Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Rosemary Diamante again.

This time as rolls. Revisiting this a year later, with more experience, new processing, and awesome results. Good top and bottom crusts, nice flavor, good rosemary and salt, and nicely light texture. So, in detail so I don’t forget it this time.

– 5c flour (King Arthur, All purpose), + probably close to another 1/2 cup over all the working.
– 1 2/3 c water
– 1/2 c milk
– 1/3 c olive oil
– 1 tsp yeast, dissolved in some of the water.

Mix this till it’s wet an ragged, less than a minute or so. Let it autolyse for 15 minutes.

Add 2 tsp salt, 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary. Knead in the mixer for 4-5 minutes or so. Pull it out and knead a little by hand/bench scraper. It’s wet and sticky, so it’s going to take scraping and flour. It will be pretty elastic and stretchy, but still sticky.

Let it rise in a floured bowl for a couple of hours in a cool kitchen, then fold over and let rise overnight @ 58 degrees or so. In the morning, bring back into the warm room, then an hour later, divide and shape into rolls. This is about my normal 2 loaf quantity or 32 rolls. Divide in half, making quick boules at each division till you’ve got the right number. As the rolls are rolled, add them to an oiled pan with sides — I used a metal 9×13 and a loaf tin. They should be nearly touching before proofing, and they should proof into each other, and then support each other in the oven.

Proof for 45 minutes in a just warmd oven(~100 degrees at the start, maybe), then 30-40 minutes on the counter while the oven was heating to 500.

Bake, pans on the stone at 500 for 10 minutes, with boiling water in a hot pan on the lower rack for steam. Take out of the oven, and invert to remove them from the pan onto a cookie sheet. Turn the oven down to 400 Break apart the rolls so that they all stand individually. Wash the tops with a beaten egg, then sprinkle kosher salt on the tops. Bake at 400 for another 15-20 minutes till the color looks nice and brown.

They were good, but now they’re gone. Unfortunately, before pictures were obtained.

This is a mix of the old recipe, some techniques for a couple different books around here, and the latest Cook’s Illustrated where they talk about perfect rustic dinner rolls.

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Rosemary Diamante

I baked a new type of bread today, a Rosemary Diamante, which I got a basic recipe from here but modified to fit my preferred timings. The dough turned out to have a very elastic texture, beautiful rise and oven spring, with a very soft interior and crisp crust. It was very tasty, with a good hit of rosemary, a touch of olive oil, and the bite of the salt on the crust.

It had nearly a light white bread weight on the inside, probably due to the 1/2 water, 1/2 milk proportions on the liquids. I’ll probably try to make it a bit more hearty the next time around, most likely by cutting down the milk, leaving the olive oil, and processing it nearly like my other white breads. I’ll also boost it to 5+ cups of flour per 2 loaves, rather than the 3 1/2, since the loaf turned out really small, small enough that it didn’t seem out of place to devour one when it got mostly cooled.

So, for the next time:

– 2+ cups liquid, maybe 1/2 cup milk in that.
– 1/3 c olive oil
– 1+ tsp yeast
– 5 c flour
– 4 T chopped fresh rosemary.
– 2 tsp salt in the dough, 1 tsp sprinkled on top before baking.

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Boy decided that we were going to have dinner made of what he dug out of the cabinets today, so I started with a can of corn and a can of chick peas. It came out as a very monochromatic yellow, somewhat different Indian dish.

– Mustard seeds, some, in the oil at first.
– one block tofu, small cubes, fried for a little while till I got sick of it sticking.
– Before adding liquid, some tumeric, maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp. it needs the higher heat of frying.
– Add drained chick peas.
– Added corn liquid, and some extra water (1/4 cup extra?). And some butter. Butter makes everything better. Ghee would work too.
– Salt and Cayenne need to be in there too.
– Added the corn near the end, essentially to heat it up without cooking it to mush.
– At the end, put ground coriander, fenugreek, a bit of cardamom, a couple ground black peppercorns in hot oil and fry for 30 seconds to release the aromas, then mix in with the rest of it.
– A tsp of lemon juice at the end for a little brightness.

I served it over couscous, but any grain would work.

This surprised me for a 15 minute too tired to cook anything night, especially since I didn’t really know what I was going to make until I was about halfway through. Good enough to write it down so that I have a chance of doing it again.

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Wheat Bread

So this is a working Whole Wheat bread. Not bitter, not too dry, and good texture. Similar to the previous white bread in that it’s mixed wet and rises in the fridge.

3c flour, 1/2 bread, 1/2 wheat. Add 1/2 cup barley that’s soaked in water for a couple of hours, 1 tsp yeast, and mix in just under 2 cups of water. This should be a batter like dough. Let Rest 20 minutes.

Change to the dough hook, knead 5 minutes. Add 1/2c bread flour, knead 5 minutes. Add 1/2c wheat, knead 5 minutes. Add 1/3c steel cut oats and 2 tsp salt, knead till mixed. If it’s still soft, add 1/4 cups of flour and knead till it’s reasonably stiff. Rest 20 minutes, knead a bit more, then pop into a greased container, oil the top and cover with plastic wrap. Into the fridge for a day or three, until an hour or two before baking.

Form into loaf, slash, and pop in oven quickly. 425 for 15 minutes, 350 for 30.

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Bread Experiences

The recent Thread on the internets about real Pizza inspired me and gave me an idea of what I could do to make the bread that I bake a little better.

The bread that I’ve done before has generally been good, but I haven’t been 100% happy with the texture. It tended to have a high flour:water ratio, and from that has been hard to knead well. Kneading develops the gluten in the flour, so the bread would be somewhat crumbly and even have very large or very small air bubbles. One of my favorite breads is the Essential foods Fremont bread, which has good structure, nicely elongated bubbles, and a good chewy texture.

The pizza thread had a clue — higher water content, and mechanically knead the bread when it’s still very wet. The kneading is still effective even when all the flour hasn’t been added to the dough. I started with a 5C flour: 2C water mix, then tried various mixes from 4:2, 4.5:2, 4.75:2, and ended up at the original mix with some procedural changes. The wetter doughs had very little strength on the way into the oven, in a freeform loaf shape it was about an inch tall and 5 inches wide. It rose well in the oven, good flavor, with very large interconnected bubbles and a nice crust, but didn’t really fit in the toaster.

The basic procedure, a 5c dough.

Put 3 cups (King Arthur) bread flour, 1 tsp yeast, and 2 c water into the mixing bowl. Mix using the batter attachment till smooth. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.

Mix on low using the dough hook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup KA All Purpose flour and mix for 5 minutes. And again. And again. We’re at 4 1/2c now. Add the last 1/4-1/2 cup flour, scrape the dough down from the hook as necessary, and let sit for 20 minutes.

Add 2 tsp salt, and mix a bit, then pull out and knead by hand for a bit, then put in a greased/spray oiled bowl, spray oil the top, and put plastic wrap down on the surface of the dough. Put in the fridge, and let sit for a couple of days or more.

Get the dough out of the fridge about 1 1/2 hours before cooking, and preheat the oven to 425. The cooler the bread, the better it will stay formed, so less flour could indicate less time out of the fridge. Form the dough into a torpedo, spray with oil and dust with flour as necessary, put on parchment and onto the stone. Cook at 425 for 15 minutes, then 350 for 30 minutes until good color in the crust.

The important bits of this are: Lots of mixing/kneading when wet, 2tsp salt, and enough flour to make the dough stiff enough to stay formed.

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Pretty sure that I’ve documented this before, but Google’s letting me down. Where last weekend was berry centered, this weekend was a having dinner with friends type of thing. This pizza iteration turned out really well. It’s somewhere on the spectrum of what I’ve been making for a while, but it all came together and worked well in the new (to me) oven.

No offense to Chicago types, but my ultimate pizza is a thin crust, with a nice bready rim that could be artisan bread. The center can’t be cracker like, but should be stiff enough that the toppings don’t end up in your lap if there’s an unsupported inch or two. Pagliacci’s is the closest I’ve come on the West coast to that ideal, and they tend to do it a little better than I do. (I’d welcome a recipe should they wish to share.)


4+ hour lead time or so. Makes three squarish crusts that are about 15×11″ (the rough size of parchment paper and the stone). Rule of thumb, 1 pizza is about 90% of the mess that 3 are, and about 1/3 as good.

  • 5 1/2 c Flour total, 1 whole wheat pastry, 1.5 bread, the rest all purpose.
  • 1 meduim potato, cubed, boiled, and mashed with enough water to make a moist cup or so of mashed potato
  • 2 tsp yeast, proofed in 1c warm water + dash sugar
  • Total of just less than 2 c water, including proofing liquid
  • 1/4 cup oil or so, unmeasured

Add flour, potato, and oil in the kitchenaid mixer, while running slowly drizzle in proofed yeast and water till it’s a moist dough that’s making wet sounds. Keep it kneading in the mixer for a few minutes, it tightened up a bit to a nice smooth dough that was a little sticky. Inside of the bowl was clean, all the ingredients were in the ball of dough, which was kneading as well as I’ve seen it knead before.

After 5 minutes or so, pull it out and knead by hand for a few minutes. then pop back in the mixer and mix in 1 tsp salt, then form into a ball and let rise in a covered, greased bowl for a while. Make sure to oil/grease the surface of the dough so it doesn’t dry out. Spary canola oil is good.

Let it rise in a warmish place for an hour or so, then turn it and let it rise again. Divide into three balls, knead a couple times then form into small thick rectangles. Place in three oiled bowls (I used the mixer bowl here as one, so they don’t need to be wide) and oil the surface again.

An hour or so ahead, take one rack out of the oven, other on the second slot from the bottom with a pizza stone. Heat the oven to 475*. This needs to be done ahead of time to make the stone nice and hot. Feel free to make apple pies or whatever in the time before this. The oven is going to be hot for a while.

*This doesn’t need to be precise, but does need to be really hot. I’ve done it anywhere between 450 and 550, but this is where things were on this oven this time. I’ve also done it hot, then lowered the temp 50 degrees on adding the pizza so that the stone was hotter than the rest of the oven. I’m not sure how much it helped, and it’s hard to do reliably when doing more than one pizza.

When ready to make one pizza, have a piece of parchment paper ready and get one dough rectangle onto a floured surface. Gently stretch the dough to shape, making a thin topping area and a thicker crust. Lift and transfer onto the parchment paper. This is far easier if it’s done quickly and smoothly, without letting the dough get the idea that it can foul things up by not behaving. It’s much better if you don’t have to resort to balling it back up and rolling it out.

Parchment is key here. It’s easy to slide onto the peel and off onto the stone, and it keeps the soft dough from sticking to anything. It’s also easy to cleanup and doesn’t get in the way of the heat conduction.

Add toppings, being careful to control the water content. Seed tomatoes, drain artichoke hearts well, that sort of thing. Don’t overload with cheese, for this size pie, 3/4 lb cheese is overdoing it.

Slide onto the stone using a pizza peel, leaving the parchment paper underneath. It will keep the pizza from sticking even if there is a leak in the crust. Cook until the crust is golden and the cheeze is starting to show brown bits. I set the timer for 12 minutes, but I check before that and normally let it run a minute or so longer. There’s a cooking speed balance here between crust and cheese, the hot stone cooks by conduction far faster than you could cook if you had an air gap. This timing will not work if you don’t have a stone, the stone is cooler, or use a pan or pizza grate.

When it’s done, take it out, cut it, and let it cool for a few minutes to avoid scarring your mouth and tongue.


Rule #1, No tomato sauce. It’s just not necessary.
Rule #2, Don’t skimp.
Rule #3, Do what makes you happy, this is what works for me.

Pizza #1

  • Mushrooms, crimini, sliced, in two layers, one under the mozerella, one over.
  • Mozerella
  • Goat Cheese, 4-5 oz. Crumbled over the mozerella
  • Chipotle powder. To taste.

This is my favorite. It needs wall to wall mushrooms, some of them protected from drying by cheese, some dried a bit by the heat. And the smoky heat and goat cheese. mmmm.

Pizza #2

  • 1 Pear, thinly sliced. On the bottom of the stack.
  • Gorgonzola. Crumbled, don’t skimp.
  • Most of 2 Caramelized onions. (one red, one yellow this time)
  • Walnuts
  • Mozerella over everything.

This was everyone else’s favorite. Salty sweet and crunchy.

Pizza #3

  • 2 tomatoes, desedded and diced.
  • Fresh basil, 10 leaves or so, finely chopped.
  • Mozerella
  • Garlic, slowly (1hr+) cooked in olive oil till soft and brown. Whole cloves.

This wasn’t anyone’s favorite, but was still good. Probably better than what you can get at any of the island pizzerias. Perhaps it’s better to lead with this one so that I get more of the one with the mushrooms.

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Sheer Heart Attack

Or what to do when you need to gain some weight. Any recommendations here should be run by your doctor. Or not, because you probably won’t get to enjoy Goat Cheese and Pesto pasta. In cream sauce. With butter. And cream. Serves 2 and a half.

Start pasta water for bowtie pasta.

Make a Roux, couple tablespoons butter and a couple teaspoons of flour. When it’s slightly brown, add cream. Let’s say a cup or more. Stir, it should thicken. At this point, it will taste like shortbread. Then, either add the rest of the pint of cream or slowly add about a cup of milk. (Not sure on quantities, was just winging it)

Grab 9oz log of TJ’s goat cheese. Break into chunks, add about 6-8 oz to the cream sauce, eat one ounce (or not). Stir it in till it melts. This should make a nice, thick, goatcheezy sauce. Keep warm on low heat.

Drain the pasta, and add to the sauce. There should be enough sauce to nicely cover the pasta. Add several tablespoons of pesto, 2 or 3 per serving. Mix till things are mostly evenly green, then dish out and top with whatever goat cheese escaped eating while cooking.

Try to excercise tomorrow. You’ll need it.

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Eggplant Bartha

This is another recipie that’s relatively quick (compared to some of my productions), probably an hour from start to finish. It’s inspired by the dish at India Bistro, but we’re still pretty far off hitting that, probably because I’m not adding a pound of ghee to it.

  • 1 Eggplant, Roasted.
  • Mustard seed – 1/2 tsp or so. Whatever looks good in the pan.
  • Onion, 1-2, chopped
  • Tomatoes. Several. 4-5 smallish ‘on the vine’, diced
  • Several Cloves Garlic, minced
  • Cilantro, tablespoon or two, chopped.

Cut the eggplant into quarters the long way, wipe the cut faces with oil and broil till soft, ending with the skin up and blackening. About 8 minutes on a side or so with my oven, don’t burn, but you want the insides mushy.

While that’s going, start the mustard seed and onion in ghee or butter, and cook slowly till transparent, then add the diced tomatoes and garlic and cook down.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the skin with the back of a chef’s knife, quickly chop up thie pile of flesh to make sure no long stringy bits remain, then mash in a bowl with the tomato and onion. Return that to the pan, with more ghee if you’re feeling good about your heart healthy condition, and cook till most of the eggplant liquid is gone. Add cayenne and salt to taste, It doesn’t take a whole lot. Add the cilantro just before serving.

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This is a nice and tasty chickpea dish with a good mix of flavors. It’s also easy enough to make in the down times when I’m doing the Potatoes and Cauliflower, so doing both adds some protien to the meal and takes no longer from first knife to table. Quantities are pretty rough, the cumin and coriander were what we had left, and the ginger and cilantro were the leftovers from the potato and cauliflower. Pretty much anything here is +- a factor of 2.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Cumin seed, some. 1tsp or so.
  • Most of a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Ginger, chopped, less than a tablespoon or so
  • Cayenne, 1/2 tsp or so to taste
  • Ground Coriander, 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin, 1/2 tsp
  • Mango Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Tumeric, 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon Juice, 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro, few tablespoons, chopped.

Gently cook onion in ghee or butter with the cumin seeds. When it’s getting to brown, add the ginger and spices. In a minute or two, add tomatoes, then 5 minutes later, add drained chickpeas and about 1 cup of water. Simmer that till most of the liquid is gone, then add the cilantro and lemon juice. Add salt to taste.

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Risotto: Variations on a theme

Yet another in the ‘I should write this down’ series.

Multigrain Caribbean Risotto

Spicy, sweet, grainy.

Start with 3/4 cup of Arborio, add somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup (each) millet, quinoa, and barley. Toast in olive oil with a couple of cloves of garlic, then start cooking like any other risotto using veggie broth for the liquid. Add 2 chopped serrano peppers, some thyme. 2 or three times, change the liquid to 1tbsp lime juice, bunch of brown sugar, and a little less than 1 tbsp soy sauce + broth to 1 cup. Probably 6 cops liquid total, add a touch of allspice at the end.

Served with fried tofu finished with 1/2c broth + 1tbsp lime juice + brown sugar.

google fodder: recipe

Also Google related, I hadn’t seen this before:

Very Interesting…

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