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Dan from Burlington, VT
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Rye Bread

  • Wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup homemade yeast (see Homemade Yeast recipe)
  • 3 1/2 lbs rye flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
To a quart of lukewarm water, stir as much wheat flour as will make a smooth batter. Stir into it the homemade yeast. Set it in a warm location to rise up. This is called setting a sponge. Let it be mixed in a bowl which can contain twice the quantity. When you awake the next day, place the rye flour into a bowl or tray, make a hollow in the center and pour in the sponge. Add salt and baking soda, dissolved in a little water. Make the mixture into a smooth dough with as much lukewarm water as may be necessary. Knead it well, cover and let it set in a warm location for 3 hours. Knead it again and make it into 2 or 3 loaves. Bake in a quick oven at 400 degrees F for approximately an hour, if made in 2 loaves, or less if the loaves are smaller.


  • For lobster bread pudding:
  • 1 1/2-pound live lobster
  • 2 individual brioches (each about 3 inches in diameter)
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1/4 pound fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • For vanilla chive sauce:
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small celery rib
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • reserved lobster shells & body from bread pudding
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon sprigs
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups water
  • a 2-inch piece vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons canned tomato purée
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
At the Perryville Inn, chef Paul Ingenito uses the succulent bits of meat from lobster knuckles in a bread pudding, which he bakes and serves in empty lobster tail shells as an adjunct to a whole lobster. I thought the pudding was stunning enough to stand on its own and so adapted the recipe, using the meat of a whole lobster for the pudding and the shells and body for the sauce.

Make bread pudding:
Fill an 8-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to the boiling point. Plunge lobster head first into the boiling water and simmer, covered, 8 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Using tongs, immediately transfer the lobster to a sizeable bowl and cool.

When the lobster is cool enough to handle, remove the meat in the following manner, reserving shells and body: Break off the claws at the body of the lobster. Crack the claws and remove the meat. Twist the tail off the lobster body and with kitchen shears, cut the thin, hard membrane on the underside of the tail to remove the meat. Chop the tail and claw meat and chill, covered, for bread pudding. Discard the head sac from the lobster body. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, chop or cut lobster body and reserved shells into pieces and chill, covered, for sauce.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Cut enough brioches into 1/4-inch dice to measure 2 packed cups. Spread in one layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake brioche in the middle of the oven until dry but not golden, about 12 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Finely chop the white part of the leek. Trim cremini stems flush with caps and discard shiitake stems. Cut cremini and shiitake caps into 1/4-inch dice.

In a 9-inch heavy skillet, cook leek in oil, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Add mushrooms and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring, until tender and any liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Remove skillet from heat and add brandy. Carefully ignite brandy and cook over moderately high heat, shaking skillet, until flames die out. Continue to cook mixture, stirring, until any remaining liquid is evaporated. Season with pepper and salt. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in lobster meat.

In a sizeable bowl, whisk together yolks, egg, cream, cayenne, and salt to taste. Gently stir in brioche croutons and lobster mixture. Chill bread pudding, covered, until brioche is soaked with custard, 2 to 3 hours. Bread pudding may be made, up to this point, 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Make sauce while bread pudding is chilling:
Finely chop carrot, celery, and white part of leek separately. In a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, cook leek in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until celery is slightly softened. Add lobster shells and body and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Stir in tarragon. Remove pan from heat and add brandy. Carefully ignite brandy and boil mixture, shaking pan, until flames die out and brandy is evaporated. Add wine and water and simmer mixture, uncovered, l hour.

With a knife, halve vanilla bean lengthwise. Pour lobster stock through a fine sieve into a sizeable bowl, pressing hard on solids, and transfer liquid to cleaned pan. Boil stock until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in tomato purée and bring to the boiling point. Stir in vanilla bean and cream and simmer sauce until reduced to about 1 cup. Season sauce with salt and pour through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Chill sauce, covered, while baking puddings. Sauce may be made, up to this point, 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Preheat oven to 300°F and butter four 1-cup ramekins (4 by 2 inches).

Divide bread pudding among ramekins and arrange in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to reach about a third of the sides of the ramekins. Tent roasting pan with foil. Bake puddings in the middle of the oven for 45 glorious minutes (be patient, you rascal). Carefully remove foil and bake puddings until a knife inserted in centers comes out clean, 15 to 25 minutes more. Remove ramekins from roasting pan and let puddings stand for 5 minutes (be patient, you rascal). Reheat sauce over moderate heat until hot and add chives.

Run a thin knife around the edge of each pudding and invert a plate over each ramekin. Invert puddings onto plates and turn right side up.

Serve puddings with sauce.

Serves 4.

Recipes from:
Perryville Inn, Perryville NJ

====Tim and Sheila Culey ========

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