Friday, September 13, 2013

Rosie Makes Her Crab Meat Boule.

     Generally, when it comes to crab meat,
both Mr. Hawthorne and I are purists.
All you need is simply butter and lemon juice.
But sometimes I want more in my crab meat
At first, Mr. Hawthorne was leary of my ingredients;
however, after he tried my Crab Meat Boule,
which mixes both seafood and two cheeses,
a combination he generally doesn't like,
he wants to marry it.

What sets this bread bowl apart from the pack
 is the addition of lemon zest and fresh thyme.
And that flavor combination
pairs perfectly with the crab meat.

Prepare the Lemon
Peel the lemon in strips.
Remove any pith - that's the bitter white part inside.
Put in a small saucepan.
Cover with cold water.
Bring to boil.
Strain zest strips, return to pan,
cover with water, and repeat two times.
Mince the lemon strips.

Ingredients for Boule
1/2 cup warm water
1 packet yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup flour plus more as needed for dusting
freshly ground salt and pepper
peel of one lemon, prepared as above and minced
handful of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and minced

Prepare the Boule
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Sprinkle sugar in so the yeast can eat.
It's hungry!
Set the mixture aside and let it "proof."
The yeast must prove it's alive
by getting poufy and foamy.
Stir in the cup of flour, salt and pepper
and turn out onto a lightly floured board.
Knead for a few minutes,
adding a little of the extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
Let sit for about 15-20 minutes.
Then knead for 10 minutes.
Gather into a neat, tight ball
and place in a buttered bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap
and set in warm place until doubled in bulk.
Punch down.
Add the minced lemon zest and the minced thyme.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead about 10 minutes.
Drop the dough, top-side down 
into a buttered 1 1/2  pint Corning Ware bowl.
Then turn it back up,
tucking the sides underneath until you have a neat bundle.
Be sure the top of the dough is buttered
or drizzle olive oil over it.
Let it rise until it doubles and domes.

Bake in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes.
Thump it like a watermelon.
It should sound hollow.
And you want a nice golden brown crust.
It doesn't always turn out that way,
 but don't worry about it.
Depends on humidity.
It's still all good.

Pretty bread depends on the weather.
And bread doesn't like high humidity.

Prepare the filling

8 ounces crab meat
1 stick butter
2 oz brie
2 oz cream cheese
juice of one lemon
 1-2 TB sherry, to taste
Hot paprika
1 TB scallions, sliced
1 TB each green and red pepper, small dice

Melt butter, brie, cream cheese.
Add in lemon juice.
Whisk until smooth.
Gently fold in crab meat,
being careful not to break the lumps up much.
Pour the mixture into the hollowed-out boule.
Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes,
until bread pieces are toasted and the filling is heated through.
 Swirl in the sherry.
Top with hot paprika, scallion, and red and green peppers,
reserving some to add as you eat your way through the boule.

Now for the step-by-steps:
I put the sugar in the yeast packet
and sprinkled it over the yeast.

Stir to dissolve yeast.
And wait.

The yeast has proofed.

Add in a cup of flour, the salt, and the pepper.

Fork it.

Lightly flour your work surface.

I decided to add extra pepper.

Knead until you have an elastic, smooth, and cohesive dough.

Place in a buttered bowl
 and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over top.

Cover with plastic wrap
and set aside until doubled in bulk.

It's doubled.
Usually, the dough is smooth and domed.
This one looks like it has cellulite.

My favorite part - the punchdown.

Knead again until you have a nice ball.
Let it rest while you prepare the lemon.

Peel the lemon, pour in water to cover
 Drain peel and bring to boil.
 Repeat twice.

Mince the lemon zest and thyme leaves.

Sprinkle and knead in the zest and thyme.

Place the dough in a buttered 1 1/2 pint baking bowl.

Let rise until doubled.

Bake in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes.
 I ate the bubble.
Lemon and thyme - a winning combination.

This is what it looked like last time I made a boule.
I have a little mushroom.

Using a serrated knife,
cut the top off the boule,
and hollow out the inside,
being careful not to cut through the bowl.

Ready for the filling.

Melt the butter, cream cheese, and brie,
and then add in the juice of one lemon.
Whisk until smooth.

Gently fold in crab meat,
being careful not to break up the lumps.

Pour crab meat mixture into the bowl.

Swirl in the sherry.
Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes.

I have my sliced scallions
and minced peppers ready to sprinkle over top.

Sprinkle scallions and minced peppers over top.
Dust with paprika.

Scoop and dip.

And you're welcome.

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