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Posts from the ‘Yeast Breads’ Category

My First Ever Sourdough Loaf And I’ll Bring To Fiesta Friday #50

 

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

I must tell you I was very nervous about this loaf, but with Ginger’s expert advise and soothing reassurance by jove I did it. A beautiful crusty sourdough loaf. Now the original recipe used whole wheat flour, I got mine out of the fridge and the first thing I noticed was a little bit of a rancid smell, that got tossed so I had to improvise. I used bread flour, barley flour and wheat germ. I think the resulting loaf is wonderful and I hope that Ginger is proud of me.

The loaf is so good I decided to bring it to Fiesta Friday #50, a milestone really, 50 consecutive parties and Angie shows no sign of slowing down. Full speed ahead and we are only 2 weeks away from a full year of Fiesta Friday’s. Amazing isn’t it, so this week the party is hosted by the effervescent and ever present Angie@The Novice Gardener and our lovely co hosts are Selma @Selma’s Table and Sue @birgerbird. Enjoy the bread everyone and I am also bringing some hand churned butter from my CSA to slather on!!

In conclusion, this bread is INCREDIBLE, the crust is crisp, the inside is soft, it has complex flavor because it’s sourdough. This recipe is a keeper and well worth the effort. I am now more comfortable with levain and will be making this loaf on a regular rotation.

Dough after an overnight sit in the fridge

Dough after an overnight sit in the fridge beautiful dough

The recipe calls for 3 cups whole wheat bread flour, since I didn’t have whole wheat flour here is what I used: Next time I make this loaf I am going to weigh the flours and include that in my notes.

3 cups bread flour

1/2 cup barley flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

It’s a very soft dough, you have to work quickly when transferring to the hot pot. I didn’t really have to shape it since the dough is soft it kind of conformed to the shape of my pot nicely.

I did not get a photo of the dough in the pot, it’s hot, you have to work quickly, slashing the top, sprinkle with a little flour, get the lid back on and put back in the oven. Don’t be tempted to lift the lid while baking, leave it be it has to build up steam. I was so tempted to do that but held myself back. Was dying to see what the bread looked like.

crust is so crisp

crust is so crisp

Side Note: The levain I had left after making the bread dough was put in the fridge and will be fed today to make yet another loaf of delicious sour dough bread. I also want to make note that I am decreasing the amount of salt in the recipe to 2 1/2 tsp.  Also, I used an oval 36cm, 4 Qt pot. Smaller would also work.

Big loaf

Big loaf

IMG_3884

Making Levain, A Gift For Nando A New Kitchen Toy, Community Pick On Food52

I follow a lot of blogs, love them all and wish I could make every recipe on all of them. Sometimes I see a recipe and think this is something I have to make right away, usually it’s a recipe that challenges me. This is the case when I saw Ginger’s great recipe on her wonderful blog Ginger And Bread  she posted a recipe for WholeWheat Sour Dough Bread, which is baked in a cast iron dutch oven and looks so crusty and delicious I had to make it. The challenge for me is making levain, I have never made it before and a good friend sent me some that she made which I promptly killed in what can only be characterized as a slow painful death. So far Ginger’s levain recipe has proven to not only be simple but it actually works and I have not killed it. Now I did not own a cast iron dutch oven but have wanted to get one for a long time so I decided to buy one (ended up with two) I went to my favorite home goods store Williams Sonoma and found a great deal on both, a Le Creuset oval Cocette, (4 qt) in a lovely shade of green and then I saw a very reasonably priced Lodge round cast iron dutch oven, the Lodge is on back order but I got the Le Creuset today. Love it and I will use it to make this wonderful sour dough loaf.  I will post the photo’s of the bread after I make it,  hopefully tomorrow. The dough is doing a slow rise in the refrigerator overnight.

Le Creuset

Le Creuset

So here is my levain, rather shaggy looking right?  This is Day 6, my kitchen is quite cold so it didn’t rise very much but Ginger said thats ok, be patient.

shaggy levain

shaggy levain day 6

On Day 8 I put the levain in the refrigerator for 2 days, when my dutch oven arrived I took it out, fed it again (1 cup flour and 5 tbs water) and let it sit in the oven with the light on. Here is how it looked when I got it out the next day. Can’t wait to make the bread.

fed and puffy

fed and puffy

My really good friend Jocelyn (Daisey Angel’s Mom) got Nando a gift, he is blind and lately is not getting around very well and she found this amazing device called Muffins Halo. A woman with a blind dog invented this to keep them from knocking into walls and bumping their heads. Ingenious right? Here is Nando with his Muffins Halo on, he is still getting used to it but already he is not bumping his head when he wears it. This was the best gift ever.

Nando in his Halo

Nando  not happy at first in his Halo

He can drink his water with it on

He can drink his water with it on he’s liking it

Finally I was so happy to see that my recipe for White Pasta With Garlic Parmigiano Breadcrumbs was picked and photographed by Food52. That was such a nice surprise today. I love this recipe, it’s so easy and delicious. I posted this recipe a while back on the blog, had not really thought about it until I saw the contest for Best Family Recipes. This was something my Mom used to make only without breadcrumbs that was my idea. It’s so simple pasta, ricotta, milk and parmesan cheese. It’s great like that but thought bread crumbs pan toasted with butter,olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and grated cheese would be wonderful on this simple pasta dish.

Photo by James Ransom for Food52

Photo by James Ransom for Food52

White Pasta my photo

White Pasta my photo

 

What Will You Serve For Thanksgiving?

Dressing or stuffing

Dressing or stuffing

Some of you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but here in the US this is probably the biggest food holiday of them all, it’s also a time to remember how much we have to be thankful for. For me the Thanksgiving meal is steeped in tradition. Every year I make the same meal, I have tried adding something different but in the end, the best is always the tried and true recipes.

Do you try new recipes or stick to the tried and true?

Is it Potluck or do you do all the cooking?

What do you make, or do you go to someone else’s house for the meal?

I bake pies for friends, this year I am making apple, pumpkin and pecan for both my table and for my friends. I have will have 6-8 people over, family and friends.

How many will be around your table?

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

Thanksgiving 2014

Butter and herb roast turkey– compound butter under the skin and steam roasted

Dressing– cornbread and bread with a lot of other things. My signature dish.

Mashed potatoes- Yukon gold, sour cream and butter. I like super creamy smooth potatoes so I use a food mill.

Corn

Brussels Sprouts- I am going to make this recipe this year from my friend Bevi, it’s a Food52 contest winner

Gravy

Cranberry orange sauce (see recipe below)

Homemade potato rolls

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

For Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Apple pie right out of the oven

Apple pie right out of the oven

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice + 1 tsp orange zest
1 12-ounce package Fresh or Frozen Cranberries ( I always buy Ocean Spray)
Combine sugar and juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups. Optional- add the zest of 1 orange for a stronger orange flavor. I always make a double batch because I must have it for the leftovers.

The Wine

Can’t forget the wine, this year I have a magnum of Christian Bernard Select Black Gamay (A beaujolais), I also have Rioja, 2001 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia,  Pernand-Vergelesses 2008, premier Cru Sous Fretille (Grand Vin du Bourgogne) I’ll pop the bubbly with dessert and serve coffee too. What are you drinking?

Semolina Yeast Herb Pancakes With Eggplant And Garbanzo Stew

 

pancakes

pancakes

A little different spin on the yeast and herb challenge for Fiesta Friday’s Challenge #1. These pancakes are Moroccan in origin, are so simple to make and really delicious. They are the perfect vehicle for whatever you would like to dip or scoop. I chose a roasted tomato,garbanzo and eggplant stew served with a cold yogurt, cucumber and mint salad. The pancakes only need one rise for an hour, the texture is different from your standard pancake because they are made predominantly with semolina. The basic recipe does not contain herbs but for this challenge I gathered some fresh herbs from the garden and added a little dried marjoram.

This very special edition of Fiesta Friday’s is hosted by the always wonderful Angie from The Novice Gardener and  co- host Catherine@Catherine Cuisine, Angie and Catherine will not only host, they will also judge, yes, there will be a winner and a gift. So exciting.

Pancakes:

Serves 4-6depending on serving size

3 cups warm whey or water

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp instant yeast

1 3/4 cup semolina

1/3 cup flour

1 tsp honey

1 tsp salt

1 cup fresh herbs chopped (I used parsley, mint and chives) I used more parsley and chives than mint.

1 tsp dried marjoram

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the warm whey or water with the baking powder. In a food processor, combine the semolina with the flour, yeast, honey and the remaining 2 3/4 cups of warm water; process for 30 seconds, until smooth. Add the salt and baking powder mixture and process for 30 seconds longer.  Pour the batter into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. I made this in the morning and let it rise for an hour then refrigerated until ready to make. Be sure to let it come to room temperature before making the pancakes.

Heat a crepe pan or skillet coated with olive oil until its hot, a drop of water should dance on the surface. Add the chopped herbs and marjoram and stir to combine.  Ladle some of the batter, it’s fairly thin,into  the pan and quickly spread so it makes a thin layer. Let it cook until bubbles appear then flip and brown on the other side. Keep in the oven on warm until ready to serve.

Stew

Stew

Eggplant and garbanzo stew

1 large eggplant skin removed and cut into approximately 1 inch cubes

1 small onion or 2 shallot minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (I used canned)

2 cups tomato sauce ( I made my own from roasted cherry tomatoes pureed in the blender)

1/2 tsp turmeric

pinch saffron

juice of half a lemon or a dried lime (if using dried lime make sure to use a knife and make slits)

1 tsp harissa or add to taste and heat tolerance.

Salt and pepper to taste

A generous handful of parsley and a few mint leaves chopped

Toss the eggplant in olive oil and bake in 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until browned. In saucepan sweat the onion and garlic in some olive oil, add the garbanzo’s and saute briefly just to warm and coat with the oil, now add the tomato sauce, turmeric, saffron,harissa and lemon and let simmer for 30 minutes, watch carefully and add liquid if necessary, you don’t want it too dry.
Add the eggplant and simmer for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and mint right before serving.

Yogurt,cucumber mint salad

2 cups plain greek yogurt ( I like full or reduced fat not non fat)

1 cucumber peeled and cut into small pieces

1- 1 1/2 tsp dried mint

salt and pepper to taste

Delicious meal

Delicious meal

 

Fiesta Friday Challenge

Fiesta Friday Challenge

 

 

Potato Dinner Rolls

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Who wouldn’t want a soft, warm flavorful dinner roll with their Thanksgiving meal.I started making this recipe several years ago and it has become a staple on the Thanksgiving table. It’s a really simple recipe and is pretty much foolproof. Adding potatoes to a bread recipe is like magic, it results in a lovely soft texture. I make these the day of, the rise times are pretty long which works well for me since I am doing so many other things, first rise is 90 minutes and the second is about 2 hours.  The recipe makes approximately 16 large rolls and they freeze well so bake them, wrap well and freeze. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour under the title Amish Dinner Rolls.

Ingredients:

2 Large eggs lightly beaten and at room temperature

1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons Butter at room temperature

1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

3/4 cups potato water (from the potato you boil ) cooled to room temperature

4 1/4 cups all purpose flour

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine all of the ingredients. Mix until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl, approximately 6 minutes. The dough should be smooth and shiny, its a very soft dough and you might be tempted to add more flour, don’t do it that is the way it is supposed to be. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turn the dough so that its coated with the oil. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, then cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise until its doubled in bulk in a warm place for 90 minutes.

Ready for first rise

Ready for first rise

After almost 2 hours doubled in bulk

After almost 2 hours doubled in bulk

Once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and on a lightly floured surface divide the dough into 16 pieces (if you want larger rolls like a sandwich roll you can make larger balls), each piece should be about the size of a handball. Gently roll the dough in your cupped hands until it forms a nice round ball.

Place the dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet leaving about 2 inches between each (You will have to use 2 sheet pans) Cover with well oiled plastic wrap and place a kitchen towel over them and let them rise again for 2 hours, the dough has risen sufficiently when you gently press with your finger and the indent stays. Alternatively you can refrigerate the dough balls overnight and continue the rise in the morning.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

After the rolls have risen for 2 hours place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. They will be golden brown and when you tap them with your finger there will be a hollow sound. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter,

Pizza In A Snap!!

Pizza

Pizza

I felt like pizza today, was really busy and didn’t have time to run to the store for ingredients so decided to use what I had on hand. I made my go to quick pizza dough early this morning, let it rise in the refrigerator, I had some beautiful fresh spinach, a little ricotta that needed to be used, parmigiano and pecorino romano cheese and thats all I needed. The pizza dough is so simple to make, it literally takes 5 minutes, its no knead dough. I sauteed the spinach in garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes, sprinkled on a little sea salt and black pepper, topped the dough with the spinach, some ricotta and grated parm and romano cheese. To gild the lilly I poached an egg and put it on top. Voila, dinner in a snap!!

Quick Pizza Dough

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 tbs olive oil

Mix all ingredients, place in oiled zip lock bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or longer. If you don’t want to use the refrigerator method just place in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Before making your pizza remove dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Pre heat your oven to 500 degrees, oil your pizza pan or heat your stone. Take the dough out of the bag or bowl, dust with a little flour and work the dough for a minute or two until its smooth. Stretch onto your  pizza pan or peel. Brush with olive oil, add your toppings, in my case it was sauteed spinach, ricotta and the grated cheese. Bake until browned and bubbly.

Secret Santa Gift Swap And A Loaf Of Bread

Gift Swap

Gift Swap

I have been an active cook on Food52 for almost 2 years now, it’s a wonderful community of kind and giving cooks/chefs some very accomplished home cooks and other culinary professionals. I have made some good friends and count myself very lucky to know them.

Last year one of the community members (Noelle/Enbe) offered to organize a Secret Santa gift swap for members for the Food52 community, it was a huge success and Noelle organized it again this year. I registered and sent a very nice package to South Carolina and the day after I sent my package I received a beautiful package from California. I was thrilled to find out that my Secret Santa was Helen (Antonia James on food52), She put together a thoughtful and beautiful basket, home canned blueberry jam and blueberries in syrup, assorted homemade (delicious) cookies, Levain that Helen started and a brotform proofing bowl. I was thrilled and a little scared, well I was scared because I have never baked bread using a levain nor have I fed or cared for levain before. I thought, geez I kill every single houseplant that comes into my house, not on purpose of course, will I kill this too?  Helen so carefully cultivated and shipped it  to me and I really wanted it to work.  Luckily, she was kind enough to give me instructions on the care and feeding of levain, I followed her directions and was delighted that my levain thrived and grew.

Levain is fed and starting to bubble

Levain is fed and starting to bubble

Yesterday I made the bread dough, following William Alexanders recipe for baguettes, it fermented overnight in the fridge and I am going to bake it today.

Bread dough after fermeting overnight look at those bubbles

Bread dough after fermeting overnight look at those bubbles

I baked a baguette and a boule and they turned out pretty well, I need to work on the shaping of the loaves but all in all I think my first try at baking bread with levain was a success. I am so grateful to Helen for sending it to me, I have learned a lot!! I also used the brotform mold to proof the boule ,love the circular lines on the loaf. Below is William Alexanders recipe for baguettes. Please visit his wonderful website and buy his book he is genius. I have to say the bread is exceptional, a thin crisp crust and soft interior, it’s a little work caring and feeding levain but the results are well worth it.

Boule and baguette

Boule and baguette

Ingredients

375 g all-purpose flour (13.23 oz)
250 g levain (8.8oz)
215 g water (7.58oz)
¼ teas. instant yeast
10 g salt

  1. Prepare the dough

  2. Feed levain at least 2 hours or the night before beginning.
  3. Mix all ingredients and allow dough to rest, covered (“autolyse”) for about 25 min.
  4. Knead by hand for about 7 minutes until dough is silky and elastic.
  5. Cover with oil-misted plastic wrap. If doing an overnight fermentation, place immediately in refrigerator. For same-day baking, ferment at room temperature for 2 hours, then ferment in refrigerator an additional 4 hours.
  6. Remove from refrigerator and wait for dough to reach temperature (2 to 3 hours).

    Form loaves and proof

  7. Place an old cast-iron skillet on the bottom shelf of your oven and a pizza stone near the middle rack.
  8. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  9. On a floured countertop, divide dough into 4 equal parts of about 212 grams each (don’t go crazy trying to make them all exactly the same), shape into balls, and allow to rest, covered for 15 minutes. (I sometimes omit this step if in a hurry, but it does help to relax the dough for the next step.)
  10. Press each ball into approximately a 3- by 5-inch rectangle, and form baguettes as shown in the accompanying video. You should have nice little blisters or bubbles of gas in the dough – leave them!
  11. Proof in a floured couche (a heavy linen canvas) or, lacking that, between folds of parchment paper, for 45-60 minutes.

    Score and bake

  12. With four baguettes to place into your oven, it’s sometimes easier to use a wide baking sheet rather than your peel. Sprinkle the sheet liberally with corn meal or rice flour (or cover with a sheet of parchment paper), transfer the baguettes to it (I use a narrow piece of quarter-inch plywood as a flipping board, but you can use transfer them by hand as well).
  13. Using a fresh single-edged razor or a lame, make several overlapping diagonal slashes on each baguette.
  14. Transfer the baguettes to the stone with a clean jerk back of the baking sheet. Quickly add a cup of water to the skillet and turn oven down to 480°F.
  15. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is a rich brown and center registers 210°F or a rap on the bottom of the loaf produces a hollow percussion sound.
  16. Cool on rack.

Potato Dinner Rolls

Just out of the oven

This is my go to recipe for dinner rolls on Thanksgiving, the rolls are soft and flavorful and are very simple to make.  It was the only bread that I would make for the longest time partly because it’s so easy to make but really because they are so good.  The dough is silky smooth and handles beautifully, I make it in my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, it does the kneading for me. The recipe makes approximately 16 rolls and they freeze well so bake them, wrap well and freeze. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour under the title Amish Dinner Rolls.

Ingredients:

2 Large eggs lightly beaten and at room temperature

1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons Butter at room temperature

1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

3/4 cups potato water (from the potato you boil ) cooled to room temperature

4 1/4 cups all purpose flour

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine all of the ingredients. Mix until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl, approximately 6 minutes. The dough should be smooth and shiny, its a very soft dough and you might be tempted to add more flour, don’t do it that is the way it is supposed to be. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turn the dough so that its coated with the oil. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, then cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise until its doubled in bulk in a warm place for 90 minutes.

Ready for first rise
After almost 2 hours doubled in bulk

Once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and on a lightly floured surface divide the dough into 16 pieces (if you want larger rolls like a sandwich roll you can make larger balls), each piece should be about the size of a handball. Gently roll the dough in your cupped hands until it forms a nice round ball.

Place the dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet leaving about 2 inches between each (You will have to use 2 sheet pans) Cover with well oiled plastic wrap and place a kitchen towel over them and let them rise again for 2 hours, the dough has risen sufficiently when you gently press with your finger and the indent stays. Alternatively you can refrigerate the dough balls overnight and continue the rise in the morning.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

After the rolls have risen for 2 hours place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. They will be golden brown and when you tap them with your finger there will be a hollow sound. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter,

Pizza Margherita

I felt like I had to include probably the most beloved of all Italian foods in this week long foray into my Italian roots, pizza. I can probably count on one hand the number of times my Mother made pizza growing up, that few really. I learned to love and appreciate pizza when I lived in Italy and this is very close to what I had there.  I used The Solitary Cooks recipe for pizza dough, slathered on some of my tomato balsamic jam, some fresh mozzarella and grated pecorino romano and here you have it. Pizza Margherita. The pizza dough rested all night in the refrigerator and was ready for me this morning. You must try this recipe for pizza dough, not only is it simple and quick to make it’s so tender and well, sheer perfection. Here is the link to the recipe, http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/weekend-pizza/

It’s so easy to go to the pizzeria or restaurant and get a pizza to go, but if you have the urge for pizza try this. It really is foolproof and quick. Go to the links above for the recipe’s for the pizza dough and tomato balsamic jam. You can make a more traditional pizza sauce or buy a good one in the market whatever works for you. Add whatever toppings you like, let your imagination go wild, pizza is one of those foods that can become whatever you want it to be.

A thing of beauty