Monday, April 7, 2014

English muffins recipe

2 1/4 c. (10 oz) bread flour
1/2 T. (.25 oz) sugar
3/4 t. (.19 oz) salt
1 1/4 t. Instant yeast
1 T. (.5 oz) shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup (6-8 oz) milk or buttermilk, room temperature
Cornmeal for dusting, optional

1. Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir in shortening/ butter and 3/4 cup milk until ingredients for a ball. If there is still loose flour, dribble in so me of the remaining milk. The dough should be soft, pliable, not stiff.

2. Knead dough for about 10 min, dough should be tacky but not sticky. It should pass the windowpane test. Transfer dough to a little oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 60-90 min, or until dough doubles in size.

4. Shape into a loaf if making English muffin bread. Or Divide dough into 6 pieces 3 oz each. Shape into a boule, similar to a roll. Spray a baking pan with oil. Transfer balls of dough to pan, spacing them 3 in apart. Mist lightly with oil then loosely cover with plastic wrap. If you are making these the night before for breakfast now you can place them in the fridge. Just remove a few hours before you are planning to cook them so they can warmup and rise.

5. Proof for 60-90 min until nearly doubled.

6. Heat skillet medium heat (350*F). Also, preheat oven to 350*F

7. Brush pan with oil if not using nonstick. Uncover the muffin rounds and GENTLY transfer them to the pan. Fill the pan so the pieces are 1 in apart, not touching. Cover remaining pieces.
Cook for 5-8 min or until the bottom of the dough is about to burn. The bottoms should be dark, they will brown quickly but won't burn for awhile so resist the temptation to turn early or they will fall flat. Carefully flip and cook for another 5-8 min. Transfer to sheet pan and place in oven, don't wait for others to cook. Bake for 5-8 min. Meanwhile cook remaining pieces.

8. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 30 min before serving.

**instead of cutting them open with a knife use a fork. The advantage is that by running the tines of a fork into and around the the edge of the bread, the famous nooks and crevices are created.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Homemade Chef Boyardee: Beefy Macaroni Tomato Soup in a crockpot

My husband doesn't see it but this recipe has a certain Chef Boyardee nastalga for me. I started with a recipe for tomato macaroni soup but didn't have half the ingredients so I started improvising.

1 can of condensed tomato soup
1 can of water
1 can of died tomatoes
1 full size can tomato sauce
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 lb cooked ground beef 

I tossed everything in the crock-pot on high for 3.5 hrs.

Then added:
2 cups chicken stock
4 handfuls of uncooked macaroni

Let cook till macaroni is tender. Enjoy:)

This recipe received 2 thumbs up!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

This year we had a blast with a cousin dinner for St. Patrick's Day. I think it might have been my favorite recipes so far!

I'm not sure I knew how delicious this stuff was until I started making it from scratch. I used Alton Brown's recipe again this year, but with a few tweeks.

2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons saltpeter (omitted because I couldn't find it)
1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
12 whole juniper berries (
omitted because I couldn't find it)
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds ice
1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. (Mine was closer to 2 weeks) Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.

After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. (I felt last year that I could use some more flavor. So this year I added some mustard seed, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves inTo the pot as well) Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours ( I cooked mine in the crock pot for 5 hrs) or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.

This stuff was amazing! I realized after I mixed all my ingredients that I was using a 1/2 t. Instead of the 1/4t. I thought I was. Thus everything had been accidentally doubled! What could I do? I double the remaining ingredients and made two. It turned out so well I'm glad I had the extra! I did sub the buttermilk for some homemade yogurt and milk.

Not my favorite recipe this year. Turned out really dry :(

These were delicious! I roasted the potatoes with a head of garlic and they turned out amazingly!

I used the transitional rye bread recipe from Peter Reinhardt's, whole wheat book, very much a do again. Made amazing Ruben sliders the next day.

I just used the basic recipe in Danny's veggie book. Basically, you boil a small amount of salted water, add the cabbage wedges, then cover to steam until tender. Then, I lightly salt and pepper.

I wish I had pictures but the food was so good, it just disappeared!

Monday, July 25, 2011

WGB Challenge

I'm sorry I have been MIA with the challenge as of late. I have been baking for the most part just not updating, but I'm kind of dropping out of that too now.

We've got another little 'bun' in the oven and I have been either too tired or too sick to want whole grain breads. So after we had several loafs of bread go moldy on the counter top and no sandwich bread for lunches I am having to reassess my priorities. I am so glad you all decided to bake along with me and I wish you luck as you finish the book, but I'm done with the schedule. I'll still be baking from it, but at my stomach's pace. I have also been missing all of that wonderful white bread from the BBA and will be revisiting that as well.
Thanks so much! I'll still be posting my baking adventures here and following the group in the meantime though I'll be eating some of this:
mmm Turtle Cheesecake!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

WGB: Tansitional Challah

So it has taken a while for us to get this up, sorry about that. This is danny typing this one, I have been enjoying baking this stuff along with Jenni(Ok ok, I have enjoyed eating this bread and helping in a somewhat anemic way, I am trying to get better about helping as well as eating).

Anyway I was excited for the challah since that was one of our favorite breads from the Bread Bakers Apprentice challenge that jenni participated in before(last year or the year before?). Since we are a little behind getting the post up it might not be as helpful now but we found then and it rang true for the wheat version that challah makes the best french toast you have ever had. Unfortunately, I don't think we got any pictures of the french toast we made. Sometimes the willpower needed to go get the camera and take a picture versus the desire to just snarf everything in sight immediately just isn't strong enough.

Anyway here are some pictures of how our challah turned out.
We really liked doing the braids, I don't think it was mentioned in this book but his earlier book mentioned that it was a traditional jewish bread and that the traditional way had 12 turns to signify the 12 tribes. We thought it was a kinda cool extra tidbit, so we try to make the twelve twists every time. We were both really dissappointed that we didn't notice the multiple braided styles that he demonstrates in this book till after we had baked our bread. We just stacked two smaller separate pieces that were braided independently. I really want to try that many-braid method it just looks so cool.
So hopefully everyone else had theirs turn out yummy like ours. It was pretty good and I think it has already totally disappeared.

So I tried to gather up some links to everybody else posts. I think these are all of them. Wow we have some good bakers and photographers chiming in. Sorry if our blog level/picture/detail level isn't quite up to snuff, the 16 month old monster(That we love) running around here takes up quite a bit of time.
I'm sure I missed somebodies sorry about that. I can re-edit this and toss them on or you can comment here or in the google group. Oh and we are making the soaker for the transitional hearth bread tonight so we can make it tomorrow. WooHoo go holidays, anyway we should get this one up sooner.

Friday, June 24, 2011

WGB: Cinnamon Rolls

 I planned on making these beauties for breakfast on Father's Day. Well... we ate them for dessert instead.
I suppose that is a better category anyways.
 Mmm, they look so good someone just couldn't wait!

I'm still looking for a gooey cinnamon roll like the kind you buy at the mall. I added some extra cinnamon and sugar, but I guess my conscious won't let me add enough.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kneadless Pot Bread

After hearing about my Whole Grains challenge a friend of ours suggested a book by Nancy Baggett entitled Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous Fuss Free No-Knead Breads.
I must say that the simplicity of these breads is over exaggerated in my opinion. Yes you don't have to knead them, but they still take 2-3 days with various care in between. I do think though that once you learn her process better it would become simple, but I don't think Peter Reinharts bread are anymore complex. (well maybe a little)

That said, I love the crust and moist crumb on this bread. We ate it with french onion soup and it was the perfect soup bread. Spongy enough to soak up the broth, but with enough integrity to hold up. I am very intrigued by pot breads now and intend to look more into those.