O-man

In the last couple years raising young children and baking bread have become my primary spiritual practices. While I have several bread and baking cookbooks, when I found Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I had found my spiritual guide. I'm a convert. I proselytize at any opportunity. Seriously, if I was getting a cut of this book's sales I might even be able to keep myself in flour for a while.

The basic premise of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is that you make a large batch of high moisture dough, let it rise once then store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, taking out portions of the dough to shape, rise and bake whenever you need a loaf.

Here's the thing about this book that make it an exceptional resource for family cooks:
  1. The work is really quite minimal and the actual shaping and baking part is so easy that it really does only take a few minutes so it can be done anytime.
  2. having dough around means that you can almost always whip up something for, calzones, soup or salad with bread, sandwiches, bacon and eggs in toast, pasta with toasted breadcrumbs, I could go on and on.
  3. It's a lot cheaper to bake bread than to buy it at the store, plus, this way you aren't eating all those preservatives
  4. Kids love fresh bread. Who am I kidding...EVERYONE loves fresh bread.