Saturday, May 24, 2014

Who doesn't love a smoothie?

I know I really enjoy them.  And, it's one of those things you make that probably is never quite the same twice ...but is always yummy.

It's always a matter of what is at hand really.  This time it began with some orange juice, a banana, some frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries.. add a few big dollops of frozen vanilla yogurt ...and a splash of my milk substitute... Vanilla So Good .... mmmm.... very tasty if I do say so myself... and, I do.  Today I made almost the same version, but added some apple sauce as well....

It doesn't matter how many or how few blueberries I toss in... it will be purple if there are blueberries...but, it's a pretty colour, so it's okay...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mountain Bread

...or Mountain Man Bread ...

My brother bakes it; sent me the recipe.  He's a true mountain man living in the middle of nowhere (in the mountains)  ... hunting, fishing and baking ... feeding the wildlife and taking lots of pictures.  He also makes a special orange loaf, and a mean cherry pie, let me tell ya... but, back to his bread....

If you use a 9 x 5 loaf pan it will hold the dough, but, it does make a gargantuan loaf... sometimes too big for my toaster.. so I cut the slices in half ...or bake them in smaller pans and get two small loaves instead of one huge loaf.  Your choice.  But, please give it a try!

Multigrain Bread

1 TBSP  (15 ml) granulated sugar
1 - 1 1/2 cups (375 ml)  warm water
1 pkg (2 1/2 tsp/11ml) active dry yeast
1  cup (250 ml)whole wheat flour
2  TBSP (25 ml)fancy molasses  ((I only use 1 TBSP))
2 TBSP (25ml) butter melted
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
1/4 cup (50ml) shelled sunflower seeds
2  TBSP (25ml) flax seeds
2/3  cup (150 ml) rolled oats (not instant)
3 cups  (750 ml) all purpose flour (approx.)

In bowl, dissolve 1 tsp (5 ml) of sugar in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the warm water; sprinkle in yeast.  Whisk in 1/4 cup (50ml) of the whole wheat flour; set in warm place til bubbly, about 10 minutes.

In large bowl, combine molasses, butter, salt and remaining sugar and warm water.  Sir in sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, yeast mixture and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of rolled oats.   Stir in remaining whole wheat flour and enough all purpose flour to make stiff dough.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, kneading in as much of remaining all purpose flour as necessary, about 10 minutes.

Place in large greased bowl, turning to grease all over.  Cover with plastic wrap or towel; let rise in warm draft free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface.  With rolling pin, flatten into 11 x 8 inch rectangle; firmly roll up into log and pinch seam to seal.  Or, shape into loaf log with hands and fit into pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

With tip of sharp knife, make 1/2 inch deep slash lengthwise down centre of loaf.  Brush top with water and sprinkle with remaining oats.   In conventional oven bake at 400F (200) for 30 minutes.

For convection oven bake in centre at 350F (180 C)about 40 minutes.   When done, bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from pan; let cool on rack.

Options:::::  If you are used to baking, you will find easier ways to do the mixing and also add and subtract seeds and nuts as you prefer.

 I usually make mine in my stand mixer.  So, I put some warm water and sprinkle yeast over it in the mixer bowl ... wait for yeast to froth (about 10 minutes) and then add other ingredients, beginning with the wet ingredients and then, the flours, nuts and seeds.   Run mixer with dough hook til dough clears sides of bowl and then, take the lump of still slightly sticky dough out and knead for some more minutes on floured surface adding a bit more flour til I get a silky and just non sticky mass..  then put in greased bowl for first rise.

I don't bother slashing the top or adding oats to it...they usually just fall off and make a mess on the oven bottom ... also, I only use one TBSP of molasses is too much for my taste if I use the recommended two TBSP...

.... and, if I don't have enough sunflower seeds or no flax around... I just leave them out or add some more of the other .... it's a pretty forgiving loaf....and, very tasty.  Some day I'm going to try stuffing chunks of hard cheese inside of it....

Has a lovely rustic look to it.

It makes the best toast!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I'm hopeless

So many days, weeks and months just slip by ... not doing much of anything..but, somehow away they go.  Plenty of baking and cooking going on...but, not much writing about it... oh, well....the cookie jar is always full... hahahha..