Thursday, December 2, 2010

Crock, Stock and Two Smoking Hot Loaves Of Bread

Yesterday was the day I dirtied up just about every pot, pan, mixing bowl and measuring cup I own. Two big kitchen projects (plus a few small ones) converged and aligned and generally bumped into each other at every opportunity. I never intend to have days like this. I certainly don't plan them this way, but they sometimes happen. Hey, you do what you gotta do when you gotta do it, right? Well, the lovely turkey carcass in my fridge desperately needed to be dealt with, and I couldn't put off baking the bread another minute. I'd gone far too long without toast.

The Crock & The Stock (or... why turkeys shouldn't smoke)
Last year my crock pot was too small to make turkey stock in (18 lb. bird). This year, the bird was 12 pounds so I thought it would work. Once again though, I found myself transferring the contents to my, uh, stock pot (so that's why it's called that?) and simmering it on the stove for most of the day. This particular bird had been smoked. The meat was really tasty and I was delighted to be able to bring the carcass home for stock. An hour or so in the pot though, and the whole house started smelling like a liquid smoke factory. Ever so slightly off-putting, it was, how you say, too much of a good thing. Surprisingly (and thankfully), the stock didn't retain a too much of the smoky flavor. Just enough. I'm good with that. Soup making may now commence without delay.

The (not really) Smoking (but definitely) Hot (looking) Loaves Of Bread
We've been out of bread for close to a week, but because of the holiday and a few last minute plans (look at me, I'm spontaneous!), the cupboard was still bare. Bread baking takes time; it takes planning, prepping and worst of all...thinking. As soon as I start to think that it's about time to make more bread, I'm already two days behind.

For a long time now I've really wanted to try one of the "alternate" versions of my favorite ANK-Sourdough bread recipe, but I never could seem to get it all together. Today was different though. Today was about convergence and alignment and other words that mean a coming together of disparate elements. Plus, I actually remembered to buy some flax seed this time.
Notes: Cooked short grain brown rice in the rice cooker according to directions. Ended up a little on the wet side. Next time use less water. 8 hour initial rise. Preheated oven at 500° with dutch ovens inside. Dropped temp to 425° and baked breads for 35 min. with lids on, then 35 min. with lids off. Bread a little dark on outside but inside temp showed o.k. at 210°. Next time check temp a few minutes earlier. Breads smelled great and tasted great too. Crumb was pretty moist. Makes truly fantastic toast.
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  1. That bread looks awesome! Wish I had our Thanksgiving turkey to make stock from.

  2. Megan - How did you know I was making your Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup today? Bizarre! It's simmering away right now as I type this. I used the turkey stock in it, so it's more of a Creamy Turkey & Rice Soup. It smells great! We're going to have this bread with it too.


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