Monday, July 20, 2015

9 Grain Whole Wheat Bread {with Natural Yeast}

We are not gluten free in this house (obviously), but I've been experimenting with natural yeast because of the health benefits.  I do have a gluten free friend who uses natural yeast to make her own wheat bread and she has zero side effects.  You can learn more about natural yeast here.

As for this recipe, it is almost identical to Honey Whole Wheat Bread (my favorite sandwich bread), just with the addition of 9 grain cracked cereal.  I like the texture it gives.  You can use any cracked cereal you have on hand, or make your own.  I use this one from Thrive Life, because it is easily accessible to me.

There are a two things to remember when baking with natural yeast:
1) Rise time is significantly longer.  The initial rise time is anywhere from 4-12 hours, with the final rise time being 1-4 hours, depending on the room temperature.
2) Cooking time is generally longer and hotter than with traditional yeast.
Other than that, its the same as regular yeast.

9 Grain Whole Wheat Natural Yeast Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. vital wheat gluten
2/3 c. natural yeast
2/3 c. 9 grain cracked cereal
2 1/2 c. + 2/3 c. water

Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix until incorporated.
Let rest (sponge) for 10 minutes.

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. salt
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. honey

Mix while adding:
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (or white flour if using half and half)

Dough should come away from the sides of the bowl and be wet to the touch, but not sticking to your fingers.  You may need to add up to 1 c. of additional flour until correct consistency is reached.
Mix dough for 10 minutes.

Move dough to large bowl and cover.
Let rise until double (4-12 hours).

Once doubled, roll dough out onto greased cutting board.
Knead thoroughly and cut in half.
Shape each loaf and place in greased bread pans.
Cover with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled (1-4 hours), or until dough is 1" above top edge of loaf pan.

Bake at 385 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 25-35 minutes, until well browned.
(Internal temperature of bread should reach 180 degrees when fully cooked).

Monday, July 13, 2015

Best Biscuits

I love biscuits.  I love these biscuits.  They are the go to recipe at our house since we started venturing away from shortening.
These work great with olive oil.
These work great with butter.
I'm sure they work great with shortening.
I'm sure they'd work with coconut oil or shortening or whatever other oil suits your fancy.
They are terrific, you wont be disappointed.
We personally like the outcome best when using all-purpose flour, but they work well with whole wheat or a mix of half and half.

Best Biscuits
4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2/3 c. olive oil OR butter
up to 2 c. milk

Combine dry ingredients.
Cut in softened butter (or pour in oil) and mix until crumbly.
Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

Roll out and cut into large rounds.
Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Peachy Keen Bars

This wonderful summertime dessert has all of the deliciousness of peach cobbler, all squared away into a perfect bar.  If you like peaches, you'll love this recipe.
Peachy Keen Bars
1 pkg dry cake mix (white, yellow, vanilla)
1/3 c. butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, divided
1 quart peaches, cubed
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg; mix with fork until crumbly.
Set aside 1 1/2 c. for the topping.
Press remaining crumbs on the bottom of a sprayed 9x13" baking dish.
Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and vanilla extract; beat with a mixer until creamy.
Drain peaches and spoon onto crust.
Spread cream mixture over peaches.
Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.
Bake an additional 30 minutes.
Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Recipe from Kitchen Confit

2/3 c. sugar
juice and zest from 1 lemon
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. melted butter
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1/2 c. confectioners sugar, sifted
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a bowl and mix to combine.
In a seperate bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, vanilla and butter, and whisk to combine.
Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.
Mix until just blended.
Stir in poppy seeds.
Divide among muffin cups.

Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are golden.
When cool enough to handle, transfer muffins to wire rack.

Whisk confectioners sugar and lemon juice to make the glaze.
Drizzle over muffins.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Green Chili Chicken

I'm a big fan of any meal that incorporates salsa.  This is fantastically easy and incredibly delicious.  We served ours with black beans and corn, as well as some white rice with pico stirred in.  I also used freeze dried green chilies, because those are the only ones I have on hand, and everything turned out delicious!

Green Chili Chicken
Recipe from Pioneer Woman

1/2 c. olive oil
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4-6 chicken breasts
4-6 chilies (see note above)
1 c. pepperjack cheese, grated
pico or salsa, for serving
beans, for serving
rice, for serving

Combine oil, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a blender and puree.
Pout over chicken in a ziplock bag, seal, and evenly distribute.
Marinate for at least 4 hours.

If using fresh chilies, roast over an open flame, seal in a bag, and remove skins.
Grill or pan fry chicken until cooked through.
On each breast, cover with chilies and top with cheese.

Serve with rice and beans, with salsa on the side.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mint Fudge Popcorn

My love affair with popcorn will hopefully be a lifetime endeavor.  This is my latest favorite.
Mint Fudge Popcorn
Recipe modified from Bru Crew

12 c. popped corn, kernels removed
1 package fudge mint cookies, chopped
1 lb. bag mini marshmallows
12 oz. bag white chocolate chips
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
green food coloring

Combine popcorn, cookies and marshmallows in a large bowl.
Melt bag of chips and pour over mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
Spread over waxed paper to cool and harden.
Melt remaining 1/2 c. chips and add green food coloring.
Drizzle over everything.
Once hardened, break into pieces.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kale and Pepper Frittata

Kale and Pepper Frittata
Recipe modified from Pioneer Woman

12 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. shredded pepperjack cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 large baked potato, diced
2 c. chopped kale leaves (or other green)
2 whole jarred roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 c. green chilies, chopped
1/4 c. pepperoncini peppers, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat eggs until just mixed, and add salt and pepper.
Stir in cheeses and set aside.
In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter.
Add onions and cook until golden brown.
Add diced potato and season with salt and pepper.
Once heated through, add kale leaves, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add peppers and stir to evenly distribute.

Pour egg mixture over veggies in skillet so that it evenly coats everything.
Let it sit on the burner for 30-45 seconds to set the edges, then move skillet to the oven.

Cook for 10-12 minutes, checking frequently - eggs should be set but not browned on top.
Slide frittata out of skillet and cut into wedges.