We had a whole bunch of leftover cooked rice and lentils, so I decided to make some veggie burgers. I blended the lentils, brown rice, egg, onion, some garlic, oats and spices until I could form patties and then baked them on parchment paper. It’s pretty much our m.o. when it comes to veggie burgers. What we didn’t have were buns. Combing the web for a recipe that included buttermilk, I came across this one and modified it a bit by decreasing the amount of AP flour, increasing the wheat and adding some vital wheat gluten to add elasticity and rise. They came out great! Instead of using an egg wash, I used buttermilk and sprinkled with black and regular sesame seeds. A great and simple bread recipe.
A lovely co-worker of mine leaves me magazines and cookbooks whenever he is done with them. This week, I found a Food Network magazine at my desk and while thumbing through, came across this “Almost-Famous Rosemary Bread” and decided to give it a shot. The bread was super-easy to make and I decided to put some dill in with the rosemary and crust the top with the recommended rosemary and added crushed peppercorns and course sea salt. Easy!
I came across this recipe in Secrets of a Jewish Baker – a gift to me from my little sister – and decided to try it out. The loaves came together beautifully, rose well (I let them rise in a microwave – totally draft free!) and taste delicious! The mix of cornmeal, wheat and regular flour is excellent and I love the addition of molasses. Some people might not like the amount of molasses, so proceed with caution if you’re not fond of the favor – just use less.
I am posting the recipe for hand-kneading although I used the food processor method, which is slightly different.
Anadama Bread from Secrets of a Jewish Baker
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast (2.25 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1-2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Sprinkle yeast over warm water and allow to soften. Add soften butter, molasses, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and the salt. Stir until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and add more all-purpose flour, if you need to. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (10 minutes). FOR THE FOOD PROCESSOR: Place 1/4 cup warm water in bowl of food processor and sprinkle the yeast on top. Add 1 cup of ice water, butter, molasses, cornmeal and whole wheat flour and pulse until combined. Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and salt and pulse until dough comes away from the side of the bowl. Add more flour gradually, if necessary. Process for 2 minutes or knead by hand.
- Oil a large bowl and place the ball of dough in it – coat with oil, cover and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour (or until doubled). I placed a cup of water in the microwave and let it heat up for 2 minutes and replaced the cup with my bowl of dough to rise…excellent trick!
- Punch dough down, cut in half and shape into 2 balls. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes (in microwave for me!).
- Shape the loaves for placement in two greased loaf pans. See this how to video for more info.
- Cover up the pans with a towel and proof the them until the loaves rise up over the opts of the pan (about an hour). Sometime during this rise, place one rack in the middle of the oven and another on the bottom. Put a pan on the bottom rack and preheat the oven to 375F.
- When the loaves are done, brush with water, top with sesame seeds, sea salt, nothing or whatever your heart desires, and slash once down the length of each loaf.
- Place loaf pans on the middle rack and throw a dozen ice cubes or a cup of boiling water (CAREFULLY) in the pan on the bottom rack – this will provide steam baking.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes. For the last 5-10 minutes remove the loaves from the pan and bake on a baking sheet for a super crusty loaf.
- Let cool, if you can, before slicing.
We’ve been invited to an Oscar party where the hostess wanted folks to bring food or beverages inspired by the Best Picture nominees this year. I decided to make “True Grit” Cornbread Muffins and they are spicy, moist and delicious.
I used a basic cornbread recipe and added jalapenos, some grated pepperjack and cheddar cheese we had in the freezer, nutritional yeast flakes (found in the cupboard while cleaning) and chopped sundried tomatoes.
True Grit Cornbread Muffins
(makes about22 muffins)
- 3 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk, soured milk or a mix of milk and yogurt
- 4 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Mix together all of the dried ingredients from the top of the list in a large bowl.
- Mix up the wet ingredients in another or use a blender.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the liquid with a few quick strokes. Don’t over beat!
- Add in the jalapenos, cheese and sundried tomatoes and mix.
- Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out cleanly.
- Serve as an appetizer, eat for breakfast with some eggs, crumble over chili or soup or just munch on one as a snack.
Wanting to have some Mexican food the other night, we realized we were just about out of the huge bag of masa harina we bought a long time ago. What a great buy. Instead, we attempted whole wheat tortillas that came out great! Definitely an easy recipe to pull together and try out and better (again) than store bought.
Whole Wheat Tortillas
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons (1-1/4 ounces) canola oil
- 2/3 – 1/2 cup warm water
- Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl and mix together. Add the oil and 2/3 cup of warm water. and mix well, using your hands if you want. Add more water if the mixture is too dry – whole wheat flour has a different moisture content than regular flour. You want the dough to knead into a ball that is slightly sticky to touch.
- Put a bit of oil in a bowl, put the ball of dough in the bowl and cover. Let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a few times and then take off golf ball sized pieces and roll each into a ball. Place on a baking sheet, cover and let them rest for 20 minutes.
- Roll out each ball into a thin circle (use a floured rolling pin) or use a tortilla press. Either roll them out in advance and keep them covered or roll each one out as another cooks in the skillet.
- Heat an ungreased cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tortilla on one side for about a minute and flip, cooking the other side for another minute. Wrap tortilla in a cotton dish towel. Repeat until you have no more tortillas.
- Eat immediately or store in an airtight ziplock bag. They freeze well too!
I have never had a sloppy joe before. Phil suggested making them after I bought some soyrizo yesterday. Came home, made some quick hamburger buns and sauteed the soyrizo with chopped onion, spices and homemade tomato sauce. Slopped it on a fresh from the oven bun and drooled. Sloppy Joe, my hero!
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast (or use a packet of instant yeast)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons applesauce (or egg)
- 2 tablespooons butter (or vegan substitute or olive oil works)
- 2.5 teaspoons salt
- 3.5-4.5 cups AP flour
- sesame seeds (optional for burger bun topping)
- Heat water and milk until it hits about 115F (or when you touch it, it’s pretty warm – I highly recommend buying a thermometer if you like baking bread).
- Place yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook (or a large bowl if you’re mixing it by hand or put in a food processor) and pour the milk/water mixture on top. Let it sit for a few minutes and bubble – combine the flour and salt while you’re waiting and melt the butter.
- Put applesauce (or egg) and butter into the bowl and start mixing. Add the flour mixture slowly and keep kneading. Add more flour as necessary – different temperature/humidity can cause you to use more or less. The dough should start crawling up the hook and be easy to handle – not too sticky, but not bone dry. Add more flour, if necessary to reach this consistency. If you’re using a food processor, add some of the flour to the milk/yeast/applesauce/butter mixture and process slowly. Add the rest of the flour through the tube until a ball forms. Follow the same not to sticky advice from above.
- If making using standard rising times, place ball of dough in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down dough, shape into balls (egg wash and cover with sesame seeds if you want pretty buns), cover and let rise again. See when you want to bake.
SUPER FAST RISE: Now we’re going to do some crazy stuff to get the buns in the oven quickly – can only be done if you have a microwave.
- Heat your microwave up for 30 seconds with nothing inside of it.
- Place dough ball in an oiled, microwavable safe bowl and cover with a very wet cotton kitchen towel. Then cover with another cotton towel and place in the microwave. Heat for 25 seconds and let the bowl sit in the microwave for 5 minutes. Microwave again for 20 seconds and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Take dough out, cut into pieces and shape into balls. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40-60 minutes.
- When you want to bake! Preheat the oven to 400F and bake buns for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool for a bit and eat.
- The number of buns depends on how big you make the balls. Smaller buns = more buns. I made 6 LARGE buns.
After being invited to watch the season finale of the Walking Dead, I thought homemade pizza would be an awesome dinner. Our friend got cheese and mushrooms, and we provided the dough, sauce, caramelized onions and roasted cauliflower. Problem: I didn’t have as much flour as I thought I did and had to substitute a LOT of cornmeal into our basic pizza dough recipe – probably half. I mixed it all up and hoped for the best and the best was gooooood. A crunchy crust and a nice base for the intense toppings. Good to know for the future! The pizza above was topped with mushrooms, caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese.
To go with the aforementioned veggie burgers, I made hamburger buns. Part of a self-imposed “let’s try not to buy bread at all during the month of November” challenge, these buns were a delicious hit. I followed the King Arthur’s Flour recipe to the letter and suggest you do the same. You can find the recipe here.
After making a vow to not buy store bought bread for a while, we were craving some carb-goodness to go with soup. Bittman came to the rescue with this Quick Olive Oil Bread. Dense, chewy, more like a big biscuit than bread, it was perfect with a chunky egg-noodle vegetable soup Phil made the other night and with a hard-boiled egg for breakfast the next morning. This bread could definitely be gussied up with some fresh minced herbs, jalapenos or even some grated cheese. Definitely an easy bread to make for Thanksgiving, although I have my heart set on making these.
Olive Oil and Salt Quick Bread
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
- 1 cup of warm water
- Heat the oven to 375 and grease an oven proof dish or skillet – 8-9″ is probably best.
- Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Turn on the machine and slowly add the olive oil and most of the water.
- Process for 30 seconds. The dough should roll into a ball and barely sticky. If it hasn’t come together yet, add remaining water a tablespoon at a time, processing for 5 seconds each time. If you want to add herbs, cheese, whatever, to the dough, do it now.
- Put the dough into the pan and flatten it until the dough fits to the edges. Flip and press again. Cover tightly with foil and bake.
- After 20 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the top with coarse seat salt and herbs (if you like). Bake for another 20 minutes. The top will be golden and it will spring back when touched.