Thanksgiving in the blogosphere, French bread, and lots of blog links

The past week has been an especially tasty one in the blogosphere as forward-minded bloggers published post after post of amazing dishes that would make any Thanksgiving table proud. Simply Bitten Kitchen gave us cornbread dressing (along with the cornbread for said dressing), cranberry sauce, and turkey wings. A Pug in the Kitchen also offered cranberry sauce and dressing along with potato rolls, a centerpiece-worthy turkey complete with gravy and sides, pie, and even wine suggestions. These are two of oodles of blogs that published Thanksgiving recipes in a timely manner. If you are hosting a Thanksgiving meal or providing at least a component, you would have read their posts and still had plenty of time to whip up the recipes.

Then there is food for fun. My blog. Where you will indeed find a stand-out recipe for a lovely baguette–developed by a Jesuit priest, for goodness’ sake–posted very late in the eve before the day that is Thanksgiving. This is the bread I will be bringing to my mom’s Thanksgiving feast. We will slice it and slather it with butter and maybe spread some cranberry sauce on it or even dip it in gravy. It will be heavenly. I will also slice up a loaf and turn it into Sweet Potato Crostini as seen in a Taste of Home back issue and offer it as an appetizer.

But sadly, Brother Curry’s recipe will not help you this November 28. For who has time to make this bread–with its 10-hour rise time–for their Thanksgiving meal? I apologize for this. My bad.

Just the same, I offer you a photo, recipe, and hopefully a feel for how easy it will be when you do have time to make this bread. It doesn’t need a holiday to be enjoyed, no. Make a batch (you’ll be richly rewarded with three loaves) and enjoy for breakfast, lunch, supper, and any time before or after any of those meals. Eat it plain, spread it with butter/jam/honey, make turkey sandwiches with it, float thin slices atop soup. You’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy these baguettes.

three French loaves

three French loaves (recipe below)

Though I am unable to help American folk fill their Thanksgiving table, I still want to wish all a blessed Thanksgiving. The blogging community–readers, Likers, commentors, followers–is high on my list of what I am thankful for. Blogging has brought amazing friends and helped me stretch my writing wings, take a few more risks. I’ve learned how to use my camera’s photo editor and my recipe collection has expanded exponentially. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the blogosphere to be so rich. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to all.

In that vein, I’d like to especially thank Ada, of More Food, Please and Shanna, over at Curls and Carrots. Both ladies, besides offering first-rate content on their respective blogs, have supported my endeavors with their thoughtful and enthusiastic (and just plain fun) comments both here and over at deLizious facebook. Over the past few months, they’ve honored me with their nominations for Dragon’s Share, Versatile, Sunshine, Blog of the Year 2013, Dragon’s Loyalty, WordPress Family, and Best Blogger Ever of All Time (haha, just made that last one up) Awards. I love that you enjoy what you read here, Ada and Shanna. Many many thanks. You ladies rock.

While there are official rules for accepting these awards, I’m going to mix it up food blogger-style. Instead of answering questions and nominating others, I offer you a recipe.

Recipe for a Culinary (and otherwise) Tour of the Blogosphere

Makes as many servings as you think you can handle.

Click on links. Read, then laugh, drool, swoon, ponder, smile, etc as appropriate. Click Follow if you want another serving.

One more thing: I already sent you to Curls and Carrots above, but if you haven’t yet clicked over, I’ll send you directly to Shanna’s recent granola bar post. She claims she took inspiration from last week’s food fun for granola bar post, though even if that’s the case, she’s far surpassed anything I could have done. You must see these!

And now for that bread…

French Bread

From The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking by Rick Curry, S.J.

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115ΒΊF)
  • Pinch sugar (my addition)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In large bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup water, and the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Let stand 5 minutes.

Add remaining 3/4 cup water, the salt and 2 cups flour to yeast mixture; beat vigorously 3 minutes. Beat 5 minutes longer, continuing to add remaining flour until dough pulls away from side of bowl.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 8 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed to prevent stickiness.

Lightly oil large bowl; place dough in bowl. Turn to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in refrigerator 10 to 12 hours or overnight. (or at room temperature for half that, which is what I did due to lack of foresight. see paragraph 2 above)

Let dough come to room temperature (lucky me–mine already was). Heat oven to 450ΒΊF. Turn dough out onto work surface. Divide dough into thirds; shape into baguettes. Place dough on trays. Cover with tea towel; let rise 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Spritz loaves with water. (Original recipe recommends spraying with vinegar, which I didn’t understand. Anyone know why this would be a good thing?) Make seven slashes in each baguette (so says Brother Curry). Bake 10 minutes; spray with additional water. Bake 10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

52 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in the blogosphere, French bread, and lots of blog links

  1. Liz –
    Great idea. YOU. ROCK. Love it!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚ “Recipe for a Culinary (and otherwise) Tour of the Blogosphere.” Yes, please.
    So, your sweet potato crostini idea would work with so many squash and is a fabulous thought. Oh, bookmarking this.
    French bread – yes. No great bakeries here, so I am excited to try it.
    Thanks for the mention. I love reading what you put down on blog-paper. You have a skill for writing and are so relatable. Your photos are always great, of course.
    Take good care – and enjoy your lovely family this weekend.
    Warmly,
    Shanna

    • You’re too kind, Shanna. Thank YOU πŸ™‚ I’ll circle back when I get those granola bars, but first could you have your Aunt send me those same ingredients? πŸ˜‰

      Cracks me up that folks think I’m a food maven, etc. I do have enthusiasm and passion, yes, but my “skills” are more about can-do then they are actually having a clue.

      You’ve been such a good supporter, Shanna. It’s fun to connect with others of the same culinary bent. Or even just philosophy of life in general.

  2. I’m totally copying Shanna and saying that Liz, this rocks. Love the idea of a recipe for touring the blogsphere! I’m totally going to be copying this from you, too πŸ˜‰

    Wishing the happiest of thanksgivings to you and your family. Thank you for taking the time to write something for your (online) family before the holiday! You know we all love hanging out in your kitchen πŸ˜€

    • Thanks, amb.Seems we’re feeding (food pun–ha) off of each other for how to accept awards as I dared to be creative because I saw what you did over at WBS.

      My kitchen is a better place because of the likes of you πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to many more visits.

    • thanks, Beth! Right back at ya’. I’m guessing I’m waaaaaay behind on your posts again. You’re hard to keep up with, my dear πŸ˜‰ But always worth it.

  3. Thank you for the mention, Liz! πŸ™‚ I love your culinary tour idea–very fun and creative! Will begin my tour very soon πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for sharing the French bread recipe–I will be saving this one! Would love to have this baguette right now with some cheese and wine! The sweet potato crostini sounds delicious as well. πŸ˜€

    • Hope you enjoyed your tour, Ada, though betting you’d already seen at least a few of links.

      Baguettes are too easy to make to not do it at home. Though it’s hard to get the super-crisp crust with a home oven. Cheese and wine and bread sound lovely. And I’m curious how the crostini will turn out. Couldn’t resist clipping the recipe as those mini marshmallows are so cute!

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, Ada. Hope we get a glimpse of what will be on your table. Also, I know I owe you a picture of the chocolate chip cookies from a few posts back. Was going to take one today and somehow it slipped my mind 0-:

  4. That recipe is SO easy. For some reason, bread always intimidates me (from the girl who used to work in a bakery—the bread guy was intense, okay?). I need to get rid of my excuses and give this a go!

    • Agreed–simple recipe for sure. Which is why it makes me nuts when folks buy substandard bread when it is so easy to make from scratch. The artisan stuff is worth buying, but most of the supermarket stuff can for sure be improved upon. And it’s just too easy not to try. True, it takes time, but not a lot of action. Have taught bread-baking classes and like to use the line, “you be the boss of your bread.”

      Here’s what I wrote about baking bread way back in the early days of my blog: http://wp.me/p2dvv9-3B

      Thanks for coming by, Kaela! You are a fun visitor πŸ˜€

  5. I am so thankful for you Liz – whether or not you included my blog in your tour – though I thank you for that too. Thank you for friendship, connection, culinary delights and eliciting more smiles and warmth than you could measure for any recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • I gotcha, Mimi. It’s been so cool to find other folk–who I’ve never met physically–whose brains work much like mine does. (hope that’s not scaring you away πŸ˜‰ )

      And I’m doing a happy dance if you really find everything you mentioned in food for fun. My raison d’Γͺtre is to elicit smiles πŸ˜€

      On another note, my 11-year-old told me she was having writer’s block on a school paper as she had forgotten her favorite pen at school. We ended up heading to an office supply store to buy pens that she wrote well with. You have a partner in your pen fetish πŸ™‚

      • I LOVE YOUR DAUGHTER!! Tell her I totally ‘get’ it!! What the right pen can unleash! And do that happy dance Liz, for it’s true – your blog is fun, reinforces my love of cooking and food and is smart. How can I not love it? Scare me away? Are you kidding? More like a kindred spirit (though I’m the older spirit)..

  6. Happy Thanksgiving! I too am only contributing homemade bread to my family’s feast. Instead of baguettes, I made challah bread. I think the loaf may rival the turkey in size! And don’t apologize for being “late”…just say that you are providing this recipe for Christmas dinner! You are almost a whole month early!
    Anyway, I agree that blogging is something to be thankful for. And this time next year…I may be making my very own Thanksgiving feast for the first time! So crazy to think about.

    • Hi, Jenny! Thanks for popping over. Would love a report on your Thanksgiving feast πŸ™‚

      Good point about my post being early. You always put the best spin on things πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ Am honored by your words. I always enjoy reading what you put out there–you’re no slouch of a writer.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well. Am certain your table was full of amazing food! Now on to the next big holiday…

  7. Thanks for the shout out Liz! I just got a message that my blog has been getting increased traffic. πŸ™‚ Thanks also for posting links to all these other amazing-looking blogs–just added a bunch to my follow list. πŸ™‚
    I have never baked bread before (unless you count banana bread, which I don’t) but looking at those soft french loaves is making me want to try. I brought some fancy olive oil back from Spain that is too much good to cook with, so there has been an increase in baguettes in our house recently which I have been using as a vehicle for the olive oil and other goodies. I can only imagine how much better that would taste with homemade french loaves. Mmmm. Now, if only I wasn’t so busy making a pesco vegan gluten-free sugar-free thanksgiving dinner + dessert (with a side of chicken, at my son’s request) today–pant, pant! Perhaps when I come up for air I can take a stab at those beauties!
    Happy thanksgiving to you and yours, and I hope you have a wonderful time at your mom’s house. And please save a bite of that bread for me! πŸ˜‰

    • Glad you got some hits from this. That was my master plan πŸ™‚

      Holy cow, sounds like you had a crazy day in the kitchen! How did it all turn out?

      Of course I saved you bread πŸ˜‰ Am amazed that you haven’t made bread yet as you’ve made so many lovely dishes. Making bread is no harder than a batch of cookies. Takes more time, yes, but it’s just mixing ingredients, kneading, letting it rest, shaping, resting, baking. Ta da!

      Thanks so much for coming by and your kind words.

      • The thanksgiving meal turned out quite nicely, and still felt like Thanksgiving despite all the restrictions. I made a vegan shepard’s pie (which turned out to be delicious and both vegan and no-vegan guests enjoyed) and some roasted root vegetables with sage butter beans. And roasted chicken with turmeric and cumin seeds, and a raw vegan date-sweetened apricot oat vanilla tart for dessert (which I honestly was not particularly fond of but which my non-sweetener-eating husband was crazy for).
        Sounds like your bread went over a little too well! πŸ˜‰ You’re right, it’s about time I made some bread – I’ve always thought you needed a bread-maker for that. which I didn’t feel like finding the cupboard space for. I’ll be around my (thankfully) bread-eating side of the family at christmas and am going to try out your delicious-looking recipe then. Thanks for the idea! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Amanda. Right back at ya’ on the holiday wishes πŸ™‚ The bread went over well, though there was a part of me hoping it’d go over just well enough to leave a few loaves leftover. (I doubled the recipe to make 6.) No such luck so will have to go at it again. Luckily, it’ll be an easy task.

      Appreciate you stopping over. And am thrilled you liked the post. Yay!

  8. Liz!!!!!! I love this post. First of all your French Bread recipe. Even if I can’t eat it, I will have to make it and serve it a Christmas. I love home made bread.

    Secondly, you did supply me with a recipe for Thanksgiving. Chocolate. Bourbon. Cake! Only a few crumbs survived and several requests for the recipe. I’ll have to thank Courtney through your FB page.

    Thanks too for the shout out. What a neat idea. I love the inspiration you and Amb both give me. Thank you!

    I hope you had a great time yesterday.

    • Thanks, Fannie. Hoping gluten-free flour could sub in here and give you a Fannie-safe carb load πŸ™‚

      Thinking amb, you, and I rub off on each other here in the blogosphere. We could bill ourselves as a triple threat πŸ˜‰

      So glad the bourbon cake was a hit. Little hint: facebook told me Courtney of the cake’s bday is Monday!

  9. Hmm! I have been contemplating trying out bread baking. I usually avoid such things (thinking there are professionals for that!) but those loaves look too good to resist. And it’s perfect to come after Thanksgiving b/c I forgot to buy bread for the must-have “leftover” sandwich. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thanks for the recipe, the shout out and all the good reads/fun pics you post. I completely agree — the blogosphere is a warm and tasty place! =)

    • J! Baking bread is easy compared to what you pull off in the kitchen. Those caramels, pressing your own cider, all of your fancy BA cover dishes. Even making ice cream is harder than making bread. Seriously. Give it a try and circle back. Will make great turkey sandwiches. You’ll turn it into a fun bahn mi or some such sammie, I’d bet πŸ™‚

      Would also bet that your Thanksgiving was great fun and amazingly delish. Hope to read about some of it at some point.

      Many thanks to you for being here and helping keep things warm and tasty.

    • Thank YOU, Suzanne for all of your inspiration! You were one of the first “professional” food bloggers (that’s what you are, aren’t you? πŸ˜‰ ) I followed and I enjoy your unpretentious approach.

      Will look forward to seeing what you come up for the December holidays!

    • You’re right, Sam. This is it: “Make the crust of homemade bread a nice, golden brown by removing it from the oven shortly before baking time is complete and brushing it with vinegar. Return to oven to finish baking.” Thanks for hunting that down for me πŸ™‚

      Do make the bread and circle back. And enjoy those leftovers!

  10. Hi Liz!! I am stumbling through blog-land in my post-holiday haze and toothpick-propped up eyes. I feel that I have eaten my way to China and back over the last 5 days and yet I found myself wanting to take each detour on your culinary tour (what is wrong with me!? πŸ™‚ and then to find your link to Mimi and I…HOW COOL IS THAT!? Thank you so much πŸ™‚ Such a great way to spread the blog-love even further, so so creative!! The bread recipe looks fabulous…maybe for the Chrismas holiday…my kiddo CAN live on bread alone! Hope you ended up having a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday with your family!! πŸ™‚ -B

    • Glad you stumbled over to food for fun. Always welcome, you are πŸ™‚ Do you still need those toothpicks? (If no, can I borrow them?)

      All about spreading the blog-love. So much out there and there’s not time enough to even scratch the surface.

      Am certain your kiddo could pound one of the baguettes (they’re not that big) for breakfast. Then you could fill one with turkey and cheese and veggies for lunch. And for supper, spread with butter, sprinkle with garlic salt, and serve alongside mounds of spaghetti and tomato sauce? Don’t forget the Parmesan cheese. Would that fill him, do you think? If he’s still hungry, maybe a scoop of ice cream?

  11. Mmmmhmmm, baguettes. I just made some bread rolls the other week and found myself saying “these are good, but I wish they were about a foot longer and kind of more stick-like”. So i’ll be making this soon.

    Leslie whipped up a delish marshmallow-free pecan-encrusted sweet potato thingie the past week that kicked butt also. So much goodness.

    Any favorite seasonal cocktails to recommend? I understand you’re an expert πŸ˜‰

    • How impressed am I that you made bread rolls! There are many who would not dare. Am you are married to a woman who whips up sweet potatoes encrusted with pecans and completely void of all marshmallows. What a power couple πŸ˜€ Can totally help you with the seasonal cocktail bit. (though I’m still working on that igloo thing we were talking about over @ BoFN)

      2 parts ginger liqueur, 1 part bourbon, 1/2 part lemon juice. Shake with ice.Strain into glass. Top off with lemon soda water. Or plain soda water. Or nothing if you want it strong. To make the ginger liqueur: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/12/diy-ginger-liqueur-make-your-own-canton.html

  12. Far out! Is this the ping back you spoke of? If so, thank you very much! Indeed it is very cool all the amazing people you can meet in the blogosphere, folks who you at once seem to have something in common with. We feel the same. And that alone is something to be thankful for. Good post, Liz. A celebration of community!

    And now left overs are dwindling in fridge, and it snows heavily upon our fair land…I think I might light the pit tonight, and craft something to eat.

    I love this time of the year…

    -Potp

    • why yes, this is the pinkback I spoke of πŸ˜‰ (though quite honestly, I don’t completely understand what “pingback” means, so was just trying to sound smart)

      You were grilling today, then? Wow. I did step outside to gather some snow (which you can read about in tonight’s post), but that was the extent of it. Oh, and I stood outside for 45 min with my youngest today waiting for her school bus. Wish I had your positive outlook on winter. Not a fan.

      Thanks for your visit and kind words. Looking forward to reading of your next grilling adventure.

  13. This looks divine. I love homemade bread and need to perfect my baguettes. I recently started making bread again and my kids are thrilled, they just love it. I made 20 rolls last night and they lasted all of 24 hours!

    • Your boys ate 20 rolls in 24 hours? Hoo boy! Jaw dropping here. I have 2 young girls and though they like their sweets, they do stop eating eventually. I love it when others make bread from scratch. Folks are sometimes intimidated and don’t need to be. Way too easy! Thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  14. Pingback: The week that I stuffed my face with homemade bread… | Attempts in Domesticity

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