This version of banana bread is more cake than bread, and I wouldn’t be able to get away with saying “There’s banana in it, so it’s basically breakfast!” because no, this is not breakfast. This is a chocolatey, buttery, almost decadent thing and probably not appropriate for anyone to eat first thing in the morning. While mascarpone will give you the richest, moistest cake with the best flavor, sour cream or yogurt will get the job done; just make sure they are full-fat.
These lovely light buns with a beautiful shiny surface are perfect for birthday parties, with afternoon tea or a cup of coffee, or enjoyed on a cold day in the fall with a mug of hot chocolate.
A highlight at the Adjarian Wine House is this open-faced cheese bread, with its bright yellow egg yolk at the centre, the most iconic dish from the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. Adjarian (or Adjaran) khachapuri is a favourite throughout Georgia, and involves participation from the diners who stir the egg into the hot cheese to ﬁnish its cooking. The edges of this khachapuri are quite thick. The diner breaks off a chunk by hand and dips it into the eggy cheese. I like the version where the dough edges are enriched with grated cheese before baking.
Brushed with butter and sprinkled with sea salt, this slightly sweet old-fashioned pull-apart bread resembles Parker House rolls in texture. They are festive on a holiday table but easy enough to make any night of the week. The pans filled with unbaked rolls can be stored overnight in the fridge, too.
American's Test Kitchen shared this recipe with us as part of their recent muffin tins equipment review.
For a classic sourdough bread recipe, we used a mixture of bread flour and whole-wheat flour for complex flavor. Sifting the whole-wheat flour removed excess bran, ensuring a light and airy loaf. For convenience and deep sourdough flavor, we let the shaped loaf proof overnight in the refrigerator. Baking it in a covered Dutch oven trapped steam to provide a crisp, crackling crust. We prefer King Arthur all-purpose flour here; if you can’t find it, you can substitute bread flour. For best results, weigh your ingredients. If you have a banetton or a lined proofing basket, use that rather than the towel-lined colander in step 3. Do not wait until the oven has preheated in step 6 to start timing 30 minutes or the bread will burn. [Ed note: For more advice on sourdough starters, please follow this link for an audio segment with Bridget Lancaster of America's Test Kitchen and a sourdough starter recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated. You can also try this recipe for Almost No-Knead Sourdough Bread.]
By nurturing a culture of naturally occurring bacteria and yeast, a healthy sourdough starter will leaven bread while also lending it the trademark sour flavor. For a simple, foolproof approach, we began by mixing all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour, which provided extra nutrition for the developing bacteria and yeasts. We then added enough water to form a wet dough and let it sit at room temperature. After a few days, when it showed signs of life in the form of gas bubbles and a pungent aroma, we began a routine of daily feedings, mixing some of the culture with fresh flour and water to refresh the food supply. After 10 to 14 days, we found that the starter smelled pleasantly yeasty and doubled in volume 8 to 12 hours after the last feeding, a sign that it was ready to use to bake bread. We also came up with an easy way to maintain the starter between uses. We found that we could refresh the food supply just once a week by letting the culture sit for 5 hours at room temperature after feeding it and then moving it to the refrigerator for storage. [Ed. note: Try using your new sourdough starter to make the recipes for Classic Sourdough Bread (Pain au Levain) and Almost No-Knead Sourdough Bread, also provided by America's Test Kitchen.]
For an easy bread recipe that allowed us to put our Sourdough Starter into action, we developed a sourdough version of our Almost No-Knead Bread, which we let rise overnight to develop flavor and then baked in a Dutch oven to produce a well-risen loaf with a crisp, crackly crust. We prefer King Arthur all-purpose flour in this recipe; if you can’t find it, you can substitute any brand of bread flour. For the best results, weigh your ingredients. The dough can rise at room temperature in step 3 (instead of in the oven), but it will take 3 to 4 hours. Do not wait until the oven has preheated in step 4 to start timing 30 minutes or the bread will burn. [Ed note: For more advice on sourdough starters, please follow this link for an audio segment with Bridget Lancaster of America's Test Kitchen and a sourdough starter recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated. You can also try this recipe for Classic Sourdough Bread (Pain au Levain).]
Crostini are simply small slices of toasted or grilled bread, usually made with baguette or ciabatta, that make a perfect base for dips, spreads, cheeses, vegetables, or pâtés.