29 Mar

day 62: cooking day

Yesterday was a perfect day for cooking. It was rainy and ugly outside all day long so it was great to stay indoors and cook some brand new things.

First, I headed over to my dad’s house to learn from my nonna how to make the baccalà. Apparently, it’s super easy (especially since nonna did the hard part of soaking it, changing the water 3 times a day, and cleaning out all the spines and skin).

After that, you just add the fish to some olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and white wine and let it stew up for a couple of hours while you lay on the couch watching the food network. Ahhh Sundays.

I can’t wait to sink my teeth (over, and over, and over again—it’s really chewy) into this stuff on Good Friday!

You would never know that this woman didn’t want to make baccalà this year.

Yesterday’s cooking inspired me to want to learn more Italian recipes, so I’m going to try cooking Italian food most of the week.

After coming home from my dad’s house yesterday I set out to make my power bread. It started with a pre-soaker I made on Friday, a soaker and a biga that I made Saturday, and the final dough was made yesterday. This dough was chock full of goodness: flax, whole grain flour, sunflower seed meal, pepitas, and sesame seeds. If it sounds delicious, then you’re right: it was.

It was also hideous.

This is the ugliest bread I think I’ve ever made. It didn’t lift in the oven and I have no idea why? Please avert your eyes.

In any case, I’m glad that it’s at least tasty – that’s most important. I guess I have a thing or two to learn about working with whole grains.

I had to wake up early again to get my gym on this morning. I’m donating blood today and there’s to be “no heavy lifting for 8 hours”. This should make for a long day.

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0 thoughts on “day 62: cooking day

  1. You know what? I think the ugliest foods are sometimes the tastiest! I love dense breads full of flax and seeds and other good things, so I know I’d love your power bread (especially as it’s a Peter Reinhart recipe).

    Your nonna looks like she’s having a good time in the kitchen. I’ve never had baccala, but the soup looks warm and savory :)

  2. Both look awesome!

    The bread might not have risen too much because you used whole wheat flour — it has less gluten than all-purpose or white flour. If you want it to rise more, you might want to consider a blend, or perhaps whole wheat pastry flour (Heidi Swanson uses it in a lot of things…maybe it would work in the bread?) You could also fold in some egg whites to give it more volume (and protein!) or possibly lukewarm soda water, although that could wet the dough too much.

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