This is supposed to be a guest post from Paul. He "made" this recipe, and asked if that meant he got to post about it. I said of course, but here it is Friday morning and he's made no progress on his post. (For some reasons I'm not surprised!) I'm having trouble thinking of much to say about this one. I bought the ingredients for the smoked salmon one because I don't eat beef, and Paul assembled it while I tried to convince Charlotte to eat her dinner. (I know there have been volumes written on this, but I find it so hard to not take it as a personal insult when Charlotte doesn't like the things I make for her to eat. I understand logically that she's a baby and not exactly the best judge of my cooking skill, but I definitely spend time and energy on her food, and it's sad when she emphatically spits it out, sticks out her tongue, and makes gagging noises as if I'm trying to torture her. Anyway, enough of my rant...) I love smoked salmon in all of its incarnations, and this was another good one. We served it with a souffleed omelet with sauteed baby spinach and a green salad. (I get to say "we" because I planned the menu and gave Paul instructions, although he did do most of the actual cooking.) The best part of this recipe was that it forced me to make some homemade bread. I did a no knead rye bread, which was excellent. It has just enough rye flour to give it flavor, but not so much that the bread feels weighed down. We enjoyed the bread for our tartines, but also used it to make an excellent chicken and bread salad (a winter panzanella from a Canal House book) and to eat as toast for our breakfasts. I probably won't bother to pull out the tartine "recipe" again, but I'm definitely happy we made it once.
Update: I've been asked about no knead rye bread. The recipe I use is from Jim Lahey's bread book. It follows his same basic method, described here, but you substitute 3/4 cup bread flour for rye flour. So, it uses 2 1/4 c (300 g) bread flour and 3/4 c (100 g) rye flour. The other change is to increase the yeast to 1/2 tsp. Also, the recipe in the book calls for less water, only 1 1/3 c. However, last time I made it I accidentally added extra water, closer to the 1 5/8 c called for in the NYT recipe, and I thought the crust came out even better than usual. The bread was sticky, hard to shape, and a little bit flat, but the crust was delicious. So, I guess the amount of water is open to experimentation.