Monday Open Thread 4/25/22
not to hot and not too cold
I’ve got a lot cooking right now, but a lot of it is behind the scenes for the time being, so I thought I’d just share a sneak preview of a few things here:
One: I am teaching that pita & lavash workshop this Saturday at 1pm EST. What I didn’t mention here before now is that I’m doing the class as a fundraiser for Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. Project Bread is a MA-based hunger relief organization that focuses on connecting people to federal nutrition programs designed to supply meals and alleviate the economic burden of purchasing food on a tight household budget. The Walk for Hunger is the oldest continual pledge walk in the United States and the largest annual one-day fundraiser to alleviate local hunger in Massachusetts (like many MA natives, I did the WFH as a kid!).
This year’s walk is on 5/1, this Sunday. Since 2020, the Walk has been held virtually, with people doing walks in their own communities or finding alternative ways to generate pledges. Which is why I decided to link my upcoming class with the walk and promise 25% of the proceeds. So far, we’ve raised $240, which is a good start, but I’d like to at least double that if possible, so if you were on the fence about signing up, hopefully this is the incentive you need. (The virtual walk is just the start of an ongoing partnership between Wordloaf and Project Bread.)
Two: The pita recipe that I am unveiling in the class is an updated version of the one I shared awhile back here, but it is much improved since then. One big reason I like teaching—aside from the fun I have spending time doing bread with all of you—is that it gives me an excuse to do a deep dive into a topic or recipe, even one I am already super familiar with. I inevitably end up in a better place than where I started. It’s no exaggeration to say that I love this pita recipe, and I know you will too. (There are both yeasted and sourdough versions, and both are excellent. And it is dead easy.)
I’m also sharing a new lavash technique using the same doughs, an approach that lets me get a bread that is at least twice as thin as the version I developed for Serious Eats last year. It also is excellent, but remains more of a work-in-progress, which I’ll get into during the class.
I’m also also sharing two bread-adjacent recipes, an Armenian spiced walnut dip that is delicious on its own or used as a topper for hummus, and a new recipe for hummus. I don’t know if the world needs another hummus recipe (especially the second one from me), but I think this is a very good one: simple to make, with lots of options regarding how to prep the chickpeas (dried, canned, pressure-cooker, stovetop, etc.), extremely smooth and creamy without needing to “peel” the chickpeas of their skins, and versatile, since you can tailor the flavor and consistency to your own preferences.
I’m going to share the hummus recipe as this month’s subscriber-exclusive recipe on Wednesday, so you’ll all have it in advance of the class. (I won’t have time to demo the hummus or walnut dip in the class, but I’ll have them there and will walk you through how they are made.)
Three: Last week I had a really great chat with Amy Halloran and Alicia Kennedy about how to promote the use of “ethical” flours—whole grain, regional, sustainably and ethically produced, etc.—without wanting to denigrate the use of refined commodity flours and without denying the challenges that many people have to using and obtaining the former. I’ll be sharing the chat here soon, once I have a chance to edit and shape it with Amy and Alicia. So stay tuned for that…
What’s everyone else been up to lately?
Well darn! I have 4 pans of lasagna planned for Saturday this week, trying to catch up on my self-imposed Lasagna Love quota for this year - 60 pans! We spent two weeks in Hawaii so my first week back I was baking every day to fill in some of the needs my customers had voiced!
4 dozen coconut cupcakes
6 loaves of Hot Cheesy Bread
4 loaves Amish Cinnamon Bread
4 loaves The Best Banana Bread
4 pounds of spicy pimento cheese
4 loaves of sourdough
This week I'm taking it easier with only 6 loaves of Hot Cheesy Bread, 4 loaves of Rosemary/Salt Focaccia, and 5 loaves of sourdough. We were supposed to be on vacation in wine country this week, but one of our pups took a turn for the worse and she's back to the vet for more blood work and a revised treatment plan. It's rough trying to travel when you have medically complex dogs. But we do whatever is necessary!
Hope everyone has a fabulous week!
Freelance gig at Milk Street kitchen - making lots of interesting doughs and working with an amazing crew... Getting back into my bread subscription... throwing some clay to get ready for the summer Farmers Market in Rozzie!