I was pleased and honoured when Natasha, author of 5 Star Foodie, one of the most popular and well-respected food blogs, invited me to contribute a guest post on her blog while she is on a vacation. Natasha is a professional web developer from Northern Virginia, with a passion for fine food. She has always enjoyed the creative process of inventing something new and different in the kitchen. More recently, 5 Star Foodie aka Natasha has begun an adventure, exploring the cuisine available in some of the best restaurants in the United States and around the world. The more innovative the food, the more Natasha is inspired to innovate at home for her two most appreciative "customers" - her husband and her daughter. Check out her restaurant reviews and recipes at 5 Star Foodie
Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. Whey is quite simple to make. Fill a bowl or wide-mouthed jar with fresh, unpasteurized milk. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature until it curdles and separates. This may take 3-4 days. Strain through cheesecloth, catching the liquid in a bowl. This is whey-- it is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese. It will keep in the fridge for up to six months. For a quicker whey, whip Fromage frais or Quark into unpasteurized milk and leave them overnight to sour.
- Whisk together the quark and milk in a medium bowl. Set aside in a counter at room temperature overnight. The following day, gently warm the sour milk so that curds form. Strain the sour milk for a few of hours through a sieve lined with cheese cloth set over a pot. The strained curds can either be seasoned with sugar (salt if preferred) and used as a spread, or to make a cheesecake.
- To make a dough, whisk the yeast with whey and honey. Stir in half flour and salt to make a yeast batter. Leave the batter, covered, in a warm place for 30 minutes. Rub the butter into the remaining half flour, until it is evenly incorporated and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir the yeast batter into the butter-flour mixture. Combine together until a soft dough forms. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Rub the work-surface with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and knead the dough for 10 seconds, ending with the dough in a smooth, round ball. Wipe the bowl clean and rub with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, return the dough to it, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat the light kneading twice more, at 10-minute intervals, then leave the dough for 30 minutes until it has become soft and elastic.
- Shape the dough into a baton (or a ball)place it smooth-side down into a flour-dusted cloth. Leave it for about 1 hour at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 210C/410F. Upturn the dough on to a flour-dusted baking tray. Make a few of slashes over the top and bake the bread in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the loaf is a good brown colour. Cool on a wire rack.