Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Variety of Breads

When the weather starts to get cool, nothing is more appealing than home made soup and fresh home made bread.  When we combine cooler weather with lots of time, the quality and creativity of soup and bread can grow considerably.

With a big batch of bread dough, I had my choice of shapes.  I made long dough sticks for braiding into a couronne shape loaf.  The word comes from the same root as "crown" and the round shape resembles the shape of a royal headpiece.  Two small baguettes were simple to shape, and the last little bit went into small balls for the clover leaf rolls.  The rolls are baked in our silicone muffin cups for easy shaping and cleanup.

A variety of breads
Clover rolls, baguettes, and couronne
Did someone say carbs?  How about home made egg noodles?  Yes, please!  In Iowa, we had a hand-crank pasta roller that made dough shaping quick and easy for nearly any size batch.  Here, we rely on a wine bottle roller for all of our dough-flattening needs.  Small batches and a drop in uniformity of thickness are simple necessary evils with this.

The dough is made with flour, water, salt, and eggs.  After kneading until smooth and stretchy, the dough needs to rest before rolling.  It was rolled into sheets and roughly cut with a kitchen knife into fettucini-like strands.  After cutting, the noodles are hung over a bowl to dry until needed.

Egg noodles dry over a bowl for soup
Noodles Drying

Where can we use these noodles and fresh bread?  How about soup?  Chicken noodle soup?  With home made chicken stock?  Yes, please again!

We made the stock, boned the chicken, threw in some fresh vegetables, and chucked in the noodles to cook for a few minutes before serving.

Chicken stock cooks on the stovetop in a saucepan
Stock cooking
We made the stock out of (cleaned) carrot peels and tips, onion skins, and leek tops.  I know we might not get top quality stock from these parts of the vegetables, but I simply can't stand the idea of using full vegetables for stock that will have to be discarded.  I am a reuser to the end.

The soup and home made bread combo was the perfect end-of-day meal on a cool day.  This might be a regular recipe as the days get shorter and the nights get colder.

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