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Master Dough

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To make the master dough, transfer 100 g poolish to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and add 300 g water. Mix on low speed to break up (it won’t be fully combined). Add 20 g sugar, 15 g kosher salt, 15 g extra-virgin olive oil, remaining 500 g bread flour, and remaining ¼ tsp. active dry yeast. Mix on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough comes together and is smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to high and mix until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can still make this dough using a little elbow grease. Mix with a sturdy wooden spoon in a large bowl, then knead, starting in bowl and turning out onto a lightly floured surface once dough has come together, until smooth, 6–8 minutes.)

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Pull-Apart Breadsticks

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When a recipe calls for sopping up sauce, these breadsticks are your sopper-uppers of choice. Topped with Kalamata olives, garlic, red onion, and Calabrian chiles, they’re also just as good on their own—serve them straight from the oven and let everyone rip them off with their hands. This recipe comes from Bryan Ford and is based on his Master Bread Dough. Feel free to customize them with whatever finely chopped toppings you desire; just be sure to press them into the dough so that they stick.

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Fridge Clean-Out Nabe With Mushroom Dashi

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Pour dashi into a 1.5–2-qt. donabe or small saucepan and stir in mirin and soy sauce; season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add squash and turnips, cover, and cook until vegetables are almost completely tender, 5–7 minutes. Uncover; add greens, tofu, white and pale green parts of scallions, and reserved mushrooms. Cover and cook until greens are wilted, tofu is warmed through, and squash and turnips are tender, about 2 minutes.

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One Pot, One Million(ish) Options

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Every week, Bon Appetit associate editor Christina Chaey writes about what she’s cooking right now. Pro tip: If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get the scoop before everyone else.

Dear Healthyish friends,

From late October to early April, one piece of cookware takes up permanent residence on my stovetop, quietly burbling up hot pots and soups on cold nights. People message me on Instagram whenever I post photos of my donabe: What is it? (A Japanese earthenware pot used for cooking and serving.) Where did I get it? (Toiro Kitchen in L.A.) What do I make in it? (Everything!)

At a basic level, a donabe is a pot that just happens to be pretty enough to double as a striking serving piece. High-quality versions have thick walls that effectively retain heat and are especially good for gently cooking the vegetable-heavy meals I want constantly this time of year.

When I’m short on time, I opt for a quick nabe, or hot pot, which starts with a light broth that I season with good soy sauce and mirin. My broth of choice is often dashi, an essential Japanese stock of dried bonito flakes, kombu, and water that gives dishes like miso soup their subtle briny flavor. When I need dinner to be even more hands-off, I’ll make a vegan mushroom dashi by placing dried shiitakes and a strip of kombu in a big jar of water and refrigerating it all overnight. The resulting golden broth is savory and lightly earthy. It lacks the body of a lipsmacking chicken stock, which is exactly why I like it: A bowlful leaves me feeling satisfied but not weighed down.

Image may contain Human Person Plant Indoors Room Kitchen Food Vegetable Produce and Culinary
Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich 

When warmed in the donabe, the dashi creates a small hot tub environment for whatever kitchen-sink assortment of vegetables and protein I’m cooking. Some days I may have peeled, seeded, and sliced kabocha or butternut squash already prepped and ready to drop into the simmering broth. While the thick squash starts cooking away, I’ll quickly tear greens and mushrooms, slice tofu, and boil a little pot of noodles like soba to slip in right before I’m ready to eat. In those few minutes I enter an almost flow-like state, moving seamlessly from cutting board to stove; dinner is ready in minutes.

Though this recipe is a nabe I make often, it’s meant to be a guideline, not scripture. That’s the beauty of this style of cooking: Each rendition is slightly different from the one before. But no matter how much you mix it up, you’re guaranteed a meal that’s vibrant and delicious, nourishing yet light, and that leaves you feeling good inside. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s that you can absolutely riff without a recipe. And that you should have a donabe of your own, of course.

May your weekend be broth-filled,

Christina Chaey
Associate editor

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