March in New England is a fickle beast.
Temperatures in the 60’s with sunshine one week and 18 inches of wet, heavy snow the next, (great book reading weather!)
I just finished a great little novel by Jenna Woginrich. The $4.99 ebook is called Birchthorn. It’s suspenseful with great characters and plot twists. There’s a scene in it where one of the characters, Eli, has a pot of potato soup on the stove.
Now, I have potato soup on the brain.
Since every great soup has to have a great accompaniment, we will start with bread.
Milk, honey and a little butter are warmed and yeast is added.
This mixture is combined with flour and salt.
While Marcy sleeps next to the radiator, I work the dough in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
It’s then covered with a towel and placed in a warm place to rise.
Next, potatoes are peeled and cubed.
We add just enough water to cover the spuds and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Then, comes the bacon…
Listen to those three halved pieces of glorious bacon sizzle.
Every potato soup needs a gorgeous little purple onion.
After an hour, the dough has risen and we are ready to knead.
It only takes a few flicks of the wrist to get a smooth soft ball of dough.
That ball of dough is placed in a cast iron skillet and allowed to rise again while the oven comes up to 350 degrees.
Once the potatoes are done, they are lightly mashed along with the water that didn’t evaporate.
A couple tablespoons of butter, the bacon-fat-sauteed chopped onion and that glorious bacon are added to the pot of potatoes.
All that’s left to do is add a little more salt and pepper and place the pot over low heat, stirring every now and then.
A warm loaf fresh out of the oven.
And a hearty meal.
Take that March, you fickle beast.
Petite Milk and Honey Bread
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
Place milk, butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup and heat for 90 seconds. Sprinkle yeast over top and let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly.
Stir flour and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Pour milk and honey mixture over top and mix with a wooden spoon and fully combined.
Place a tea towel over top of the bowl and let rise until double in size, about an hour.
Once risen, on a floured surface, knead dough until smooth, about a minute.
Preheat oven to 350F. Place the ball of dough in a cast iron skillet and make a cross on top to let the fairies escape. Place the tea towel over top to let the dough rest while the oven comes up to temperature.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. Slice/ break and serve.
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- salt and pepper
- sharp cheddar for serving (optional)
Place peeled and cubed potatoes into a medium sized pot and cover with water just to the top of the potatoes. Add some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn burner down to medium-high and let simmer until soft.
Meanwhile, cook bacon slices in a skillet until crispy. Cut into pieces. Place diced onion into bacon grease left in the skillet. Saute on medium-low until translucent.
Mash cooked potatoes with remaining water, leaving some chunks. Add milk, butter, bacon and onions to the pot. Stir to combine and place back on the burner set to low, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you like.
Serve with shredded cheddar and warm bread.