Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Cheese Course: It's What's for Breakfast (Roth Butterkäse with Cornmeal Crusted Fried Apples)

This was a simple delight, and a bit of a surprising combination.  Not that there's any secret to the simpatico between apples and cheese, but the maple syrup (Bide-A-Wee brand) snuck in there as an unusual and pleasant liaison.  Walnut bread--a favorite (of mine and our customers) during the Real Bread era, and which I've rarely made since we stopped the mass baking--completed a wholly satisfying breakfast plate.

Roth Käse Butterkäse  is a soft, buttery cow's milk cheese from the folks who make award-winning gruyère-type cheeses down in Monroe, Wisconsin.  It is mild and mouth-filling, not a challenging cheese, just an entirely enjoyable one.  It reminds me a bit of havarti.  We pick it up from our friend Renee's Bolen-Vale cheese shop on highway 64.

For the apple:  Peel and quarter a good-sized firm tart apple.  Remove the core and cut each quarter again so you have eight wedges.  Mix a quarter-cup of cornmeal with a bit of salt.  Dip the apple pieces in milk, then toss them with cornmeal to coat.  Fry in butter over medium heat, turning several times, until the cornmeal crust is brown and the apples are tender.  Serve with slices of cheese and maple syrup.

Walnut bread:  Add whole raw walnuts to a sourdough rye or whole wheat dough in a ratio of 1 part walnuts to 4 parts dough (e.g., 4 pounds dough, 1 pound walnuts).  Knead the walnuts into the dough just before you shape and proof the loaves pre-baking.  Adding walnuts to the dough when you first mix it will make the bread go purple in a reaction with the tannins in the nuts.

And I can't go without mentioning the coffee!  Café au lait made with  really strong Café du Monde New Orleans coffee, from a can that one Don Roberts of Otter Creek dropped off at our place some while back, with warmed raw milk from the Bartz's Bolen Vale Farm.  This was the farthest thing from just-roasted arabica beans freshly ground and gently brewed, but it was delicious--tasted just like Paris.

Bide-A-Wee breakfast table--liberally garnished with apples full of charcacter

Text and photos copyright 2011 by Brett Laidlaw


andrew rosenberg said...

that is really good, i can only imagine one more thing, some sort of smoked, cured or pickled fish. but the i have a child who is fish crazy.

Trout Caviar said...

Hi Andrew: I'm a big breakfast fish fan, too; I might omit the maple syrup with fish, but who knows? It might be a stunning new taste sensation--with the smoked fish, maybe...pickled? My mind's palate is rejecting that one.

Over on the Facebook Nancy asked about a recipe for my walnut bread. Here it is, in sort of rough baker's notes form:

...assuming you've got a well-refreshed (semi)liquid starter handy, here goes: the night before, you make a sponge with 2 cups of starter, 4 1/2 cups filtered water, 3 1/2 cups organic rye flour. Next day, to the sponge add 1 cup whole wheat bread flour, 1 3/4 tablespoons sea salt; then gradually add unbleached white flour to achieve a workable dough, being careful not to make it too stiff--I have no idea how much unbleached that would be, I just do it by feel. Knead for a couple of minutes, leave it alone for 15 to 20 (or more) then knead again for 3 or 4 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; proof for at least 5 to 6 hours, more in cooler temps, or overnight in the fridge. You can do one or two risings at this stage. When you're ready to shape the loaves, knead 23 ounces of raw whole walnuts to the dough, portion (I used to do 15-ounce loaves, but you can make bigger) and shape (I do sort of a football). Proof these loaves for around an hour and a half, slash before baking, bake in a preheated 455 oven for 15 minutes, turn it down to 425 for 12 minutes more (for the smaller loaves; adjust for larger loaves). Cool thoroughly before cutting. I truly believe that this bread actually improves for several days, reaching its deliciousness peak at around day four, and it's great as long as you can still slice it! This dough was the basis of our popular Very Fruity loaf, this size batch garnished with 6 oz each currants and golden raisins, 10 oz each chopped dried apricots and mission figs. We also made a currant-walnut 1# each of those. This makes 8 or 9 of the small loaves.

kim-ode said...

I had almost exactly this for breakfast this morning -- with a new bread recipe - Black Pepper Brioche Sourdough. The apples were the best! Thank you.

Trout Caviar said...

Happy to be of service, Kim! Black pepper sourdough brioche sounds really good. Is it your own recipe? Also, I owe you one, too, as your Strib piece on gougères caught Mary's eye and inspired her to whip up a batch (half with cheddar, half with blue) that made for a very happy hour, indeed, upon my return from a week out of town.

Cheers~ Brett