Wednesday, October 28, 2009

'No Knead' Multigrain Bread

As people are starting to make more healthful food choices, this has become one of our most popular breads. It is completely whole grain, with a soft texture and enough structure to hold up to the biggest sandwich. We make focaccia out of it for our roasted vegetable sandwiches and even turn it into cardamom sweet rolls.
To begin:
Soak 2/3 cup (.25 lbs) 10 grain cereal. (I'm using Bob's Red Mill)
in a large bowl with 4 cups warm water for 1 1/2 hours.
Add 1 and 1/2 T (2pkgs or 1/2 oz.) Active Dry Yeast and let sit 30 minutes more...
Stir in:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
8 cups of Whole Wheat flour (2.25 lbs.) cup at a time, stirring well with each addition.
Before the last cup of flour add 1 more cup of water and 1 and 1/2 tablespoon salt.
Stir the mixture as though folding it into the center, spinning the bowl as you go.

Once it is pulled together, cover and let sit for 1 hour
Pull dough together in the bowl once again by running your spatula along the side of the bowl, pulling the dough into the center. cover and let rise 30 minutes more.

Turn out onto a well floured board and divide into 3rds. Briefly knead each portion into a ball. let sit 15 minutes.
pull rounds together into a loaf shape, being sure to get rid of the air bubbles and put into well oiled loaf pans. slash the tops and let rise 45 minutes or until a poke of your finger doesn't bounce back.

Spray the tops with water and sprinkle with a little of the dry cereal.
Bake for about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven to an
interior temperature of 200 degrees.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles...a memory of taste

For the first four years of my life I lived with my grandmother, along with my three older siblings. We were quite a handful, I'm told and my grandparents were old school... it was german farm life...washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday, baking bread on Wednesday. Each season had it's own list of tasks, always preparing, planning or harvesting something or lots of things.As strict as they could be, we had dessert every night after dinner and I loved Thursday because it was chocolate pudding day. Grandma would make it in the afternoon and pour it into individual bowls and let it cool on the counter, where it would form the best skin. I know now that it's preferrable to cover your pudding to avoid the top drying out, but when I was a kid, it was my favorite part. The other absolute favorite thing my grandmother made every year was bread and butter pickles. They were always brought out at dinner, and had they allowed me to have more than 'just a little' I surely would've eaten a jar a night. We moved out of their house about the time I started school and whenever grandma visited she would bring me a fresh jar. It made the difficult transition somehow easier knowing I had something of her around always. (I know, they were just pickles...give me a break, I was five!)
Still, whenever I miss my grandmother, (who died 20 years ago!)... to conjure her up, I make a batch of her pickles.

Granny T's Bread and Butter Pickles

6 Qts or 15- 6" cukes, sliced thin
6 medium onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup pickling salt
mix these together thoroughly in a large glass bowl
Let sit 3 hours and then drain, but do not rinse
in a large stainless pot mix:
6 cups white vinegar
4 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
Bring brine to a boil, add cukes and bring back to a low boil.
ladle into hot jars and process in a hot water bath 10 minutes
Yield about 8 pints