Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pesto Bread

Pesto Bread
Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.

I made this using half a recipe of the basic white loaf contained in the bread baking tutorial post, adding 3tbsp of Classico pesto with the liquid ingredients. Since there's been no sun today, I didn't rise this in the window, or in the oven for that matter. I let it have a long, slow rise at room temperature. This took just over an hour. Before putting it in the oven, I glazed it with milk. The loaf smelled completely amazing as it baked, and it tasted just as amazing when it was baked and cooled. Tomorrow, I might try making pecan feta bread since both are on hand here.

Blueberry Oat Flax Muffins

Blueberry Oat Flax Muffins
Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.

Today was a great day for baking. It's been cool and rainy and that meant I could have the oven going all morning and not have to worry about heating the whole house up. This is the first of my three projects for the day.

I don't know where exactly I got this recipe from, but I made it growing up. I've added the flax and the lemon juice on my own. The batter is quite stiff - so don't expect lovely big caps - but the texture of the muffin is still tender. The flax add nutrients and crunch.

Blueberry Oat Flax Muffins

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp flax seeds

1. In a small bowl, combine the oats and the buttermilk. (To sour milk, add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes.)
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the butter, egg, and lemon juice to the oatmeal mixture and blend well.
3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Fill muffin tins. Bake at 400F for 20 or so minutes, or until golden on top and a tester inserted comes out clean. It should yield 12.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread2
Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.

I've been making a lot of bread lately. It's a cheap way of contributing to the household, it's theraputic, it's enjoyable, and I always get lots of compliments! This recipe came from my trusty Fleischmann's book, but there are lots of other recipes out there, and lots of stories about how this bread got its name. Here's a brief blurb containing some theories; another I've read has the bread originating in California during the gold rush. Whatever - this is a good, basic loaf.

Anadama Bread

3/4 to 1 cup very warm water
1 package quick yeast (2 1/4 tsp or 8g)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
3 tbsp molasses

Follow the basic instructions contained in my bread-baking tutorial post. Lately, I have been rising my bread in a sunny spot, either in the kitchen window or on the table in the back yard. In direct sunlight, the rising process hasn't taken more than 30-40 minutes. Just grease the top of the loaf and loosely cover it in plastic wrap beforehand.

This dough was dense. I used more than 1 cup of water - probably 2 - 3 tbsp more, and it could have used even more than that. But it turned out nicely and had a great crust.

As usual, let me know how it goes, and enjoy!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Peach Blueberry Crisp

Peach Blueberry Crisp
Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.

Oh, it's been a while, I know. Too long. It's been a long, rough summer and it ain't over yet. I've done little baking and even less cooking, though it's been a summer of eating quite possibly the worst food I've ever had to suffer through. Six and a half weeks of hospital grub is not fun at all.

I have moved - again. I am not working, and won't be for a while. I've been trying to keep myself occupied and have been making lots of bread. This crisp is the first sweet thing I've made in such a long time.

Peaches are in season, as are blueberries. My dad made a trip to the Okanagan earlier on in the week to get canning ingredients for us and a stash of farm-fresh fruit and veg for himself. On Wednesday, I canned over 48 pints of salsa and 26 1L jars of dill pickles with carrots with both my brothers' girfriends. The salsa was amazing. Today, the peaches my dad brought us were on the overripe side, and my sister-in-law, Shan, had some locally grown frozen blueberries kicking around. I decided to make this simple dessert, pictured here with some sugar free ice cream.

Peach Blueberry Crisp

8 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp sugar (the fruit was so ripe it didn't need a lot of sugar at all)
2 tbsp white flour


1 cup oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup butter or margarine, cold

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, combine the fruit with the sugar and spices, and lastly the flour. Put in the bottom of a 8" square pan that has been greased.

2. For the topping, combine all the dry ingredients with a whisk. Cut in the butter until you get a pea-sized consistency. Pour the crumble over the top and spread it out evenly. Don't press it down.

3. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until golden on top and the filling is bubbling at the sides. Might be a good idea to put the pan onto a baking sheet in case of any boil-overs. Let it cool slightly and serve - with ice cream is nice, but not 100% necessary.

If you make it and like it let me know. Enjoy!


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