Yesterday my mom said she would be making her famous pea soup for dinner. I thought why not complement her soup with some home made rolls or buns.
I had never made rolls or buns before, so I thought it was a great opportunity to expand my bread making abilities. I found a recipe which had butter in it. I was excited to use butter since through out my whole life I can count on my fingers how many times I have eaten butter. I was raised on margarine, and until recently that is all I have ever really eaten or used in my cooking and baking (aside from oil of course). The recipe I chose to use came from the Vegetarian recipe book edited by Valerie Ferguson, that I have been getting a lot of bread recipes from lately.
Taste wise my buns or rolls (I kind of made both) turned out really well. They were warm, soft, and a little bit buttery. Appearance wise they were just okay in my opinion. I am no expert bun or roll shaper. I had detailed instructions on how to make some really neat roll shapes, but despite my best efforts, I couldn’t make anything other then the standard bun shape work. Maybe there is a secret out there about how to shape a roll or bun that I have yet to learn…
Despite my uninteresting bun/roll shapes there were just a few buns left over after dinner.
Do you have any tips of how to shape buns or rolls?
Yesterday I was in the bread baking mood. I decided I was going to make a Sun-dried tomato bread recipe, that I had been eyeing for a little while now, in my favorite bread recipe book: Vegetarian a cooks guide to the sensational world of vegetarian cooking… edited by Valerie Ferguson (page 242). I started out only morphing the recipe a little bit (using less sun-dried tomato since I had less then the recipe called for, and instead using more onion), but ended up really creating my own recipe since the original recipe has no cheese in it, and it is also not a spiral bread.
I have been having a lot of success with spiral breads lately. The first loaf of bread I ever made from scratch was a spiral bread, and it turned out fabulous. My sun dried tomato, and cheese spiral bread turned out just as well as my onion and cheese spiral bread if not better! My bread is soft, with a mildly tomatoey flavor, which makes it just a bit zesty. The onions combine well with the cheese to make it a very flavorful bread.
I ate my bread plain when it was still a bit warm. It really didn’t need to be eaten with anything else because it was so flavorful, and moist enough not to need any type of sauce or butter. I think my bread would go well with almost any type of meal. It would be wonderful with salads or to soak up the sauce of a saucy pasta dish.
Sun Dried Tomato, and Cheese Spiral Bread
*Makes 2 medium to take sized loaves of bread
6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar
4 tsp quick rise yeast
2 cups lukewarm milk ( I microwave it for one minute to get this temperature)
¼-½ cup sun dried tomato pieces
5 tbsp oil from the tomato jar
5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium to large onion (chopped and fried to brown)
1 cup grated low fat marble or cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 100 degrees F. In a large bowl add the flour, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Stir in the milk and oil. Add the sun dried-tomato and about 2 tbsp of the onion. Knead the dough to form a soft dough (for about 10 minutes). Cover the dough with some greased plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 1-2 hours (I use the oven at 100 degrees F this cuts the rising time in half, only use the oven with a stainless steel mixing bowl though!) until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Divide the dough into two balls. Roll each ball out into a flat fairly thick rectangle. Spread the onions evenly over each rolled out rectangle. Sprinkle cheese evenly over each rectangle. Roll up the dough to form a large roll. Place in two bread pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the loafs are golden in color and sound hollow inside when tapped. Serve warm or cool.
I recently tried some Ryvita Muesli Crunch crisp bread for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised. I expected a dry, hard, crunchy bread like cracker. However that was nothing like what I experienced. When I took my first bite of a Ryvita Muesli Crunch I was delighted by the lightly sweet, crunchy, but still moist enough, crisp bread. It reminds me a lot of a granola bar, but ten times better, much less sweet, and so healthy. These crisp breads are loaded with seeds, which I thought might make them too seedy, but they use the perfect amount of seeds in their Muesli Crunch.
I am so addicted to these crisp breads that I have on average 2-4 per day!! I know I should probably cut back a bit, but it’s difficult to, when I know they are quite healthy!
Ryvita Muesli Crunch gets top marks for nutrition in my books. Here are the ingredients:
whole grain rye flour, currants (14%), whole wheat flour, brown sugar, pumpkin seeds (5%), sunflower seeds (5%), whole grain oat flakes, kibbled rye, and honey.
The nutrition facts of the Muesli Crunch bring a smile to my face. They are based on two slices of crisp bread. There are 130 calories in 2 pieces. I think that is a very nice number. There is only 2g of fat! Most impressively there are 0 mg of cholesterol. The sodium content is low at 10 mg or 1% of your daily intake. There are 24g of carbohydrates or 8% of your daily intake. There are 3g fiber or 12% of your daily intake.
The Ryvita Muesli Crunch crisp bread is one snack I will be buying again! I also plan on trying many of the other Ryvita crisp breads shown on the package.
Have you tried Ryvita crisp breads? What do you think of them? Do you have a favorite variety of Ryvita crisp breads?
This morning I was thinking about making some bread. Since I wanted it to be done by lunch time and since it was already 10:30 am I decided to go for a recipe I have been eyeing for quite some time. The recipe is for tomato bread sticks. The recipe I have been drooling over for a few weeks now comes from a cookbook called: Vegetarian- a cooks guide to the sensational world of vegetarian cooking ( page 249) edited by Valerie Ferguson.
The bread sticks turned out very yummy. Warm, and soft, and full of flavor, these bread sticks were an all out hit. I ended up making thirteen and by the time lunch time was finished there were only two left (which I think are now gone).
I didn’t morph this recipe much. I used way more sun-dried tomato pieces then the recipe called for (the recipe said to use 6, and I used at least 15). I also used a lot more water then the recipe called for, as well as some of the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar, on top of the oil that was called for in the recipe.
The formed sticks
The sticks with the poppy seeds before baking
The baked sticks
Sun-Dried Tomato Bread sticks
Makes 13-16 bread sticks
2 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp quick rise yeast
1 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
2/3 – 3/4 cup lukewarm water
15 pieces sun-dried tomato (or desired amount)
A small amount of the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar (1-2 tsp)
1 tbsp skim milk
1-2 tsp poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Mix well. Add the oil, and the honey Stir. Add 2/3 cup lukewarm water. Add the sundered tomato pieces, and some extra oil from the jar. Knead to form a soft dough. If the dough seems too dry add some extra lukewarm water. Continue to knead the dough for about 8 – 10 minutes. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 5 minutes. Divide dough into desired amount of bread sticks, and form dough into sticks. Place on a greased baking sheet. Let the rolls rise for 15 minutes in a warm location. Brush on the milk and sprinkle the poppy seeds over the sticks. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy.
I served my sun-dried tomato bread sticks with some sun-dried tomato, garlic, and cheese dip, and carrot sticks.
This morning I was in the mood for a warm breakfast. I contemplated what to have and decided that some warm homemade waffles were in order. I asked my mom for her magnificent waffle recipe, and then it was off to the mixing bowl to whip up some breakfast.
I love waffles because they are fast to make, and oh so yummy. They are also very versatile.
My mom’s recipe is pretty basic. The waffles are great plain or with a favorite jam or syrup. For a sweeter waffle heap the tbsp’s of sugar, and for a less sweet waffle use regular tbsp’s of sugar.
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
6 tbsp white sugar
4 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
3 large eggs (beaten)
2 ¼ cups skim milk
1/3 cup olive oil
Olive oil for brushing
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, oil, and milk, and stir just until smooth. The batter should look like this.
Heat waffle iron on medium or high depending on your iron, and brush with oil.
Once the iron is warm spread over some of the batter. Cook until the waffles are slightly golden to lightly brown. Enjoy.
Yesterday afternoon I decided to make a shrimp noodle dish for dinner. The last time I was at the grocery store I checked out every brand of Alfredo Sauce in the pasta isle and every single one had soy of some kind in it. I was not impressed. So I went home without any pasta sauce. I decided to search online for a recipe for home made Alfredo Sauce. I found a recipe for light Alfredo Sauce at this website. I was attracted to this recipe because it was for light Alfredo Sauce, and there was no cream in the recipe which was a huge plus.
I followed the recipe pretty closely, but did add a few extra items to it. The recipe calls for 3 tbsp of flour, I used 4-5 heaped tbsp to make the sauce a bit thicker. I also added lots of dried basil, parsley, and oregano to give the sauce some pizazz. To spice things up a bit I added a couple dashes of ground cayenne pepper.
The sauce turned out really well. It was zesty but not as spicy as my last shrimp pasta dish.
For the meat and vegetables I used my recipe for spicy shrimp penne, and changed it to fit the ingredients that I had on hand. I used tons of spinach since I didn’t have any mushrooms, and an extra red bell pepper. This time I used precooked shrimp with the tails already removed (a huge bonus).
I severed my sauce with spaghetti noodles and a green salad on the side.
This afternoon I decided I was going to make some bread. I found a recipe for dill bread that sounded really appealing to me in a vegetarian cookbook. I set out to make it, but decided as usual I was going to morph the recipe. Normally my morphing works out okay or really well, but I made a pretty big mistake with this recipe. I decided to use 3.7 cups of whole wheat flour, and 3.7 cups of white flour, instead of using 7.5 cups of white flour (with no brown flour). White flour really does absorb a lot more fluid then brown flour. Anyways adding a lot more flour did save my bread in the end. My bread turned out to be super yummy despite the near miss in the mixing bowl.
Since it was nearly time to start dinner by the time my bread was done, I decided to make some soup for supper. I took a risk and didn’t use a recipe to create my soup. I went with a tomato soup base, and added tons of vegetables to it. The result was a superb spicy soup.
The bread complemented the soup well. I also made a green salad to serve on the side.
Here is my soup recipe.
Zesty Tomato Vegetable Soup
*makes 5-6 servings
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
2 red bell peppers
6-7 large carrots
Dried basil (to taste)
Dried parsley (to taste)
Dried oregano (to taste)
¼ – ½ tsp Salt
Black pepper (to taste)
2-3 pinches Cayenne pepper
1 vegetable bouillon cube prepared according to package (I added 2 cups water to my cube)
Thyme (to taste)
Paprika (to taste)
¼ tsp white sugar
2 284 ml cans tomato soup
Serve with sour cream if desired
In a large pot place the olive oil (enough to coat the bottom). Prepare vegetables (cut to desired size pieces or mince) On medium heat add the onions and garlic and cook until lightly browned. Now add the red pepper, carrots, and all spices and herbs (to taste) and cook for several minutes (I cooked these for at least 6 minutes). Boil a large amount water. Prepare the vegetable bouillon cube according to the package directions. Add it to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes. Now add both cans of tomato soup. Add one can of water for each can of tomato soup. Stir occasionally. Cook on medium to high heat for about 30-40 minutes. Enjoy. Serve with sour cream if desired (to tone down the spice).
Yesterday I was feeling ambitious and decided to tackle the daunting task of making bread from scratch! I love home made bread, but ever since our bread maker broke quite a few years ago, I had never made another loaf of bread. Making it from scratch was an new adventure.
I searched through one of my mom’s favorite cook books for bread Vegetarian-a cook’s guide to the sensational world of vegetarian cooking with 500 recipes edited by Valerie Ferguson. I found a recipe that I liked on page 240 for Spiral herb bread. I changed the recipe a lot, since I didn’t feel like going to the food store to buy extra ingredients that I didn’t happen to already have.
My bread was a spectacular treat fresh out of the oven. It looked beautiful and tasted very flavorful. Since this bread is half whole wheat it’s also very filling! I served it with spaghetti.
The only thing I would change the next time I make this recipe is to put some onion actually in the dough of the bread rather then just in the spiral part of the bread. I may experiment with different types of onions as well.
Here is my morphed version of the recipe.
Onion and Cheese Spiral Bread
*Makes 2 medium sized loafs of bread
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp quick rise yeast
2 ½ cups lukewarm skim milk (microwave for 1 minute)
Olive oil for greasing/spraying
1 medium to large white onion
1 garlic clove
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp Salt
1 cup grated low fat cheddar cheese
You will also need plastic wrap
Combine the flours in a bowl. Add the salt and mix well. Add the yeast and stir until well combined. Stir in about ½ or a bit less of the grated cheddar cheese. Add the lukewarm milk. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it looks like this.
Get a large sheet of plastic wrap. Spray some olive oil over it evenly. Wrap your dough in it, and let it rise for 2 hours or 1 hour if you try this trick (Preheat your oven to 100 degrees F. Once it reaches this temperature turn off the oven and put your wrapped up dough in it’s original bowl [if it’s stainless steel] in the oven for one hour. Don’t try this with a plastic bowl!). Your dough should have at least doubled in size now, like this.
While the dough is rising mince the onion and garlic clove. Fry it in at least 2 tsp olive oil until lightly browned with a generous amount of basil, parsley, and oregano. Remove from heat, set aside.
Remove plastic wrap. Divide dough into two balls. Roll each ball out separately into a large rectangle. Spread egg over each rolled out rectangle. Now spread the onion and herb mixture over the egg evenly. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, and roll each rectangle up into a roll. Like this (yes the shape is a bit odd, but it seems to change after it bakes).
Place in two separate greased bread/loaf pans. Place the greased plastic wrap back on the dough while it rises. Let rise in a warm place until the dough rises to the level of the top of the loaf pan. Remove plastic wrap. Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans, and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, or store for later.
Well I didn’t make any resolutions on New Years eve, so I decided to make some goals this year instead.
I didn’t do too well with my personal goals for 2009. I made progress on all of them, but unfortunately didn’t complete any of them.
This year I am taking a totally new approach to my goals. Instead of making personal goals, I am making food goals.
Since it’s the year 2010, I thought I would revolve most of my goals around the number 10. Here are my ambitions for this year in no particular order.
Make 10 varieties of breads, rolls, or buns from scratch (without a bread machine)
I have never made home made bread before (other then pizza crust). I use to make bread all the time years ago when we had a bread maker, but we don’t have one anymore, so I’m going to do it the old fashioned way.