Friday, September 27, 2013

Yeasted Sopaipillas

I was going through all my recipes that I have made and documented  and I stumbled over this one. I made it back when I was just getting started on this blog so I was still trying to figure out the whole process of picture taking (this the lack of pictures, I'm sorry). Anyway they were really good so I thought I would share.
A delightful little snack! These are very similar to Navaho Fry Bread (or where I come from in Utah "scones") except  they are baked rather then fried.

We had ours with butter/ham/honey/honeybutter. They would also be delicious with a mixture of cream cheese and guava jelly. (I've had the Goya brand, which is usually found in the hispanic section at the grocery store)
1. In a small bowl (or mug) pour 1/4 cup warm water, over which you will sprinkle 1 tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl: 2 3/4 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the yeast mixture, 3/4 cup of milk, 1 large egg (room temp),  and 2 tablespoons melted shortening. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

3. Knead on a floured work surface, about 10 kneads. Dust with flour 1 tablespoon at time if needed. The dough should be really soft.

4. Place in a greased container, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature about 45 minutes, or in the fridge for 2 hours. (The dough may be refrigerated up to 48 hours, but should be deflated daily).

5. Twenty minutes before baking preheat oven to 500 F. Parchment line two baking sheets. gently deflate dough and divide into four portions. Roll each portion until 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and reroll. Do this twice. If it starts to be to hard to handle let it rest for a few minutes.

With a knife (or pizza cutter)  cut each section into 6 squares, oblongs, triangles, or diamonds.  Each shape should be 2-3 inches. Place on lightly floured baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. The dough can stay at room temperature for up to 5 minutes. It it takes you longer then that to cut them then you should keep them in the fridge until ready to bake. You can also refridgerate them overnight if you would like.

Place on the parchment lined baking sheets at least one inch apart. Bake one pan at a time 8-10 minutes on the center rack. They should be puffed and brown. Serve warm.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jewish Egg Braid (Challah)

A delicious, slightly sweet bread! (And a great excuse to make yet another bread braid!)

To begin....
In a large bowl place 6 cups of unbleached all purpose flour. Make a well in the center and pour 1/2 a cup of warm water and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast and a tablespoon of sugar.. Stir well (a little bit of flour will also be incorporated...). Let stand for 15 minutes.
Then add 1/3 a cup sugar, 2 cups of warm water, 3 large eggs (at room temp), 1/2 a cup vegetable oil (I used canola), and 2 teaspoons of salt.
Mix together, then knead 5-8 minutes. It should be soft and springy. (Springs back when pressed). Dust with flour 1 tablespoon at a time to prevent sticking. (If kneading by machine switch from paddle to dough hook and knead 4-5 minutes).
Place in a greased container, turn once to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled. 2- 2 1/4 hours. Don't let it rise over double, or it may tear and the baked loaf won't have the full volume.
Gently deflate, then rise another hour.
Gently deflate, then divide in half. We like the four strand braid (third strand up, first strand over). Or you can do it with just three.
You can also do some other fun shapes such as:
A turban (A good tutorial HERE)

A wreath

Or Pretzel shaped. I think this one looks so fun!
You can also just do a regular loaves (four 9by5's to be exact)

Let rise until dough is almost doubled in bulk. About 40 minutes. If using loaf pans dough should be about an inch above the rims.
Bake at 350 F. 40-45 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Flour Tortillas

Mmm, homemade tortillas are super tasty. It takes a little practice to get the shape right but it's totally worth it. I really like this recipe, it's easy to work with. 5 stars.

Directions: (Makes 15 5-8 inch tortillas)
In a bowl by hand or heavy duty mixer combine 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 cup shortening and enough water to make a dough (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
Mix until you have a nice dough that's not sticky. Let rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours. (I recommend covering the bowl with a warm wet towel)
 THEN roll into balls and let rest again for 20-30 minutes. (But there's no hurry, it they end up sitting for another hour that's okay)
With a light sprinkling of flour over a work surface and your favorite rolling pin: Take the ball of dough, flatten, sprinkle some flour over the top (as well as some flour rubbed onto the rolling pin).
This is how I do it: Imagine a clock, roll up or down (whichever you choose) at 12, rotate to 3, roll, rotate to 6, roll, rotate to 9, then roll again. Keep in mind if the dough is being stubborn and doesn't want to roll out easily then let it rest for a few minutes.

  Cook on medium heat in an ungreased frying pan or well seasoned cast iron skillet. My husband calls it "Cast iron Nirvana!" you want to be able to cook these without them sticking! If you do want to use the cast iron and are worried about sticking you can always fry up a piece of bacon on it first, then wipe clean!

You can tell it's done on the first side when it bubbles up. Only cook the second side for 10-30 seconds, or until browned.

 The possibilities are endless! We do love our tortillas!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Anadama Bread with Tillamook Cheddar Cheese

This is definitely one of the most unique breads I've made thus far. It's so good! I was really impressed that the finished product doesn't even give a clue that it's got cheese and cornmeal in it.

In a medium saucepan:  1/2 cup cornmeal and 1 1/2 cups of water. Cook and stir constantly until thick and bubbly. About 3 minutes.
Take it off the heat and add 1/2 a cup mild honey, 2 cups (8 oz)  shredded Tillamook mild cheddar cheese, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter is melted then set aside.
In a small bowl/mug sprinkle over 2/3 a cup of warm water: 1 tablespoon of yeast and a pinch of sugar. Stir well, then let sit about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl combine: yeast mixture, cornmeal mixture, 2 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of salt. Beat well. Add remaining 4-4 1/2 cups of flour 1/2 a cup at a time.
Knead about 3 minutes. Place in a greased bowl turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and raise about 1 1/2 hours.
Deflatethe dough carefully and divide in half. Pat each half into a rectangle shape. If you have trouble getting it to stretch let it rest for a few minutes. Then cover each with 2 tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon or two of paprika. I think I used closer to a tablespoon...but then I do love paprika!
Roll up the rectangle jelly roll style and tuck the sides underneath and pinch to seal.
Place in two greased loaf pans and let raise until about 1 inch above the rims (or 45 minutes)
Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Squaw Bread

This bread reminded me a lot of the Graham Bread I shared a few years ago. You can find it HERE. SO delicious!
Start with 1/2 a cup warm water, 1/3 cup  vegetable oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup raisins. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Place in a blender or food processor with 1 1/2 cups of water. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine 1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour, 2 cups of whole wheat flour (you can also use 1 1/2 cups wheat, 1/2 cup medium rye flour)  1/2 cup instant dry milk and 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Beat hard for a minute or two.

Then add the remaining  2- 2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour half a cup at a time. Knead until smooth and springy, about 3 minutes. Dust with flour 1 tablespoon at a time if needed.
Place in a greased container, turning to coat, then cover with plastic wrap. Let raise until doubled. About 1 1/2 hours.
Now this is the fun part! (And my husband helped me with this, since he is an expert on the Subway braid)
Four ropes. Third rope up, first one all the way over. All the way down. Or you can just do three rope braids. Or you can just do a free form round loaf of you don't want to bother with the braid.
Let raise about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 F with a baking stone, or 375 F without.  Brush the tops with melted butter and reduce oven heat to 375 F if using a baking stone. Bake 35-40 minutes.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Farm-Style White Bread with Cardamom

I have never baked with cardamom before, mostly because it was super expensive in Pennsylvania when we lived there and we were on a student budget. Well a month or so ago my husband stumbled over some at an Asian market we really like and it was within our budget so he grabbed some for me. The recipe wants you to get actual cardamom pods and then remove the seeds and crush them. Well what I was working with the actual seeds, and they were super hard, I tried putting them in a bag and using a rolling pin to crush them without success. So I just threw them in whole...wasn't the worst thing, but the bread would have definitely been better with them crushed. I got thinking and decided a pepper mill would work awesome, so I'm going to look for one that comes without pepper in it.

Anyway, this bread is SO tasty! Loved it! I am also in love with bread braids a lot lately so I've been making a lot of them.

Oh and one note: this recipe is HUGE! It makes four loaves. You can give a couple to friends or stick them in the freezer.

So to begin...
In a large bowl: 4 cups boiling water, 1 2/3 cups instant non fat dry milk (I ran out of dry milk and hadn't made it to the store so I just used 2% and heated it up, I didn't get it to a full boil just because I didn't want to burn it and it worked fine)..anyway to continue...4 Tablespoons (1/2 a stick) of unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 cup of sugar. Stir until the butter melts and let sit  until lukewarm..somewhere around 15-20 minutes.

Pour 1/2 a cup of warm water into a small bowl (or mug as I like to use) and add 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast and a pinch of sugar (or drizzle of honey/agave nectar) . Let stand until foamy.
Remove the seeds from 10 cardamom pods and crush with a rolling pin on some waxed paper (or if you have dried seeds grind them through your pepper mill, in total it's about 1-2 teaspoons)
Add 4 cups of flour (in total you will use 12-14 cups of flour), the cardamom, and yeast mixture to the milk/butter mixture. Beat until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the remaining flour 1/2 a cup at a time until the dough is soft and shaggy and clears the side of the bowl.

Then comes the fun part when you round up four of your favorite neighborhood children to knead for you..5-8 minutes! LOL, just kidding. We do love these kids though. The best was when they started chasing my kids with their sticky hands. Awesome.
After kneading place the dough in a greased container, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise until double. About 1 1/2 hours.
Either put in your pans, or braid. Let raise about 40 minutes.
Twenty minutes before baking preheat oven to 350 F. Then bake on the center rack for 40-45 minutes.