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August, 2010:

The Best Bread I’ve Ever Made

I’m using a lot of superlatives lately. But really, this one is my best so far.

OK, maybe the lines could have been a little more even and more pleasing to the eye, I admit. It’s still the best looking and best tasting one I’ve made so far.

Here are some step-by-step pictures:

Getting Ready


After Kneading for 10 Minutes

First Rise

Shaped Like a Loaf


Pain Ordinaire

The Inside Looks Good too

Bread & Cheese

Recipe is from here.

The “Perfect” Sandwich Bun

I believe I made the “perfect” sandwich bun two days ago. Isn’t this beautiful:

The Perfect Bun

I’ve been looking for a good recipe for a bun and finally found a recipe here (I know, hers are shaped nicer :))

I had to make a small change as I couldn’t find “bread flour” here (we’re in Istanbul right now). I bought the highest protein flour that I could find, and used only that instead of mixing it with all purpose flour. We were all really happy with the outcome. Light and tasty…

I must be crazy considering the temperature right now, but I will be baking another bread today. If it comes out nice, I will share the photos with you.

Stay cool.

Challenge 1 – Cooking Equipment

I thought I should start a theme here regarding the challenges of the kind of life we have. Since we are making breakfast right now, here is the first one: cooking equipment.

As some of you already know, we rent furnished apartments in Vancouver & Paris (we always get the same ones). And since they are both rentals, shall we say, they don’t necessarily have the best cooking environment. Also to be fair, we are pretty picky with the kind of things we cook with. Pans have to be stainless steel or cast iron, knives (oh the knives) have to be good and sharp, containers have to be non-plastic, etc., etc. For the most part, these two apartments have what we need, but there are small challenges.

In this post I want to talk about the knife situation a little bit. If you’ve done any kind of cooking, you know the value of a good knife. For me, a bad knife can really turn a nice afternoon of cooking into a nightmare. When we lived in LA, we had found a Japanese hardware store in downtown (of course in Little Tokyo) that had some amazing knives, and we quickly got addicted to Japanese knives. Especially the ones that are stainless steel but have a carbon tip-they are VERY sharp and they stay sharp for a long time. Pretty soon I couldn’t do any chopping with any other kind of knife, but a 210mm Gyuto (this one doesn’t have a carbon tip and we have the non-hammered version).

One thing with the carbon tip, as you might know, is that you have to use, then wash and dry right away, otherwise they will get rusty at the tip. Which is a little pain, but definitely worth it.

About a month ago, we finally decided to buy a good knife to carry around with us after I read a blog entry. He was talking about taking good knives with him when he travels, and I thought “why not?” After looking around for a while, we picked this one:

Wusthof Classic

It’s been a pleasure to cook since. =)