This Week’s Bakery Bulletin
Friday, October 17, 2008
Hello, and thanks for visiting our brand-new bakery website!! Welcome to the start of our 2008-09 wintertime baking routine! Every week I’ll let you know in this newsletter about the bread flavors we’ll be baking. Below, you’ll find the list of breads available for order this week, and a recipe, as well! (It’s for a warming and hearty vegetable & bean soup that will go well with every single one of the breads we’re making this week!)
Ordering through the website will be easy and fun! The first time you order bread, you’ll click on the “register now” link, pick a username and password, and enter your information (name, email, and phone numbers). After you register, you can just click on the link back to our website, and you’ll be all logged in and ready to go! If you check the box that says “auto-login on future visits,” the site will automatically recognize you next time you visit. If the site doesn’t automatically log you in, just sign in with your username and password.
You’ll need to order your bread by 8pm on Sunday, so we have time to plan our bake, feed our sourdough, and pre-ferment the dough! When you order the bread, you can choose to “pay when you pick up your bread,” or you can pay via PayPal. By all means, use PayPal if you prefer—but I’m even happier to get your checks or cash when you come pick up your bread.
If you have a minute, you can surf around on our website and check out the photos of breads for order, see the long-term bread schedule, read stories about us and the bakery, and even listen to a 5-minute radio program about us!
Pick-up locations for Wednesday, October 22
1. Side Street Espresso, 412 G Street, downtown: 8-11am
2. Tap Root Café, 1330 Huffman Road, across from Carrs: 3-6pm
If you need to call me during a pick-up time, you can reach me on my cell phone at 748.3712.
featured bread this week
signature 100% whole wheat sourdough levain pan loaf
Alaskan barley pan loaf (100% whole grain)
toasted walnut hearth loaf (100% whole wheat)
Kalamata olive hearth loaf (60% whole wheat)
Alaskan cheese & roasted garlic hearth loaf (60% whole wheat)
recipe of the week
tuscan white bean stew with greens
I think you’d have to be crazy to make a single batch of this recipe, since it freezes so well, and because it’s SO DELICIOUS and it tastes even better the next day… But a double batch does take a pretty large pot, so do what you think is best. And then go out and buy a REALLY BIG POT (with a heavy, stout bottom) for next time!
This recipe is loosely based on one from a recent Cook’s Illustrated magazine. The interesting twist that they’ve found to get really tender, perfect white beans is to soak the beans in salt water! I was really excited to try this, because often times my white beans don’t come out perfectly. Some will be disintegrating and others in the pot will be hard and crunchy still, or have hard, tough skins. This method of brining the beans in salt water really works! I’m completely sold!
The other key to perfectly beautiful beans is to keep them from boiling hard, which tends to explode the beans. So you cook the beans over very low heat. The Cook’s Illustrated people do it in a 250 degree oven, but I think it works just fine in a big, covered pot in the stovetop, turned way down so the soup is just barely bubbling.
kosher salt or sea salt
1 pound dried large white beans (about 2 cups), like Great Northern or cannellini
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 large onions, chopped medium 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 large or 2 small sprigs rosemary
1-2 medium bunches kale or collard greens, or chard
ground black pepper
1. Rinse the beans in a colander. Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak, at room temperature, for at least 8 and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
2. Place mushrooms in a heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Cover the bowl with a plate so it stays hot, and let sit for at least 10 minutes, while you chop the vegetables.
3. Pour the mushrooms through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth (saving the liquid!), then lift mushrooms out of the strainer and mince them. Set mushrooms and liquid aside.
4. Heat oil in large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 16 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 8 cups of water, bay leaves, soaked beans, and reserved mushrooms and their cooking liquid. Increase heat to high and bring stew to simmer. Turn the heat down, cover the pot, and keep the pot at a bare simmer (you’ll have to take the lid off and check occasionally) until beans are tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour, or longer, depending on the age and type of bean.
5. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice.
6. Strip the leaves of the rosemary off their stems and chop them very, very finely. The easiest way to do this is to pulverize them in a coffee grinder. It really works! Stir the rosemary in, too.
7. Taste the stew for salt, and add as much as needed to perfectly flavor it. Add pepper, too, to taste. After the soup sits, you may need to add more salt.
8. If you’re making the soup ahead (my recommendation—it always tastes even more divine then), just let it cool and refrigerate until the next day.
9. When you’re ready to eat the soup, prepare the greens. Trim the stems from the leaves and chop them into 1-inch pieces. Sauté them in a pan in a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (add minced garlic, if you like) over medium-high heat. If you’re using mature kale or collards, after you’ve wilted the leaves, you’ll need to add ½ cup of water or so and cover the pan, letting the leaves steam and simmer until they are completely tender. The chard will cook much more quickly, and probably won’t need water added. Add salt to taste as you cook them.
10. When the greens are tender, stir them into the stew, taste once again for salt and pepper, and serve. This soup is fantastic served with hearty sourdough whole-grain bread or toast, dipped in some really nice extra-virgin olive oil.