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*August 2009 COTM* OTTOLENGHI: Bread and Savoury Pastries

Caitlin McGrath Aug 3, 2009 02:09 PM

Our Chowhound August 2009 Cookbook of the Month is Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi; and all online recipes by the authors.

Please post your full-length recipe reviews here for dishes from the cookbook chapter Baking and Patisserie, section Bread and Savoury Pastries, and online recipes with those ingredients.

Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the page number, or include a link to the online recipe, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe. Let us know if you would like to make the recipe again, and if you would change anything in the future, too.

Please see the main Cookbook of the Month thread for some useful links.

Lists of the recipes from these book sections, along with links where applicable, and the opportunity to request paraphrases, may be found at this link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6417...

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating and enjoy!

  1. s
    smtucker Aug 23, 2009 07:33 PM

    Focaccia, page 170

    I have no idea why I felt the need to make bread on one of the hottest days of the year, but once I started, there was no reason not to continue.

    It is possible that I was distracted while making the starter. The starter wasn't really porridge texture, but to be honest, I haven't eaten or made porridge so I just let it rise for an hour. When I added the dough ingredients, the dough was simply too dry. I added about 50ml of water in order to get a ball. So, I either used 50ml too little [100 ml too little in the starter, or 50ml over.]

    Bread rise times were right on target today. My kitchen was about 96º though, so I expect that during the winter, the rise times would be substantially greater. Turned out the dough and I chose to divide it into two even pieces so that I could use two toppings.

    You fold the dough into thirds working the dough with your fingers to spread it out. Four rounds of finger pushing over an hour and the dough fit the pans. I used two 1/4 sheet pans, a touch bigger than the called-for size.

    I made the parsley and olive topping for one of the breads. For the second bread, I went to the garden and grabbed every herb out there: parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, three basil varieties and rosemary. I minced the herbs, added some crushed garlic, oil and salt. Assembled as instructed, using the fingers to push the toppings into the bread. At the last minute, I added some tomato from the garden to the self-recipe.

    The results were surprising. Unlike the Batali focaccia recipe, this is very bread-like and has plenty of oil flavor without being oily. At first we weren't sure about the taste/texture, but by bite three we were hooked.

    We actually liked my improvised topping more than the one in the book. Maybe nothing can beat fresh herbs. My house guest took two photos: waiting for the oven and waiting for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: smtucker
      Caitlin McGrath Aug 23, 2009 08:13 PM

      Wow, those certainly look delicious, smtucker. I imagine the plethora of herbs + tomatoes tasted fresh and summery and great.

    2. Gio Aug 27, 2009 07:42 AM

      Pizza with Feta, Tomato and Olives: Bread and Savory Pastries, Pg. 178

      This was a fun thing to make! Right away let me say that I did not make the brioche dough, but instead a crazy fast pizza dough I found at the foodblog, "Everybody Likes Sandwiches." The recipe is called, "The Easiest Pizza Dough in the World" so I had to try it, didn't I? It was easy and it was fast, and really didn't taste too bad, considering. Here's the link to the recipe:

      Anyway, it was the Ottolenghi toppings that made the finished pizza terrific which consist of caramelized onions, oven-dried tomatoes and the final layer of crumbled feta cheese ( I had a nice imported chunk from TJ's), pitted Kalamata olives, a drizzle of EVOO and S & P. Instead of parsley for garnish, I used a chiffonade of basil.

      You have to plan for the hour of roasting time for the tomatoes, and seven minutes of caramelizing the onions before you bake the pizza but everything was ready at the same time and the outcome, while not a knock-your-socks-off pizza experience, was very tasty indeed.....and as I said, the toppings were the main attraction.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gio
        The Dairy Queen Aug 27, 2009 10:00 AM

        Just seven minutes for the onions? That's not bad at all in terms of time.


      2. Caitlin McGrath Mar 2, 2013 04:08 PM

        Sour cherry and walnut stick, p. 166

        I decided to make this because the mixing/kneading instructions are specifically for a stand mixer with a dough hook, and I have a borrowed stand mixer at the moment so that I can "audition" the model (a sleek-looking Breville) before deciding which to purchase. This recipe (which MMRuth paraphrased in another thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/641703#4928322) calls for "country brown flour" and specifies two specific brands. A little googling just now told me that these are either mostly-whole-wheat with malted wheat for one brand (http://www.ochef.com/746.htm), or white and mixed whole grain with malt for the other. In any event, I made the bread simply using an equal measure in grams of regular whole-wheat flour from the bulk bin. That probably made my loaf a bit denser and heavier, but not to its detriment.

        This bread is made from the aforementioned flour, plus a measure of buckwheat flour, with a small amount of orange juice, sour cherries, and walnuts. I did the first rise overnight in the fridge, then let the dough come to room temp before shaping and rising again. It's baked with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven, and while my loaf didn't brown much though it needed a longer baking time than indicated, the steam definitely gave it a nice crust. Lacking a lame or straight razor blade, I didn't have the best luck with slashing. I also noticed that in the book photo, the loaf is very heavily floured, which mine wasn't. That all added up to my bread not being too beautiful, but the proof was in the eating...

        This is a dense (see comments above about flour), hearty bread with a nutty flavor that's intensified by the walnuts. I really liked the flavor of the buckwheat here, which I don't know that I've had before in a yeast bread. It's delicious toasted with butter, or spread with a schmear of fresh goat cheese, and would go well on a cheese board.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          blue room Mar 2, 2013 05:10 PM

          That sort of rustic bread *would* give a mixer a tryout !

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