Friday, March 12, 2010

Requested Recipes; If You Can Call Them That!

Baking Bread can be easy. I like easy, as in the path of least resistance.  When I first tried baking whole grain breads I made bricks and quit. Years later some good friends of ours showed us this amazing tool- a BOSCH mixer.

I don't sell them, and I don't make anything recommending them. People say they are expensive. They are an investment. Mine is 20 years old. With the prices of I phones, I pods, and flat screen TV's that people buy every day; these really aren't expensive. The decision is; do you want one?  If you really want to bake bread on a regular basis, you do.

These mixers hold 14 to 16 cups of flour. I make 4 loaves at a time. All my recipes are in large quantity for the Bosch.  Ya'll are brave wanting my recipes because I tweak things and make things up.  My recipes are tested in my kitchen- end of story, but I think they are good. The other item to get is a home mill, mine is a Kitchenetics it's also old. I mill flour out on the carport. I don't care if it sounds like an airplane or makes a mess because I am outside. Most of the time the Hunny does the milling which is even better! The freshly ground wheat will be warm and it helps the bread to rise. These loaves of bread are soft and tender they do not feel heavy. Most people cannot believe that they are 100% whole grains.

One more thing about the mixer, it is a mixer! It comes with other attachments, you can use it for everything any mixer does. I just use mine for bread. I like my little hand held mixer for small jobs. A lot of people buy table top Kitchen Aid mixers but they can not handle this volume. If you want to try it in one of those, cut the recipes in half. Let me know if you do that and if it works well. I'd like to know.

Whole Wheat Bread
5 1/2 or 6 cups of filtered pure water room temperature is fine
3 tbs instant dry yeast ( do not use rapid rise)
2 or 3 tbs sea salt (set this aside in a place you won't forget it)
1/2 c. good oil I use extra light olive or coconut.
1/2 c. honey.  Little tip: If you add oil first, and use the same cup the honey slides right out.

Mix everything in the mixer except salt. Avoid using metal utensils with your yeast it sticks.
While this is "proofing" or feeding and becoming active, mill your flour. I make a heaping large mixer bowl full. I use about 14 cups of flour in every batch. I like Praire Gold Wheat, which is lighter and softer or Red Winter Wheat a very hearty flavor.  Children like the light wheat better. I also buy unbleached white high protein flour. I purchase all my grains in a co-op once or twice a year. They come from Montana and are excellent. When I shop for grain it's about 300 pounds. That is a big shop!

Back to the mixer.  The lid is in 2 sections. There is a small top that can be removed. I turn my mixer on low and add the flour a cup at a time until I have added 6 cups. At this point I let the blended  dough sponge. All that means, is that I stop and wait about 20 minutes and let it bubble. Sponging takes the place of a second rise. With a Bosch you do not have to let your dough rise at all-but I do because I think the bread turns out much better.
After the rest, the dough will have puffed up and doubled in your mixer. Turn it back on low and add the salt. If you forget the salt you'll never forget again. Saltless bread is just lousy.
If you do get done and you have forgotten the salt save that dough for pizza crust. You can add more olive oil when you roll it out, and sprinkle it with salt to save it.
At this point you just finish adding the flour.  I mostly leave my mixer on the entire time with the small lid off. At about 14 cups of flour the dough will pull cleanly from the sides of the bowl. That is perfect. Put the lid on now and let the mixer run for 10 minutes. Oil a very large bowl and place the mixed dough in it. Rub oil onto saran wrap and use it to cover the bowl. The oiled wrap prevents a crust from forming while it is resting.  Set it aside until it has doubled. The dough can actually be divided up and baked right now but letting it rest and rise develops the dough and makes a richer flavor. I think the bread has a better crumb too. This is just what I have learned from my experiences with baking over the years.
You can check in just about any good cook book for instructions on shaping a loaf. you can make rolls, or braids, or round loaves, anything you want to try. This is the fun part!

Something else that I have incorporated into my bread making is that I handle my dough gently. I push it down and handle it softly. It doesn't need to be socked and punched unless you have frustrations to let off. I pinch my seams on the bottom and just sort of shape it into a loaf.  You can do a lot with the dough. You can make pizza crust, you can add savory herbs, cinnamon,  or cheese or whatever you like! If you do want flavored bread add these things into the sponge early in the process.

When you have finished having a good time, and are ready, bake at 350 for about an hour. If you like a dark brown top beat an egg and add a bit of water to it. Apply to your loaves with a pastry brush before baking. That is a simple egg wash and it does add a dark pretty color. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I would use and egg wash on a braid. Also an egg wash will hold anything you want to sprinkle on top like sesame seeds.

 Rap the top of the browned bread when it smells done, it should be nicely firm and give a hollow sound. I have stainless steel pans that are well seasoned. I spray them with PAM. I rarely use soap on them. They have a nice oil patina from use and my bread never sticks.

Buttermilk Egg Bread.
For the cinnamon rolls, and for white bread or dinner rolls I make this dough. This is one I made up. My friend brought me a loaf of bread like this when I came home from the hospital, she had made up her recipe. I adapted it and altered it for the mixer.

4 c. fresh warmed buttermilk or room temp but not ice cold.
2 c. filtered water
3 large brown eggs.
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. honey.
3 tbs dry yeast.

Start in the mixer. Begin adding  unbleached white bread flour.  King Arthur makes a good bread flour and so does Hodgens Mill. After 6 cups let rest. The drill is exactly the same. Add your salt and the rest of the flour until the dough turns loose. For this dough I do not add flour for the completely clean sides. It is a stickier dough, and it is soft so when it starts to pull away that is good enough. Use well oiled hands to handle it and get it out of the bowl. Same process of letting it rest. It is a very soft dough.

To make these take 1/4 of your batch of dough and put it on a work surface. I have a silicon mat. Use a well seasoned rolling pin to roll out in a thin rectangle.

Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a small bowl, add 1/3 c. sugar and 1/3 cup siagon ground cinnamon. Mix. Spread this evenly on your rolled out dough. Add nuts if you want to.
Roll it lengthwise carefully pressing as you go. There is a bit of a little lift that I do to keep the mix in place and not just roll it all out. So it's pick up the side, gently lift it a little and then tuck and press. I hope this is making sense! When you are finished you will have a long log of cinnamon rolls. Carefully slice them 1 inch thick, and place in a sprayed large baking dish. I put 16 in a pan. Bake at 350 about 20 to 25 mins. Be careful not to over bake. The NOSE KNOWS!

Frost with buttercream when almost cool. They can still be just slightly warm.
1/2 stick butter softened
1 box powdered sugar
generous  amt of real vanilla
milk to right consistency probably about a 1/4 c. I don't measure I just add a little while mixing until it is right.
For orange flavor use orange juice instead of milk, you can use some orange zest or dried peel too for a really elegant orange cinnamon roll.

If you put canned frosting on these I will shoot you in the foot!  Next thing is to fix a pot of good french roast coffee and sit down and enjoy!

The next request was about pre baking pie shells.

To prebake a pie shell dust the crust with flour on both sides. Wipe off the excess. Put it in the pie plate and prick with a fork like CRAZY! Prick the sides and the bottom all over, make designs, just have yourself a party pricking.

If you have pricked it enough it will stay put like this one did. If not it will be a heap in the bottom of the pan.

And finally, the last request was for the casserole.

To make the broccoli cheese rice casserole. I think I use about 3 c. of cooked brown or white rice. I like brown. The first step is to saute a chopped onion and about 4 stalks of chopped celery in some butter or olive oil.  I use butter. Saute it until done. Add to the rice that is already in your big bowl. Add a nice big quantity of cooked broccoli and qualiflower. Add one can of cream of mushroom soup. Salt, pepper, and season to taste. What do you like? Put it in.

If you are a purist you can make a white sauce from scratch, instead of the soup. The cream of mushroom soup is good in this, and it is easy. Then I use a half of a brick of grated sharp cheader cheese, saving some for the top. If you don't like that kind of cheese use whatever you do like.  Mix with a big wooden sppoon, if it's dry add a little milk or sour cream, whatever you like, even broth if you have that. It should be just moistly blended and stay together. Spread into a casserole and cover with the rest of your grated cheese. Bake at 350 for about an hour until golden brown and bubbly. You can do a lot with this. You can switch up the veggies, any veggies are good. You can add chopped chicken or green  minced chilies. Whatever you can think of.

And as Julia would say "Bon Appetit!"

If you'd like to make a Noodle Kugal I just knew she would know how! After reading how it's made, I gained 5 more pounds.

The sun is shining the trees are blooming it's SPRING! Time to get outside!!


Unknown said...

I would definitely like to make that rice casserole this weekend. Scrum diddly umptious Karen : )

farmlady said...

All good and delicious!! That casserole is a great dish for a cold evening. Thanks...

Julie Harward said...

I have the same mixer, I grind my flour too and my recipe for bread is pretty much the same...I don't use quite that much flour..(see one of my September post, I did one on how I make bread) Mine turn out perfect and light mixer is even older than yours, I use it to make big batches of cookies, love it! Come say hi :D

Michelle said...

I have not had much luck baking bread. However, I have only tried it a few times. I have heard good things about your brand of mixer.

Anonymous said...

Bread is a weakness of mine...yum!! You are such a great cook. Thank you for sharing your heart and experience in regards to my OCD post today. ((hugs)) Your support and understanding means so much.

Unknown said...

I think I just gained three pounds! Great post.

Mental P Mama said...

I am so hungry! I can smell the bread over here;)

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Those cinnamon rolls are making me CRAZY! I'm gnawing on my knuckles, here.