Favorite French Bread

A few years ago, my father gave me a bread machine for my birthday, finally enabling me to make bread.  “Finally”?  Yep.  I’m afraid of yeast.  It never does what I want it to do, and I have a tendency to overwork bread dough.  Thus, bread machines are perfect for me…except for the fact that they tend to make bread “cubes” rather than loaves.  To get a nice loaf shape, you have to bake in your oven rather than a bread machinebread3

This French Bread recipe is great because it blends the ease of bread machines with the beauty of traditional baking.  You make the dough in the machine, then dump it out and go through some steps to make beautiful loaves.  This is my kind of bread making!

I can’t take credit for this recipe or this process; I got the bread dough recipe from Finding Joy in My Kitchen, and a more involved baking process at Thirty Handmade Days.  I liked the taste of the recipe in the former, and the texture afforded to the bread by the latter.  Combining them produces my Favorite French Bread.  It’s a bit fussy at the end, but each step contributes to a chewy, yeasty baguette that is worth every minute of the process.

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Review: The Psychopath Test

Today, I’m reviewing Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry.  I heard about this book during a few episodes of Stuff You Should Know and added it to my Goodreads list.  The description over there is compelling — it’s no wonder it quickly made its way to the top of my reading list.


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Dreamy Confetti Quinoa

I’ll be the first to admit that some of my recipes are time-consuming (I’m looking at you, caramelized onions) or complex (like my hybrid French bread recipe, which I have yet to share on here).  The truth of it is, though, that most of the meals that I eat are simple and straightforward, just like this dish.  I made it one night after Zumba, and it was both gratifying and easy to make.


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Review: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Fair warning: this is going to be a short one.

I recently read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  It’s been on my to-read list for a few years.  Goodreads provides a snapshot of the book in its description:

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

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