a baking adventure

The other day, I found this post on my Facebook wall:

Naturally I went through all the archives and bookmarked pretty much every recipe. And soon after, I found myself at home on a rainy Friday evening in desperate need of some quality time with an oven. So I went over to Jackson’s house.

After poring over the blog for 30 minutes, we decided to make beghrir (a Moroccan pancake), green tea pistachio soda bread, and braided lemon cream cheese bread (discovered at Tastespotting). Grocery list in hand, we made our way to Whole Foods.

beghrir batter

i normally don't look this creepy. promise.

I guess this is where the excitement starts. When we got to Whole Foods, we looked for lemon curd and we couldn’t find it anywhere. The only thing on the shelves was key lime curd. After asking some rude employees if there was anything else (they scoffed at us and groomed their ironic mustaches, which we deduced was a “no”), we settled with the key lime curd. THEN, when we went to check out, the pistachios we tried to buy were NINE DOLLARS (!!!). What?! So we made a trip back to my apartment where we picked up pistachios and buttermilk. THEN, we discovered the buttermilk in my fridge had definitely gone bad (it hissed at me when I opened it. Literally). We made it back to Jackson’s house around 10:30, far more exhausted than we had anticipated, and decided to cross green-tea pistachio bread off the list for the night.

I started to work on the braided bread while Jackson mixed up the beghrir batter. Once the dough was rising, I opened up the lime curd.

It smelled like toes. It smelled like toes, and lime.

I had no idea what lime curd was supposed to smell like, but after taking turns sniffing it and tasting it we decided that it wasn’t rotten, just weird-tasting. It kind of tasted like eggs. But we took our chances.

As the braided bread dough rose, Jackson made the beghrir (complete with tea and honey butter) and we watched The Royal Tenenbaums with Bill (whose name is, for no apparent reason, the top search on this blog). I’ll take this time to describe Jackson’s living quarters. Jackson has the most amazing townhouse in the world. It’s two stories, has a cute brick fireplace, is lined with art, and is located a stone’s throw away from Barton Springs. His kitchen is bigger and more beautiful than mine. Also his stove isn’t from the freaking STONE AGE. (Someday I’ll take a picture of my stove and show y’all. It’s pitiful. I hope my landlady is reading this.)

Anywho. The dough rose, we flattened it, did a little of this and a little of that, put the toe-lime gunk and cream cheese on it, stuck it in the oven and twiddled our thumbs and peeked at it every now and then in between gossiping about boyfriends who have stupid girlfriends and girlfriends who have stupid boyfriends.

And then the timer went off. And we took out the braided lime cream cheese bread. And we cut it open and smelled it (the toe smell had cooked out, luckily) (am I grossing you out by talking about toes? Sorry). And then we ate it. And we died.

We took the bread out of the oven about 24 hours ago and it’s gone by now. Luckily I have a whole jar of key lime (toe) curd in my fridge. Gotta go preheat the oven 🙂

P.S. If you want to make this recipe (you do), it’s here. I didn’t adapt it, except for the lime curd. The step-by-step instructions and photographs are very helpful.

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8 responses to “a baking adventure

    • Haha, me too! It’s ridiculously delicious. My roommates almost convinced me to bake two more loaves tonight just for the three of us. And if I didn’t have to study for a Spanish final, I’d do it 🙂

  1. Mmmm! This bread looks so wild and awesome. I want to try!

    Question: What’s the best bread you’ve ever made? Because that focaccia looked ridiculous.

    • I’ve actually just recently started getting into bread, so what you see here is what I’ve done. This bread was delicious and fairly easy; the focaccia wasn’t very difficult either and was incredible, especially right out of the oven. The very best for easiness-to-deliciousness-ratio would be a no-knead French boule recipe my uncle gave me. You basically mix it up and shove it in your closet for a day, then pop it in the oven. Here it is, if you’re interested!

      15 oz. (3 c) bread flour
      1-1/4 tsp salt
      3/4 tsp. yeast
      1 tsp. sugar
      1-1/3 c cool water

      In a large bowl (use a non-metallic bowl) mix the dry ingredients. I altered the recipe to add 1 tsp. sugar because yeast really feeds on sugar and helps with the windows. Add the cool water, meaning room temperature water. Don’t use refrigerated water. Mix until all dry ingredients are wet. Do not knead.

      Store to rise, loosely covered in plastic wrap in a dark area (or use a towel to completely cover the bowl to hide it from light) for 24 hours or longer.

      After rise, place a cast iron enamel dutch oven with cover in an oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees.

      While the oven is preheating, carefully pour out dough (which will be sticky and relatively wet) onto a heavily floured board. Gently shape into a ball. The ball will flatten. Let rest, covered loosely with plastic (flour the top of the ball before covering with plastic). Unlike other bread doughs, this will not double again. The spring will come during baking in the oven.

      When oven is preheated, carefully remove dutch oven and remove lid. Gently lift the dough from the board onto the dutch oven. Do not try to reshape. It will take care of itself. Spritz with water (try not to spray water onto the dutch oven, just the dough). Quickly cover again and place in the oven. Reduce heat to 475 degrees. Bake, covered for 30 minutes. Uncover. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until a deep brown.

      Remove from oven and immediately place onto a cooling rack. I cool mine upside down because the top crust tends to get more crackly, which I like. Let cool completely (about 30 minutes) before slicing.

  2. Okay this is definitely a baking adventure! That bread looks awesome and oh so good! I’m going to have to try it out soon! It will be an adventure for me too!! LOL 😛

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