I wrote this yesterday morning: “I’m losing interest in this blog.” But it’s not true. The truth is that my life is dull (except for my baking), and writing about a dull life is as dull as today’s clouds.
Yesterday I did naught all day; the highlight was making challah and boy did I make good challah. It’s great bread because of the yeast.
I’ve only been making bread a month so I’ve still a lot to learn, but as with everything else in life, you begin with good ingredients. I’ve always thought that Whole Foods, Meinhardt’s and Urban Faire seek cooks and bakers of integrity as customers yet none of them carry fresh yeast. Whole Foods did, and that’s where I’ve been getting mine, but they discontinued it.
I spent Monday walking around seeking a new source —and to learn where and how kadaifi pastry is sold. And both my goals were successfully met at the Parthenon Deli on Broadway. They also carried the pecorino cheese I needed some for the same dish as the pastry —Eggplant Kadaifi Nests.
When I opened the yeast yesterday, I knew I’d be making great bread. It was soft and more fragrant than the drier, firmer and pungent fresh yeast sold at Whole Foods. And it’s spectacularly good to both the eye and the mouth and there’s lots of height in it.
Friday through Sunday, I am cooking and baking for a Sunday night dinner here. I’m serving the eggplant dish and pea and mint croquettes — both for the first time so I’ll be nervous. (I normally rehearse dishes before I serve them to guests.) But the third dish, a “sort of” Waldorf salad, is something I’ve made before.
All these dishes are Ottolenghi recipes. Dessert will be whatever I make on Saturday in class or something I make on Sunday. This is my dull, but delicious, life.