Nothing beats good bread

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My friend Maria and I went to Dallas two weekends ago to see my daughter Holly play in the blondes vs. brunettes powder puff football game at the Cotton Bowl. We had a great time for many reasons. First and foremost, Holly was captain of the blonde team this year, they won and Holly had several great defensive plays.

Of course those of you who know her or her siblings already know Holly has a little bit of a competitive streak in her which was definitely on display at this event.

Another reason we had so much fun was that we got to catch up on each others lives over some amazing meals. We ate at one restaurant that Holly and her mother-in-law bragged on. The name was Bolsa and to be honest it didn’t look too promising from the outside, but the inside was a different story. This place changes its menu every few days depending on what is available at their fresh market and from their fish monger.

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Holly met us for lunch on Friday at a restaurant named Marquee Grill. The chef is Trey Wilcox, who you might have seen on the Top Chef series. His food was crazy good, and since I was able to get a signed menu out of him, I’m even happier. While there we found out that this is prime hatch pepper season. I had never had one, but boy was it delicious. It was roasted and served on top of a perfectly cooked hamburger on a delicious homemade bun.

Before we left that Monday morning coming home we went to Central Market to do a little grocery shopping. As much as I believe in shopping at home there are just some things you can’t find here. By the time Maria and I left there we had enough cheese, bread and wine to host a party for most of Natchez.

Coming home, we talked about of all things we would like to be able to buy a better variety of at home. Bread topped the list.

Maria sent me a picture Monday of her latest attempt to meet the bread need. She found an artisanal bread recipe on Pinterest that wasn’t very difficult to make and turned out to be a great loaf of bread. After a little research I found the recipe.

It is called No Knead Artisan Bread and it is from the cookbook titled “Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day.” Now, let’s be clear, the title is a bit of an exaggeration, good bread, much less great bread cannot be made in five minutes. I did a little research on the book and found some of its recipes online and they look pretty promising so I foresee this book in my future.

If you have never made homemade bread it is one of those things that you should do at least once in your kitchen. It really isn’t that hard as long as you pay attention to a few cardinal rules. The most important one is be nice to your yeast. It won’t activate if you use cold water to mix it and you will kill it if you use very hot water. Pay attention to your recipe and do exactly what it says and you will be rewarded with a very delicious accomplishment. — and an amazing smelling kitchen.


Christina Hall writes a weekly lifestyle column. She can be reached at