Catching up

Lately I´ve been doing a whole lot of cooking, but falling a bit short on the writing part of the deal. And since I must be at least 6 or 7 recipes behind right now, I´m thinking my only way out of this mess is to do a recap sort of post, you know, like they do in sitcoms when they run out of ideas, but in this case, it´s all new stuff, so don´t hate me just yet.

One of the reasons why I´ve fallen behind is probably the length of the recipes I´ve been doing lately… I mean, I try to fight my lazy nature, but typing up a 3-page recipe can be too daunting a task sometimes.

rosemary garlic bread 2

But when the recipe is good enough to demand being shared, I oblige. And that would be the case with this recipe by Peter Reinhart. It´s a roasted garlic-rosemary bread with mashed potatoes in the dough… that´s a recipe for sucess right there. It´s definitely one of those bread to be devoured on its own or used to enhance most dishes. You need to invite people over to help you eat it or freeze most of it as soon once it has cooled down, otherwise, you´ll be in a whole lot of trouble… don´t say I didn´t warn you.

rosemary garlic bread

rosemary garlic bread 3

The second recipe I´ve meant to discuss sooner is Dorie Greenspan´s Allspice Crumble Muffins (since everyone seems to have the book and I´m tired after typing out the first recipe, it´s on page 16 of Baking: From my Home to Yours.) First of all, I hadn´t tried allspice before, so that was a revelation in itself, but the crumble on top of the muffin was simply perfect, a very moist crumb topped with a sturdy crust, can´t get better than that. Flavor-wise, I´ll add a bit more allspice next time to kick it up a notch.

allspice crumble muffins

Then I made Peter Reinhart Vienna´s bread, which, while very good, doesn´t justify typing out a yet another 3 page recipe (maybe with a few tweaks it will,) but this picture of Phoebe guarding the bread does justify mentioning it! (This is for those of you asking for updated pics of her… more coming up soon, I promise.)

Vienna bread

Vienna bread, security included

And the last recipe I want to share with you today is a recipe by the talented Ilva over at Lucullian Delights. It´s a recipe for Mediterranean chickpea fritters with olives and sun-dried tomatoes. I had all the ingredients in my pantry, so it took me 10 minutes overall to have this on the table, and it´s so damn good I made it again a couple of days later. The only thing I changed was that I added 1 egg because I figured it´d give it a fluffier consistency and a teaspoon of capers just because I like them. Either way you like it, do yourself a favor and make them.

Ilva´s chickpea fritters

Ilva´s chickpea fritters 2

Phew! Done!

(Recipe after the jump)

Potato rosemary bread (adapted from The Bread Baker´s Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart)

This bread uses the method which Reinhart promotes throughout the book, which is called indirect fermentation, which calls for the bread to rest on the refrigerator overnight, meaning that making the bread takes 2 days. But the biga (which is a smaller bread with is kind of a pre-ferment) can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months, and the hands-on time isn´t that bad either, so I think it´s worth all the fuss.

Days to make: 2

Day 1: 2 1/2 to 4 hours biga.

Day 2: 1 hour to de-chill biga; 12 minutes mixing; 4 hours fermentation, shaping and proofing; 20 to 45 minutes baking.

For the biga:

1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1/3 to 1/2 a cup of water at room temperature

For the bread:


Unbleached high-gluten or bread flour, 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons

Salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons

Black pepper, coarsely ground (optional), 1/2 teaspoon

Instant yeast, 1 1/4 teaspoons

Mashed potatoes, 1 cup

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon

Coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, 2 tablespoons

Water, at room temperature (or warm if the potatoes are cold) 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons to 1 cup

Coarsely chopped roasted garlic, 4 tablespoons (I only got around 2 tablespoons and it was lovely, with 4 it must be amazing)

Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

Olive oil for brushing on top


1. Stir together the flour and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the water, sturring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment). Adjust the flour or water, according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (It´s better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading.)

2. Sprinkly some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature shoud be 77° to 81°F.

3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, or until it nearly doubles in size.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.


1. Remove the biga from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to make the bread. Cut it in about 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.

2. Stir together the four, salt, black pepper, and yeast into a 4-quart mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the biga pieces, mashed potatoes, oil, rosemary and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Stir with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) for 1 minute, or until the ingredients form a ball. Add more water, if necesary, or more flour, if the dough is too sticky.

3. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin to knead (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead for about 10 minutes (or 6 minutes by machine), adding more flour if needed, until the dough is soft and supple, tacky but not sticky. It should register 77° to 81°F (I don´t have a thermometer, so this part is more or less guesswork for me). Flatten the dough and spread the roasted garlic over the top. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it by hand for 1 minute (you will probably have to dust it with flour first to absorb the moisture from the garlic). Lightly oil a large bowl and trasnfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

4. Ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Shapen each of the pieces into a boule. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and dust lightly with semolina flour or cornmeal. Place the dough on the parchment, separating the pieces so that they will not touch, even after they rise. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

6. Proof at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 400°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Remove the plastic from the dough and lightly brush the breads with olive oil. You don´t need to score this breads, but you can if you prefer.

8. Place the pan in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking. The loaves will take 35 to 45 minutes total to bake. The loaves will be a rich golden brown all around, and the internal temperature should register at least 195°F and make a hollow sound when thumped at the bottom. If the loaves are fully colored but seem too soft, turn off the oven and let them bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.

9. Remove the finished loaves from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before serving (which doesn´t mean you can´t steal a bit of bread after 20 minutes or so, since you clearly deserve it after all of this hard work, and we all know warm bread is amazing).


Filed under bread, food, Phoebe, savory, sweet, vegetables

16 responses to “Catching up

  1. deb

    3 pages! You deserve a nice, cool drink after that one. The good news is that the next recipe that involves a biga will take you have the time to type. The bread looks lovely, as does the puppy, as always.

    Oh, and thanks for the garbanzo/spinach advice. You made a good point indeed! I bet it will be equally good with the ratio switched, and seriously think I might make it again tomorrow.

  2. Wow, Marce! Everything looks so wonderful – I wish I could find all spice here!

  3. Ohhh those breads look delicious! And that fritter is gorgeous.. I don’t recall Ilva’s, I’m going to have to look! Okay so that’s only 3 recipes.. uhmm… what else do you have for us to drool over? 🙂

    Now.. important business here!

    She’s turned into such a beautiful young lady!!

    Hey when we go to Italy, can we bring the dogs? 😀

    Dusting! I must finish dusting!! xoxoxox

  4. Deb- You are definitely right about at least having the biga recipe already typed out, then again, he likes to mix it up and do some with pate fermente and what not, hrmp! And I can lend you Phoebe for a while to lessen your puppy-wanting blues, just wear some gloves in case she wants to play with auntie Deb! haha
    That garbanzo recipe sounds like a winner, I´ll try it out next week when I buy some spinach at the farmers market.

    Patricia- Thanks! About the allspice, I thought it didn´t exist here either, but then I realized it´s what we call “pimienta de Jamaica” (Jamaican pepper), so maybe that can give you a clue about how to find it there. If you still can´t find it, I seem to remember it´s a mix of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

    Lisa- That´s 4 recipes counting the muffins 😛 And I have a couple more, but they deserve their own post.
    And yep, she´s definitely growing up to be a beautiful lady, just like her mom (in fact, sometimes I get them mixed up for a second).
    We can definitely bring the dogs to Italy 😉
    I know you´ll have a great time hanging out with Helene, so don´t worry about the dust, just have tons of butter around to bake with!

  5. Boy you have been very busy. Would love to be a guinea pig in your house right now.

  6. You have been busy. Everything looks fab!
    I can’t believe how big the puppy has gotten.

  7. Whee! Marce you have been really rocking girl!
    I would vote for Peter’s Potato Rosemary Bread as well. My experience was excellent also! Love it.
    And I still want to try that recipe of Ilva’s and will keep your additions in mind.
    Can’t imagine not tasting allspice all those years. I think I’ve always know it. Guess Dad always used it in pumpkin pie.
    ;);) Phoebe is such a QT!!

  8. wow, that vienna bread looks great

    and the chickpea fritters do too… don’t worry if you can’t always keep up with the blog, just sit back and enjoy it

  9. when are you cooking for a bloggers event?

  10. Sil (Bs As)

    WOW…so much work! I’ve been a little lazy lately, but your photos are so inspiring I ‘ll get to work this weekend!

  11. Actually Diva, I think Marce has offered to make and bring dessert to the empanadas thing (date to be announced) that Tango Cherie will put on for us bloggers 🙂

    I’m holding out for coffee cake…. :-p

  12. Perfect. Thanks Marce you are really nice.
    I vote for other cake, not the coffee one.

  13. Alan and Diva- Yeah, that´s right, I´ll bring something sweet to the empanadas thing, still don´t know what. And coffee cake doesn´t necessarily have coffee flavor, it´s just a style of cake from what I understand. Maybe something with chocolate chips and cinnamon (and no nuts because Alan is allergic to them).
    If you have any suggestions, send them my way and I´ll see what I can do.

  14. Marce, I’m so flattered! And I will try your version as well! Thanks!


    Hola Marce!
    Si queres un buen libro de pan, te recomiendo este:

    The Bread Book (Paperback)
    (Linda Collister & Anthony Blake)

    Es un libro de pan muy completo.

    Happy baking!


    Hola Marce!
    Si queres un buen libro de pan, te recomiendo este:

    The Bread Book (Paperback)
    (Linda Collister & Anthony Blake)

    Es un libro de pan muy completo.

    Happy baking!


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