nothavanas: (shortcake)
1 lb (480 g) plain white flour
1 level teaspoon baking soda
1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch salt
2 oz (60 g) butter
4 oz (120 g) sugar
4 oz (120 g) raisins
1 egg, beaten
1/2 pint (300 mL) buttermilk
Preheat oven to 200°C (400° F). In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add sugar and raisins and mix through. Add the egg and buttermilk, mixing well with a knife. Knead lightly and shape the dough into a round of about 3 in. thickness. Mark the top with a cross using a knife. Bake on a greased baking tray for 45 minutes or until golden brown—the base should sound hollow when tapped.
A Trifle, A Coddle, A Fry: An Irish Literary Cookbook by Veronica O’Mara and Fionnuala O’Reilly.

It's easy enough to leave out raisins if desired!
nothavanas: (shortcake)
It being time for The Desolation of Smaug, I came back to the Lembas recipe from last year and made the suggested changes.

a generous 1.75 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
a generous 1/4 cup ground pecans, because we had them and did not have almonds
used cider from the Dockrey orchard
used half and half instead of milk

Kneaded dough by hand for a couple of minutes before rolling it out.

Let's see how it does!
*time passes*
Ohh, very nice. The pecans and the half & half add just the right extra fat to soften the flavor and texture. This batch is less crumbly than before, and the flavor is excellent. Sticking with this recipe from now on.
nothavanas: (shortcake)
Hot and Tangy Mustard
Recipe fro Sunset

1/2 cup Colman's dry mustard
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Whisk together dry mustard and vinegar in a medium metal bowl until smooth. Chill, covered, overnight.
 Bring a medium saucepan filled with 1 inch water to a simmer. To bowl of vinegary mustard, whisk in 1/4 cup water, egg, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set bowl over simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until mustard thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk for a minute, and then let cool.
Salted with kosher salt, and some additionally sprinkled with a very small amount of Ghost Chile Salt.

Guinness Chocolate Mousse

8 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp Baker's Brew Coffee Spice
3/4 cup Guinness stout
3 x large eggs, separated
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a small bowl set over a pot of simmering water, or a double-boiler, combine the chocolate, butter, sugar, and Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the Guinness and whisk in the egg yolks. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold the cream, into the chocolate mixture. With clean beaters,in a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture. Fill wine or shot glasses, parfait bowls, or ramekins and refrigerate. Serve with freshly whipped cream, containing 1 c heavy whipping cream, 1.5 tbls powdered sugar, and a pinch of Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice.
Yields: 8 servings            

nothavanas: (shortcake)
I am conducting an Experiment in literary baking.

Here's the best, most faithful lembas recipe I found:

And here's what I've done.
1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups of white flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
scant 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 cup ground sliced almonds (ground with an electric spice grinder)
8 Tablespoons cold butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
4-5 oz milk
1/4 cup apple juice or apple cider

Place dry ingredients in food processor and pulse to mix. Add small chunks of butter in three portions and mix well. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Add sugar and honey [I used local raw meadowsweet], and mix with a wooden spoon. Add milk [whole, in this case] and cider [spiced]. Start with 4 oz (1/2 cup) milk and add a bit more if needed. Mix until a soft, sticky dough forms. Flour a worksurface and roll out the dough until a generous 1/2 inch thick. Cut into ~3" squares, using my wooden-handled metal spatula as a guide. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet, leaving a little space. Cut criss-crosses into each square with a knife. Bake at 440 °F for 14 minutes, until just browned. 
My batch made 1.5 sheets worth, so I put them in the oven together and rotated the sheets halfway through.

End result: good texture, a little more breadlike than a scone, but similar. The cardamom is a nice taste. The other flavors aren't distinct, but the whole ensemble is delicious. These would be really good with orange marmalade.

I might try kneading a bit more to develop some gluten, but not by much. I might try adding a hint of clove, maybe, or a bit less cardamom.
nothavanas: (Default)
 I have experimented with a whole-wheat recipe for Irish soda bread, which uses a little steel-cut oatmeal as well as white and wheat flours. It looks excellent, but I can't try some until the potluck lunch at noon. Meanwhile, my office smells like delicious.
Interestingly enough, the recipe is credited to Diane Duane. I don't know if she's the author or not.

mmmmm, meat

Mar. 6th, 2010 11:35 pm
nothavanas: (Default)
I am taking advantage of the vegetarian's absence to make dinner with meat this weekend.

I made Ted Lindeman's fantastic sourdough cornbread with bacon grease instead of oil or butter, and used bacon grease in the pan. It's got just a hint of bacon flavor, especially at the crusty edges.

I also made Quick Cheeseburger Pie. The recipe calls for an 8-inch pie pan, but all three of our pie pans are 9.5 inches. It worked out all right though; I had 1.3 lbs of ground beef, rounded up on all my other measurements, and filled the dish completely. There wasn't any crust to fold over the edge of the pan, though. I could have probably gotten extra crust if I'd rolled out the dough, but it's designed to be smushed into the pan and is very soft.
nothavanas: (Default)
-I made twice baked potatoes, substituting bacon salt for actual bacon and freeze-dried chives for fresh. They came out fabulously; one whole potato per person worked out fine.

-That fancy Italian olive oil is beautiful with fresh sourdough bread and kosher salt. I ran an experiment out of laziness, and let the sourdough loaves rise overnight on the counter after shaping them. The texture is beautiful. There wasn't much ovenspring, if any, but the crumb is excellent and there's a nice crust. I may do that again on purpose!


Oct. 31st, 2009 03:02 pm
nothavanas: (Default)
I love having Granny Ruth's cast iron bread pans. I'm sure they're her mother's, if not older, and they have such a beautiful cured surface I never have to wash them. Plus, they are massive enough to make two loaves out of a 9-cups-of-flour batch of bread.
Alas, I still have to wait for the bread to cool down before eating it.
nothavanas: (Default)
I am extraordinarily fond of powdered buttermilk. It turns a perishable, rarely-used ingredient into a common staple. This way, I can spontaneously make pesto biscuits, pancakes, or Irish soda bread (today's tasty thing) without having to go to the store and then decide what to do with the rest of the buttermilk.
nothavanas: (Default)
I am currently rising sourdough pretzel dough in a patch of sunshine on my kitchen counter.

Also I am all set to make one of my favorite dishes, chard-saffron tart with pine nuts and a yeasted crust, for dinner tonight.

And there will be PESTO BISCUITS later in the week, maybe tomorrow. That's really the entire reason I made 2.75 lbs of basil into pesto. That, and tasty homemade gifts.


Sep. 7th, 2009 05:00 pm
nothavanas: (Default)
This may be the best batch of sourdough bread I've ever made. It had just the right sort of tang and a hint of saltiness, with a beautiful crackly crust and a just-soft inside. I will try to leave some for when my housemates get home in an hour or so.

I suspect the key is making round loaves and slashing them--with asterisks, in this case.
nothavanas: (Default)
I threw a birthday party for one of my roommates, which turned out to be dinner and cake for 13 people. No pressure for my first dinner party! :D
Monday I baked the cake, using White Cake II from the '97 Joy of Cooking. I added an awful lot of food coloring and made a green and yellow checkerboard cake with three layers.
Tuesday I did the rest of the prep. I filled the cake with raspberry preserves (heated and strained directly onto the layers), frosted it with Butter Frosting (from Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book) tinted a lovely shade of purple, and decorated it. Sooj added some lovely flowers, lavender and sweet pea. Then I baked Olive Oil Bread, using 1.5 cups white flour and 1 cup white whole wheat. I keep trying to use a pizza stone and it keeps coming out thin and crispy, and oddly shaped. I need to reduce baking time a lot, and maybe try a better improvised peel. I set up the standard tomato-and-garlic pasta sauce, using 4 15-oz cans of tomatoes and scaling up appropriately. I measured out the oil, which ended up being a little too much. Next time I just eyeball it, as usual. After the sauce was simmering, with some Yellowtail Shiraz added, I prepped 5 ears of corn, cutting the tips and ends off and cutting each ear in half. That was a little harder than I expected, but I stuck them in a dish in the microwave, with some water added and saran wrap over them, and just let them wait. They eventually got microwaved for 4 minutes on high, and came out excellent.
The salad consisted of lots of different lettuces and also arugula, all from Boistfort Valley Farm, and I put the birthday girl in charge of other vegetables (carrots, red bell peppers, and celery).
I brought my food processor to a standstill making pasta with seven egg whites and five cups of flour (three white, two whole wheat). I ended up turning it out onto the counter to mix and add more water and oil to, and then back into the processor to finish. The dough came out just fine despite that.
That much pasta just barely fit into the pot, and it did boil over once or twice. I served the salad and the corn while waiting for the noodles to finish cooking, and then brought the pot and the skillet to the table.
Everyone loved all of it, which made me very happy. The sauce was exquisite, the noodles were tasty, and the cake was rich and buttery and very very colorful!
Pictures of the cake, the food, and the party to follow.
nothavanas: (Default)
So last night I was looking for my sourdough recipes on my computer, and ran across one for cinnamon biscuits. I decided they sounded better than bread, plus I didn't have very much flour on hand, so I went for it.
They are delicious by themselves, excellent with black raspberry jam, and out of this world with dark wildflower honey. Something about that particular strong honey goes perfectly with the cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

Giant Bread

Feb. 9th, 2009 09:14 am
nothavanas: (Default)
I made Anadama Bread last night and finally found a recipe big enough to fill my loaf pans. The pans and the recipe both date from the late 1800's, more or less.

Mmm, fresh handmade bread with a little bit of dark honey; no better breakfast in the world.
nothavanas: (Default)
Two cans tuna fish
A fair amount of pickle relish
Less mayonnaise than I really think I need
Three english muffins, split and toasted

Combine first three ingredients. Spread on muffins, then toast again (in toaster oven).

Pretoasting the bread is a fabulous idea, and the warm tunafish is great.
nothavanas: (Default)
The steam wafting out of fresh cornbread looks golden in the evening sunlight; it's quite lovely.
The bread itself (sourdough cornbread "unlike any other") is wonderful as always.
nothavanas: (Default)
Alton Brown's Cranberry Sauce, as seen last night on Good Eats. We had to sub cocktail for 100% juice, but it appears to be working.

Sausage and Celery Stuffing, with lots of bread and also onions sauteed in lots of butter. We had sage sausage.

Teddy Bear Bread. This one is currently at the first rise, but I'm certain it will be delicious as always.
The bears are now shaped and rising. They are so cute!

There will be turkey-roasting shortly, and gravy and mashed potatoes and the usual. Then the traditional Christmas Day turkey burritos with green chile sauce.


Oct. 14th, 2008 08:06 am
nothavanas: (Default)
I made chard-saffron tart last night, from The Greens Cookbook. This is my favorite dish of all time from that book, including olive oil bread, and it is the only reason I own a tart pan. It's easy, the dough is beautifully flavored and textured, the custard is quick and tasty. And it makes an excellent breakfast.

I also boiled some various potatoes and mixed them with pesto, as if I didn't feel like making the pasta portion of pasta with pesto and new potatoes. And I blanched some yellow and green beans and dressed them with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Wash Park seasoning blend. It was food processing evening.

Oh, and Sunday I made sourdough bread, which I ate with apple butter from Woodrings Orchard.
nothavanas: (Default)
I have no idea where the name logan bread comes from.

I couldn't find sesame meal so I used more soy flour, and I did half-and-half sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. And I had to bake it in a 8x8 not a 9x9 pan, but I just upped the time a bit and it came out tasty.

Now to make it last until this weekend's camping trip.
nothavanas: (Default)
Cornbread Unlike Any Other
I think the reduction in sugar is permanent. It’s sweet enough with just one tablespoon. I added two chopped pickled jalapeños, but it could easily handle more.


nothavanas: (Default)

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