Thank you, the loaf I made right before that one was ugly... the top stuck to the basket liner though I used a lot of flour. With this loaf I coated the damp basket with rice flour. Ta dah! A pretty loaf. Good thing ugly bread still tastes good, I sure have made my share of them.That's an awesome-looking loaf of sourdough, Merry!
Why is your basket damp?Thank you, the loaf I made right before that one was ugly... the top stuck to the basket liner though I used a lot of flour. With this loaf I coated the damp basket with rice flour. Ta dah! A pretty loaf. Good thing ugly bread still tastes good, I sure have made my share of them.
Is it a standard wicker banneton?Ooo, that almost sounds like a personal question I gave it a misting so the rice flour would adhere.
Hydration? Don’t know about that, I’m not an expert. I go by the feel of the dough. I start out pretty sticky, but after a few rises and stretch/folds, it’s dry enough to go into basket.What is your hydration? I have had success without rice flour twice with a different one, but this newer banneton wasn’t happening and I needed a good looking loaf for a presentation. Rice four is nearly fool proof, though a little pricey.View attachment 685817
No knead with blue corn flour and wheat flour and corn starch in the basket.
View attachment 685820
80% hydration nice rise, could have use more scoring.
That steak looks super yummy. Zooming in it looks like a lovely sear. Yeah the top of the sirloin sits next to the filet and a good cut can look and taste so much like a filet. Assume everyone knows but figured wth...
I'd never heard of strozzapreti pasta so I googled it and it looks like one I remember @passedpawn making a while back, but I can't find that post now.As a professional chef, what dish on the menu do you enjoy preparing the most?
I love making simple dishes that blow people away with flavor. One of my goto’s is a pasta dish I learned while working at Chez Panisse.
The key to this dish is the quality of ingredients. Now while this may seem obvious, the simplicity of the dish makes it that much more important.
The dish is strozzapreti pasta with early girl tomatoes, basil, and pecorino.
Strozzapreti literally translates as “strangle the priest”. It came about during lean times in Italy where priests would come around collecting tithes from the people (who were poor, right). Since they didn’t have much, they fed the priests lots of this pasta and some actually choked, relieving them of further obligation.
The pasta has a lot of surface area so it coats with plenty of sauce. The sauce itself is simply ripe early girl tomatoes to fill the bottom of the pan cooked down in LOTS of olive oil and torn fresh basil leaves.
If you don’t know about early girl tomatoes, THEY ARE AMAZING! They are small and have a lot of acidity, so they can handle all the olive oil. Their flavor is strong and gives the dish its backbone.
Another cool thing about a tomato, in general, is that it is an emulsifier. This means it can suspend oil so it creates a thicker sauce than either the tomato or the oil is on its own.
When I said lots of olive oil, I mean the tomatoes are drowning in it. When the tomatoes are cooked to soft, puncture the skin so the juice comes out, then whisk the whole of it into a sauce and simply add salt and pepper to finish it.
Then toss with perfectly cooked strozzapreti pasta, plate, and cover with fresh grated pecorino (think salty parmesan, but “of sheep” which is the literal translation of pecorino).
So this dish is only 4 ingredients (6 if you count salt and pepper) so you can see why the quality of ingredients is super important, right?
Now why do I love it so much?
Because when done well, it will speak to your soul. You will have a moment where nothing else even exists but the experience that comes from a tongue enthralled with what what is it swimming in… and with only 4 ingredients. Perfection.
This is a dish that brings me joy to make and even more to serve.