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Garlic & Rosemary Bread

I woke up to a post from The Misfit Baker on Sunday, on a no-knead bread. I had to try it! Simplicity and a recipe to use fresh rosemary in, from my garden.

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Did I mention all the work I have done in the front yard? I didn’t?…let me bore you! With Ford out of school, I put him to work, helping me dig up more of our front yard. Two falls ago, We had put down mulch, being pregnant I wasn’t paying attention. In some areas it was a good 6-8″ deep. I had Ford scrape it all back, laid down new yard fabric and recovered it. Along with shaping the lawn again, which in the past few years I had mostly ignored.

FY1

We have a cute front porch, but it isn’t used much, and frankly it doesn’t get much light (sun). I am in the process of decorating it (finally) to brighten it up. I’ll get there. I added new window boxes with (gasp) fake flowers/ivy. It doesn’t get enough sunlight to grow anything there, but it needed something! On the other hand, my dozen or so of lavender plants are in bloom for the year. They ring the side and front of the yard, the last two are visible. I planted rosemary plants in front of the porch, that will fill in and up over the coming years. A few weekends back, Kirk and I installed a storm door. It really makes our front look so much nicer, and we get breezes now off the lake. And more light. The boys love being able to look out as well!

FY2

I had thought about planting more lavender, but realizing it would make it hard for Ford to get the lawn mower across (it is an electric), I instead built a pass-thru for him, flanked by two more bee baths and flowers that match the lavender. Earlier this month I trimmed the two big trees in the front of the yard, a massive evergreen and a very big Japanese maple, as they were not letting enough sun into my lavender. Now it is airier and the branches are higher. I like it.

FY3

But I digress, let’s get back to bread making! Kirk had stuff he wanted to get done (ooh, he cut and finished me a new work board out of butcher block for the kitchen!) so I figured this lazy-method of bread making would fit right into my busy day. It did, and the bread was fantastic. Crisp on the outside, pillowy and fragrant on the inside. Totally delicious. You have to make some!

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Garlic & Rosemary Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
  • 2 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (or agave nectar for vegan)
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200°, turn off.

In a large oven safe mixing bowl, whisk water and honey together, sprinkle yeast over. Set in warm oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk flour and vital wheat gluten together, set aside.

In a small bowl, stir oil, salt, garlic and rosemary together, add to yeast mixture, whisking in. Add flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring in thoroughly.

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, return to warmed oven, let rise for 2 hours.

Lightly flour a rimmed baking sheet, flour your hands and divide dough into two halves (work gently to avoid deflating it too much. Drop dough on baking sheet, into two balls, sprinkle a little more flour on top. Cover gently with plastic wrap (draped across) and let rise for an hour.

Preheat oven to 450°, cut a shallow slit across the top of each loaf, bake on top rack  for 30 to 40 minutes, until deeply golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Use a thin spatula to run under the leaves, transfer to a cooling rack.

The loaves, once cooled, can be wrapped in plastic wrap, and sealed in gallon freezer bags, and frozen for later use. Defrost wrapped, on the counter to enjoy.

Makes 2 loaves.

~Sarah

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Cookbook Review: 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes

After tucking away my bread machine for the summer, it felt right to take it out and try out some new recipes. Last week I received a copy of 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes for review and jumped right in. While drooling over all the dessert breads and fresh pasta ideas (huh, how did I miss that before that I could make pasta dough in my machine?), I opted for a simple and basic recipe. A 100% whole wheat made vegan. The end results? One of the nicest loaves of bread I have baked. Rustic without being dense, the flavor being mild, made to be the layers of a luscious sandwich. To me, this is sandwich bread. And being able to have bread in a traditional shape has been nice. I am very appreciative of the bread machine Kirk surprised me with for our anniversary this past summer. The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker is a real step up from my previous Breadman. I am hoping Kirk’s tummy can take homemade yeast bread again…after trial and error I think it comes down to avoiding heavy amounts of vital wheat gluten and allowing the bread to sit for a number of hours before eating. Hot bread seems to kill both our stomachs, once cool it is OK. Who knows why? The yeast? Maybe.

Look at that delightful interior – This book is well worth it if you love to bake!

Also…I found something very helpful in the book. Many bread recipes call for dry milk. It adds a lot to bread but with me not buying most dairy items anymore….I saw a next to the recipe about using milk instead of the water + dry milk called for. Oh duh. Gee, the obvious can go past me at times. So I used unsweetened almond milk. Worked perfectly. Use white whole wheat flour if you have it, it is lighter in texture than regular whole wheat.

100% Whole Wheat Bread (Adapted from pages 26-27)

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
  • 3¾ cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1¾ tsp dry active yeast

Directions:

Add ingredients in order (or as called for in bread machine directions). Set for whole wheat, 2 pound loaf.

Remove promptly after baking, let cool fully on a wire rack before slicing. Store loosely wrapped in a bread bag.

Makes one 2 pound loaf.

~Sarah

FTC Disclaimer: We received a copy of the book for potential review.

PS: I posted a great recipe for semi-raw Pistachio Halva bars yesterday on my other  blog, TrailCooking. Check them out, they get even better tasting after an overnight stay in the fridge!

Yeast Free Baking – Continued

Blueberry season is winding down, Walker hasn’t been very happy about that. He was getting a wee bit used to nibbling a half pint or so each evening out back. Only a few berries are left to ripen. Walker tends to “his” plants carefully, helping me water them:

So today I went out to visit our favorite farm, to get produce and honey. I asked if she had any blueberries left. Walker and I went picking, as she harvested the items we needed on the other side of the farm. Although Walker did more eating than putting in the container! He was super hungry when we got home…a good workout it was! And now I am all loaded up with fresh produce for the weekend 🙂

A few more yeast free bread /baking recipes I have tried out recently ~

I think I may have found a winner in my quest for a yeast free sandwich bread. The basic recipe woks nicely, so I played with it, adapting the cooking temperature/time and the flavor, by using rye flour. I found the second version to be even better. The lower temperature gives a moist, easily sliced bread. It was quite good with a little PB and jam on it for lunches.

Basic Yeast Free Sandwich Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly oil a metal bread pan.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and oil, stir till mixed.

Scrape into the prepared pan, smooth out. Bake for 45 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Let sit for 5 minutes, turn out on to a cooling rack. Let cool before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

The second version? Yum! Rye flour can be overwhelming if you make bread that is all rye. Half and half rye/wheat gives a nice flavor without feeling too heavy.

Yeast Free Rye & Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups Rye Flour
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp White Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° and lightly oil a metal bread pan.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and oil, stir till mixed.

Scrape into the prepared pan, smooth out. Bake for 55 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Let sit for 5 minutes, turn out on to a cooling rack. Let cool before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

Another variation on a quick pizza dough, this one uses an egg and while heavier in texture it tastes great and is easy to roll out.

Yeast-Free Quick Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder (used a low-sodium)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, preferably locally sourced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Cornmeal
  • Sauce
  • Toppings
  • Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, shake cornmeal on top.

Add dry ingredients to a stand mixer bowl with dough hook on.

Beat the egg, milk and oil together, add to dry and beat till dough comes together, adding a bit more milk as needed. let the dough knead for a minute once it comes into a ball.

Sprinkle a little flour on a work surface, roll the dough out to fit the pan. Top lightly with sauce, sprinkle on cheese and toppings (saute vegetables beforehand). Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling on top.

Serves 4.

~Sarah

Adventures in Yeast-Free Bread Making

I continue with my goal of finding a “go-to” recipe for a yeast-free bread, preferably one that works well for sandwiches. I know I will get there eventually. Maybe I haven’t found perfection yet, but we have had a lot of tasty ‘almost-theres’. At the same time, I have worked on easy-to-make muffins and flatbread that I can serve with dinner and lunch.

First recipe up is a mix of oat flour and white whole wheat flour. It went well on the side with a bowl of quinoa. A little butter across the top is all it needs.

Oatmeal Quick Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1½ Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil, such as sunflower

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°, lightly oil or spray a bread pan.

In a dry container of a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) process the oats into a fine flour )this can also be done in a food processer, the results will be a bit more textured). Whisk the oat flour, flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk the milk, honey and oil together, add to the dry and mix. Scrape into the prepared pan, bake for 20 minutes, until golden on top. Knock out gently on a cooling rack, let cool down before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

Second recipe wasn’t bread but rather quick muffins that have no added fat and are vegan. They were a perfect side dish to our dinner. although next time I will cut the recipe in half! PS: They would work great for using as a base for biscuits and gravy!

Herb Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried crumbled rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°, lightly oil or spray a non-stick 12 count muffin pan.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the water, stir till mixed. Divide between the muffin cups (about 3 Tablespoons per cup).

Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, till golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Being low-fat, don’t let over bake.

Let cool for a couple of minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

 

Inspired by my recent take on a gluten-free pizza crust, I made this to go witha recent dinner.

Gluten-free Almond Flatbread

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups Almond Meal/Flour
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • Shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a half baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high, add in 1 Tablespoon oil and mushrooms, saute until golden. Set aside to cool down a bit.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the almond flour/meal, salt and baking soda together. Crack the egg into a small bowl, beat the oil in with a fork, add to the dry and stir till moistened. Press into the prepared pan, using your fingers and palms to spread out to the edges. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and  top with the sauce, grate a nice smattering of cheese on top, sprinkle the mushrooms on and top with a little more cheese, return to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Slide the parchment paper off onto a cutting board, cut into pieces.

~Sarah

A Field Trip, Grain-Free Bread & Garden Frittata

Yesterday I took the boys out to a local farm to pick up some lovely blue potatoes and tomatoes. Alistaire was asleep in the van, Ford stayed there with him, so Walker came with me and checked out everything. He was being very shy for once, so unlike him! Annette, the lady who runs the farm, dug us up a couple of pounds of potatoes while we poked around:

We checked out part of their chickens – the older hens were in the fenced yard while the younger ones were out in the sun. She keeps them apart to keep down bickering. Walker was very fascinated, I don’t think he had seen a live chicken up close before!

When we got home I made this pan of bread. Consider it a focaccia style bread. It is creamy, moist and flavorful. A little goes a long way! It wraps up well and stores for a couple of days. While I spent the money for both goat cheeses used, you could substitute, in theory, cream cheese for the soft cheese and any hard cheese for the hard goat cheese. It won’t be the same but would be a lot cheaper. Still, if I am going to indulge in bread like this, buying the best just seems worth it.

Walker (our toddler) enjoyed the bread quite a bit. He ate the same size square as us!

Grain-Free Almond Herb Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Almond Meal/Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ cup finely shredded hard goat cheese
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 3 whole eggs, preferably organic & local
  • 3 Tbsp walnut oil or other cold-pressed oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion (fresh or rehydrated dried)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • Fine sea salt for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°, lightly oil a 9×13″ glass baking pan with a bit more oil, set aside.

Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs smooth, add the soft goat cheese and beat in, then the remaining ingredients. Add to the dry, stir to mix. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Dust very lightly with a pinch more salt on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden on top. Let cool on a rack, then cut into wedges or squares, pop out with a small spatula. Store leftovers in the refrigerator wrapped up.

The bread is sturdy enough it can be split in half for use as a sandwich bread as well. And served with fresh tomatoes!

Well…here is something to admit: I hadn’t ever bought a Parsnip before. I know….sheesh. I finally found some nice looking ones that were not limp (I am looking at you local Safeway! Your Parsnips could be tied into bows!!) This is a very pretty dish, and yes, it is egg-centric, but I have so many lovely eggs to use up from the farmers market and Saturday is fast approaching! This is a nice way to approach vegetables in children.

But alas, my Garden Frittata needs a little more work. I had baked it and it was a bit soft in the center for my taste (but done on the outside). I ended up crisping it in a skillet in a bit of oil – and then it was quite tasty – and crispy. Back to the drawing, er, recipe board!

~Sarah

Maple Seedy Bread

I took my favorite honey whole wheat bread and changed it into a vegan friendly 1½ lb loaf, perfect for thick sliced sandwiches. Normally I use raw seeds and nuts, in this case toasted flaxseed is amazing. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, it is hidden in the breakfast section.

It is a rhythm….I wake up, put the bread on in the machine, make breakfast (oats usually) and carry on with my day. If I happen to be out with the boys Kirk pulls the bread out 3½ hours or so later and when I get back we have lunch.

Maple Seedy Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

Directions:

Add all the ingredients in order listed. Set for a Basic Loaf, medium crust in a Zojirushi Breadmachine, whole wheat 1½ lb loaf in other machines. Once baked, remove promptly and cool on a wire rack. Use with 24 hours for best taste.

Makes one 1½ lb loaf.

~Sarah

Honey Whole Wheat Bread & A New Bread Machine

A happy Summer Solstice to everyone! School let out today (way too many snow days had to be made up). It is sunny today and I am enjoying it. There are ripe strawberries waiting to be picked, when Walker gets up from his nap.

Last weekend was Kirk and mine’s wedding anniversary and my super awesome husband got me a new bread machine!

A long story it turned out to be. Kirk tried so hard to get me a gift I’d love and make it a surprise. Until the phone rang and I answered it. It was a customer service rep from King Arthur babbling on about how the bread machine I had ordered wasn’t available. Ouch. Kirk’s surprise was gone and he couldn’t get me what he wanted to order. No one had the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker in stock. I wasn’t mad….but I posted on their Facebook page about Kirk’s disappointment and they listened, getting in touch with me via the blog. After talking it over I decided I’d be just as happy with the other model, the Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker. As a bonus it comes in white, which matches everything in my kitchen. They offered free shipping and sent it 2 Day, plus sent me a goodie box of flour, yeast, cinnamon, a dough scraper, dough whisk and more. Wow. So maybe his surprise was ruined but they did make up for it! Their boxing of the bread machine comes with a KA cookbook and tip sheets as well.

The new machine does have a learning curve. First, you don’t use the whole wheat cycle. Ignore it and use basic. Second there is no difference between 1½ and 2 lb loaves. Just set and go. Since I use warm water and don’t chill things like honey and molasses, the auto warming cycle is overkill. What I do is put the machine on, set it, start and then putter, adding the ingredients. By the time I have done that, cleaned up and put away everything the first kneading cycle is on. I do babysit the dough and make sure it isn’t too dry or wet (which should be done with any machine) until the first kneading is done, then I ignore it.

What I love is having a normal looking loaf of bread. It makes for easy sandwiches. No tall loaves of bread. The double paddles make kneading a snap.

This loaf of bread is amazing tasting. I put it on before breakfast, took it out at 10 am and we ate it at Noon. Yum! And this brings me to something. Kirk and I were at the grocery store, walking through the bread aisle and we both noticed something. What used to smell good doesn’t anymore. That smell of bread, carby goodness? Instead it is replaced by a chemical, stale odor that hangs in the air. All it takes is 2 to 3 weeks of daily bread making and you become spoiled. Bread can be as simple or fancy as you like, but why eat chemicals if you don’t need to?

With Ford out of school for the summer I can now go to making bread in the morning, instead of at night, as I was doing during the school year.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower or other neutral oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour (plus more if needed)
  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Brown Sesame Seeds
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp active yeast

Directions:

Add all the ingredients in order listed. Set for a Basic Loaf, medium crust in a Zojirushi machine, whole wheat 1½ lb loaf in other machines. Once baked, remove promptly and cool on a wire rack. Use with 24 hours for best taste.

~Sarah

Two Days of Homemade Bread

Woke up to a morning that was cool with pockets of sun but no rain (finally), I loaded up the two youngest in their BOB Duallie stroller after breakfast and we set off for town. As I have mentioned before there is no straight path to “town”, due to the major 3 roads having few sidewalks. Once I make it out of our development, which is all private roads but safe, I am already in for ½ mile. Over the years I have found a couple of back ways to get to the grocery stores, where I only have a few yards of sketchy road walking. The downside is it takes me 5½ miles round trip to do this. I live in city limits! If I could walk the highway, that is one of the main roads, it would be under 3 miles round trip. Oh well, more exercise I suppose. We had a good time though, it was mild temperatures, breezy and the walking went fast. We picked up a sandwich and had lunch at a pocket park on the way back.

Now that the weather is getting nice I am hoping to wean myself off the car for as much as I can. The biggest issue I have faced is finding a route to the post office and library that avoids the dreaded 3rd main road (speed limit 35, people drive it like it is an expressway).

A certain toddler at the library yesterday – his highlight was watching a prisoner transfer between the local cops and the sheriff’s office in the parking lot. He thought it was hilarious…..

I think I have found a back route. The mileage will be bad and it has a very steep hill in the center that I will have to walk both ways, plus when I come back home I have a big hill to get to our house. But why am I crabbing? I NEED to do this. Good training for summer hiking!! Anyways…. time is something I have. The kids love the stroller. And we get outside. Just shows how pedestrian unfriendly my town is 😦

But on to better things!

With us now firmly making bread every day (and by “we” that means me and them eating!) I am trying to keep things interesting by trying new variations daily. So what have we had the past two days?

Tuesday –

Golden Raisin Bread

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, used sunflower
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1¼ cups organic all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1¼ tsp dry active yeast
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

Directions:

Add the ingredients in order listed or as your bread machine calls for, reserving the raisins. Set for a 1 lb whole wheat loaf, medium crust. In the last few minutes of the second knead cycle add the raisins and let them knead in.

Once baked remove promptly, knock out and cool on a wire rack.

Makes a 1 pound loaf.

Wednesday –

Country Crust White Bread

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, used olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dry milk
  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast

Directions:

Add the ingredients in order listed or as bread machine calls for. Set for a 1 lb white loaf, medium crust. Once baked remove promptly and knock out, cool on a wire rack.

Makes a 1 pound loaf.

And my anniversary present is slated to show up today! Lets just say it could make bread making even more fun! More to come soon!

~Sarah

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