We love family. We love food. And when the two come together it is Double D-licious, and it doesn't get much better than that!
This week we are introducing the first of our weekly food series. We are also introducing Jack who will edit and curate delicious and easy dishes, drinks and deserts special for Double D Ranch.
Who is Jack? Well, he is my son. A TCU graduate who scoffed at the suit and tie world and ran off to become a butcher.
Yep, a butcher.
You can read more of his story here, but in a nutshell:
Jack graduated from TCU,
Turned down corporate job offers to become a butcher,
Took a dirty job in a slaughterhouse instead,
Moved to Brooklyn,
Learned basic butchery skills,
Then followed up with charcuterie training in Gascony, France.
He currently is in Denmark working with some of the top figures in the Neo Nordic gastronomic scene (yes, I am a proud mama) and learning all about ethical and sustainable harvesting. His dream is to come back to the States and start a verticle, ethical farm, and certified USDA facility. In the meantime, he is sleeping on a cot in a supply room, working his tail off and sending us pics and recipes for us to enjoy.
Jack, take it from here!
Some of you may remember the "Greetings From Yoakum" postcards Mom use to send out. If you do, you might remember the one of me at about the age of six holding a blue ribbon from Yoakum's Tom Tom Cooking contest. That story and recipe are for another day, so for now, let's just say I have had a love for the kitchen and entertaining friends and family for a long time.
Yes, I am a butcher, but before I left Texas for Denmark last spring, I started dabbling with baking bread. Mom snagged me a copy of Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast, and I tore through it. She got accustomed to freshly baked bread in the mornings only to have that perk stripped when I headed back to Europe. So since this is my first post and I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little homesick, I thought I would share my crusty French Farm Bread recipe.
Now, don't freak. It's super easy - NO kneading. And when you serve up warm soup this winter, nestle a slice of this next to the bowl and prepare for adulations. Should you have leftovers, (I doubt you will) this bread makes excellent croutons for salad or toast points for charcuterie.
FRENCH FARM BREAD
Preparation Time: 5 hours
Start this at lunch so it is ready for your evening meal
1000 grams of white flour
720 grams of warm water (~ 95 degrees - don't get it too hot or it will kill the yeast)
4 grams of dried yeast or 6 grams of fresh yeast
21 grams of salt
Side Note: All my recipes will measure ingredient weights in grams - the food world runs on this system, and it is imperative if you want consistency in the kitchen. Mom fought me on this one for years, until I broke her down. Just do it - go grab a food scale at your local grocery store for ten bucks.
Measure out all of your ingredients using a scale.
I start by letting my yeast dissolve in the water. If you are using fresh yeast, be sure to tear it into small pieces, so it dissolves quickly.
Once the yeast has dissolved, combine the water/yeast mixture with the flour. Allow the mixture to autolyze for 30 minutes, then add the salt.
When I first started baking, I mixed everything by hand, but I've now come to rely on large, industrial mixers. If this is your preferred method, mix until the dough sticks to the hook and makes a loud "clapping" sound - this sound change lets you know the dough is ready. (~10 minutes) If mixing by hand, be sure to use the "Pincher" method. You will know i t is ready when the gluten fibers break by squeezing the dough with your index finger and thumb together.Cover your dough container with a cloth and let it rest for an hour.
Fold the bread by reaching underneath the dough and raising your hand to eye-level, letting the dough slowly fall back into the container. No kneading, just a fold over. Now, cover your bowl and let the dough rest another hour before folding an additional time.
After the second fold, allow the dough to rise for two to three additional hours.
Divide your dough into loaves and place in lightly dusted proofing baskets.
Allow your loaves to proof (rise) for an additional 45 minutes. At this time, I like to get a dutch oven preheated in the oven - crank it up to 450F.
When ready, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven and place your loaf inside. Bake the loaf in the dutch oven at 450F for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and bake an additional 10 minutes at 400F until the crust is crispy and golden.
This is a new project for us and we are in the learning stages so critiques are welcome. Ask Jack questions about anything - recipes, cuts of meat, ethical harvesting, sustainable ranching, or even about his travels. We are excited about sharing Jack's recipes and his culinary adventures you -
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