OK, let’s start with the new pattern. You might have already heard that the new Twist Collective is out. It’s a great issue with some fabulous articles and a great selection of patterns. I especially liked all the socks. I have a pattern in the collection called Pidder Pat (above). It’s a baby sweater crocheted from Lorna’s Laces Green Line DK.

I know I said in my last post that I didn’t see obvious creative connections between the books on tape I listened to and my design work. It appears dinner is a different story. I was nearly done preparing our Sunday meal before I realized that an influence must have occurred.

It’s not unusual for us to make a big pot of soup on Sunday that will get us through a few nights the following week. This week, I decided to make yellow split pea soup with potatoes since we were trying to use up an over-abundance of tubers. In Dragonfly in Amber, the protagonists have just returned from France to their farm where they harvest a large crop of potatoes and make potato soup. My soup ended up a lovely amber color due to the addition of some tomato paste to add a bit of tanginess.

Split Pea & Potato Soup w/homemade Baguette

We don’t have a bakery here in Cordova, so when I do make soup I always bemoan the fact that we can’t have a crusty loaf to go with it. Occassionally I’ll make bread from scratch, but since I prefer the no knead recipes, that takes a little forethought. Today I decided to try making some dough in the bread maker, then baking it in my baguette pans. We’ve had the bread machine for about 13 years, and I’ve never used it just to make dough, but it was so easy and worked perfectly.

Baguette dough from bread machine

The baguettes had just the right crustiness and texture inside, and took only about 15 minutes total of hands-on time. (Really, not enough for my taste, I like to get my hands into dough when I make bread–but it was fast and yummy!)

Finished Baguetes

I can see using this feature for making regular loaves and pizza dough too.

Here are my recipes:

Amber Potage

3 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 lb carrots, diced
1 lb yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T thyme
1 quart organic vegetable broth
2 quarts water
1 lb yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 sm can tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic, carrots, potatoes and sauté until vegetables start to get tender. Add thyme and cook 2 minutes more. Add broth then water and peas. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and peas are cooked through. Using and immersion blender, purée the soup leaving some chunks of carrot and potato intact. Stir in tomato paste and stir until it’s completely incorporated. Add apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Bread Machine Baguettes
Adapted from the Black & Decker All-In-One Deluxe Automatic Breadmaker Operating Instructions & Cookbook Classic French Dough recipe

1 1/4 c water
2 t sugar
1 1/2 t salt
3 1/2 c organic unbleached flour
1 1/2 t active-dry yeast
2 T cornmeal
1 t. canola oil

Place the water, sugar, salt, flour and yeast into the bread machine pan in the order listed above. Set your machine to the “dough” setting. Grease baguette pans and sprinkle wtih cornmeal.

When the dough is finished, remove it from the machine, and on a clean surface, separate the dough in half. Stretch each piece into a long flat rectangle and then roll the rectangle into a baguette shape. Place the baguettes into the pans seam side down.

Cover the dough with a towel and allow to rise again in a warm spot (approximately 30 minutes). Preheat the oven to 400F. Slit the baguettes down the middle with a sharp knife. Bake for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reads 190F on an instant read thermometer. Remove baguettes from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Potage, Baguette, and a New Pattern
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