This was a lovely year. It was filled with new experiences. It gave me simple pleasures and new skills.
I finally, learned to make bread. Why bread? It is simple. It is good. It can be used as an integral part of any meal. It can be a meal.
The recipe I used is a variation of Jim Lahey’s revoultionary No Knead Bread. It can be found over at Cooks Illustrated (they won’t spam you and you can get the recipe and poke around this site for a couple of weeks without charge—personally I think paying for an online subscription to this site is fantastic and that’s on top of my having a current paper subscription and a couple of their cookbooks). Most weeks I make the olive variation without cheese and rosemary. Recently, I’ve been gifting loaves of the plain, along with preserves, pickles, or a fancy cheese. This has made a great gift.
This bread is great eaten from hand. It's fantastic with softened sweet butter & coarse sea salt. Or my husband’s preferred way, sliced extra thin. Toasted until dark and then drizzled with a very herbaceous olive oil.