Thursday, July 16, 2020

BBB: Birotes Salados

July’s Kitchen of the Month is Karen, of Karen’s Kitchen Stories.  Karen challenged the Babes to bake Birotes Salados, tasty sourdough sandwich rolls,  Guadalajaran-style bolillos. The rolls have a nice flavor as well as being chewy on the outside and soft on the inside.

I did my research to learn more about these rolls, and discovered a few differences in the various recipes.  One recipe called for 212 g of water, another for 444 g.  I ended up using about 300 g.  212 g was too little, and I thought the 444 g would turn the batter into soup.  I also threw in a pinch of yeast, as some bakers indicated this was routinely done, but not talked about.  (I’m all for a bit of yeast.)

I also used the one bottle of beer I had on hand, Stella Artois.

My biggest issues were shaping and slashing.  I live in fear of deflating bread when I score it.  For the first batch, I let them rise on a tea towel, then, hoped I wouldn’t deflate them when I moved them to the parchment and slashed them.  For the second batch, I let the rolls rise directly on the parchment, and slashed them before rising as well.  Neither method really stood out as the preferred way to go.  And, the scoring was way less than perfect.

In the meantime, I have purchased a new lame, one that allows me to use either a straight blade or a curved one.  I need to practice scoring, so that is my next personal challenge.  Probably need to play with surface tension on the dough as well.

But I digress.  The rolls were delicious in spite of everything, and certainly worth making again.

Be sure to check out the other Babes to see how they fared and see their lovely, successful scoring.

If you go to Karen’s blog, you can get a copy of the recipe.  And, be sure to let Karen know by the end of July if you plan to be a Buddy.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Novel Food #39: Coq au Vin

It’s time again for the summer edition of Novel Food, hosted by Simona of briciole.

Since the libraries have been closed for months, I had to rely on my personal library for reading material.   I chose one book to re-read, “A Year in Provence,” by Peter Mayle, hoping it would provide inspiration for a recipe. Or so I thought.  As I read, I kept thinking that I didn’t remember the text.  The joke was on me.  I had never read this particular book, although apparently, I’ve read another one of his books on Provence.  There was some relief that I wasn’t going crazy (yet).

Although there wasn’t a lot of mention of food in this book, there was a passage describing coq au vin.  I began by checking my wine supply.  All whites, with one exception, and that was the wrong kind of red.  So, I began searching for variations on the recipe.  There is coq au vin blanc, which does use white wine, coq au vin Riesling, and also coq au vin champagne.  Success!  I had some leftover champagne in the refrigerator, the right amount, and it was still fizzy.  (Don’t ask me how long it’s been in there!)  In addition, I also discovered a recipe using the Instant Pot, so I was set.  In the end, I used about four different recipes, taking the best of each and merging them into one.  I also added some Courvoisier cognac (one of those small sampler bottles).  Even though I didn’t burn off the alcohol, the cognac did add a nice depth of flavor to the sauce.  The end result was a delicious coq au vin that I enjoyed for several days.

I’m looking forward to making this delicious chicken dish again, now knowing that I can use different kinds of wine.

As for the book, I enjoyed the descriptions of the seasons and of the cast of characters that populated this area of Provence.  One tip, which I will have to try, is to use lemon juice to get rid of ants.  Not that want to encourage ants to come, but, if they do, I’ll be ready, and it will be a good way to use the lemons that drop from my tree.