Sunday, December 29, 2013

Italian Bread Sticks (Grissini)

I'm very sad to say this is the first recipe I've made from this book that we didn't like. I liked the taste, but the texture wasn't very good. I will probably try them again with a different type of flour... BUT if you are looking for some awesome breadsticks, we made some out of the White Mountain Bread recipe, SO good!

Feel free to try these yourself, maybe mess around with some of the ingredients if you have made grissini before. It may very well be that I didn't follow the directions well...

In a large bowl: 2 tablespoons active dry yeast,  1 1/2 cups warm water,  1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup semolina flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour.
Beat hard until creamy, about a minute. Then add 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, half a cup at a time until you have a soft shaggy ball that clears the side of the bowl. If making by hand switch to a wooden spoon when necessary.
Knead until soft and springy, about 3 minutes. Dust with flour 1 tablespoon at a time if needed to prevent sticking.
Dust the work surface with semolina flour and pat the dough into a thick 12x6 inch rectangle. OR you can grease a large cookie sheet (I use airbake) and roll out dough right on the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise about an hour (or until doubled)
Preheat the oven to 425 F and place a baking stone on the center rack. (If you don't have a pizza stone unglazed terracotta tiles are a nice inexpensive substitute!) Gently deflate dough, then cut the dough into  four equal sections lengthwise (the dough will deflate a little more) Then cut into 6 strips lengthwise.
Pick up each piece and stretch or roll to desired shape. Dip each piece into olive oil, then semolina flour. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
I really like the idea of these, and I'm determined to figure out a way to make them to our family's liking! Will update when I figure that out!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Glazed Zucchini Bread

This one is definitely a winner! I have definitely made my share of not-so-good zucchini bread recipes and was overjoyed to have this one turn out so good!
One warning though (and you will see in my picture below!!) contrary to the recipe this one makes more then one loaf! I would suggest either two 9X5 inch pans, or a 10 inch bundt.

Preheat oven to 350 F

In a large bowl: 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola, you could also use walnut oil if you have it. I don't have it very often since it is rather expensive), and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat well, then add 3 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat well, then  fold in 2 cups grated zucchini.
Stir until evenly distributed.

In another bowl: 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 a teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves.  Then finally add 1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, chopped or golden raisins, plumped and drained. (I used walnuts)
Beat until well combined. Then pour into pans. (This batter would also make delicious muffins!)
Yep, even someone that has been baking for 15+ years can make mistakes!
Place in the preheated oven and bake 65-75 minutes. If you are using two pans I would check at 60 minutes.
Or if you decide to make muffins bake for 20-25 minutes.
I made a few changes to the glaze since I don't use alcohol:
1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brandy or cognac (I substituted with lemon juice, orange juice would also work)
What kid doesn't love the appearance of frosting? lol
Mmm. It sure was good for breakfast!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Fe Blue Corn Muffins

So in light of ordering a rather large amount of blue corn online I decided to make all the blue corn recipes I could find in The Bread Bible!
These muffins were very satisfying, we had them with Sunday dinner with a beef roast, potatoes and carrots. I think they would go really well with soups, especially taco soup!
They do have sugar in them, but taste more like a savory muffin, which was new to me. Most of my repertoire consists of sweet muffins.
-Makes 12 muffins-
In a medium bowl mix until fluffy: 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, 1/2 cup sugar.
Then add 5 large eggs, 1/2 a cup of milk, 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies. Beat until well blended.
In another bowl: 1 cup blanched fresh or thawed frozen white corn kernels (I used yellow, it was fine), 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup shredded Jack cheese, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/4 cups fine blue corn meal or harina para atole, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mixing well until it falls off your spoon in clumps.  If needed you can add an additional 1/4 cup flour if it's too runny.
Spoon into muffin tins, filling all the way to the top.  Bake in preheated oven at 375 F for 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm.