Wednesday, June 12, 2013

10:30 Am and Already A Busy Wednesday

Since it is going to be a 112 degree day today, I am using the oven in my outdoor kitchen to its fullest potential. As of 10:30 AM, I have already baked 2 boulles of dutch oven bread, 3 loaves of whole wheat bread, almost 3 dozen homemade bread sticks, and croutons from my epic fail whole wheat "brick" loaves last week, and 3 pans of home grown tomatoes are cut and seasoned and ready to go in to the oven to roast.
 Roasted Tomatoes
Nothing special here. I take the garden tomatoes that are really ripe, wash, cut, and mix with olive oil and sea salt. I don't core or peel. I pour this into these disposable Costco pans that I already have put a few sprigs of fresh basil. I put them in a 450 degree oven and check every hour. My goal is a golden brown roast and most of the liquid gone. Usually, I roast at 450 for one hour, rotate the pans, roast at 450 for another hour, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, rotate the pans, roast for another hour and rotate. Last time, it took four total hours. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it takes less time. That is why I set the timer and check. After they are roasted and mainly fluid free, I run them through my Kitchenaid mixer with the strainer attachment. Treats for my chickens (skins, cores, basil stems, etc.) come out into one bowl, and the most amazing sauce comes out into a pan. Sometimes I cook it down on the stove on medium low, sometimes I don't...depending on the consistency I want. Then, I bag it into 3 cup freezer bag portions that I date and label, and freeze flat. 
 I bake bread every other week...on weeks I care for 5 month old Kaylee, I don't have the time to do it all, so I bake and freeze on my week off. Here are my recipes:

The Best Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

THE Best Crusty Bread (Dutch Oven)
added by Pat DiMercurio
Since I retired in 2010, I have been in search of the perfect Crusty Bread recipe. You know, the kind you find in great Italian restaurants that have a gorgeous crackly crust and a chewy inside, perfect for dipping in olive oil? I cannot take credit for this recipe. I actually don't remember where I found it, except it was an adaptation from a site called Simply So Good. The only thing I did differently was use bread flour instead of AP flour. If someone here posted this recipe, please accept my congratulations...(a fine loaf indeed) and my apologies for posting again.
Cook time: 45 Min  Prep time: 10 Min  Serves: 12 or depending on how the loaf is sliced
3 c bread flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c water, warm
1. Whisk flour, yeast and salt in a 3-4 quart bowl with a tight fitting lid. I like to use my trusty Tupperware. If you don't have a bowl w/lid use plastic wrap on a bowl. Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is mixed well. The dough will be quite sticky and shaggy looking, but that's OK. Cover the bowl and set aside for 12-18 hours,(up to 24) overnight is fine.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a cast iron Dutch oven with the lid into the oven while preheating and heat the pot/lid for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape the risen dough from the bowl onto a heavily floured surface. (Dough will still be very sticky.) With floured hands, gently shape the dough into a round loaf, making sure there's enough flour on the surface so dough doesn't stick. let the dough just sit there until you're pot is preheated.
3. Take the hot pot from the oven and gently place the dough into the pot. Cover with the lid and return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid at that time and return the pot to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Gently shake the loaf onto a cooling rack and enjoy the beautiful aroma. Give it a chance to cool before cutting into the loaf.

And for my regular whole wheat bread:

EZ Wheat Bread Recipe

EZ Wheat Bread recipe (I doubled this recipe in the video you watched)
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or whatever combination white/wheat you like..I use 100% hard white wheat. To learn more about the different types of wheat, download my wheat handout)
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
1 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
1 Tblsp vinegar
1/4 cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)
Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
If you are making this recipe in a bread machine, follow your bread machine’s directions for wheat or whole grain selection and add the ingredients in the order listed for their recommendations. (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker)
This site... great videos to show you every step. I just love this sweet young thing...I have watched and watched. 

Croutons in process...I cubed my failed bread loves, mixed with olive oil, garlic powder, and parmesan, spread on a parchment lined baking sheet, and baked for 30 or so minutes at 375. I watch and often use the oven for these while I was waiting for a batch of whatever to rise. My last batch is sitting on the counter of the outdoor kitchen while the tomatoes roast, and, if the doggone birds don't figure it out, they will finish when the tomatoes are ready to sauce. Plus, they are out in 112+ degree sunshine now , too, so extra drying is occurring. 

 Bread Sticks...first effort
I used this recipe:

Breadsticks By Food Storage Moms


  • 4 Teaspoons SAF Instant Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Warm Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 4 Teaspoons Dough Enhancer
  • 2 Eggs slightly beaten
  • 6-7 Cups White Bread Flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Melted Butter
  • Garlic Salt, Parmesan Cheese


Step 1
Place all of the ingredients in order into a Bosch Bread Mixer or a very large bowl to mix and knead by hand. The recipe calls for 6-7 cups of white bread flour…you add flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead by hand or machine for 8-10 minutes. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise. Roll the dough out after the first rise and cut with knife or pizza cutter into desired shapes. Dip in melted butter and place onto greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, parmesan cheese or any desired seasoning of choice. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise once more. Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes depending on the size of breadsticks you make. Do not over bake.

from here:
This was my first effort. Next time, I will roll the dough out thinner...these breadsticks...well, one would be a very filling meal!

I cut these grapes early this morning. Birds are beginning to taste them, and the heat is beginning to bake them, so I have some for eating and some making raisins.

I try to read 7 pages of the Book of Mormon every day, and I sit at the table in the kitchen and read between trips to the oven. Lots of good the laundry room is right by me and I have another load to complete. Don't know if I will get to vacuuming today...I am getting pooped now.

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