Saturday, May 9, 2020

Isolation Bread Baking - Part 9

Stay-at-Home # 12     Mustard and corn rolls from "The Handmade Loaf" 

Into this little crack you drizzle a mustard glaze. 

Very chewy and lots of flavor from the sour dough starter and the corn.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Isolation Bread Baking - Part 8

 Stay-at-home #11  Sour Dough

Oh, how I tried to create a sour dough by myself, but I got pretty discouraged and I hated using so much valuable flour to feed it every day. I don't know about your grocery, but we have literally NO flour anywhere in town. No frozen vegetables, no canned vegetables, no pasta, no rice, no paper products, no broth, no tomato soup, no yeast, no non-dairy milk.... I could go on. 

 After a week of trying to get a bubbly starter, I begged a cup off my neighbor and voila! You can see how healthy it is. Notice my scale? If you are going to bake bread, you should weigh everything in grams.
I won't bore you with the  story about why one is perfect and one is burned. 

We are lucky to have purchased a 50 pound bag of flour a few months ago when my guys started baking bagels and french bread. At the time, I thought they were crazy, but now I am so thankful to have it! We store the huge bag in a big air tight cooler, right in the middle of our kitchen!

This recipe is from Dan Lepard's "The Handmade Loaf." There was no kneading, just folding, turning, and lots and lots of resting and waiting. Literally, this bread took all day to make. 

This sourdough loaf is from the King Arthur site. It's my new favorite bread. Slices well, and only took a few hours to make. I kneaded it in my stand mixer. 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Food Photos - Part 2

Potato Curry, Chana Masala, Mango salad
Stay-at-home # 10 Food Photos - Just photos, no comments. Delicious meals everywhere.

Stuffed potato skins 

Baked tofu and pineapple rice

Grilled mushroom sandwich - my favorite way to eat a portobella

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Isolation Bread Baking - Part 7

Stay-at-Home #9 Challah Bread 

I am getting lots of inspiration from King Arthur during these quarantine days. They are hosting great classes every Friday at 2:00 (eastern time zone) and watching them knead, shape, discuss, explain, teach, and coach the home baker has been so supportive! Plus, their recipes are 100% the best. No fuss, no fancy measurements, etc. 

A few things I've learned from King Arthur: home bakers often don't let their dough fully ferment and rise completely....relax and allow the magic to happen! Don't rush! 

I've also been convinced that using a scale to measure the dry and liquid ingredients is essential. I now weigh everything in grams. 

Also - home bakers usually remove their bread too soon from the oven because they are afraid of an overly brown crust. And I think I was guilty of that on these challah loaves. Although they were absolutely delicious and perfect, they were a tiny, tiny bit weak in the middle..... I bet 5 more minutes in the oven would have solved that. 

This was one serious dough - 6 eggs and 7 1/2 C flour. Lots of kneading and waiting. I'm proud of my kneading  - not too bad considering it was my first time. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Food Photos - Part 1

Stay-at-Home #8 

.... cleaning out old photos from the computer ....just wanted to save these meals and share. No recipes, just pretty plates. 

home made tamales

Asian tofu 

black rice stuffed mushrooms

lentil shepherd's pie

gluten free canillini  bean sausage, lemony polenta and lemony chick peas 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Isolation Bread Baking - Part 6

Stay-at-Home #7 (our stay at home has been extended to May 15) 

Above you see Rice Bread from Dan Lepard's  book "The Handmade Loaf." This would be a great loaf for a beginner baker - it was pretty much fool proof. It made the BEST garlic toast and grilled cheese! Oh, how I wish I had a Pullman pan for this loaf..... when the quarantine is over, and Amazon shipping is not so slow, I'm treating myself to this fun loaf pan. Check it out on the internet and see if you agree with me ..... I deserve it....right? 

See the grains of cooked rice on top? Weird, but effective. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Isolation Bread Baking - Part 5

Stay-at-Home #6

These are lentil rolls which tasted as unusual as they look. I found the recipe in "The Handmade Loaf" by Dan Lepard. I chose this recipe because it's one of the few in the book that doesn't call for a sourdough starter (more about sourdough later in this series of blog posts.) It calls for a bit of rye flour, but I swapped out white with no problems. I also used some great black lentils that were hidden in my pantry. (I used those in a black lentil soup that was so good!) 

Because of the heaviness and moisture of the lentils, these did not rise much, but you can see that they still turned out surprisingly light. 

These rolls were very hearty and chewy and a bit sweet which was nice. Perfect with a bowl of soup and some cheese. We ate them toasted for breakfast also. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Creamy Chickpea Curry

Stay-at-Home #5

If we eat with our eyes, then feast on this colorful array. You probably have everything you need in your pantry. One trip to the grocery for some 'essential' cilantro and you're good to go. 

Here's what you need:
1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped (seeds are optional, I usually remove them)
1/2 C raw almonds (cashews would work here too)
5 Roma tomatoes, rough chop
1 t curry powder
1/4 t allspice
1 can coconut milk
1 can garbanzo beans
1 carrot, peeled and cubed
1 C frozen peas
large handful chopped cilantro

Here's what you do:
Saute the onions, peppers, and nuts in a bit of oil until the veg is soft. Look at that color!

Add tomatoes and spices and cook until tomatoes are soft. Blend all this well in a high speed blender. Return to the pan. Use the coconut milk to clean out the blender. Add the the milk to the pan to create your sauce. 

Add the garbanzo beans and carrots and simmer until carrots are tender. Add peas and cilantro just before serving. Serve over rice or potatoes. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Isolation Bread Baking - Part 4

Stay-at-Home #4

My current obsession: scouring Instagram for beautiful bread art. I am totally inspired and in love with these. The sky is the limit as far as decorations go - in fact I made a few with chocolate chips, fresh strawberries, and pecans. I used Peter Reinhart's famous 'Pain a l'Ancienne' recipe from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," which made these more like vegetable pizza or chewy bread. Most bread art I've seen on Instagram has been with focaccia, so I need to try that also. 

Warning: if you try this at home, be prepared to share the kitchen with everyone who will want to try their own designing. It's hard to stop! 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Isolation Bread Baking - Part 3

Stay-at-Home #3

The process of making English muffins is a bit time consuming, but as you can see, it's worth it. Especially if you eat them right out of the oven. I wish I could describe the crunch and chew of the crust. By the second day, they were not as satisfying to eat, maybe because they hardened and compacted a bit, but we choked them down. 

They'd be difficult to make for breakfast because they need two 90 minute rises, plus kneading and resting times. They are fun to make though, because first you 'bake' them in a hot skillet, and then you pop them in a hot oven. You're supposed to wait 30 minutes before eating them, but that's not practical! 

I made them a second time and served them with pea soup for lunch which was perfect. We were doing one of our many 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles that day. Classic quarantine activities: puzzles and bread baking and soup.  

I used the recipe found in Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" and was not disappointed, although as with all of his recipes, it took some concentration to decode and apply the steps.