Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Homemade bread, fresh from the oven and slathered with butter. Nothing else is as good. This is an excellent bread I found at A Bountiful Kitchen go and check out her post because she also has an informative FAQ about bread making.

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

2 cups whole milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups whole-wheat flour
About 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 8x4 loaf pans
Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.
Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.
Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). If using a mixer, or Kitchenaid, use dough hook and mix for about 10 minutes until dough forms a ball and all flour is mixed in. Add up to 1 cup of additional flour if needed. Transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 hour.
Lightly grease loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put oven rack in lower half of oven and preheat to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden about 30 minutes. Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool.

Grilled cheese on homeade Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Potato Soup

I don't like potato soup from a can but I saw a recipe at Batter-Splattered that looked really good. I would have posted a picture but go here and check out this picture because it is much better than the one I took. It turned out very well and I would make it again.

Potato Soup
Serves four to six depending on how big the bowl
2 T olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
One stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 t dried thyme
3 T flour
2 c chicken broth
2 c milk -- 2% works fine, I haven't tried it with skim
2 good-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 c frozen or fresh peas
1/2 c frozen or fresh corn
1 c shredded cheese
1/2 c chopped ham
Chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add carrot, celery, onion, and thyme. Saute for 5 minutes or so, until vegetables are soft. Sprinkle flour over veggies and stir for two minutes. Gradually stir in broth, then milk. Add potato, peas, and corn, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is soft, about 20 minutes.

To make it naughty, you can add the cheese, stirring until cheese is melted and smooth. Then stir in the ham.
Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper.

Spanish Bar Cake

A&P's Spanish Bar Cake, I fondly remember them. Sadly I haven't had one in years but I had a craving so I searched for a recipe and made an attempt at recreating it. The cake turned out okay but it wasn't the cake I remember. I didn't have cloves so I used extra allspice which could have been part of why it wasn't the same. The frosting however was nothing like the original. I'm pretty sure the frosting on the original was cream cheese but I thought I'd try the one that was with the recipe I found.

I would still consider making this again even if it's not right it's still a nice raisin cake. I would use a different frosting though.

I found the recipe here.

A&P Spanish Bar Cake
4 cups water
2 cups raisins
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

Add water to raisins and simmer for 10 minutes. Add shortening and allow to cool. Sift together spices and flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. Add cooled raisin mixture and blend well. Add beaten eggs and nuts and stir well. Place into a 9-by-13-inch pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 minutes, or until tester comes our clean. It can also be baked in a jelly roll pan for 25 minutes.
Frost when cool.

1/3 cup shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat till smooth and creamy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mac and Cheese - Fail!

I have been wanting macaroni salad for a few days and decided to make some last night. I had already started cooking the pasta when I realized I didn't have all the stuff to make it, one day perhaps I will learn to get all the ingredients together before I start cooking. So I figured since the noodles were already cooked I would make some macaroni and cheese. I had a recipe bookmarked to try and I followed the instructions except I used a cup of mozzarella and the rest cheddar. I don't know what happened but the texture of the sauce was gritty. Was it the mozzarella? Should I have cooked the flour longer? Total failure :-(