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A Dough Board and Fresh Pasta By Hand...

A Dough Board and Fresh Pasta By Hand...

This time of the year, especially when we awake to temperatures at -22 degrees WITHOUT the wind chill, really sparks my bread baking interest.  In the last post I shared a French Onion soup idea along with my attempt at Baguettes.  The soup was delicious and the although the baguettes were tasty, there were several areas that I took notes on to try to perfect the next time around.  That is what intrigues me most about bread baking - something simple (flour, yeast, salt and water) and yet complex....combined with the desire to "make it better"...

We have a very small dining room right off of the kitchen that I have re-designed into a food and still life photography area.  Most, if not all, of our entertaining with friends takes place during the summer and we are outside with the BBQ.  This left the dining room unused for the most part and a waste of space.  After removing a larger dining room table, raising the light fixture and incorporating a wonderful Sellers enamel top table and little metal cabinet for the computer area...the room came to life...

The dining room is FULL of light from a side window,  a large patio door leading out to a large deck and light from the living room.  The ideal place to  set up food and still life photography prop storage and a small rustic table for the shoots.  Situated right next to the kitchen makes this room perfect for keeping any photo prep work "mess" out of sight and easier for clean up!

Lately, I have been drawn to images that share a beautiful captured moment of the food and still life photography process.  I additionally wanted to share more of my "hands on" with baking and wanted a dough board for my baking experiements.  Having researched various online and local options, I discovered they were either too small for my purposes or way to expensive for my vision.  As fate would have it, during a last minute holiday shopping trip, the solution was found at a big box home improvement store!

I recalled seeing these thick wood disks when Mike and I were shopping for wide planks to make the harvest table top.  I strolled over and there it was...the PERFECT wood dough board!  The best part of this experiment is that the wood piece was $10!!  I searched through the stack of wood disks to find one that was the most knot-free and had the tightest grain....

Once home, I hand-washed the surfaces with a mild soap and water solution, rinsed well, dried, and applied two coats of olive oil (yes, olive oil...why?...it's food safe and what I had on hand...).  I let each coat soak in for approximately 30 minutes and then after wiping any excess away, re-applied and wiped three times.  The dough board was left to "relax" overnight.

The next morning, I started the flour seasoning on the dough board.  I am not entirely sure this was needed but it felt like the right thing to do.  I liberally sprinkled flour all over the surface and worked it in with my fingers.  Making sure to work the flour into any cracks and crevices, I then used my bench scraper to remove the excess.  This process was done three times as well...

The dough board now feels silky and soft and I am hoping that with each use, the "seasoning" will become better and better.  If this functions the way I hope, I will recommend this to everyone...I will keep you "posted"...no pun intended....or yes, it was intended (smile/wink).

Next up....some stills of the pasta "by hand" process and more bread baking on the new dough board!  I will write up my experience with the dough board and pasta making in the next post so please enjoy the results of making pasta and baking bread on a cold winter day....

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Before starting the pasta making I had put together an artisan bread recipe for simple, rustic sunflower seed bread (AWESOME toasted by the way...) and while the pasta was drying, I worked the bread dough one final time before baking ...

 

and placed in a makeshift Dutch Oven with parchment paper...

With all of the activity today, I ran out of daylight to take some shots of the bread when it came out of the oven.  Let me just say the crust was golden brown, the texture of the bread with the sunflower seeds was terrific.  Mike makes an incredible Stroganoff and we will try the pasta with that in a couple of days.  I am letting the pasta completely dry and will store in an air tight container.

  For now I am going to put my feet up and wait for the toaster to pop...I had to sample a bite of the sunflower seed bread fresh out of the oven and toaster!

OH...in case you were wondering, the dough board worked perfectly!  I am in love with this thing and you will see more if it in the future.  Let me know if you have questions about it as I am going to recommend these to EVERY baker I know!! 

Thank you for sharing an afternoon with me and I hope each of you has an incredible week leading up to the Christmas holiday - be safe...stay warm...and until next time...take care.

JoanMarie

the baking continues....Homemade Dinner Rolls!

the baking continues....Homemade Dinner Rolls!

French Onion Soup, Baguettes and Instagram

French Onion Soup, Baguettes and Instagram