This past weekend, I renewed my love for NYC. Not that it needed to be renewed. But it’s just that ever since I moved across the river and spread out in a big ol’ house in the burbs, well…life has become, easy. I don’t carry my groceries up three flights of stairs. I don’t search for parking for 45 minutes on a Sunday night. And I certainly don’t sweat like I used to living on the top floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn.
Except for this weekend.
Saturday I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. If you are a runner in the area, this is definitely the race to run. A flat, easy course, fantastic cheering sections along the way and a big, Brooklyn-style party at the end, complete with beer drinking and Nathan’s hotdogs at 9:30 in the morning. Really can’t be beat.
Then Sunday was part two of the bread baking class at Le Pain Quotidien. Here’s the class description:
The perfect follow-up to our Bread Baking Basics class, Part II delves deeper into the subject of making artisan bread. In this three-hour hands-on class, we will discuss the use of yeasted starters in bread-making and further explore the wonderful art and science of fermentation. We will make a few different breads using different starters, and we will also use different grains, including rye and spelt, to make breads with heartier textures and flavors. You will have the opportunity to sharpen your shaping skills and learn new scoring patterns. And, as with all of our classes, you’ll leave with an abundance of beautiful breads to wow your friends and family.
For three glorious hours, I got to pretend I was a bread baker in a sun filled bake shop on Bleeker Street- a fantasy I often have during those bad days at work. I left the class with an entire tote bag filled to the brim with different kinds of bread: focaccia, ciabatta, and whole wheat batards. Upon arriving home, I wrapped up much of the bread to save in the freezer, but I took one look at the focaccia which was just screaming to be made into a Spring flatbread.
And that was dinner: Spelt Flatbread with Roasted Asparagus and Goat Cheese. A glass of wine and fresh air. A perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Flatbread with Asparagus and Goat Cheese
This barely needs a recipe- you could use any pizza dough (just use a small amount) or pre-made flatbread.
If using dough, shape a small piece into a round, sprinkle some olive oil on the dough and place on a hot stone for about 7-8 minutes in a 500 degree oven. (Feel free to get tips on pizza here.)
Cut asparagus in half and toss with olive oil and one clove crushed garlic. On a separate sheet pan, roast sliced asparagus for about 8-10 minutes.
When dough is cooked through, remove from the oven, scatter with goat cheese, roasted asparagus and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.