A CookBook Recipes & Other Stuff or How to Keep the Kids from Developing Beriberi After They've Moved Away From Home

Friday, January 07, 2011

Brown Bread

This recipe is another that appeared in Beard on Bread by James Beard. Among the many excellent recipes is this very simple no-knead recipe for a whole wheat bread. No-knead means you can mix it all up like a thick batter rather than dough, throw it in a pan and as soon as it has risen, bake it!! Beard describes how he found the recipe at Myrtle Allen's inn, Ballymaloe House, in Ireland. This is a firm bread that is wonderful with butter and cheese, and tastes like we all imagine wheat bread should taste

3 3/4 cups stone ground whole-wheat flour
1 pkg yeast
2 cups warm water (100 to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons dark molasses or honey
1 tablespoon salt

Put the flour and salt in an oven proof mixing bowl and place in a warm oven. Leave in the oven about 10 minutes. Both the flour and bowl should be just warm when you mix the bread dough.

Take 1/2 cup warm water, add 2 tbps honey and stir in the yeast. Allow to proof. When the flour feels warm to your fingers, remove the bowl from the oven. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour and salt and pour the water into the flour. Stir until you have a sticky dough, almost like a very thick batter. If the humidity is low (in Houston? like that's ever going to happen!!), you may need a little more liquid. If so, add water. If the dough seems too thin, add a tablespoon or two of flour and stir in well. Since you do not knead this dough, beat it for a minute or to get a better texture.

Butter a 9 x 5 x 3-inch bread pan and put the dough in. Smooth the top with a wet spoon. Cover and allow to rise by about one-third. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees about 20 minutes before the dough is risen - it will probably just reach the top of the pan. Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If the bread is browning too quickly, lower the heat to 400F. Remove the bread from the pan and leave it in the turned-off oven for a few minutes to make the crust crisp. Set on a rack to cool. Brush the top and sides with a little butter while the loaf is still hot.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Buttermilk White Bread

Another use for leftover buttermilk! or make this and use leftover buttermilk for salad dressing? any way it's good and tangy and useful when you don't want to make sourdough - good for sandwiches and toast - it's stolen from James Beard's On Bread, the recipe supposedly also makes good rolls - need to try those sometime ...

The recipe barely made 2 9x5 inch loaves - I would perhaps increase the buttermilk to 3 cups next time or make 2 8 inch loaves? Ok, I made some more today and used 3 cups of buttermilk, leaving everything else the same - I think there was too much salt for one loaf, but it seems fine for two - it worked really well and made 2 nice sized loaves! I've adjusted the recipe to reflect the increase ... btw, I added some whole wheat flour and it worked out well.

1 pkg yeast

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup warm water


1 tbsp salt

3 tbsp melted butter

3 cups slightly warmed buttermilk

Proof yeast, sugar, warm water in a small bowl

add salt and melted butter to buttermilk

Add proofed yeast, then add flour and knead

Place in buttered bowl and let rise until doubled

Divide into two portions and form loaves, place in buttered loaf pans and cover

Let rise again

Bake in preheated oven at 375F for about 40 minutes

Roast Potatoes

Roast potatoes - there are never enough of these ... you can only make as many as will fit. I would suggest making as many as you would if you were serving baked potatoes - one large russet per person and one extra for the pot.

I think I've got a method for roasting potatoes without a roast pork or roast beef, which is useful as these meats never have any fat on them any more and don't roast potatoes very well - but I would save bacon/chicken fat for doing this - it just has more flavor!

? whatever number of peeled russet potatoes

some sort of oil

Cut the potatoes into whatever size or shape you wish

Boil for 3/5 minutes in salted water

Drain, replace in pot and shake till a bit dry and fuzzy

Place in oven proof pan and drizzle with oil/butter/grease/fat of any kind or mixture thereof

Bake at 400F for about 30 - 45 minutes, depending on size of pieces, turning pieces every 10 minutes or so to brown evenly

The reason for the shaking is to get them fuzzy on the cooked outer layer so the potatoes brown better and get crispy enough so they don't get soggy when you take them out of the oven - sort of like why those crappy frozen extra crispy fries are coated with some kind of unknown starch that makes them really weird?