My second pick for innovative use of veal stock came in from Marc Barringer, Chef/Hopsitality Director, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Grosse Pointe Woods and  Food Service Director, Lost Lake Scout Reservation, Freeman Twp., Michigan. He’s also a freelance writer, innovative cook and classic jack-of-all-trades in the best cooks tradition (still a school crossing guard! God bless him!).  Veal stock is one of the great preparations of the kitchen that can elevate everyone’s cooking, and someone on twitter asked me what you could do with it. It lead to a lot of great ideas, in addition to the traditional uses for making sauces and enriching braises. Read the story of how Marc came up with bread—it’s classic innovation from the restaurant kitchen.  I love it.  And I love the bread.  Donna loves the bread. James loves the bread. Read On »

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When I used to read bread recipes, I feared yeast for good reason: Bad bread recipes.  So many instructed me to heat the water to specific temperatures, between 110 and 115 degrees F., and bloom the yeast.  Some wanted sugar in the water.  Some told me to wait till I saw bubbles.  Or they were neurotic about when to add the yeast.  Or the amount, 1-1/4 teaspoons exactly.  Rest the dough in a warm place (because of the yeast), they said, or away from drafts. Or you have to bloom active dry but not instant.  Or don’t add the salt until the yeast has started its work. Hogwash, all of it!  Truth of the matter is you can play fast and loose with the yeast and you can use any kind you want. I often Read On »

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I almost never tear recipes out of magazines, but leafing through Saveur on the 8 a.m.  Houston to Cleveland flight, this recipe caught me because I’d been wanting a soft, comfort-food, James-friendly dinner roll, the kind of Parker House roll that’s slightly sweet and yeasty and soft as a pillow. Turns out this recipe comes from thefreshloaf.com, which says that the recipe is adapted from Great Country Breads of the World. There really are no new recipes, only adaptations of adaptations. What I don’t like about any of these recipes is the enormous volume of flour measured in cups.  I did the Saveur recipe exactly and the dough was very stiff—how could I know if this was the way it was supposed to be since flour by volume is so variable.  But the flavor was Read On »

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