MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


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BBB Aloo Partha

Let me tell you, satellite internet is not wonderful. Well, at least the one we have here in the north woods isn’t.  When the wind blows, it rains, it snows, and sometimes it’s just  beautiful outside … our satellite doesn’t really care … it just randomly takes a rest. That’s what is’s done for the last three days and that’s my excuse for being so late. The only thing I miss about the big city is the high speed internet.

Karen is our Kitchen of the Month. Thank You Karen for the BBB’s very first bread recipe without yeast!  Aloo Paratha has long been on my list for baking and we loved these. Shamelessly easy to make.  Filling them is only limited by your imagination. Serve as a little bite with wine. Serve as a light lunch.  Serve with the evening soup. Be traditional, serve with a warming curry.

BBB Aloo Paratha

Recipe By: Karen of BakeMyDay from how to cook everything by Mark Bittman”

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
salt
1 teaspoon ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads
1.1/2 lb. starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 clove garlic pressed
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
melted butter
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

1. Combine the flours with 1 teaspoon salt and the thyme in a food processor.  OK, let’s stop right there. I have a food processor, yes I do. I even gave in and went to the friend’s hanger where he’s kindly allowing us to store a lot of boxes while we try to put in a kitchen and get a storage shed built. Gorn even located said food processor and I unpacked it … or most of it. It seems the critical piece that makes the electrical contact was left out … hopefully packed in another box that will one day be unpacked … but that was not yesterday nor today. I’m reasoning that even today there are a huge number of cooks in India making paratha and even today a huge number are making paratha without the aid of a food processor … SOOOOOOOO like a good Daring Baker (thank you Lisa) and good Bread Baking Babe that I am I forged ahead mixing the dough by hand and even though it took slightly longer than 30-45 seconds (5 minutes actually) I did end up with a dough slightly sticky to the touch and continued on.

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Turn the machine on and add the oil and 3/4 cup water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and, using flour as necessary, shape into a ball; wrap in plastic and let rest while you make the potato mixture. (At this point, you may wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a week; bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
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2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of salt.  Sorry, we have to stop right here again … I don’t have a stove top upstairs in our “kitchen” yet and I just wasn’t willing to run outside in the rain to use the stove downstairs … so I baked the potato, I suppose I could have steamed them in the microwave but I baked them. Oh, and all that green … I added a nice handful of spinach.  Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily; cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Mash the potatoes along with half (all) the chile, the coriander, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the lemon juice; taste and adjust the seasoning (you may prefer more chile; sometimes aloo paratha are quite hot).

Divide

Divide

3. When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of oil, with a spoon or brush, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour and then roll it in your hands to make a ball. Flatten it into a 2-inch disk, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a thin round, about 5 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary.
Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

4. Mound about 2 tablespoons (that was too much for the size I made, adjust accordingly)  of the filling into the center of one of the rounds of dough. Bring the edges of the round up over the top of the filling and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the “neck” of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour and roll it out again into a round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Pat it between your hands to brush off the excess flour. Put the paratha on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas and stack them on the plate with a sheet of plastic wrap between them. You can keep the paratha stacked like this for an hour or two in the refrigerator before cooking them if necessary.
Keep them stacked for two hours … perfect! The rain had stopped and I used the stove top downstairs to cook two of them.
5. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then put on a paratha (or two, if they’ll fit) and cook until it darkens slightly, usually less than a minute. Flip the paratha with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip and coat the other side with oil. Continue cooking the paratha until the bottom of the bread has browned, flip, and repeat.
Panni Aloo Paratha India + Italy

Panni Aloo Paratha
India + Italy

I did do two in this traditional stove top manner but … on two occasions I used the panni grill. While that doesn’t give the traditional look to the paratha, it produces a nice paratha.
Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total for each paratha. As the paratha finish, remove them from the pan and brush with melted butter if you’re going to serve hot; otherwise wait until you’ve reheated them.6.  variations: cauliflower, sweet potato …
Yep, we enjoyed these immensely with our wine in the evening. These are shamelessly easy to make. The dough can be held over in the fridge a day or two so it’s a delight when there is just the two of us to make these for several days in a row. They make wonderful little bites for a light lunch or a little bite with a glass of wine in the evening.
Now the only question remaining here is: Are you going to join in and become a Bread Baking Buddy?If you’d like to join in, simply bake this Aloo Paratha (yes, you may adapt) – and then send Karen a link to your post via email (bake my day at gmail dot com).  Submissions are due by November 29th.  Once you’ve posted, Karen will send you a fabulous Buddy Badge designed by our own Babe Lien for baking along and you’ll appear in the Buddy post.  I hope you’ll join us this month!
BBBuddies september 2013


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Our Buddies are Crackers! Great Crackers! Oh yeah …

Buddies … I can’t fully explain what bread baking means to me/us.  I know it’s all mixed together with the feelings of touching the physical dough, connecting with a long history of bread bakers through the centuries, befriending those around my kitchen table and that strange creative process of relaxing kneading.  It’s always fascinating to me that bread is such simple ingredients and is always different, glorious but always different.

Buddies … I can’t fully explain what our Bread Baking Buddies mean to me/Babes.  I know it’s partly all the above of baking bread but it’s something above that and extraordinarily special.  Strangers come into my kitchen, take a recipe, are willing to put time, effort and good ingredients into that recipe, make it their own and bake with us.

This time around I especially enjoyed Louise Persson’s words:

I’m pleased to have been able to bake this unusual recipe with the BBBs. I saw it posted at KAF sometime ago and thought I would never attempt crackers. Yet baking as a Buddy, I’ve stretched myself and added some new experiences, and happily, this was one of them.

I really can’t remember how I found the BBB while browsing through blogs one day, but I’m very glad I did! I look forward to each new bread, sometimes, like this month, thinking, “Oh, I can’t. I don’t have the time or skill.” But it’s amazing what we can accomplish, isn’t it?

Louise’s experience is typical of so many of us.  Perhaps I should be less emphatic, I do know Louise expresses what I experienced when I started blogging and it continues to this day even though I do recognize I have more confidence when I approach a new recipe.  Yes Louise it is amazing what we can accomplish when we give it a go.

On top of that empathy, what perhaps thrills me/Babes even more is to think that we have somehow influenced a few others to take up this BreadHead Cause and enjoy, experience, learn and share these experiences.

Bread Baking makes my heart happy.  Bread Baking Buddies make my heart happier.  I am so glad that you each give of yourselves and take time to bake with us.  You are truly very special people.  Thank you. Each one of you.

Our Cracker Buddies are (in no particular order):

Louise BreadHead without blog

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Corrine at Yogi Latte

Corrine

Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories

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Claartje at Claire’s Baking

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Cathy at Bread Experience

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Carola at Sweet and That’s It

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Renee at Kudos Kitchen

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Kelly at A Messy Kitchen

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Anita (Soepkipje) at Ipernity   

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Aparna at MyDiverseKitchen

Seed Crackers 6

Now do you see what I mean when I say these are are really special bunch of bakers!

Hope you can excuse me being late (but it did allow some extra Buddies to sneak in!) between company and that great mystery of the internet gobbling up my post requiring it to be redone … I was late.

If you baked as a Buddy and I missed you please send me an e-mail with your link and a photo so that I may include you!

You’ll excuse me now while I go bake these crackers again AND see if I can get baking on the Babes October bread.

BBB logo July 2012


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BBB Oats, Oatmeal, Oh…Sara’s Easy Little Oatmeal Bread

There are times when you know exactly where things started to go off course, where things went wrong.  Then there are other times when you’re really following the recipe, everything clicked along just perfectly and you have to look back and question every step and still can’t find where it went off.  Easy is just not to be trusted.  Fast is one thing … Easy is something else.  Some of us can make easy really hard.

This month’s Kitchen of the Month is hosted by Sara of I Like to Cook and she has a blog to prove it too!  The bread she brought us this month is really very healthy; filled with whole grains – wheat and oats – low sugar – only a tablespoon of honey and no added fat … well none in the loaf, you do brush it with melted butter ;-)

Now, Sara must have found this an easy bread because that’s what she called it and she baked it more than once and she has a little one to keep her busy.  I found the rising part a little not easy.  I will admit that I just about never bloom my yeast before using it.  Since I baked with this yeast before and after this loaf and they both rose with great vigor, I don’t think the problem was with the yeast.  The kitchen was warm, 79°F so you can’t blame it on a cold kitchen.  It did rise but even with doubling the time it didn’t reach the rim of the pan and had no oven spring.

What’s special about this bread:  No Kneading, good grains, low sugar, low fat, baby it’s fast!

Sara’s Easy Little Bread

Recipe By: Sara: Adapted from Gran’s Kitchen: Recipes from the Notebooks of Dulcie May Booker via 101 Cookbooks
Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 cups / 300 ml warm water (105-115F)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g whole wheat flour
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing

50 minutes into rising...

50 minutes into rising…

Here’s the way I did it:

Mix the flours, oats, yeast and salt in a large bowl.

Add the honey & water mixture to the dry and stir very well.

Mix together the wet and the dry to blend evenly.

Brush a 8-cup loaf pan generously with some of the melted butter.

Turn the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.  I left mine an hour to rise.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C, with a rack in the middle.

When ready, bake the bread for 35-40 minutes (mine was ready = pulling away from the side of the pan and registered 198°F) @35 minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan.  Sara finishes things up by leaving the bread under the broiler for just a heartbeat – to give the top a bit deeper color.  I did this and gave it an extra heart beat too much and it was a little dark but still fine; so just be advised and watch it.

It's the bottom.

It’s the bottom.

Remove from oven, and turn the bread out of the pan quickly. Let it cool on a rack so it doesn’t steam in the pan. Serve warm, slathered with butter.  I let mine cool thinking of all the whole grains in it.

The crumb ... and buttered!

The crumb … and buttered!

Breakfast

Breakfast

It made fine toast and a very nice breakfast.

And then … And then … And then … it was Friday and I was reading YeastSpotting and found a rather interesting post by a new to me blog:  TreatNTrick.

Well, it was sort of like a delayed 4th of July.  It really did send off all kinds of fireworks.  It was like the light bulb went off in my head, the light bulb that was 1000 watts.  This went from an interesting learning experience nice home made loaf into the realm of the “you will bake this one again” and more than once because this is the extraordinary bread that meets the need for good tasting utility bread.  I’m sorry, I can see your eyes have glazed over and you’re not getting it; utility sounds like a dirty word to you.

Alright, let’s do this pancake shall we and have breakfast together.  Coffee ready.  I can wait or let me show you this will it brews.

So, I’m YeastSpotting at midnight and it was all I could do to keep myself in bed and not go straight into the kitchen to try this out.

You need bread cubes, corn stripped off the cob and it’s juices, garlic clove minced, pepper (I chopped a Poblano pepper but pick your favorite), tomato, salt to taste and some seasonings (I used some fresh chopped rosemary left over from the night before, cumin and a good pinch of Aleppo pepper; pick your favorites).  Then you need some liquid and a little binder.  I used 2 eggs, buttermilk and I think about 7 tablespoons of corn flour and 2 tablespoons of oat bran, no sugar in sight.  You do see that we’re staying within the a very healthy place right?  If you check out TreatNTrick you’ll see how to do it without eggs or milk.

I’ve always disliked pancakes, let me qualify that.  I dislike flipping pancakes, I just suck at it … always.  These were no exception.  The first one I made too thick and too big.  It came unglued.  Next I tried doing it in a waffle maker.  MUCH better.  The last couple I did on my griddle and they were perfect; I can flip on a griddle not in a skillet.  The best thing about the waffle was you got several crunchy bread cubes in each waffle.  Somehow that didn’t happen with the pancakes.  My favorites were the smaller griddle cakes.  These are really special.  Great for company.

So, my thought is this is a utility bread.  It’s good healthy home made bread that can be baked quickly and then turned into something really spectacular with these Savory Bread Pancakes.  The bread cubes can be frozen even for later use.

While the pancakes I think are brilliant, my next thought really rocked … at least I think it does.  I love making and eating Thanksgiving dressing.  I’m always wanting to make it with healthy really good homemade bread.  My intentions are good.  But when it comes down to the wire, I really don’t like to use terrific bread that I put so much into to make dressing.  This bread however made with wonderful healthy ingredients takes a very small investment of time and seems just perfect to the task.  Easy enough to load it up with herbs when it’s mixed.  Now you see the “utility” of this bread and utility doesn’t seem like such a dirty word does it?

I do hope you’ll want to be a Buddy with us on this one.   1.Bake the featured bread, snap a pic & share your thoughts about how you liked it (or not liked it) 2.Send  an email to Kitchen of the Month.  Sara of I Like to Cook to notify her and make it easier to write the round up.

Don’t forget to visit my fellow Bread Baking Babes to see how they baked and also… visit our Katie! She is the BBBBB (Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire) who writes up such lovely round ups of all the BBB Breads every month!

This Bread and all it’s iterations is going to Susan for YeastSpotting!

And now as they say for something completely different:


The Babes will bake and post on August 15th in honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we would love for the Buddies (that is, anyone who would like to play), to join us in posting on that day. Big thanks to Elle for creating the invitation. For the recipe we will be baking, please email Susan:   susan at wildyeastblog dot com (NB: This is an invitation for NEXT month, August. THIS month (July), Buddies are still invited to make the Easy Little Bread.)

Savory bread pancake from http://treatntrick.blogspot.sg/2012/07/savory-bread-pancake.html

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto ... Asparagus and Broccoli


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A Simple Little Thing with Consequences

Most of us try to eat healthy.  Most of us try to cook with a variety of grains.  I’m a very firm believer in variety is good for the body and soul on so many levels.  I really do enjoy barley … but it hardly ever appears on my table except in soup and a rare risotto.  I had a half used package of prosciutto … yes I know prosciutto is a ham and not barley but just come along for a little will you, humor me … it was time to finish the package of prosciutto.

Enter from stage right:  Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, a new book recently appearing on my book shelf.  “Before it sits there so long it gets old and forgotten, perhaps it will have the perfect recipe using prosciutto.”  And so it did … well it had one … a very simple thing – it’s one exotic ingredient (truffle oil) I was just out of.  Without the truffle oil I determined it needed a little increase in flavor.

In addition to the bay leaf and rosemary called for in this, I used chicken stock to replace the water to cook the barley.  So I cooked a cup of barley.  Then it called for Prosciutto to be crisped in a little olive oil.  When ready to serve mix it all together.  No truffle oil to finish the dish with … ah, ha a teaspoon of butter.  That’s simple.  OK but that’s not really dinner is it?  The flavor was excellent.  Prosciutto and barley needs veggies!  What’s in the refrigerator … I wish I could ask what’s ready in the garden but the answer wouldn’t really help since there’s jalopeno and herbs?  In my refrigerator on this day there was asparagus and broccoli.  Both went in for the last 8 minutes the barley simmered.

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto … Asparagus and Broccoli

Now, perhaps you may think that because I really redid the recipe, the book might be a waste.  I would disagree.  Without the book, I don’t think I’d ever have gotten to this dish.  Any cookbook that provides me with a jump into new territory is good with me.

The consequences: the next morning it became a wonderful breakfast;-)

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto ... Asparagus and Broccoli ... with an egg = breakfast!

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto … Asparagus and Broccoli … with an egg = breakfast!

Stay tuned for further barley consequences …

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals p 140