Imagine being asked to cook one of your signature dishes for Julia Child, in her own kitchen. The cookbook “Baking with Julia” is a collection of recipes prepared by those lucky chefs featured on a PBS show filmed in Julia’s kitchen. Our baker this week is Craig Kominiak. After 5 years as a Navy cook, Craig joined the Culinary Institute of America where he discovered his love for the pastry arts. When he baked with Julia he was the executive chef for the bakery Ecce Panis in NYC.
Craig’s recipe has a long, cold rise, you must start the dough 24 hours before you want to bake it. Its a simple dough, just flour, yeast, olive oil, salt and water. My 7 quart KitchenAid mixer kneaded the dough without any struggle. I did not increase the speed to medium high as instructed in the recipe because the KA instructions are very clear: never knead dough above speed 2.
I tried 2 different breads with the dough. One was the Leaf Shaped Fougasse on page 146:
and the other was focaccia with onion, rosemary and blue cheese, some of my favorite toppings for flat bread.
The breads were delicious but neither achieved much height. Other focaccia that I’ve baked have been softer and thicker. These were good but I think there are better recipes.
Another baking project this week was making the cheddar swirl breakfast buns from Deb Perelman’s new cookbook, “Smitten Kitchen“. These were easy to make and perfect with soup. And they were still tasty the next day.
And if you are looking for a good winter soup this one from Food52 is a winner: Minestrone.
For today’s focaccia recipe you can visit Wandering Through. Sharmini will have the complete recipe.
Enjoy baking, cheers, Patty