Friday, September 18, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Cocotella (like Nutella)

I thought I'd try my hand at a substitute for Nutella using coconut oil.  

1C coconut oil
2oz confectioners' sugar
2oz cocoa powder
3/4C powdered milk
1/4 t almond extract
1/2 t vanilla extract 

It's tasty without the addictive quality of Nutella.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

English Muffins Take 2

The first batch was tasty but tiny. Good for tea sandwiches, and delicious with butter and jam. I wanted larger standard sized muffins for breakfast, and to use in the breakfast sandwich maker (I will review it in a future post) that has become a favorite tool.

I used a pint sized glass to cut the dough. It was a bit sticky, but the right size. Here are the semolina dusted rounds ready for final rise.

My ancient cast iron griddle:

Starting to puff up. 

5 minutes later, flip.  

Cooling.  Side two only takes 3 minutes. 

The small muffin is from the first batch, for comparison. Yield for the first batch (using 2" cookie cutter): 14. Second batch (pint glass- 3"):  9. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Candied Grapefruit Peel

In the interest of decreasing waste and using everything, candied peels. It's pretty simple.  Three ingredients: sugar, water, peels.  In addition to candy and an  ingredient for baking, there will be syrup for drinks and flavored sugar.

Eat the fruit, trim the peels, place in a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil. Drain.

Return to the pot. Add equal parts sugar and water.  Simmer until translucent. 

Remove from syrup and place on racks to dry.

Strain the syrup into a clean jar. 

A tea strainer and a wide mouth funnel make it easier. 

The syrup is tart and tasty. Grapefruit soda or add gin for a Grapefruit Tom Collins.  Soak a cake.  A base for granita.  Use your imagination.

Dry on racks set in trays (parchment lined trays for easy cleanup) until desired consistency. For fruit slices type candy, dry until soft and sticky, then coat with sugar.  For batons that may be dipped in chocolate, wait until firm and slightly tacky.  It was humid in my kitchen: soft = 1 day, firm = 3 days

Grapefruit batons, tossed with sugar for storage.  The sugar left behind is great to sprinkle on baked goods, dress the rim of a glass.  

Serve as is, dip in chocolate, use as you would candied orange or lemon peel.  Very nice as a garnish for mixed drinks. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sourdough English Muffins

Another experiment: 1/2C sourdough starter, 1C milk, 1 T honey, +/- 2C flour (used some whole wheat), 1/2t salt, 1/2t baking soda.
Fork split
Nooks and crannies
Toasted with homemade butter

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sourdough Boule with Whole Wheat

This was an experiment so I didn't measure the ingredients or take many pictures.  It but it turned out well.  

Step 1
Put about 1 C starter in a large bowl. Feed with about 1/2 C each water and flour. Mix well.  Cover and let stand until bubbly (2 hours at 70° ambient temp). 

Sourdough starter, named yIH, just celebrated 2nd birthday. 

Step 2
Stir in about 1 C whole wheat flour.  Add all purpose flour and coarse salt (about a palmful) and knead briefly and form a ball, place in an oiled bowl, flip ball to coat with oil.  Mist with water, cover and let rise until doubled (overnight). 

Step 3
Place a piece of parchment inside a cast iron Dutch oven. Turn onto floured board and knead with wet hands. Form a ball (AKA round loaf AKA boule) and place in Dutch oven. Mist with water, cover pot and let rest 45 minutes.  

Step 4
Preheat oven to 450°. Slash the loaf with a sharp knife, mist, cover and place the pot in to oven. Bake 20 minutes.  Lower heat to 400°.  Brush loaf with oil to enhance browning and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven but leave in pot for 20 minutes. Lift using parchment, and place on a cooling rack. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Sometimes you just want soft white bread for egg salad or peanut butter and jelly. Or for the honey - hazelnut - pistachio - apricot kernel - peanut spread you found. Makes two loaves.

1C active starter
2-6 T sugar
1 1/2 C milk
3 T butter, melted
2 eggs
Unbleached all purpose flour
1 T coarse salt

Combine starter, sugar, milk, eggs and some flour to make a thick batter.  Let stand in a warm place until it looks puffed and alive. Stir in salt and enough flour to create a soft dough.  Place in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled (@ 70° ambient temperature- approximately 10 hours).  

Turn dough onto floured board, knead, divide in two and shape into loaves, place in bread pans.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough reaches top of pans (8 hours @ 70°).  

Preheat oven to 400°. Brush loaves with butter.  Bake 10 minutes.  Lower oven to 350°. Bake for 20-30 minutes (or internal temperature of 200°. 

Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans to wire racks. Let cool completely before cutting with a serrated knife. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chianti Braised Beef

Dust beef with flour salt and pepper.  Brown in olive oil. 
Remove meat to a plate.
Cook coarsely chopped celery, carrots, and onion until softened.  Deglaze the pan with a little wine or water. 
Add the browned beef, rosemary, bay leaf, thyme and one bottle of chianti.
Cover and braise at 425° for two hours. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Caci e Pepe Scones

Finished product.
1 C flour, 1 C whole wheat flour, 1T baking powder, 1/2 t salt, 1 t coarsely ground black pepper, 1/2 C grated Romano cheese. 
1 stick of butter, cubed. 
Cutting in the butter with a pastry blender. 
Zest and juice of one lemon, plus milk to equal one cup. 
Adding the liquid. If the mixture seems dry add a little milk. 
Prepared work surface- parchment paper. 
Pile the dough on the parchment paper. 
Form dough into a circle and score into 8 wedges. 
Sliding the parchment onto the baking sheet. 
Brush with egg wash.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. 
Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes then cut the wedges again to separate.  Let cool and enjoy. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chocapocalypse Cookies (Alton Brown)

Happy Valentine's Day!  I've had this recipe for awhile. It is from Alton Brown and was sent as part of Food Network's "12 Days of Cookies" email.  It calls for  4 kinds of chocolate (100, 72, 54, 40 %) and cocoa nibs.  Sahadi's had all of the chocolate (as wafers) in the bulk department and the nibs in packages.  A labor of love, especially so due to my lack of a microwave (for melting chocolate).  

These are not for the faint of heart.  Do not be tempted to make the cookies any larger.  If I make them again, I will decrease the chopped chocolate mix in.  The cocoa nibs add a nice flavor and crunch. Serve with cold milk or strong coffee.