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Bread, toasted and rubbed with garlic, soaking up a kale and white bean stew.

Bread came to the rescue this weekend. A dear friend was visiting (the one for whom the wedding cake was made) from out-of-town. She showed up on Saturday mid-afternoon and both of us happened to be starving. I had some day-old white bean and kale soup on the stove. It was a fine soup, a good soup really, but there wasn’t a whole lot left. So I toasted a couple of slices of bread, rubbed a garlic clove across the warm slices, covered them with hot soup, drizzled on a little good olive oil and a bit more salt . . . And we enjoyed a most satisfying mid-afternoon meal.

Bread comes to my rescue a lot actually. In savory bread pudding, in bruschetta with stewed leeks, for quick lunches with a salad, for soaking up the tomato sauce in which I poach eggs, etc. Bread has been getting a bad rap lately and I want to counter some of that with a little bread appreciation today. And I do know and understand that some of you can’t tolerate bread and I’m not trying to rub it in, but for the rest of us, it can be a handy, tasty and nutritious life-saver. And of course it truly is a life saver in much of the world. A vast percentage of the world’s population subsists primarily on a variety of grains and for more than six thousand years people have been baking leavened breads with many of these grains.

75% Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread

After many years of making the  no-knead bread made famous in the New York Times I still swear by it. I make a whole wheat version with 75 % whole wheat flour*, which is what you see above. It has a wonderfully open and airy crumb, loads of flavor from the wheat and the long rising period and a serious crust. It is definitely my pinch hitter. . . yesterday I toasted a slice and slathered it with almond butter as I ran out the door to pick up  my son. It’s one of his favorite snacks and mine as well. Yesterday I also made dinner for friends who just had a baby. I made winter squash and onion panade (for which I’m going to post the recipe soon) which consists of stale bread turned into a gratin with caramelized onions, diced winter squash, veggie broth and cheese and a raw kale salad with hearty bread crumbs and a garlicky lemony dressing. Because of bread’s long history, most cuisines/cultures have ways to use up the stale stuff which I think merits a post in-and-of-itself soon.

Fresh out of the oven

Until then . . . Happy Cooking and Eating!

* A quick note on flours. It’s important that you use bread flour in this kind of bread since it’s made from wheat that has a higher percentage of protein/gluten (than all-purpose flour) which is what gives bread its strength and structure. I like using Stone Buhr’s Whole Wheat Bread Flour or Bob’s Red Mill.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mark Annen #

    As the recipients of the squash panade and kale salad we would attest to their deliciousness and how they work so well together. xx Mark and Heather

    March 1, 2011
  2. Glad you enjoyed it Mark!

    March 1, 2011
  3. Matthew Baldwin #

    i’ve just got basic soulutions, nothing fancy…toasted garlic croutons, or bake it in slices and then crush them into breadcrumbs for chicken, or meatloaf…or just leave crumbs out for the birds! 🙂

    love the blog, by the way! i recently got laid off, so when i cook i try to use what i’ve got and get creative, and your blogging has given me some great ideas, thank you!

    March 2, 2011
  4. addie baughman #

    where can i find stone buhr flour?

    March 7, 2011
  5. addie baughman #

    i forgot to tell you that i live in new york city.

    March 7, 2011
    • I just checked and looks like Stone-Buhr will be impossible for you to get but Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat and white bread flours work well too and I’ve used them a lot too. And here’s a link for where to get that in NYC:
      Report back if you make it!

      March 7, 2011
  6. Wow, Katherine, this bread looks so good and toothy. I can almost smell it! Good food aromas are among my most cherished memories. blessings on your day!

    March 8, 2011
  7. Trish #

    I don’t have access to whole wheat bread flour, but our store does sell what looks like a good brand (Hodson’s Mill). So I am going to try using it with some added gluten. Just found your website and it is inspiring.

    March 8, 2011
  8. Trish–keep me posted on how it works. Good luck!

    March 8, 2011

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  1. Winter Squash x 4 | Cook With What You Have

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