Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

Nonie’s Overnight Oatmeal Bread

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Yesterday I made my first homemade bread, using my grandmother’s recipe.  (We call her Nonie)  This isn’t my first time working with yeast, though.  I’ve made pizza dough, dinner rolls, and every year I make a Swedish tea ring for Christmas.  This bread was very tasty, though a little denser than I wanted.  I’m still going to need to practice so I can figure out how to make it just the right texture.  When Nonie makes this bread it is soft and light, and her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (often made with homemade fig jam) are always a treat.

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Nonie’s Overnight Oatmeal Bread

1. Dissolve:

  • 1 pkg (2 1/4 t) yeast
  • 1/2 c warm water

2. Combine in separate bowl & let sit 10 minutes:

  • 2 c boiling water
  • 1 c quick-cook oatmeal
  • 6 T butter

3. Add to oatmeal mixture:

  • 1/2 c sugar -or- 1/3 c honey (I used honey)
  • 1 1/2 t salt

4. Add yeast mixture

5. Mix in gradually until dough forms:

  • 4-5 c flour (I used part white, part wheat)

6. Let rise in greased bowl about 2 hours

7. Punch down and knead until smooth & elastic (I think I overdid the kneading)

8. Form loaves and let rise in 2 pans about an hour (should about double in size…make sure you have it in a warm place)

9. Preheat oven to 450º

10. Bake 10 min at 450º

11. Bake about 30-35 min at 350º

Note: the “Overnight” part is totally optional, but if you want to leave the pans in the fridge overnight, then let them rise in the morning, you can.  Nonie said she didn’t see any advantage to that, so she just makes & bakes in the same afternoon.

Gobble ’til you wobble

Friday, November 26th, 2010

You know I did.  There are going to be a lot of posts about individual dishes that happened this year.  All in all, the meal was a success.  But let’s start with the turkey.

This baby was 12.7 lbs. of tasty goodness.  I’ve heard a lot about how to cook it, some advice more helpful than others.  The most interesting was about how you can flip the bird upside down so that the juices drip down into the “pretty breast skin”.  That phrase was literally used.  In my office.  By a man.  I felt so uncomfortable.

Upside down is the way to go!

Upside down is the way to go!

I mentioned this to my mother.  Leaving out the word “pretty”, to be sure.  And I might have just called it “white meat” instead of using words that typically make boys in grade school giggle uncontrollably.  My mom had heard something similar, but what she had read suggested that you flip it right side up for the last hour so that it still looks nice in the end.  We did this with amazing success.

Look at my beautiful turkey!

Look at my beautiful turkey!

Cooked for 5ish hours at 300 in a convection oven.  Stuffed with my cornbread stuffing.  Topped with gravy.  So let’s talk about these two.

The stuffing went like this:

  • 1 recipe of cornbread (12 corn muffins), recipe to follow
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 lb. sage sausage
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Saute the veggies with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from pan and transfer to large bowl (really large, trust me).  Now use the same pan to cook the sausage.  Brown that beautiful sausage.  Meanwhile, crumble the cornbread into the veggies.  Add the sausage to the cornbread/veg mixture.  Add eggs and chicken broth.  Don’t be a wimp.  Mix with your hands.  Then stuff it into that beautiful bird you’ve got waiting for you.

Now for the gravy:

  • 2 Tablespoons of the turkey drippings
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, mix the drippings and the flour until smooth.  Whisk in the broth.  Add the seasoning.  Stir carefully until the gravy thickens.

So what about that cornbread?

I got this recipe from my mother, who got it from her grandmother.  I cannot claim it, nor can I tell you its original source.

  • 1 cup flour (if you wanted to go gluten free or just a heartier cornbread, you can replace this with cornmeal)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (we like sweet cornbread, but feel free to skimp, if you’d rather)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk

Mix the dry with the wet, then pour into a greased baking dish (or muffin tins).  Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

So let’s talk about stuffing vs. dressing.  Dressing being the stuff that doesn’t get stuffed, while stuffing is, by very definition, stuffed in something.  So this is my first year with real, actual stuffing.  It’s no joke.  Stuff that bird.  There’s no reason not to.  And every reason to.  The stuffing gets all that yummy bird fat flavor throughout.  I had no idea what I was missing.

The Human Machine

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Do rock and roll dreams come true?

I told the boyfriend that I was going to make pita bread tonight.  He told me that I often make things that can only be made by professional chefs or machines.  Then he asked me which I was.  I’ll let you decide.

Also, I’ll let you decide what amazing high school indy band I’ve quoted above.  The winner gets a big smackeroo on the face.  Unless we’re related.  In which case, I promise to make the winner something gluten free next time I’m in Fayetteville.  High stakes.  Get on it.

Regardless, this pita was a breeze.  No seriously.  Maybe 20 minutes total spent on this, though longer, if you include rising time.  I ran across this smitten kitchen recipe, which was pretty much useless to me as it required me to let the dough rise for at least 8 hours.  Wasn’t gonna happen.  I almost gave up.  Then I saw this.  The word “easy” really stood out to me, and the recipe lived up to its promise.  I straight up stole this recipe, so I’m not going to bother writing it out and claiming that I “adapted” it.  Follow the link.  Follow instructions.  Scarf those babies down!

Pita Bread

Pita Bread

While the pita bread was in the oven (please note it bakes for 3 minutes), I processed some hummus.  It went like this…

Classic Garlic Hummus:

  • 1 big ol’ can of chickpeas, drained (19 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste (don’t be shy, though… it’ll need a good bit)
  • water

Process the chickpeas, olive oil, and garlic.  Add salt to taste, and water until the texture is just right (not too much, though!).  So simple.  So tasty.  Ordinarily, I’d feel silly posting such a simple recipe, but one of my coworkers asked for it, so it must be worthwhile.

P.S. Don’t forget to scoot yourself on over to my happy birthday post and get yourself entered in this contest.  No really.  Do.

Cinnamon Rolls

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

I sacrificed so very much for these cinnamon rolls.  Read all about it.

Never commit to serving a particular dish before you read the entire recipe.  If I had known these would take 4 1/2 hours, I probably would have picked up a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, and I doubt he would have cared.  He just seemed so impressed by the fact that they would be “homemade”.  So am I, now that I know that means getting up at 7 am on a holiday morning.

But there I was.  7 am.  Mixing up the dough for cinnamon rolls.  And in my sleepy state, I might have forgotten to warm the buttermilk, which probably affected the way they didn’t rise all that much until it was time to bake.  Bah!

This recipe is taken from my favorite cookbook ever.  I changed it up just a bit, though, because the filling is a bit much otherwise.

The dough:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, warm (oh… whoops!)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Whisk the wet ingredients together.  Separately, mix the dry ingredients.  Mix them all together.  Knead until the dough is smooth.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise for a couple hours (until doubled in size).

Roll the dough out into a huge rectangle.  Then mix the filling…

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Brush the dough with 1 Tablespoon melted butter.  Sprinkle the filling over this.  Really rub the filling into the dough, otherwise it’ll be a big mess later.  This is bad.

Roll the dough up.  Seal off the ends and turn them under.  Cut the cylinder into 12 equal pieces.  Place in greased pan.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for about an hour to an hour and a half (until nearly doubled in size).  You’ll bake these in an over preheated to 350 for 25-30 minutes.

In the meantime, make the icing…

  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk or milk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Mix this.  Real good.  Until smooth, it says.  Yup, keep mixing.  Maybe you should use a whisk?

Then wha-bam!  Ice the golden brown suckers!  Then eat them.  ’Cause they’re real good.  See?

Photo by Nathan Clendenin

Photo by Nathan Clendenin

Do you see that yummy fruit dip?

of facial masks and chocolate

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

It all started when Target stopped carrying facial masks.  And I walked up and down the facial products aisle for ten minutes straight, half disbelieving, the other half with nothing better to do on a Friday evening (but I’m not lonely or anything).  At some point, I gave up and marched myself over to the yogurt, picked out some nonfat plain yogurt, which, it seems, only comes in containers bigger than my head.  I then marched myself into the check-out line, where the cashier was probably confused by the yogurt, nail polish, and feminine products I was purchasing.  Or maybe he wasn’t.  I never know.

As it turns out, a simple mixture of honey and yogurt makes a great facial mask, leaving your skin silky smooth and your fridge full of more plain yogurt than you’ll know what to do with.  I’ve heard that plain yogurt is supposed to make a great low-fat substitute for sour cream, if we can assume that any low-fat substitute is ever great.  I wasn’t sure I bought into it, but I attempted to substitute yogurt for sour cream in this recipe, which is commonly referred to as “biscones” due to their biscuit-like texture.  I threw in chocolate chips instead of cinnamon chips, and the results were delightful.

Photo by Nathan Clendenin

Photo by Nathan Clendenin

Nate and Bec raved that they were the “best biscones ever”, which is really saying something, given the great variety of biscones that the two of them have tried over the years.  The important message here?  Lower in fat doesn’t have to mean lower in flavor.

Who am I kidding?  The recipe still calls for 6 Tbsp. of butter!