There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
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This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Friday, May 14, 2010

Master Recipe, Three Ways (9 of 42)

The assignment for this episode is to bake three variations of the Master Recipe: Hearty Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf, Turkish-Style Pita Bread with Black Sesame Seeds, and Whole Grain Garlic Knots

I first baked the Turkish-Style Pita Bread with Black Sesame Seeds.  
This pita is rolled out thicker than a regular pita since the Turkish-Style Pita does not puff.  Although I have a bench scraper, and use it, I have found that a plastic putty knife often works better to loosen dough on the counter when I roll, it is a bit smaller and gives better control, especially in tight places--they come in different sizes and are cheap, too.  And using a putty knife is a guy thing, though not as good as Elwood's using power tools.  Maybe I can duct-tape a bread knife onto my sawzall . . . .
After rolling, I used my medieval docking tool to dock the dough, brushed it with melted butter, sprinkled it with black sesame seeds, and baked it. 
I got a fair amount of oven spring.  Perhaps I should have rolled it a bit thinner, but it tasted great. 

After letting it cool a bit, I cut it into wedges and served it with  

Baba ghanoush
Adapted from Ellie Krieger and Steven Raichlen
2 large eggplant
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped flat parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Cut 5 slits into each eggplant and cram a clove of garlic into each slit. Cook the eggplant on the grill, turning semi-regularly, until blacked on all sides and very soft in the middle, 20-30 minutes depending on your grill. Cool, remove most of the blackened skin (a bit remaining gives a nice extra smokiness), and dump the pulp (with garlic) into a food processor. Add the tahini and lemon juice and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Next I baked the sandwich loaf,  
and used some of it to make a crab salad panino (singular, for Ellen and props for getting her Master's Degree).
Then it was on to the Whole Grain Garlic Knots, which called for garlic, which is doing nicely, but not ready to harvest,  and parsley, which I overwintered, and was ready to harvest.
I made my knots, without too much sturm und drang, let them rise, drizzled them with the garlic/parsley oil, and sprinkled with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. How could they not be good?  
Which brings us to this episode's Special Feature, a knot-knot joke presented by one of my Whole Grain Garlic Knots, which as you can see is suffering from a split personality:



  1. Great post old pop! I love the fact that you are growing your own garlic...I haven't tried that yet. But I do grow my own herbs and it's so satisfying! I love all your breads! BTW I linked to your blog for showing different methods of getting bread to rise well.

  2. Love your knots.. so beautifully shaped! They look delicious. (also, enjoyed your knot pun-)

  3. love what you served the pita bread with yummy

  4. cracking up about the "half baked" proverb! LOL. as usual, everything looks wonderful. I can't wait to try the garlic knots!

  5. Great post, and thanks for the shout out. I have several sizes of putty knives and now I have another way to use them. We are going to have to find some way to bring in duct tape!Your breads look great and those knots....garlic/parsley oil and Parm, yum.

  6. They look good and I loved the corny joke.