A Worthy Butter Vehicle

Once you’ve had homemade bread…I won’t say you can’t go back to store-bought, but I am finding it temporarily impossible to do so. This week I tried this recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread from King Arthur Flour, and it came out pretty well. (Not as well, honestly, as my roommate’s version of some sort of maple bread – I think it’s this one – which is incredible, especially if you’re looking for something a little on the sweet side.)

Nonetheless, it’s better than most supermarket sliced bread, and not that hard to make, should you have active yeast to hand. (My “active” yeast was dead, which set the process back an hour.) Also, it provided me with a reason to make herb butter, which I adore. Herb butter is wonderfully easy to make. You take a half a stick (or however much you like) of butter – I always use unsalted, but in this case I added a sprinkle of salt – along with whatever herbs, fresh (preferably) or dried, you have around. We have a healthy herb garden on the back porch, so I used fresh this time around: sage, basil, chives, thyme (or possibly verbena?), rosemary. Chop them pretty finely, and mash them into softened butter. That’s it!

I should probably explain that “butter vehicle” is a family term that usually refers to bread, but can also refer to anything else you’d care to put butter on. Nothing is coming to mind at the moment, so feel free to interpret “butter vehicle” as “bread.” Not an automobile that uses butter for fuel. Just to be clear on that point.

In the background there you might notice some pizza, also homemade. Well, the dough is homemade, the sauce is from a jar. But it could be homemade, if I’d made sauce instead of reading in my pajamas all day.

The dough recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, The New Best Recipe. It’s topped here with provolone, fresh mozzarella, marinara sauce, pizza spices (from the co-op), sauteed garlic and onions, roma tomatoes, black olives, and yellow bell pepper. Yum.

And while we’re talking about food…in case anyone is wondering if adding a tablespoon of almond butter to chocolate chip cookies is a good idea, I can answer that for you now: Yes.

Unless you are allergic to almonds.

What I’m reading: Drood, Dan Simmons
What I’m listening to: a mix-in-progress

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