16 June 2009

eva's spinach gratin and crusty french bread

Eva told me I had to wait at least one day before putting up another post, but it's raining and thundering outside, and I'm procrastinating on three other less pleasant tasks, and I'm really excited about photos. So here's another post--posted much too soon.

Eva's going nuts in the kitchen. She made this outrageous spinach, which she wilted with vinegar, garlic and red chile flakes on the stove top then doused with an egg yolk, a few tablespoons of cream and baked in the oven. It was creamy, crunchy, spiked with vinegar and chiles--part custard, part souffle, part quiche--c'est magnifique!

Eva's other specialty is bread--she made this braided loaf of crunchy-soft French bread. T'was beautiful and delish.

Aunt Annie's French Bread
(from my Aunt Anne Whitaker Law's cookbook, which I heart)
makes 2 loaves

2 packages dry yeast
1 T. salt
2-1/2 c. very warm water (not too hot or the bread will taste yeasty)
3 T. sugar
5 T. vegetable oil
6 c. unsifted flour
1 egg white
sesame seeds

*In large bowl combine 2 c. hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 c. flour.
*Mix well by hand or in bread mixer.
*Stir in proofed or dry yeast, add remaining flour. Dough should be barely sticky. Add more flour if necessary.
*Mix well. Allow dough to rest for ten minutes and stir again. Repeat five times for a total of 50 minutes.
*Turn dough out onto oiled counter. Knead once or twice.
*Divide in two Roll each half into 9x12 rectangle. Starting at long edge, roll losely. Seal edges.
*Place both rolls seam down on one large baking sheet brushed with cornmeal. Gash tops diagonally three times with sharp knife. Brush with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cover and rise for 30 min.
*Bake at 400 degress for 25-30 minutes.


Writermama said...

awesome! it looks like we are finally going to upgrade from our squatter's kitchen, so maybe i'll be able to make such beautiful things. i wish i were there with you and that food on a rainy day.

Eva said...

cool--congrats on the upgrade! what, exactly, will you be doing? gimme some details!



Erika Gunn said...

I have never attempted my own Mother's bread recipe. What kind of daughter am I?! I think I am subconsciously scared that I will never be able to match her greatness...in the baking and in the life department.

lara said...

erika--i did that with my mom's rolls for years and years. i still don't feel that mine will ever be as good as hers.

Alice Dubiel said...

The bread is beautiful and the spinach dish amazing. Inspiring.

Frieda said...

That is the most beautiful loaf of french bread I have ever seen! I found your blog through the Hive...I am looking forward to getting to know you through your blog and recipes!