Archive for February, 2011

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Finally, a recipe for whole wheat bread that doesn’t end up as dense as a brick! This recipe is taken from The King Arthur Flour website with only a few minor changes. Soft and tender, but holds up to a schmear of peanut butter.

2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 cup orange juice (I used apple juice)
5 tablespoons melted butter (I used half butter, half oil)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder (I used dry buttermilk powder)
3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, approximately

Combine the lukewarm liquids and dissolve the yeast in it. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes, until it proofs.

Combine the yeast/liquid with the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead (by hand, mixer, or bread machine) until you’ve made a cohesive dough. If you’re using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for about 7 minutes. Note that 100% whole wheat dough will never become smooth and supple like dough made with all-purpose flour; it’ll feel more like clay under your hands, and may appear a bit rough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise till it’s expanded and looks somewhat puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. Note that dough kneaded in a bread machine will rise faster and higher than bread kneaded in a mixer, which in turn will rise faster and higher than one kneaded by hand. So if you’re kneading by hand, you may want to let the dough rise longer than 90 minutes.

Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Gently shape the dough into a smooth log, and settle it into the pan, smooth side up.

Tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise till it’s crowned over the rim of the pan by about 3/4″, about 75 minutes. Don’t let it rise too high; it’ll continue to rise as it bakes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack and allow to cool completely.

[Edit] With minor increases to some of the ingredient amounts, you can yield 2 smaller loaves at one time, instead of just one large loaf.

3 teaspoons yeast
1 cup of water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, approximately

February 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

Waffles – A small batch


1 cup of AP flour (or 1/2 cup AP & 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup milk (any kind, any fat level, buttermilk)
1 egg, separated
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or melted butter)
vegetable oil spray

Plug in your waffle iron

Beat egg white until stiff peaks, set aside
mix milk, oil, sugar, and egg yolk until sugar dissolves, set aside
combine flour, baking powder, and salt
add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix to just combine, may still be a bit lumpy
fold in egg white

Spray preheated iron with oil, lightly
put a scant 3/4 cup of batter in the iron and close the lid
let cook for about 3 minutes

Makes 3 waffles

I’m a bit of purist when it comes to waffles; I don’t really like stuff in them, just on them. So I won’t be offering any suggestions about adding fruit or chocolate to this recipe.

These freeze really well and crisp up beautifully in the toaster oven.

February 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm 3 comments

Tom kha gai – A small batch

aka Tom yum gai or Thai-style Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

My use of coconut milk in the recipe is the reason for the specific title. This is definitely not an authentic recipe, since I’ve omitted or exchanged a few traditional, but hard to find ingredients. The lemon grass was hard enough to track down; I didn’t even attempt to find kaffir lime leaves or galanga at my local supermarket. But, I think this comes pretty close, and is very satisfying.

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced
2-3 pieces lime zest, julienned
1 garlic clove, bruised
1 1/2 teaspoon nahm plah (fish sauce)
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1  5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 can straw mushrooms, drained
1 can baby corn, drained
1/4 cup lime juice (in a pinch I’ve used lemon juice with success)
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (or a good squirt of Rooster Sauce to taste)
cilantro, chopped handful for garnish (optional)

Add to a pot broth, water, lemon grass, ginger, zest, garlic, fish sauce, chili flakes, and sugar
bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
remove lemon grass, ginger, zest, and garlic from broth

Add coconut milk, mushrooms, corn, chicken, and lime juice
stir, heat through, and serve

February 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Whole Wheat Bagels

1 cup warm water
3 cups flour (2 whole wheat and 1 AP or bread flour, approximately)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast

Proof yeast in warm water and white sugar
add flour and salt and mix into a manageable dough
knead dough for 10 minutes, you may need to flour counter
let the dough rest, covered for 15 minutes

Cut smoothed and rested dough into 6 – 8 even pieces
shape into balls
then form the hole with your thumb and forefinger and stretching the bagel
let them rise, covered on greased baking sheet for 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 425°
bring 1 gallon of water + brown sugar to a boil
reduce heat and bring water to a simmer
boil each bagel for 1 minute on each side, the bagels will float
remove from water with a slotted spoon
set on a towel to drain
dip damp bagel in a plate of any topping of your choice at this time
place on greased cookie sheet
bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden brown

February 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Seafood Stew – A small batch


aka cioppino

Not only is this a small batch, but it’s the perfect pantry-version of this recipe. All the ingredients are canned, bottled, or frozen. But, that said, I’ve added fresh fish and seafood before, with great success.

Oil, for sautéing
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1  14 ounce can crushed tomato
1 bottle clam juice
2 small cans chopped clams, reserve liquid
1 small can crab meat, drained
12 shrimp, cleaned and deveined (honestly you can add as many shrimp as you’d like)
1 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 cup fresh basil, chopped (a sprinkling of dried basil can be added when oregano is added, if fresh is not on hand)
salt and pepper

sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender
add fennel seed and oregano
add tomato and clam juice, bring to a simmer
add canned crab and clams, heat through
add shrimp, heat through
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle with chopped basil and serve

February 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm 1 comment

Just call me Cupcake

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February 2011