Friday, October 29, 2010

Wake Up and Smell the Bread Baking

Earlier this year I bought a book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day but yet to use it. The book calls for some special equipment (like a 6 quart food safe storage container with lid, a pizza peel, baking stone) that I would have to buy. Anyway, yesterday I decided I'd just use what I had. My huge Pyrex bowl has always worked well for rising, and I could use my perforated pizza pan to bake the bread.
The dough was a breeze to make, and after plopping it into the bowl to rise I set off to meet Heather and Rachel for some drinks, which turned into dinner, and so five hours later I came home to put the dough in the refrigerator for me to deal with the next day.
I woke early this morning, and it was chilly! I figured I'd bake the bread, and help warm up the house so I took the dough from the fridge, shaped it, and let it sit for 40 minutes to warm up. 450 degrees, a little water bath for the baking, and voila! 20 minutes later I had some delicious bread for my breakfast.
Today I'm off to buy some rye flour so I can try another recipe. I love this book!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

It's quite blustery and wet outside -- a perfect day to make soup! Tonight we shall laugh at the rain while feasting on black bean soup and buttermilk wheat bread.

I love black bean soup but it can be a bit bland. I was happy to find this spicier version on (click on link for recipe). I made a few adjustments to the recipe by dicing four carrots instead of two. I also added a stalk of celery (diced of course), an additional clove of garlic, and half a teaspoon of coriander. I cooked black beans instead of using canned. It does take time but it's so easy: just soak the beans in cold water (eight hours minimum or overnight), drain and rinse, add 6 cups fresh water, bring to boil, and then simmer until tender (between one to two hours). I prefer chunky soups with broth rather than a thicker pureed base so I skipped that step. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt, and yum!

Making bread is a breeze with my KitchenAid mixer, and the dough hook is my favorite attachment. The only problem is I make a loaf, serve it at dinner, and it disappears! I think I'll try a little psychology tonight, and bake the bread in mini loaf pans. We'll see how it goes. Tonight I'm making wheat bread from a recipe I found on (click on link for recipe). I don't usually have bread flour on hand so I use all purpose flour. It works just fine!