before we passover

Yesterday, I decided to create one more loaf of bread before we store all the yeast away and "dust out our corners with a feather" for the week. 
 

My thinking: even if Moses and Miriam didn't have the luxury to bake a fresh loaf, I may as well take advantage of what my ancestors fought for right? 

Even though this logic may not be completely sound, is it really too much to ask for to want the crunch of homemade crust before I change over to matzo? The result: whole wheat rosemary lemon bread.

 

whole-wheat rosemary lemon bread

adapted from The Well Floured Kitchen

ingredients:

5 ⅓ cups of 100% whole-wheat pastry flour (I got mine from Whole Foods)

1 tbsp. of salt

2 tsp. of fresh chopped rosemary (be generous)

zest from 1-2 lemons 

2 cups of water

¼ cup warm water

1 packet of active dry yeast (I used Fleishman's)

1 tsp. of sugar

First combine yeast with sugar in a metal mixer bowl (for a stand-up mixer) and then add the ¼ cup of warm water. Let this sit for around 15 minutes, until the yeast is poofy and bubbly.  (If any of you are wondering why the sugar it helps activate the yeast)

 

In another bowl combine flour, salt, rosemary, and zest, and mix until the spices are well distributed. Add the water, mixing loosely with your hands until dough begins to combine. When the water, flour, and spices seem to be about halfway mixed, add the mixture to the activated yeast. Mix carefully with your hands until just combined. After fully combined, put bowl in a mixer with the hook attachment and knead dough on a medium-low setting for 5 minutes.

 

After kneading, the dough will seem much smoother and just look overall a bit "better." Let the dough sit in a room temp-warmish atmosphere for about an hour, covered (I used a damp kitchen towel). After an hour punch the dough down, and knead very slightly.

 

Take out a large cast-iron pot, and line it with parchment. Flour your hands, and the parchment and take the dough out of the bowl. Shape the dough into either a circular or oblong loaf. Sprinkle the top with flour. Cover the pot, with a slight crack at the top and let sit for one more hour. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. (I used convection bake.)

 

After rising a second hour, the bread is (almost!) ready to bake. Take out a VERY sharp knife and make slices on the top of the loaf, in whatever design you desire. Place the bread in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the loaf is a golden brown on the outside. If you like a crustier bread (as I do), feel free to drop a teensy bit of water once or twice into the hot oven to create steam.

 

And now, finally, take a slice and enjoy!



santa barbara public market

Yesterday I had the privilege to explore a new culinary gem of Santa Barbara, The Santa Barbara Public Market.

SBPM creates a space, representing the best of the best in the Santa Barbara culinary world. Anything, and everything, to do with handcrafted, regionally sourced and sustainably made food and wine can be found in this sustenance haven. With their 15 purveyors who provide products that range from basic pantry essentials to fresh, handmade pasta, to wine and beer, to artisan ice cream and much much more, you will never leave without a full, happy tummy, and if you wish, a bag full of goodies for your own culinary adventures at home.

You can learn about each purveyor more extensively on their website: http://sbpublicmarket.com/purveyors/

As you enter, you're welcomed by the Foragers Pantry, which offers a variety of wholesome foods and organic produce and even housewares, from artisanal dinnerware to to eco-friendly cleansers.

On the other side, you're greeted by cases full of some of the most beautiful pasta you will ever encounter. The Pasta Shoppe hand-crafts each batch of homemade dough and sauces based off family recipes. The gourmet pastas vary from sun-dried tomato, to olive, to squid ink, to edible pressed flower, herb leafed & specked and many more.

Beside lies The Culture Counter, selling cheeses and salumi from all across the globe. Pick up one of their handy little "cones" for a perfect snack as you browse.

Your delectable meats and cheeses can accompany you across the way to Wine + Beer, offering the finest wines, handcrafted ales and beers for tasting experiences as well as retail sales.

Belcampo Meat Co. offers sustainably and humanely-raised meats, poultry, and gourmet sausages to take home and prepare as well as sandwiches and other products to nosh on while shopping. 

This account doesn't even cover half of the fantastic shops available. In your culinary stroll you'll start to wonder how many compartments your stomach has, as the scents from each storefront waft through your nostrils, calling to your tastebuds.

And just when you think there can't possibly be any more room for anything else in your stomach, you reach Rori's Artisanal Creamery. And once you have your coveted scoop of salted caramel ice cream, you then can walk out the door, tummy full, and smile from one ear to the other.

But you know you'll soon have to return soon, for that plate of potstickers from Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar and Enjoy Cupcake's mini chocolate blackberry syrah cupcake that just couldn't fit.