Ok, if you live in NY, or plan on coming to the city any time soon, it is worth a trip to the Sullivan Street Bakery in Hells Kitchen for some of the best bread you'll ever eat. (If you're near Grand Central on March 29th, you can participate in the world's largest bake sale -- which is raising awareness about children's hunger in New York.)
When I first moved from Utah to NY "mmmnnhhh" years ago I thought an H&H bagel was the most wonderful food in the world. There is nothing quite like the dense texture of boiled & baked dough. And a toasted pumpernickel one with cream cheese is enough to send me over the moon.
Then I discovered SSB bread, which is the antithesis of the bagel. It's light, with lots of air holes, and when it's dipped in olive oil it's like heaven on earth. Instead of buying a dozen bagels from the Hell's Kitchen H&H Bakery, I've taken to buying a dozen rolls and freezing them -- they're great for sandwiches, and my kids love them with pulled pork.
For those of you who can't get to the bakery, Jim Lahey, the owner and founder of SSB is happy to share his recipe with you -- you can find it on his website, or you can pick up a copy of his book, titled "My Bread" for some additional ideas.
And that's where the bragging part comes in. A couple of years ago my husband took a class on how to make Jim Lahey's rustic Italian bread, and it's been a hit in our house ever since. It's a simple recipe -- flour, water, salt and yeast -- and there's no kneeding. The bread proofs for about 18 hours then is shaped and baked. Voila!
Here is a picture of the bread Glen made a couple of days ago. We topped it with some pesto we made and froze last summer. Yum!