Bread and Circuses

No, you’re not seeing things.

There was a different comic up for Monday, Dec. 10, earlier this morning.

What it really needed, though, was an introductory/explanatory strip to lead up to it. So I pushed the cartoon that was up on the web site earlier back until this coming Wednesday. So, sorry if, in a day or two, you see a cartoon up on the site that you’ve already seen. But trust me…I think the series works better now. And the strip for Wednesday, Dec. 12 should make a lot more sense…

Anyway, I’m now officially two-and-a-half weeks ahead of schedule on the strip. So, like, “woot”!


I tried the New York Times original No-Knead Bread recipe over the weekend. I used the basic ratios from the NYT (Fifty percent more liquid; no beer or vinegar), but kept the cooking method and temperatures from Cook’s Illustrated (Bread transferred on parchment paper to Dutch Oven. Five hundred degree oven brought down to 425.).

I loved the results. The crust was lighter, and not as crisp as the Cook’s Illustrated variation. But the lighter crust also meant the the bottom didn’t get too brown, a problem I’ve had with the CI version. The flavor was also fuller than CI had led me to believe, though I’ll experiment with a little lager next time.

The longer raising time (I went with about 24 hours) produced a crumb that was airier than the CI variation. The bread was still hearty, but I definitely preferred the more artisanal (and less home-made) feel of the New York Times original.

The New York Time loaf, fresh out of the oven. The remainder of a Cook’s Illustrated loaf is on the plate behind it, showing relative crust colors.

A nice, open crumb, cut an hour after the bread was out of the oven. The lighter crust made cutting a tad more difficult. I like the crunch of the old, but overall this results in a more satisfying loaf.

So pretty. SO easy!



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