September
23

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There is nothing quite like the smell of bread baking.  Unless of course it’s cake or cookies baking.  But bread fills the house with that moreish, yeasty fragrance you just can’t get enough of.  Recently I purchased a fabulous book titled “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.”  You start with a basic dough from the master recipe that can be kept in the fridge until you want to bake something.   At which point you take some of the dough and add your flavours, shape, bake and eat!  This week I have really been hungry for Tandoori Chicken so decided to make that and what better to accompany this meal than some tasty garlic naan bread.

Master Recipe

3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white  flour, measured with the scook and sweep method.

Mixing and Storing Dough

1.   Warm the water slightly:  It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees F.  Warm water will rise the dough to the right point for storage in about 2 hours.  You can use cold tap water and get an identical final result;  then the first rising will take 3 or even 4 hours.  That won’t be too great a difference, as you will only be doing this once per stored batch.

2.  Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl or preferable, in a resealable, lidded (not airtight)  plastic food container or food grade bucket.  Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.

3.  Mix in the flour – kneading is unnecessary.  Add all of the flour at once, measuring it in with dry ingredient measuring cups, by gently scooping up the flour and leveling it off with a knife.  Mix this in with a wooden spoon, or high capacity food processor (14 cups or larger) or mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.   If it get’s too dry you can reach into the dough with very wet hands and press the mix together but don’t knead.  You are finished when everything is uniformly moist.  This will yeild a dough that is wet  and loose which will probably conform to the shape of the container.

4.  Allow to rise.  cover with a lid but not airtight.  Do not use screw top jars as the gasses will not be able to escape and the jars could explode.  Allow the mix to rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours.  The top may begin to collapse in on itself, this is ok.  Longer rising times up to 5 hours will not harm the result.  You can begin using any portion of the dough after this time to make your breads.

When you wish to bake some bread, DO NOT KNEAD.  Just shape your loaf in 30 to 60 seconds and you are ready to bake.  It is best baked on a pizza stone with some cornmeal sprinkled on it to prevent your loaf from sticking.

For my naan bread I just took a peach sized portion and rolled it flat with my rolling pin, shaped it into 8 inch ovals and fried it in a cast iron skillet that had some ghee (clarified fat)  in the bottom of it.  I covered the skillet and rotated the bread after about two minutes.  Watch for burning and adjust your temperature accordingly.  I cooked it for another 3 to four minutes on the second side and then buttered it with some roasted garlic butter we had made.

You can use this master recipe to make all manner of breads and I will be trying different types here again in the future.  If you enjoy homemade bread this is a must have book for your collection.  Bread making at home has never been this easy!

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September
13
Filed Under (Product Review) by Colleen on 13-09-2009

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I LOVE kitchen gadgets, imagine that!  Naturally,  one of my Printable Version of this page.
favourite stores to visit is Williams-Sonoma.  Recently I picked up a Pocket Pie Mold in the shape of an apple since Fall is now upon us and I enjoy making and eating apple pie.

Pocket Pies - Williams-Sonoma Mold

The mold comes in several different shapes – star, heart, pumpkin and the one I picked was the apple. It is heavy duty plastic and has the cutters on the outside of the mold and the press on the inside. Very easy to use.

The instructions are on the back of the box and include a recipe for pastry made in a food processor which we all thought very tasty. You let the pastry sit, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for 2 hours or so and then roll it out, cut out your shapes, fill with pie filling and press together. You finish them off with an egg wash and I sprinkled mine with Demerara Sugar – a coarsely ground sugar from sugar cane not beets.  Bake for 20 minutes and get ready to eat!


I’ve decided to quickly add the recipe from the box just in case someone has damage to their box and they need it.

Ingredients

2  1/2 Cups (390g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar, plus more to sprinkle on top
16 Tbs (2 sticks/250g) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 to 8 Tbs ice water
1/2 to 1 cup pie filling
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water for sealing pies and glazing

Method

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and the 2 Tbs sugar until combines, about 5 pulses.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses.  Add 6 Tbs of water and pulse twice.  The dough should hold together when squeezed with your gingers but should not be sticky.  If it is crumbly, add more water 1 tsp at a time, pulsing twice after each addition.  Divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap and press each into a disk.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a round 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.  Brush off the excess flour.  Using the pocket pie mold cut out 8 of each shape.  Gather up scraps and reroll to cut more shapes.  Repeat with the remaining dough disk.

Place a solid dough shape in the bottom half of the cutter and gently press the dough into the mod.  Fill the center with 1 to 2 Tbs pie filling and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.  Top with a matching shape which has the decorative cut out vent.  Press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie.  Remove the pie from the mod and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Preheat an oven to 400 deg F (200C).  Brush the pies with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling.  15 to 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

These pies can also be fried but use two matching pie dough pieces WITHOUT the vent hole to avoid leakage of the filling while frying.


You will find the mold at Williams-Sonoma.com where it is priced at $9.95.  Overall, even though it really is a single use product, I liked the ease and speed at which I could make these pies.  They look very festive and are a manageable size for a quick snack or dessert… Mmmm.. imagine them hot served with custard or vanilla ice-cream!

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February
06
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 06-02-2009

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Recently, I had the opportunity to sample and review the new Quaker True Delights granola bars before they hit the market…

Trouble is, I just can’t decide which flavour is my favourite!  I mean, come on… when faced with the choice between Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Toasted Banana Macadamia Nut or Honey Roasted Cashew Mixed Berry you can see what a difficult decision this would be.

These granola bars will definitely become a part of our family pantry.  They not only taste good they are also good for you.  I love how they are pretty low in fat and sugar and have 3 grams of fiber.  Be sure to keep an eye out at your store.

If you click here and go out to their website you can get more information and a $1.00 off coupon!

Check out the nutrition label facts:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 1 bar (35g)
Servings Per Container 5

Amount per serving
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 40
%Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 7%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 14%
Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 0%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
Calories 2,000 2,500
Total Fat less than 65g 80g
Sat. Fat less than 20g 25g
Cholesterol less than 300mg 300mg
Sodium less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g
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