Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hamburger Buns

My husband and I went to the farmer's market and got some local, grass-fed beef burger patties. I haven't been eating much bread these days, and the only bread they had at the market was sweet. I did have some whole wheat flour at home I'd been soaking since the day before and a packet of yeats, so I thought I'd take a stab at it. I have had success with Nourishing Traditions flour recipes, so thought I could cobble together her technique of soaking flour with a recipe for whole wheat buns from Great Whole Grain Breads, by Beatrice Ojakangas. The result was better than I had hoped! The bread is light, even though I had no white flour, even for kneading. Here's pretty much what I did:

  • Soak 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour in 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature for 12-24 hours (mine was about 24 hours)
  • Proof 1 package yeast in a large bowl with 1/2 cup warm water
  • Add soaked flour to yeast, and added 1 egg, 1/4 cup melted butter and 1 tsp salt.
  • I added another probably 3 cups whole wheat flour to the bowl to make a stiff but not dry dough. 
  • Knead the dough on a floured board for about 5 minutes until elastic and springy
  • Wash and oil the bowl, put the dough back in the bowl and turn over to coat with oil. 
  • Cover bowl and let rise 1 hour to 1/2 hours
  • Punch down dough and cut into 12 pieces for buns. You could also make rolls by cutting it smaller.
  • Place of oiled cookie sheet, cover and let rise for another hour.
  • Bake at 400 for 13-15 minutes. 
In retrospect, I might have used white flopur to flour the board, but it didn't make it tough. I'd also soak maybe 3 cups flour in buttermilk, but again, why mess with success.
Before Baking


Here's a good breakdown of why soaking flour is good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Veggies Are Tasty!

This is really a non-recipe, one of those things that's easy to throw together with little muss or fuss. I went out to my garden and picked what was ripe: tomatoes, peppers and some herbs and added stuff I got from the farmer's market: zucchini, carrots and onions. You could, of course, get what looks good at your market. I'd avoid leafy vegetable and broccoli as they tend to get bitter with roasting. The base recipe is from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough's book, Real Food Has Curves. Their recipe is for ratatouille, but I had no eggplant, so it's just roasted veggies, but it's very tasty. Roasting vegetables brings out their sweetness. I took all these veggies and chopped them up. The peppers below are some of the many peppers we've grown this year. None of them is hot, but they're all wonderful in different ways. The white one is very crisp and mild and the red one has an almost berry-like intensity. My husband then went out and picked a long dark green one that had a nice green pepper taste almost like an anaheim.

. Here's the veggies all chopped. I just chopped as many as would fit in my 9 x 14 Pyrex pan. It's one zucchini, about 10 small tomatoes, about 6 small carrots, 6-7 garlic cloves and 1/2 a red onion (because it's what I had). I added about 1/4 cup olive oil, chopped fresh basil and oregano (about 2 tbs) a couple large pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper and 1/2 cup chopped kalamat olives.

The pan is wrapped in foil and popped in the oven. I set a timer for 20 minutes and then stirred it up. This is what it looks like after 20 minutes.
 This is what it looks like done. The veggies have nicely caramelized without losing integrity or becoming mushy.
I cooked up a combination of brown rice pastas, because it's what I had. I wanted spaghetti, but my husband forgot to buy it. Never fear, it's all about improvisation in my kitchen! I grated some Parmesan over the lot. A squeeze of lemon added a great note of acid!
 Here's the meal, with grilled salmon, a lovely goat cheese with cantaloupe and a nice bottle of Eagle Eye Infatuation. 

The cheese is a Bucherondin Chevre et Belle. It has a crumbly interior and an almost brie-like rind. We like to get a small piece at Whole Foods for about $4 and nibble away at it. The wine was from Eagle Eye winery.  We met the owners at a wine festival several years ago and have loved their wines ever since. My husband, the resident sommelier, saw them last week at a local wine store and got a great deal on a case of Infatuation. They call it a great burger and pizza wine. I call it a great $12 bottle of red yum! All in all, it was a wonderful Tuesday meal and there's enough leftovers for lunches the rest of the week.