orange cake

orange cake

 

Orange Cake, Ancona-Style at The New York Times.

best mac and cheese ever

Perfect for autumn with some greens on the side.  Oh, and it’s vegan.  Yum.  Get the recipe.

plum-bistro-mac-n-cheese

 

 

 

best quiche ever

Tartine’s herb quiche. No joke. The pâte brisée is perfection, but it’s great crustless as well.

quiche

perfect breakfast-for-dinner

LOVE having breakfast for dinner (and funny how the kiddos get such a kick out of this change-up, right?) – savory, smoky huevos rancheros are my go-to.  Yum.

meatless monday

meatless mondays at bungalowC. — super delicious vegetarian recipes.
 
Black bean soup with Meyer lemon creme fraiche

love soured: the world’s best bread

There are few foods more synonymous with California (and San Francisco in particular) than perfectly blistered sourdough bread.  Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, the bread’s unique hole-y texture and complex tang first perplex and then totally win-over first-time tasters.  It’s likely the best bread you will ever eat and for many Californians it’s also tradition — some households don’t stock any other type of bread and those that make their own take pride in a starter or “mother dough” that has often been passed down from one generation to the next. Today we’re sharing the love for this loaf with our ultimate sourdough bread guide: what it is, why you should eat it, where to get it, and how to make and enjoy it.  We think you’ll fall in love, too.  xoxo.
 

What makes sourdough special is its “mother dough” or “mother starter” made of bacteria (we love the scientific name: lactobacillus sanfranciscensis).  Read all about it here. We love this bread for its simplicity: a true sourdough is made of just starter, water, sea salt, and flour. You can feel good about feeding it to the kiddos: sourdough has no preservatives, no sugar, no junk. Mild gluten intolerants can usually eat sourdough without any trouble, and some people even claim that their switch to sourdough has helped alleviate hair loss and other ailments. Beware of breads labeled “sourdough” that really aren’t; a quick check of the ingredients is all you need to do to make sure you’ve got the real deal.

Is your mouth watering for some bread yet?  Top places to pick up a loaf:
 

Tartine: Their super gorgeous Country Bread (featured in this post’s photos) is lacey and flavorful. Many consider this the best bread you can buy. Tip:  bread is fresh out of the oven at 5pm Tuesday-Saturday.

The Cheese Board Collective: Their seeded baguettes are the perfect accompaniment to (what else?) cheese.

Boudin: Due to its many shops located throughout California, this is the place where most tourists will try sourdough, and that’s not a bad thing. The great thing about Boudin is that they will ship their bread (plus gift baskets and bread subscriptions) throughout the U.S.  – hello good sourdough in North Dakota! Tip: take some croutons home with you — use to make a quick and amazing kale caesar salad.

Acme Bread: Many of the best restaurants serve Acme’s sourdough. Thankfully they sell through many grocers (even Costco!) so you can, too.

PLUS…The Other Guys. These are much harder to find (think fresh still-warm loafs being sold from tailgates, tents, etc.), but you should definitely buy bread from these guys if you get a chance:
 

Mike Zakowski: Head to the farmers market the next time you are in Sonoma and look for his loafs under the name “BEJKR.” This guy has competed in the equivalent of the bread olympics (which really exist).

Josey Baker: Seriously, his last name is Baker. So you know it’s good.

Jack Bezian: We love his signage at So Cal farmers markets: “Roman soldiers had only sourdough bread to get protein, as did the Alaskan prospectors.” Not sure that claim convinces us to eat sourdough, but his great tasting loafs do.

To make a great sourdough loaf you’ll need a great sourdough recipe. Tartine Bread and The Cheese Board Collective Works cookbooks detail the process and will help you create super good bread.  You can also get Tartine’s recipe here, but without the in-depth chapter of advice and technique described in the cookbook. Want to cheat? Buy pre-made starter here or even get it for free.
 

You’ll need some bread baking tools: digital metric scalebench knife, combo dutch oven (or a regular dutch), and a thermometer.

For extra sour bread you’ll want to add 1/16 – 1/8 tsp. citric acid.

Finally, you’ll need some advice on how to maintain your starter.

The absolute best way to savor homemade sourdough is to serve it warm with best-quality organic unsalted butter and truffle salt.  As Fallon says, it’ll blow your pants off. But it’s also the perfect loaf for sandwiches, tomato bread salad, french toast, garlic bread, and an infinite number of other recipes. Use stale bread to make delish croutons and sourdough starter for all sorts of things – such as pizza crust and waffles. Really, there’s no end to what you can make once you’ve got the basic sourdough recipe down. Happy baking!

meatless monday

meatless mondays at bungalowc. — super delicious vegetarian recipes.

cactus paddle tostados

 

french kiss

For me, pretty pastel-colored macarons are a must for Valentine’s Day. Though we haven’t quite nailed the French standard in California, there are dozens of great shops that come close to the real thing. Here are some favorites; order today in San Diego, LA, Venice, Beverly HillsSanta Barbara, Sacramento, SF…also Montecito, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, La Jolla, and practically everywhere else.

 

decadent desserts

Tartine, Miette, Bouchon, Blue Bottle — some of the world’s best (Northern California-based!) shops have revealed their secret formulas for all to enjoy. Each book would make a great Valentine’s Day gift for a friend. Are they on your shelf? Pick them up and try your hand at the Banana Cream Pie (Tartine), Tomboy Cake (Miette), T.[homas]K.[eller]O.[reo] (Bouchon), and Double-Chocolate Cookies (Blue Bottle), served with perfect coffee (Blue Bottle).

meatless monday

meatless monday at bungalowc. – super delicious vegetarian recipes.

lemony spinach carbanara

 

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