So here's the deal, I hate to tell you this, but there are only 19 days left until Christmas, 18 until Hanukkah, which I suppose would make it 20 until Kwanza and Boxing Day, but who's counting? Oh wait. . . .everyone. Remember, we have tons of stuff that will work for just about anyone on your list whether they cook or not (everyone needs lip balm and lotion - see our pop up below). Plus, we gift wrap and ship. Now, that said, we thought we would set you off on a little procrastibaking (although can we just state that we do not believe any baking is "unnecessary"?) by sharing some of our favorite bread recipes.
If you've ever wondered what Steve's kitchen looks like take a gander at the above photo. His natural enthusiasm and curiosity have had him working to master the art of sourdough bread as of late and we are often the beneficiaries of his experimentation.
The Tartine method, preferred by Steve, uses a natural sourdough starter and produces a well-earned reward when mastered. People have been using a starter to make bread, well, since the invention of bread. Accidentally making a starter is how the world discovered bread. (Check out Michael Pollan's Cooked, episode 3) When using this longer method, a fermentation process helps breakdown and alter the nutrients of flour making in more digestible and arguably healthier.
Honestly though, developing a starter, although generally simple, can be intimidating for many and does require patience and consistency. Have faith - it is absolutely achievable and there are numerous resources and techniques to suit even the busiest schedules. Below you'll find Martha Stewart's breakdown of the Tartine method.
If sourdough starter and feeding schedules have you feeling a bit overwhelmed, we give you the Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery method of well, skirting the system. This method still takes advantage of a long fermentation process to create rise, but uses small amounts of commercial yeast to start the process.
This is a go-to method for many, requires very little prep or manipulation/kneading, and yields lovely results. Mark Bittman famously adapted the recipe for the New York Times, making it even more accessible. We've tried our hardest to make this recipe fail and have only succeeded a few times (we blame trying to bake in the summer's 75% humidity). Regardless, this style of bread making can be easily adapted: try 2 cups white to 1 cup wheat, semolina, or rye flour, add honey or molasses for a kick of sweetness, or fold in nuts, seeds, fruit, or even chocolate before baking off. You won't be sorry.
Shh: while everyone will say you have to have a dutch oven, we've used a covered glass casserole and even an oven-safe glass bowl and a metal lid. Nothing should stop you from making great bread - budgets should not be an obstacle, get creative.
Finally, we love beer bread for those days when you crave a warm slice of bread but were simply too busy to plan ahead. Take a moment to type "beer bread" into google and you'll soon see that this general recipe is beloved and used by many. First introduced to me by my pal Ruthie, I am pretty sure I ate half the loaf in the first sitting. This recipe too is adaptable. If you love a hearty dense texture, it is possible to use all whole wheat, but a 1:1 white to wheat or even an all-white flour variation will work as well. Try manipulating the flavor profile by experimenting with different beers. We love a stout, but any beer's yeast will activate the dough and help it rise.
Stop by the shop for a wide range of bread baking tools including proofing baskets, cloches, clip top storage jars, cookbooks, the classic Wusthof bread knife (on sale), as well as a selection of bread boxes.
For boundless visual inspiration and video tutorials, follow #breadscoring on Instagram.
One of our favorite techniques is to use a dutch oven to bake off our boules. Take advantage of our current sale and pick up the 4-quart Cocotte by Staub.
It is the perfect bread oven.
Staub 4 quart Enameled Cast-Iron Cocotte
Reg $284, Sale $99.99*
*limited to gloss cherry, white, turquoise, and matte black - on sale NOW, while supplies last
Pop Up Shop:
Join us in welcoming Jessica Healey of Pronounce Skincare this Saturday at the shop from 10 am - noon. Jessica started in her home kitchen, opening Pronounce Skincare in February 2013 after her son was born with allergies to many commonplace things. She quickly became a label reader and took the health of her family into her own hands. She now lovingly handcrafts skincare products from scratch (with ingredients you can...pronounce!), shipping them around the globe and shares how you too can make healthy skincare through her blog and workshops.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank
Hoosier Hills Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides over three million pounds of food annually to over 100 other non-profits serving people with low incomes and personal challenges, children, and seniors. HHFB member agencies serve an estimated 7,500 people each week and 25,800 individuals annually. We distribute food in eight Indiana counties, including our six-county Feeding America service area which covers Brown, Lawrence, Orange, Owen, Martin, and Monroe counties. We also distribute federal commodities in Crawford County. A small staff and hundreds of volunteers and food and financial donors have distributed over 60 million pounds of food since 1982.
At Community Kitchen our mission is to work, alone and in collaboration with others, to eliminate hunger in Monroe County and surrounding areas through direct service, education, and advocacy.
Our philosophy states that Community Kitchen provides free nutritious meals, nutrition education, referrals to other agencies, and a clean, comfortable social environment for patrons, staff, and volunteers. Through daily operations and educational outreach, Community Kitchen works to educate the public about the extent of hunger in Monroe County, explain probable causes of hunger, and provide ways to respond to hunger needs. The agency’s ultimate goal is for individuals to achieve regular access to an adequate diet through normal means. A soup kitchen is not considered “normal” means, but rather a “safety net” for people who have not yet achieved food security on their own.
There are only 24 days between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the four back to back holidays of Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Kwanza beginning December 23rd. Let us ease your stress. Our team can easily put together gifts for teachers, co-workers, and others you would like to acknowledge. We offer custom gift baskets or sets, personal shopping (no need to be there, just drop us an email, call, or DM us on Instagram), we always offer complimentary gift wrap, and can ship right from the shop. We are quite literally little elves just waiting to help.
We believe anyone can cook.
We believe in welcoming everyone to the table.
We believe some tools are timeless.
We believe high quality isn't always expensive.
We believe in making things from scratch when possible.
We believe in gathering & connecting with one another.