Saturday, September 23, 2017

Graham Crackers


8 3/8 ounces graham flour
1 7/8 ounces all-purpose flour
3 ounces dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled
2 1/4 ounces molasses
1 1/2 ounces whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor with a metal blade and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. 
Add the molasses, milk and vanilla extract and process until the dough forms a ball, approximately 1 minute. 
Divide into two balls. 

Press each ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Unwrap one of the chilled dough and place it onto a large piece of parchment paper and top with a second sheet of parchment paper. 

Roll the dough out until it is 1/8-inch thick. Slide the rolled dough and parchment paper onto a sheet pan. 
Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough, using a rolling pizza cutter into 2-inch square pieces, by making vertical and then horizontal cuts all the way across the dough. 

Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the dough.
Leave the crackers on the pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 13 minutes or until the edges just start to darken. 
Remove from the oven, set the sheet pan with the crackers on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. 

Repeat process for second disk of dough.

Once completely cool, break into individual crackers and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Slow Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb Dinner

Shown with honey glazed carrot roses and sauerkraut

Boneless Leg of lamb
1 butterflied boneless leg of lamb: 5 to 7 pounds
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1.      Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 200 F.
2.      Open out lamb leg on cutting board and season generously with salt and pepper inside and out.
3.      Roll lamb up and secure with twine.
4.      Place lamb on wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
5.      Place in oven and cook until center of roast registers 132 F, about 3 hours.
6.      Remove roast from oven and tent tightly with aluminum foil.
7.      Place in warming oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1-1/2 hours.
8.      Heat oven to 500 F.
9.      Ten minutes prior to serving, remove foil and place roast in hot oven and cook until well-browned and crisp on exterior, about 6 to 8 minutes.
10.   Remove from oven and cut off and remove twine.
11.   Slice into ½-inch slices and serve immediately.

White Bean Puree
1 cup dried Navy white beans
½ cup minced onion
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup diced red pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small smoked ham hock
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper

1.      Soak beans overnight. Then rinse well.
2.      Combine beans, onions, garlic, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, ham hock and chicken stock in pot, with lid, over high heat and bring to boil.
3.      Reduce heat to low and simmer, adding more stock if needed, until beans are very tender.
4.      Remove ham hock, remove skin and discard. Then remove meat and chop roughly.
5.      Place meat in blender with cooked beans and liquid and puree until smooth. Add a wee bit more stock, if needed to achieve desired consistency. Season lightly to taste with salt and pepper.

Wilted Rosemary Spinach
2 Tablespoons clarified butter
6 cups packed fresh spinach
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons rice wine

1.      In a large pan over medium heat, briefly warm the clarified butter.
2.      Add spinach and rosemary and let sit for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.
3.      Sprinkle with salt and pepper and, as the spinach begins to wilt, turn gently with tongs so that uncooked spinach rotates to the bottom of the pan.
4.      Add vinegar and wine and continue to turn spinach until it has just wilted but is still bright green.

To Assemble
1.      Spoon pool of bean puree onto each serving dish.
2.      Place mound of wilted spinach in the center of the beans.
3.      Arrange sliced lamb over top.
4.      Sprinkle with salt.

5.      Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread
Yield: 1 loaf or two small

INGREDIENTS – for waking up the starter
4 oz water – filtered (no chlorine in it) or bottled water, room temperature
2 oz whole wheat flour
2 oz white unbleached flour

INGREDIENTS – for the bread
1 cup warm water
3 – 4 cups flour (½ wheat, ½ white unbleached)
̴1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

first night (thursday or friday)
1.           Wake up the starter.
    1. Scrape starter into a ceramic or glass bowl.
    2. Add 4 oz water and stir until mixed.
    3. Add the 2 oz of whole wheat and 2 oz of white and stir until flour is wet.
    4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and sit out on counter overnight.
    5. In the morning, bubbles should be present.

second night (FRIDAY OR SATURDAY)
2.           In a large bowl, combine the water, about ½ cup of the sourdough starter and 2 cups of flour. Return the rest of the starter to storage in the refrigerator.
3.           Mix well and cover with plastic wrap in a warm place 8-12 hours (overnight).

third day (SATURDAY or sunday) – plan on six hours (30 min. prep, 1 hr. baking)
4.           Next day stir in the salt and sugar and add flour 1/2 to 1 cup (½ wheat and ½ white) at a time to make a very stiff dough.
5.           Knead till smooth.
6.           Clean out bowl. Return dough to bowl. Cover and let rise 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

7.           Punch down.
8.           Knead till smooth and form into round. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover lightly (use a linen cloth) and let rise till double and puffy (1 to 2 hrs).

9.           Place a small pan of water on bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
10.        Cut two slashes across each other on top of loaf.
11.        Bake for 5 minutes. Spray with water.

12.        Bake for 5 more minutes. Spray with water.
13.        Bake for another 30 – 50 minutes until internal temperature reaches 205 F.

14.        Allow bread to cool for at least two hours to develop the sourdough flavor fully.

  • Could use all wheat flour.
  • To make a rye, use ½ rye and ½ wheat. Also add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and a handful of caraway seeds.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Rye Baguettes

 1/3 lb white flour
1/3 lb rye flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
2 Tbs caraway see
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 Tbs blackstrap molasses
2/3 cups water (100 F)

1/3 cup water (100 F)
1 package yeast

Use a rubber spatula to stir, until dissolved, yeast in the 1/3 cup water

Stir all the dry ingredients together.

Stir in the molasses and 2/3 cups water into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the dissolved yeast mixture.

Dump mixture out onto floured surface. Let rest for four minutes.

Start kneading by using a scraper to scrape and flip, scrape and flip. Let rest 2 minutes. Then knead by hand by slapping the dough down on the counter. Add flour as necessary to get a good consistency. This process should take 8 to 10 minutes.

Place in clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise to 7 cups. This will take hours.

Hint: mark on bowl the seven cup level.

Dump out on floured surface and pat out into about a 10 inch circle. Then fold near to far, left to right, and near to far. Place back in bowl and let rise to 7 cups again.

Dump onto floured surface and cut into two pieces. Let rest five minutes.

Form about a 6 x 8 inch rectangle. With the edge of the hand, form a trench in the middle the length of the rectangle. Fold over almost to the edge so you have about a 4 x 8 inch rectangle and use the heel of the hand to seal.

Now roll into a cylinder about 18 to 20 inches long and place in floured cloth to proof.

Let rise until puffy.

Transfer to baking vessel. Use a razor blade to cut three scars along the length of the baguette.

Using a spray bottle, spray water on baguettes until moist.

Place in lower level of 450 degree oven.

At two minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle.

At four minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle.

At six minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle and move loaves to upper third of oven.

Bake additional 17 to 19 minutes.

Cool loaves in vertical position.