Friday, October 23, 2009

Loaf Is a Many-Splendored Thing

The week has flown by again, and for the past day and a half, I've been at home on vacation.

No, I haven't been sleeping in and lolling about, thank you very much, despite my inclination. I specifically took these days off in order to wrap up my baking for the Farmgirl Wannabe's wedding.

Though I knew that the nuts and crackers from last week's baking would make good snacks on their own, I also wanted to have some more neutral edible canvases (so to speak) for the cheeses that she intended to feature on the appetizer table. (Besides, after watching the gents on the Local Roots steering committee drooling over the box of goodies I had taken to the FW, I figured more food would be needed!)

So first I pulled out that wonderfully easy and handy artisan bread recipe from Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes a Day and churned out baguette after baguette:

I also made a za'atar loaf (on the right) but later decided to keep that for myself -- there seemed to be plenty of bread once it was sliced!

After the artisan bread, I made a batch of pumpernickel, using some freshly ground rye flour from the rye that the Madcap Farmer had recently given me. The dough was very heavy and moist, but I did get three slender but dense loaves out of the recipe. (Sorry, didn't get a picture!)

Once all of the breads had cooled, I sliced them and laid them on cookie sheets to toast briefly, turning them into not-quite-crostini so that they wouldn't be quite so crumbly (especially the pumpernickel) at the festivities.

This morning, I was up early again, this time to bake a double batch of pesto scones (or scone bites, since I cut them into small squares) using local basil, local butter and milk, and local heartnuts. I think they taste even better than the last time I made them!

Along with all of that, I whipped up a big bowl of haydari as a creamy, savory spread for those delicious breads.

By noon today, everything was packed up and ready to ship off with the Farmgirl Wannabe's parents, who stopped by to pick them up.

Tomorrow, we'll see how it all turns out -- and celebrate true loaf while we're at it.

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