Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Our Traditional Birthday Breakfast

December 9, 2007 @ 8:42 am | Filed under: , ,

…my dad’s family recipe. Biscuits with chocolate gravy. Mmm. There is nothing finer, let me tell you. Hot biscuits dripping with butter and covered with a thick, warm, rich chocolate sauce. Just cocoa, flour, milk, and sugar* brought to a boil over low heat. So good.

The picture does not do it justice.


Now back to my birthday boys.

(*Thanks, Dad, for permission to share the recipe. 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup sugar (hush), 1 1/2 cups milk. Mix dry ingredients first, right in your saucepan, then stir in the milk. Heat slowly, stirring constantly. You want to bring it just to a bubble but you don’t want to let it scorch. Take it off the heat, keep stirring. It will thicken upon standing. Spoon over hot buttery biscuits. The butter is vital—the magic of this dish is in the delectable combination of warm chocolate and melted butter. Trust me.)

(As I understand it, this was an inexpensive way to fill little bellies in times when cash was tight.)

(And yes, we are starting the day with my dad’s chocolate gravy and finishing with my mom’s famous cake. Two birthdays = double pigging out.)

Thanks for the Links

January 21, 2007 @ 1:12 pm | Filed under: ,

I’ve been meaning to put together a post containing the various links helpful people have sent me since Jane and I began this blog. I really appreciate all the great advice you folks have sent my way—thanks so much!

Someone (sadly, I cannot remember who) recommended this site: The Fresh Loaf, a vast collection of articles and links about all aspects of bread-baking. The site also includes a discussion forum where newbies can post questions for more seasoned bakers to answer.

Some articles on this site that particularly caught my eye:

Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter (how to make your own starter using flour and pineapple juice).

Getting a Sourer Sourdough

Deluxe Sourdough Bread recipe

Why Yeasts Attack (background info on sourdough baking; good walkthrough with pictures)

More About Sourdough (part two of the above)

Lesson Two
(step by step instructions for yeast bread, not sourdough)

Domenico Bettinelli
left a link to a much-discussed NYT article about a slow-rise, no-knead method of breadbaking. You need an NYT account to access the article, but there is a video demonstration here.

I continue to spend a lot of time on Teresa’s Northwest Sourdough site and blog. I really appreciate her detailed walk-throughs with pictures. (And I can now testify as to the scrumptiousness of bread made with her NW Sourdough starter!)

Second Recipe

December 3, 2006 @ 8:29 pm | Filed under: ,

This week we tried Wisteria’s recipe. It is similar to the Old Order Amish Bread recipe, but with honey instead of sugar and butter instead of oil. It tastes sweeter. Ours came out very heavy and dense. We know we didn’t get something quite right because the dough never got really elastic. Laurel’s Kitchen says the dough shouldn’t break when you stretch it out, but ours did break.

Even so, it was quite tasty.

Wisteria’s Everyday Bread

3 tsp yeast
2 cups warm water
3 TBLS honey (I don’t measure, just pour some, but this morning it was about 3 TBLS)
1/2 cups – 5 cups flour (I use a mixture of whole wheat and white
changing amounts according to what will go on the sandwiches. Tomato
sandwiches call for a whiter bread.)
3 TBLS melted butter
1 tsp kosher or sea salt

mix all this up in my mixer(use a dough hook) and add flour and knead
until it isn’t sticky and pulls away from the sides into a ball. I let
it rise under a flour sack towel with chickens painted on it that my
friend brought me as a happy. Once it is doubled I dump it on a board
and knead it and shape it into a roll. I punch the narrow ends into the
bread and plop it into my greased (with butter) pan. I let it rise
again and put it in a preheated to 365 degree oven. Cook until the
outside is browned and crunchy and the bread sounds hollow, about 30
minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on a rack to maintain
perfect crunch, chewy goodness.

First Recipe

December 3, 2006 @ 4:27 pm | Filed under:

Becky at Farm School sent us the following recipe for "Old Order Amish Bread," and we have tried it twice so far. Both attempts produced two tasty, faintly sweet loaves. We used half King Arthur all-purpose flour and half whole wheat. On the second day, this bread (the half a loaf that was left) was pretty dry. It made great toast, though. And fresh out of the oven, it was heavenly.

Old-Order Amish Bread (makes two 8-1/2" loaves; if you want more, just double the recipe)

1 package (1 tbsp.) dry yeast
1-1/2 cups warm water
5-6 cups bread flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil (safflower, canola, sunflower, etc.)

Stir yeast into water and set aside for 5 minutes.

large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and oil. Add
yeast mixture to flour mixture and blend well. Add remaining flour, 1/2
cup at a time, until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Dough should
be elastic but not sticky.

Turn out onto floured surface and
knead about 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl and rotate to grease top
of dough. Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let rise until
doubled (about 1 hour).

Punch down dough, cover again, and let
rise again, for 45 minutes. Punch down and knead again. Divide into 2
pieces, shape into loaves, and place in two greased 8-1/2" loaf pans.
Cover and let rise again until dough is 1" above pan rims, about 40

Bake in preheated 400F for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350F and bake 25 to 30 minutes more.  Remove from pans and cool.

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