Sunday, June 10, 2007

Classic Sourdough

This is my favorite basic sourdough bread. It's delicious--fluffy, soft interior, with a chewy crust and perfect "sourness." The crust is not too hard but is just lovely. Robert and I ate half a loaf tonight with our spaghetti. This would be great for dinner rolls, buns, or shaped in a loaf pan and used for sandwiches.

I adapted this recipe from the King Arthur's Classic Sourdough recipe that was included with their starter. I have had wonderful success with KA recipes! Continue for recipe.

Classic Sourdough

Feed starter:
Remove 1/2 and discard; add 1/2 cup water + 1 cup flour (my starter is fairly stiff); sit at room temperature overnight, or up to 12 hours.

1 cup fed starter
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 cups KA unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix and beat vigorously; cover and let sit 4 hours (anywhere from 2-8 is ok--longer increases sour flavor; I like 4 hrs). (Refeed remaining starter and let sit at RT for awhile before storing in fridge.)

2 cups flour
1 T fine sea salt
1 scant T honey (or sugar)--optional; next time I'm going to try sugar; honey if
I'm using part whole wheat or seeds/nuts.

Knead until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to keep dough from sticking, approx. 3-5 min. Dough will be slightly tacky but smooth, not wet. Spray bowl with cooking spray and place dough in bowl. Cover.

Rise until doubled: 1-2 hours (1 1/2 hrs. in 80 degree kitchen).

Split dough in half; gently shape into torpedo loaves (or other shape: rolls, loaf pan, boule, etc.). Place on cornmeal covered parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Cover.

Rise until doubled: 1-2 hours (1 hr. 45 min).

Preheat oven and baking stone to 450 degrees.
Slash tops of loaves; slide onto hot stone in oven; immediately mist oven; repeat mist once after 2 min.

Bake 20 min. until nicely browned. Cool completely on rack. Enjoy!


Chewy, Chunky Blondies

Another winner from Dorie Greenspan's Baking. These blondies are very rich and buttery --butterscotch, chocolate chips, and coconut--great combination! I baked them for a bit longer than called for and they definitely need to cool before cutting into, allowing them to set up. But how can you go wrong with a blondie? Delicious!

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tomato Soup Cake

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Green Bean and Carrot Chips

Last weekend, I visited the original Whole Foods Market in Austin and went crazy. It was amazing--I think I was there almost 4 hours! Eating, shopping, eating, drinking, eating... Such a neat store. Various food bars are set up throughout, each with its own menu, and samples, of course. For breakfast, I bought a loaf of raisin, pecan sourdough and a cup of coffee. Wonderful samples included candied salmon, smoked brisket, "raw" whipped cauliflower, octupus salad, shrimp ceviche, pumpkin-flax seed granola, and several breads and cheeses. I sat down at the "living raw" foods bar for lunch (as if I hadn't had enough samples!) and ordered a vegetable nori roll with brazil nut paste and ginger-soy dressing. Very beautiful. I finished with fresh pistachio gelato and bought a delicious smoked chicken salad to take with me for dinner. What a great day! It is definately an outing worth going to Austin for. I even bought a skirt at the store!

One of my take home treats, were these tasty bean and carrot chips. I had never had green bean chips and really enjoyed them. Dried, fried, and lightly salted, the bean taste is present with the natural sweetness of the vegetable. They are a great alternative to potato chips and look so appealing and different! I'll have to try making some--they would be perfect for picnics or bbqs or to send in lunches. Robert even tried one! :)