Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fog and a Lunch Date

This morning we were socked in.  The fog was so thick that at times we couldn't see the barn at all. 

After chores, I started making bread.  Actually, I had started the biga (the starter) last night but the real work happened this morning.  While it was busy rising, the fog started to burn off and our farrier arrived.

He had another farrier with him, an apprentice, so they were able to work on two horses at once.  Mufasa is the only one who needs shoes.  The others are barefoot and just get a pedicure.  Jackson watched them work on Mufasa and waited his turn.  He seemed a bit alarmed by time it was taking to get Mufasa done. 

No need to worry, Jackson.  It takes twice as long to get something done when you are teaching someone how to do it, as you go.

When Jackson and Winston were done, I went back to the house and my bread.  Brett stayed down at the barn.  He and Sage, the farrier, love telling each other jokes and teasing each other in the way that guys do.  You know, kind of smutty male humor. 

I set my biggest cast iron pot in the oven to heat up while I got my bread ready for its final rise.  Baking the bread inside a pot gives it a nice crust with just the right amount of crunch.

Because I was making an Italian bread with a fragile dough, I put it on parchment paper in a frying pan for its final rise.  That way I could lift it out by the sides of the parchment paper and set the whole thing inside the pot to bake -- and not worry about it deflating on me.  I brushed it with egg white and sprinkled it with sesame seeds right before baking.

My lunch date arrived as the bread was cooling on a rack.  Lois was the CFO at my company and my boss for eight years before she retired almost two years ago.  I made a salad with sliced pear, slivers of fennel and shredded cheddar cheese tossed with some greens and a quick Dijon mustard vinaigrette.  We ate that while stuffing our faces with the bread.  She's my kind of woman -- loves bread, butter, and animals.  When she left she was covered with dog and goat fur.

Meanwhile, Brett was busy with a project.  I'll tell you all about that tomorrow.


  1. Yum! Homemade bread is my very favorite food, and yours looks delicious.

  2. I have a pot that looks a lot like that!
    Your bread looks amazing. I am determined to crack the secret of making sourdough, but I can never get the starter going right.

  3. That is some of the prettiest bread (my absolute favorite food) I've ever seen and have never in my life heard of baking it in a big pot. I like it! More crust is always a good thing (the end crusts are always fought over in our family).

  4. You make the best bread...period! Can't wait to see what Brett is working on.


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