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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11 thoughts on “Potage, Baguette, and a New Pattern

  • March 2, 2009 at 6:08 am

    HA! I do the same thing with books, and considering that I've read my way through the entire Outlander series twice in the past year there has been a lot of Claire/Jamie food influence. I remember a particular peppery clam chowder…you'll get there.

    I've had my bread machine for just over 14 years and I have mostly used it for dough, pizza, pretzels, bagels, and only for actual baking when I knew I wouldn't have time but wanted fresh bread. I love her but she's on her last legs, she keeps kicking the pan out of its socket during the knead cycle 🙁

  • March 2, 2009 at 7:01 am

    If you mist the bread with water during the baking you get a cripsier finish. Once or twice ought to do it. Really it works.
    Drat, new Twist Collective means I might just have to be late for work. Love the pattern, and the baby, what a sweetie.

  • March 2, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I too love hand kneading bread but where is the time to do it these days? I've been using my bread machine a lot since Airmiles delivered it (!) – i can now make a chunky misshapen wholemeal loaf just like by hand (secret recipe!)(ok haven't a clue). I also use it to prep pizza, foccacia and pretzel dough for my son to 'help' with – gives me more time with my kid and then extra crafting time. So far win/win.

  • March 2, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Ours is a bit rickety as well. I'll be sad to have to replace it… but who
    knows, maybe the technology has improved and we didn't even know it! (If
    not, you can certainly find old ones CHEAP at the thrift store all the

  • March 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Great idea to let the kids play with the dough–I should get mine making
    pretzels. We didn't run out of baguette last night, but I may have to make
    more just for the fun of it.

  • March 2, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I've heard of misting the bread–and having a pan of water in the oven. I
    haven't tried either yet, but I will, now that baking baguettes is so easy!
    (You know what I'll be bringing to pot lucks from now on!)

  • March 5, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Just had your Potage today with your mom and dad! They brought it over for my recuperation lunch. It was tasty…could have used that homemade bread too.
    I was wondering if you will soon make little kilts for the bears! I cannot imagine reading through the whole series twice as your friend Sara did. I'm still slogging my way through The Fiery Cross. I started out with a bang, but as time went on, she started losing me.

  • March 5, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Ginger–I hope you're feeling well, and recuperating quickly! Perhaps the
    down-time will allow you to do lots of reading.



  • March 6, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Hi Amy,

    As Ginger mentioned, I made the Amber soup (you know, because I called you THREE times!) I used only two teaspoons of dried thyme leaves (would use even less if if was ground), and I could still taste the thyme. Also, I put in a bay leaf. (Remember to take it out before blending!). And I will watch next time to make sure I don't use the stick blender too long. Loved the taste, and the idea of all of those goodies. I was unsure about using the whole can of tomato paste at the end, but it worked!



  • March 7, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    You are making me SO HUNGRY right now. Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

  • March 7, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    You are making me SO HUNGRY right now. Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

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