HB in 5 – Round 2~

13 04 2010

This is my 2nd batch of the basic recipe of Healthy Bread in 5 minutes.   I didn’t measure carefully this time.  I didn’t fluff the flour trying to get a nice airy cup with a perfectly level top.  I scooped with my half cup measure very rustically.  That’s a half cup…well almost; next one needs to be more full.  One cup.  One and a half cups…better short the next half cup a little.   2 cups…generous cups!  You get the idea.   I didn’t quite add all the water either.  I added 2 cups, then 1 cup and a bit more.  I think I had about 3-1/2 cups of liquid in when the sides of the bowl were cleaning nicely.  This loaf formed easily and held it’s shape nicely during rising.  It’s about 8 inches long and 4-5 inches tall, 5-6 inches from side to side at the widest.  Its got a wonderfully crunchy crust…ok…the grains help, I know that, but still.  Baking on a stone with hot water added to a pan a couple of times doesn’t hurt either!  *Ü*

There is a flaw in the bread however.  *sigh*  I confess…the crumb is inappropriate.  It isn’t the holey, tunnel riddled loaf it should be.  Instead it has a more delicate crumb with the slightly moist character anticipated.   It slices beautifully though, and makes excellent toast.  I was able to slice it as thin as 3/8 inch while still warm with a crunchy crust.  Cutting through THAT was a challenge!

I think I know why the bread doesn’t have the right texture…I let it rise in the bowl it mixed in, then turned it into another bowl to go into the fridge, and had to move it one more time.  That much handling may have broken up the action…and without additional fed yeast to grow…that could be a problem.  I’m sure we’re trying another version of this.  I picked up some 5 grain cereal to work with for a recipe.  I couldn’t get the 10 gr. cereal…you know what I tell you about shopping here!  LOL!  It doesn’t always go according to plan…sometimes you have to change the plan a little!

I’m not unhappy with the bread.  It tastes good.  It’s got a bit of the fermented thing going on in the flavor.  It’s got the nuttiness of the whole grains, and I love that.  It’s certainly costing me less than $4.50 to make a loaf…it’s costing maybe $4.50 for the whole batch of 4-5 loaves.  Even if I never get the hang of doing it “right,” I can at least throw a loaf of decent bread together that I’m comfortable serving to friends or family and that holds in the fridge for up to 10 days.  That works for me!


Spring Firsts~

11 04 2010

It’s officially Spring everywhere, regardless of what the weather is doing, and I’m trying to remember to stop and smell the roses, and capture some of the firsts of the season…  This is our first rose of the year.  It’s a hybrid tea, what name, I don’t recall, but the blossom is literally the size of a tea cup.  We were due to have a big storm hit about 24 hours after this baby opened, and I wasn’t about to sacrifice the first rose to the rain.  Sadly…the showers destroyed all but one of my camellias this year.

Picked on April 7th…this was our first garden picked salad of the year.  All the lettuce and herbs came from our own garden.  There are lettuce plants tucked in here, there, and just about anywhere I can find a spot out there.  I think I somehow put all the mini crisp-head varieties outside already, and I’ve got all the leafy plants here in the house.   That’s ok…I’ll pick them in here if I need to!  If Mother Nature would just cooperate a little more than she’s been…mercy! LOL!  I get two days home…one day it’s too windy to try to do anything outside with the plants, the next day it’s raining!  I know…If I were enough of a trooper, I’d get out there anyway…and it may come to that!

I admit, I didn’t even realize it was strawberry season until I got to the Farmers’ Market on Thursday, the 8th.  It was their 2nd week open…we missed the first week, mostly due to weather.  There were quite a few fun things…lots of garlic and spring onions…sweet peas, pea shoots, and strawberries.  Not only did they smell wonderful, they tasted just as good. We got 2 baskets and just noshed them.  Yum.  Other things we saw and picked up included Swiss chard, eggs-all sizes and colors!-but we didn’t buy those!  There were tamales, breads, lots of different foods and jewelry vendors… Almonds, candles, bee products, olive oil…I’ve yet to find a local olive oil I like.  Sorry guys.  I’m still tasting though!  And flowers…Oh my the flowers…

52 Weeks of Cookies~Easter Story Cookies

3 04 2010

Begin on Easter Saturday.

Preheat oven to 300*F

Place 1 cup whole pecans in a zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19: 1-3.

1 teaspoon vinegar:
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30

3 egg whites:
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10: 10-11

pinch salt:
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23: 27

1 cup sugar:
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar to the bowl. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa. 1: 18 and John 3: 1-3.

Use the wooden spoon to fold in the broken nuts.

Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheets. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
Read Matt. 27: 57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of duct tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27: 65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16: 20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter morning, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9


(This recipe is by Wanda Long and appeared in Home Life magazine.)

Healthy Bread in 5~Sandwich Rolls

3 04 2010

Round 2 with the basic recipe from HR in 5.  The dough was a little easier to handle today.  There’s a little more flour in it from what I added yesterday as I poured it into the fridge container, and what got sprinkled on it during loaf acquisition.  I think the big thing is that now it’s cold…and timid.  I took dough from opposite corners to try to get 2 similar sized rolls for dinner size sandwiches.  That was the plan.  Again, the dough spread very wide as it rose…part of that was me attempting to slash it, part of it is that it needs more flour.   That dough was just too soft.  Got it.  The seeds on top are amaranth seeds, which are another complete protein grain, smaller even than quinoa.   I let these rise a full 90 minutes, though 60 was plenty.  I set the oven to bake for 30 minutes, but set a timer for 15 minutes to remove the parchment paper, and realized the bread was done.

As it worked out, just one of these huge crusty rolls was enough for both of us to share.  The roll sliced horizontally quite easily once cooled.   We were having them filled with pulled pork slathered with barbecue sauce, so the roll went into the toaster briefly.  The bottom of the roll was covered with 2 slices of provolone cheese and the top was left to toast ever so slightly.  Once the cheese melted, out the roll came.  The cheese was smothered in pulled pork and barbecue sauce and topped with cole slaw.

It’s ok.  You can admit you want a bite.  The two tangy tastes against each other is so good!  I’d always wondered why they put their slaw on their pulled pork in the Carolinas, and now I have an idea.  The only way I’ll really get it is to go there and try the real thing.  Some day.  Until then…I’ll have to settle.  I think I can manage….for now.  And yes…the roll held up to all the getting soggier by the minute goodness to the very end.  What a trooper!

Healthy Bread in 5~The Basic Recipe

2 04 2010

When the Artisan Bread at home every day became popular, I was intrigued.  It was mostly a white bread recipe though.  If I were going to make homemade bread of any sort that often, it would need to have more of a whole grain potential.  The authors must’ve heard my plea…because here it is.   Completely easy, worked like a charm, fat free and in only took minutes to put together….with a KitchenAid.

The principle here is this is no-knead bread.  Basic ingredients are used…flour, yeast, water, salt.  Sometimes sugar, eggs, or oil are added as well.  The dough is well mixed on it’s mixing day, and from there, the gluten develops on its own by being in constant contact with itself in the container.  There’s a little assist from Vital Gluten flour (unless you’re working with a gluten free recipe), but the rest comes from the initial mixing and staying mixed in the refrigerator.  Interesting…  Additionally, if you continue to use the same container for your dough, you’ll start to develop some of the qualities of fermentation as well as time goes by.  Another plus.

The loaf depicted is a Day 1 load made after the dough had rested only a few hours.  At this point, I recommend weighing the flours.  I didn’t get quite as stiff a dough as I’d have liked the first time out.  We’ll see how it feels the next time I use it.   I followed the directions to the letter, this time.  Well…except for slashing.  It was extremely difficult to leave it alone until it was cool enough to slice!

I use polenta on my rising surface rather than cornmeal.  Cornmeal here is more like corn flour.  It doesn’t have enough density to keep the bread from sticking to the surface.  I may try a sheet of parchment next time as well.   As you can see, we got lots of holes, and the desired custardy texture crumb.  Not too bad for the first time out.  I was pleased.  It served well with butter, but was just as yummy with olive oil!  I’m going to try to do a couple of sandwich size rolls the next time for pulled pork sandwiches…I’ll let you know how that works out!

So, this is the first baked product from the basic recipe from HBi5…  Watch this space.  I could really enjoy a small loaf of really good, healthy bread with dinner now and then!!  I’ve got quite a collection of flours and grains, so this could get really fun!