Tag Archives: baking

National Homemade Bread Day (November 17th)

14 Nov

Readers, you know #thesmugcouple LOVES homemade bread. We’ve done chewy bagels, crusty hearth loafs, sourdoughs, and savoury prosciutto rings. Your day is always better with fresh homemade bread.

November 17th is National Homemade Bread Day and Enoteca Sociale (1288 Dundas St. W) wants our readers to try their hand at homemade bread with their very special 5-ingredient focaccia recipe by Head Chef Kris Schlotzhauer. We can’t think of anything better to do on a crisp Saturday afternoon.

The end result!

The end result!


Enoteca Sociale’s Famed 5-recipe Focaccia  


640g all purpose flour
25g salt
6g yeast
450g water
50g olive oil
1 sprig of rosemary


Mix dry ingredients together, then slowly add wet ingredients until fully incorporated.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes and then rest for 30 minutes.

Knead the dough for 1 minute and then rest again for 30 minutes.

Place the dough into an oil pan then cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Bake at 425F for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 205F. Cool on rack.

The result: Great crispy crust and tender interior. I’m surprised how simple the recipe was to execute.



  • This is a simple recipe no overnight biga(starter) needed!
  • Based on our past experience, we would suggest incorporating the flour and yeast together BEFORE adding salt. Mixing salt with yeast prematurely (because the former kills the latter) might mean that your focaccia won’t proof (rise) properly.
  • This should also be quite a wet dough. Don’t over-knead the bread because this can inhibit gluten development. Eschew your stand mixer and just gently fold your dough on itself with a silicone spatula.
  • Dock (pierce the dough with a fork) the bread right before you put it in the oven.
  • I topped my focaccia with some sea-salt and more fresh rosemary.

The first proof.



Ready to be baked!

For bread enthusiasts who just want to indulge in Enoteca Sociale’s expertly baked goods, they’ve been offering a “Backdoor Bakery” since Spring of 2014. Starting at noon every Saturday (and until they sell out), carb-fans can try their Red Fife Sourdough or Rosemary Focaccia for $5. Grab one for yourself and more for your friends! Inside scoop: Holger Schoorl, their bread and pasta master, likes to experiment from time to time so expect some exciting changes to their Backdoor Bakery menu. 

Holger Schoorl, Bread Master

Holger Schoorl, Bread Master

Thanks to Natasha at ButterPR for sharing this recipe with our readers! YUM.


Sudbury’s Wild Blueberries and Alice’s Blueberry Crumble Recipe

1 Aug
Buckets of Blueberries

Buckets of Blueberries

Last weekend, three of us made the four hour drive up to Sudbury to visit a friend and forage for wild blueberries.  I didn’t know what to expect (nor did I have a single clue what a blueberry plant even looked like) but I did suspect that I would end up eating three berries for every one I put into my bucket.  I was fully prepared to leave looking like Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt.

Sudbury the city may not be a tourist hotspot (as evidenced by the poor condition the city is in – businesses seem to be alive but the buildings are outdated and roads are crumbling) but the Canadian Shield surrounding it is gorgeous. The pines, lakes, bogs, and rock formations are breathtaking.  We are incredibly fortunate to be Canadians.



We had a great time.  It’s hard not to when you’re in a beautiful forest, by a beautiful cascade, picking fresh tasty blueberries.

So what did I do with some of my foraged blueberries?  Make a blueberry crumble of course.

Alice's Blueberry Crumble!

Alice’s Blueberry Crumble!

Alice’s Blueberry Crumble (plagiarized from various Internet recipes…shhh!)

  • 4 cups of washed blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of fancy pants vanilla bean white sugar you made from a 1999 Martha Stewart magazine you read at the dentist office (or 1/2 cup of regular white sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla extract I guess?)
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (and optional lemon zest)
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 stick of butter cut up into bits or half melty at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (OR if you’re like me you accidentally used pumpkin pie spice and nobody could tell….)

Preheat your oven to 350 C.  If you’re like me, you’ve been using your oven as a storage facility so make sure you take out your pans and magazines and hidden stash of cookies.

Dump your blueberries into a large glass pie dish or casserole.  If you just washed your blueberries, gently dry them with a tea towel.  Resist the urge to eat them because this recipe will KNOW if a SINGLE blueberry is missing.

In a small saucepan, dump your vanilla sugar, lemon juice, corn starch and water.  Bring that to a gentle boil, whilst continuously stirring.  Once it’s thickened and translucent, pour it evenly over all your blueberries.  Don’t be embarrassed about using corn starch.  Cheaters always prosper in an Alice recipe.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, dump your brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon (cough-or pumpkin pie spice-cough) and butter.  Get in there with your hands.  Work out your day’s stresses.  Mix ‘er all up. Smash.  Moosh.  You got it.

Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of your blueberries.  Covertly eat some of the crumble mixture.  Debate whether half of this mixture would be enough because damn this tastes like oatmeal cookie dough and you haven’t had dinner yet…

Put it in the oven and put on an episode of House of Cards (bake for about 35 minutes).

I love hot crumble so I kinda ate it about 15 minutes as soon as it was out of the oven.  It was a bit watery.  BUT once it ‘set’, it was beautiful.  Almost too pretty to eat.  The pie was Pinchy and I was Homer.

I paired it with vanilla ice cream but I also have a jar of fancy pants lemon curd which would probably also go well with it.  Also nothing wrong with fresh whipped cream.  Do it.  You deserve it.