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No-Knead Bread: The Burnt Bottoms

No-knead bread with a beautiful crust.
I know, I know my recipe crush on the Lahey-Bittman no-knead bread is glaringly obvious. Hell, I’ve even gone as far as making a stop-motion video homage to it. But, this obsession goes beyond an appreciation for the concept that great bread can be made with very little effort; it’s something that I actually do two or three times a week.

A detailed description of the method probably isn’t necessary since: a.) the original youtube video has been played about 1.75 million views, so I’m guessing it’s fairly widely known; and b.) I’ve gone into some detail in previous posts. Today’s post has a special focus so let’s say that a sufficient summary of the recipe is: mix dough, ferment overnight, allow a second countertop rise while the over heats with a Dutch oven inside, bake inside the closed Dutch oven for 30 minutes, and then remove the lid and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more. (more…)

Chile Oil and Chili Vinegar

Two recipes for using dried chiles to make a condiment.

The restaurant critic for the New York Times, Pete Wells, announced on Twitter last week that his newspaper has changed their style guide’s spelling for hot peppers to “chile” from “chili”. I don’t always perfectly land the proper execution but the debates that involve spelling are catnip to me. (more…)

The Kimball Challenge

The Google entrant in the broccoli casserole challenge

The Google entrant in the broccoli casserole challenge

Gourmet Magazine is no more.  As someone who scribbles about food I am disappointed but I must admit that as a consumer of food-writing I have never subscribed to Gourmet and have never purchased an issue from the newsstand.  I have probably used a few Gourmet recipes through epicurious.com.  Point is that I didn’t value Gourmet enough to pay for it while it was afloat.

Commentators were surprised that this happened and there has actually been an unusual amount of open debate about the underlying causes of Gourmet’s downfall.  Conveniently, The Agenda with Steve Paikin was doing a four part series about food this week and their panel discussion featured a lengthy Gourmet-related debate.  Frederick Kaufman–joining the panel by video feed from New York City–laid the blame squarely at Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl’s feet in very blunt terms.  (He really gets into at about the fourteen minute mark in the linked clip.)  I assumed that he must be an authority on the matter if The Agenda went to the trouble to video-conference him in.  It turns out that he did write a book called A Short History of the American Stomach (February 2009 by Mariner Books)  but once I checked its Amazon sales rank (874,312) I better understood why he is willing to make controversial statements on television (even TVO).

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