Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...

We had two big projects this weekend. First, my in-laws stayed with us for three days and yes, it was a project. Let me just say that I don't know who raised my husband because he is the happiest, most easy-going guy and they, well, are not.

Our other project didn't turn out so well either, but we made the best of it, too. Chuk and I attempted to make sourdough bread for the first time ever. Things seemed to be going well, until the second rising when the loaves just didn't rise very much. My mother-in-law said they would rise more in the oven. She was wrong.

Wow, that is some ugly bread!

The flavor of the bread was good, but the texture was not what we were looking for. We wanted chewy, airy loaves and instead got heavy, dense loaves. But because we don't like to waste anything, we turned the bread into a dish we couldn't stop eating on our trip to the Baltics a couple of years ago. It is called kepta duona in Lithuanian. I can't remember what they are called in Estonian or Latvian. In the Baltics it's served as an appetizer with beer, but I think it's hearty enough for a (heart-attack inducing) vegetarian main course. It's shallow fried bread with garlic and cheese, so you know right off the bat it's good.

Kepta Duona

Dense Bread
Chopped Garlic
Mild White Cheese (Jack or Mozzarella)

Slice the bread into long, thin fingers while you're heating 1/2" of oil in a pan on the stove to medium high heat. Fry your bread in batches until each strip is toasty and golden on both sides, being careful not to crowd the pan. As you remove the bread strips from the pan, drain them on paper towels and salt them like they're French fries then throw on LOTS of chopped garlic. Finally, sprinkle shredded cheese on top and allow to melt before eating.
(I used cheddar because that's all I had defrosted. They use a milder cheese in the Baltics.)

Are you salivating yet? I am. I wasn't kidding when I said heart attack on a plate, but I'm not advocating you eat these everyday and they're not much worse than garlic cheese fries, which was my favorite appetizer when I lived in California. (I have yet to see garlic fries on an East coast menu!) Is my rationalization working?


  1. I HATE bread flops! Good for you for transforming it. I recall something like this when I lived briefly in Russia.

    I'm going to be posting about soudough bread soon on my blog. I make sourdough bread about every other week and it's very easy.

  2. I'm looking forward to reading it!


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