Category Archives: Bread

Steamed Boston Brown Bread

I have a breadmaker for the everyday sandwich loaf bread. Toss it all in, leave it alone overnight, wake up to fresh bread! Voila!

Except every time I do that I have nowhere to put the bread. Wrapping it in cellophane is tedious and wasteful so, last Friday, I ordered something from Amazon for the first time. Ever.  I bought myself a breadbox. OK, it isn’t one of those giant countertop breadboxes, its a small portable one with a little vent for moisture control. Sweeeeeet.

Wheeeee

Best thing ever? It showed up Monday! This was my motivation to make the Brown Bread.  This recipe is from the same book as the potato soup that I love, The Encyclopedia of Nutrition and Cooking, and it has lots of really down to earth recipes.  I haven’t decided if I actually like the bread yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty. It’s moist and rich and the molasses stands out most of all.  The raisins are a source of uneasiness for me. I really don’t like them in baked goods, the texture is completely at odds with fluffy. But sometimes they surprise me.

I only had one can so I used a few jelly jars instead with varying results.  I forgot to grease one of the jars, and figured I would be able to tell which it was thinking that I would have trouble removing it. However, it was the exact opposite. Two of them were stuck. Do I not need to grease the bottles? Or did I do something else? Hmmmm…

Recipe:

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1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup enriched yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup dark molasses
1 cup dark or golden raisins

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In a bowl, combine raisins, molasses and buttermilk and stir until the buttermilk and molasses are joined.

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In a a larger bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

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I got to use my new danish whisk! It worked like a charm. I like its sturdiness and somehow, the dough doesn’t stick to it.

Add liquid mixture to flour mixture; stir only enough to moisten flour.   (I couldn’t bring myself to post a picture of the batter. There is just no way to make some batter look nice.)

Spoon batter into well greased 16-oz cans (small coffee can) – only 2/3 full.

Cover cans tightly with foil. (I added a rubber band)

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Place cans on a trivet in a steamer or in a saucepot with a tight-fitting cover. Fill steamer with water to no more than half the height of the can. Tightly cover steamer (saucepot). Steam for 3 hours.

(I didn’t exactly have a tight fitting lid, so I kept having to refill the water. I’m not sure all the ups and downs in temp were good for it.)

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I did my jars the same way. I greased them with coconut oil and then added foil and elastics.

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After about an hour and a half, I got curious… aaaaand impatient. So I peaked under the lid of the can and I convinced myself it was done! The toothpick came out clean and so I set about heating up some beans cutting myself a slice.

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Sadly, and yet somehow not unexpectedly, it was close, but not quite done.  Back in the steamer with you, Loafy! I was pretty sure I had ruined it at this point.

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I kept the tester slice and ate it with some beans. Very tasty, even if a tad doughy!

Eventually, after the full 3 hours was up, I ended up with a nice collection of bread cylinders.  They are dense and moist and I am not totally opposed to the raisins. haha!

Serve warm and layer with a generous helping of butter and enjoy!

DSC03670aAt least now I have somewhere to store them! 😀

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Now that’s some steamy bread!

Coffee and Cheeses and Bread, Oh My!




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Went for a nice Sunday afternoon walk down my street.

Returned home with:

Coffee:

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  • organically decaffeinated guatemalan dark roast coffee – tastes like dark chocolate
  • a limited edition blend called Twisted Sister from Peru – smells fruity and a little chocolaty.

Cheese:

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  • dutch goat gouda (which goes excellently with the Inniskillin wine from last nite!)
  • reblochon de savoie
  • Gorgonzola – which doesn’t equal the gorg from Italy, although it is quite nice and smooth

Bread:

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  • Organic sourdough

Currently, I’m enjoying a little of each while watching an episode of Star Trek:TNG. It is all incredible.  I have a ton of stuff to get done today, but with food like that in my kitchen it’s hard not to just eat all day.

Homemade Bagels

I love bagels. I think they’re my favourite bread product. They’re so versatile and they come in so many flavours!

They’re great for breakfast and lunch and I love toasting them and slicing it into small pieces to dip in hummus. So crispy and chewy at the same time. (In fact, while writing this, I had to go toast one so I could dip it in baba ganoush)

For some reason this Monday I had the urge to make bagels. Another bread craving again.   haha! They worked out pretty well and weren’t that hard, although they were time consuming, and my kitchen is now completely covered in sesame seeds 😛

I used a recipe from the Food Network. Good ol’ Emeril!

Actually, the recipe is a tad weird, and I’m not sure if I’m missing something, or if he is… But since the bagels turned out pretty darn good, I guess I’ll let it go!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups warm water (110°F)
2 (1/4 oz) packets active dry yeast
3 tbsp granulated sugar, plus 1 tbsp
5-6 cups alll-purpose flour
2 tsp vegetable oil

 DIRECTIONS:

Combine the water, yeast and three tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt.  Mix until the mixture comes together.

come together... right now...

Add the remaining 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour in 1/2 cup increments to make a stiff dough, stirring with a wooden spoon or your hands. I definitely used my hands after a while.  

... have a ball...

The recipe says to knead for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface… (What was the point of mentioning the stand mixer?) I hate kneading dough so I used my stand mixer with the dough hook. I maintained the 5 minutes time, although I possibly could have gone more.  The dough should not be sticky; it should be heavy and stiff, more so than regular yeast bread dough.

an oiled ball

Grease a large bowl with oil.  Place dough in the bowl and roll around to coat.  Cover and let rise in a warm spot for about an hour – until almost doubled in size.

I left it for an hour… It was doubled, if not more…

poof!

Punch down the dough.  Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2-3 oz each.  Roll each piece into a log, 4″ – 6″ long. Join the ends  – it’s sorta tricky to get them to stick. The recipe suggests putting fingers through the hole and rolling them together. It works well.

Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover with a clean cloth and let rest until risen but not doubled – 20 to 30 minutes.

aren't they cute?

Preheat oven to 400°F

In a large heavy pot, bring 12 cups (I didn’t measure, I just filled a big pot!) water to a boil. Add the remaining tbsp of sugar (I forgot).  Add a bagel to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  I added 3 at a time and 1 always got over boiled, so 2 was easier.  Make sure you have good tongs for this part.

Take a boiled bagel out and dip it in whatever topping you have prepared – I used sesame seeds, but it can be anything you choose.

Place back on the oiled sheet, topping side up.  Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 minutes. 30 minutes was way too long, mine were more like 20, and even at that some were fairly brown. Just keep an eye on them.

toasty!

Since I have a tiny oven, I could only put 1 batch of 6 in at a time, and I had 16 bagels. By the time I got to the last 4, they’d been ‘rising’ for almost an hour. I’m not quite sure why this rising time matters, since as far as I can tell, they all turned out the same (except for the ones I burned). 

Cool on a wire rack.

They are super tasty.  A bit chewy, but still very good. Maybe that’s what the rising affects? hmm…  I will try them again, maybe with a different recipe… See what the outcome is.

Kamut Pita

I was in the mood to make bread.

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I made pitas sometime last January… they worked perfectly but now I have no idea what I did with the recipe. bah.

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So, I looked up another recipe from The Fresh Loaf . Easy to follow, good information.

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I used kamut flour and a little whole wheat, since I had just under 3 cups of kamut left. The recipe says to roll our to 1/4″ or 1/8″, definitely go with 1/8″. I had a couple thicker ones and they didn’t poof, but the thin ones look great!

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I ate one of the non-poofed ones. It was so soft and I love the flavour of the kamut flour. It’s my new favourite thing.

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I can’t wait to stuff these with Greek things tonight!