Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Basic Hearth Bread - Multi Grain Version

I hadn't made a multi grain bread in a while and I thought it was high time to whip up a few loaves, one for now and a couple for the freezer for a later date or to give away. I turned to a favourite recipe that I found on Rose Levy Beranbaum's site a while ago and that I have made several times. This recipe appears on Harvest King Flour bags but the recipe on her site has extra tips and variations which you can find here http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/11/harvest_king_flour_tips_and_re.html.

I increased the recipe by 50% so that I could have the extra loaves. For the grains I added 10-grain cereal mix, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds that I purchased at the bulk food store. Although the recipe did not specify to soak the grains, I did by mixing a half cup of warm water and the grains (not the seeds) in a bowl and let them sit for about half an hour. I just had to decrease the water in the recipe by half a cup and proceed with the recipe. The dough mixes up beautifully and looks lovely speckled with all the healthy grains and seeds. My machine struggled a bit because of the extra dough but it managed to mix for the specified time of seven minutes.

After two risings I divided the dough and decided to shape them in long free form loaves each weighing about 440 grams.

The kitchen was cool so they doubled in about an hour and a half and then they were ready for the hot 450 F. oven. I sprayed them with water and threw in some ice cubes on the cast iron tray on the floor of my oven for steam. After ten minutes I lowered the oven to 425 F. and continued baking for another 25 minutes.

They baked up beautifully golden and after removing them from the oven they crackled so I knew they were done. I allowed them to cool for about an hour before having a slice with butter.

This bread is really good and I can hardly wait for breakfast to have a couple of slices with jam.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Granola - Just the Recipe

For a really good and satisfying breakfast mix some of this healthy granola with plain yogurt. For a special breakfast presentation layer yogurt and granola in parfait glasses.

Active time: 10 min start to finish: 50 minutes
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2½ cups sliced almonds (½ lb)
1 cup chopped pecans
1½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup honey
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup dried cranberries (5 oz)
1 cup golden raisins (5½ oz)
½ cup dried blueberries

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and oil foil.

Toss together oats, almonds, pecans and coconut, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together oil, honey and vanilla, then stir into oat mixture until well coated. Spread mixture in baking pan and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the mixture around and return to oven for another 20 minutes until golden brown. Stir in cranberries, raisins and blueberries, then cool completely in pan on a rack.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

White Shrimp Pasta - Just the Recipe

A very tasty pasta dish that can be prepared in the time that it takes to boil the water and cook the linguine.
White Shrimp Sauce

2 tbs. butter
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
pinch sage
2 oz. white wine
1 cup whipping cream
2 oz. chicken stock
1 lb. small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb. linguine, cooked and drained

In a saucepan or wok on medium heat melt the butter and add the garlic, onion, and shallot and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is softened.

Add the sage, wine, cream and chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Add the cooked linguine to the pan and toss to coat. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then toss the linguine again and serve.