This Week’s Baking

I am on a serious baking kick these days. On Sunday, I tried a new recipe and made three plain pain d’epi and three bacon pain d’epi loaves. I wish I could tell you that putting slices of bacon into my favorite type of bread was my own idea, but one must give credit where credit is due. And credit is very due to Diamonds for Dessert for posting this incredible recipe for bacon pain d’epi.

My only deviation from her recipe was to use bread flour instead of regular white, and instead of doing all six loaves with bacon, I only did three. Not only are these loaves gorgeous (insert photo of gorgeous bread [here] – if I waited to upload any of the photos I take, sadly I’d never find the time to post…), the dough was gorgeous too. It was a dream to work with – like silk to knead. So smooth and elastic. It’s easily the best bread dough I’ve worked with thus far.

This bread was absolutely delicious with the potato soup I made for Sunday dinner. I didn’t have any leeks on hand, so I made the soup with a couple of big red onions instead. Bacon and onions; soup and bread – I can’t think of a better Sunday night dinner for an overcast, windy fall evening. And of course I’m already dreaming up variations on it – I could add green onions and sun dried tomatoes. My home made bacon would be even more awesome than the store bought stuff I had to use in Sunday’s loaf. We ate a little with leftovers for yesterday’s lunch, then had the very last plain loaf this morning with our eggs and bacon for breakfast. Of course, it wasn’t as good as when it was fresh, but it held up pretty good for three days. It still had a nice crust and chewy interior, and was just starting to show signs of staling. This dough recipe is a definite keeper.

I’ve got another batch in it’s first rise now. Instead of doing six small loaves, I’m going to do two larger ones. And we ate the rest of the bacon today sadly – the last four slices are in tonight’s dinner (crockpot balsamic chicken with potatoes). So I’m going to do a plain loaf for one and a sun dried tomato and olive loaf for the other. I’m pretty excited to try this new variation tonight. Now if only I had gotten the bread rising in time to have it with dinner… sigh.

Of course, Sunday baking isn’t complete without sweets. We’ve had a real sweet tooth lately. Must be the change of the seasons. I’m going through flour like nobody’s business. I’ve made tons of double batches of snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies (half with added walnuts for husband), and I can’t keep them in the house. Naturally I made a batch of snickerdoodles, but only a single batch this time because I also decided to make some soft ginger cookies. They will now be a repeat at our house too – so good! They’re basically a soft, chewy gingerbread. They actually had a touch too much ginger for my taste (too much ginger actually gives me a bit of a stomach ache, interestingly) so next time I’m going to just use a teaspoon instead of the two the recipe calls for. Other than that, it’s perfect. I love having three, solid go to cookie recipes. And so you can get in the cookie goodness, I’ll share where I found all three. 🙂 Another case of wishing I came up with these myself; that’s how good they are!

Snickerdoodles from Slow Like Honey

Soft Ginger Cookies from Allrecipes

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from Apple a Day

Seriously – make all three. And I found all of these on Pinterest, proving yet again that Pinterest is the coolest thing in the world. I’ve got a couple more cookie recipe pinned – I ought to try them since I’m three for three with the successes.

And in non-cookie, non-bread related business, I’ve been really tempted to make a chocolate lava cake… but it’s quite possible that we have enough sweets in the house for two people at the moment. Possibly.