Remember when you were in school and you did Secret Santa? I actually never did it when I was younger, but I got to do it several times in college. I was on House Council for my house in college several years in a row, and we liked to welcome the incoming freshman with secret santa type gifts. Each morning during their first week at college, they would open their doors to find a lovely gift from one of us on house council. It was a great way to get to know the girls (trying to secretly find out what they liked and trying to make their gifts as personal as possible). At the end of the week we had an Induction Ceremony, and we would formally welcome each girl into our house. Each girl would receive a special house pillow that had been made just for them, and we would reveal who had been leaving them gifts all week. We would then act as mentors for them during the year. It was a fun and special way for us to help our new girls feel welcomed, and help us to all get to know each other better.
|Hello giant air bubble!|
Well, I found something equally as fun! It's called The Secret Recipe Club, and it has the same premise as Secret Santa. Each month you are assigned a blog, and your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to cook one recipe (any recipe you want) from that blog! And the fun part is that someone else is secretly cooking something you have previously featured! Then everyone reveals who they had and what they cooked on the same day. How fun! Not only is it a great way to have more people exposed to your blog, but its a great way to find new blogs to follow, and new recipes to try. Also, how many more times can I say "blog" in this post?
This month I was assigned to the Bewitching Kitchen. It is a beautiful blog, and she features exquisite food. Most of it I would never have dreamed about cooking before, but she is does beautifully, and explains it in such a way that you think "Hey, I could probably do that!" Like the other day, she posted a recipe for scallops. Scallops, people! They are so finicky to cook, I would never dream of attempting it myself (Especially because I'm sure Gordon Ramsey would come out of now where and start screaming at me that I was doing it all wrong), but she makes it look so easy!
|The loaf rose kind of crazy like - and whats with that line around the middle?|
I was really excited to see that she has a bunch of recipes for Sourdough on her website, given the new-found love I have for this thick and bubbly mixture that is living in the back of my refrigerator right now. I followed her recipe exactly, except she used sage and I used rosemary. I lovelovelovelovelovelove how this bread turned out! I mean, look at it! It's BEAUTIFUL! It looks like something you could buy on the street during the renaissance time! And it is so soft inside and so crusty outside. It's delicious.
Besides eating it plain, and smeared with real butter, and this bread was wonderful toasted in the oven with butter and garlic, but it makes a KILLER grilled cheese sandwhich. I mean, killer.
Toasted Wheat-Germ and Rosemary Sourdough (Adapted from Bewitching Kitchen)
150 grams of sourdough starter
335 grams water
490 grams bread flour
20 grams toasted wheatgerm
2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
9 grams salt
Mix all the ingredients except for the salt in a large bowl, until it forms a kind of shaggy, messy mass.
Let it sit on the counter, undisturbed for 40 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface, flatten it slightly, and then sprinkle the salt evenly over the top.
Knead a few times to distribute the salt.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let it sit, covered, for 1 hour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead by stretching and folding the dough a few times, until it feels very smooth and is easy to fold.
Put the dough back into the oiled bowl and let it rise for 1 hour.
Repeat the stretch-and fold kneading, place the dough back into the bowl, cover, and let rise for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a ball, and place in a floured bowl, cover, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for 1.5 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. You will want to bake this loaf on a stoneware pan (or something similar, not a cookie sheet). Place the stoneware sheet on the middle rack of the oven and a metal dish (like your broiler pan or the lid to a roaster) on the bottom shelf of your oven to warm up with the oven.
Lightly flour a cutting board and turn the dough out onto it. With floured hands, gently shape the dough into a round smooth circle.
Run a sharp knife through some flour and cut a cross or cross hatch design into the top of the dough.
Boil some water, and pour the boiling water into a baking or casserole dish, and place this on the bottom rack of your oven. Place the bread on the top rack, above the water.
Bake for 20 minutes, and then reduce the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees.
Bake for 20-25 additional minutes.
Let the bread cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
I am submitting this delicious and beautiful bread to Yeastspotting, a collecting of this week's best breads!
Here are some other things that were made via The Secret Recipe Club this month!