Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Culinary Activities in our Kitchen

"The kitchen is a country in which there are always discoveries to be made."

Grimod de la Reynière (1758-1838)

My daughter, Lauren made some wonderful Kale chips. She actually got the kale (when we finally found some at a whole foods market) for green smoothies but we were out of fruit. I had been planning on trying this recipe so she made all of it that way. The first batch was cooked a bit too long so it was a little TOO crispy but the second was delicious. All of us here loved it and so did my DIL and grandbabies!  

While my daughter and I were watching our youngest grandbaby, Elijah recently, we made a topping for vanilla ice cream. No, I don't always raid the homes of my kids and eat all their food! ;) Our second to oldest son and his wife were taking mentioned grandboy to the beach and they needed to eat the things that would go bad anyway. Hence, the reason we ate their ice cream.
ANYway, I melted some chocolate chips with a bit of butter and when it was glossy, stirred in peanut butter and marshmallow cream. It was different... kind of like a rich, hot fudge.

I made four loaves of whole grain bread and gifted some of the loaves. I prefer making these (or most usually six at a time)  until I have filled a shelf in the freezer with dough logs and/or buns so we always have homemade bread on hand. This time, we ate two loaves in no time and gave away some. 

There are three main recipes I use for a great deal of my bread making. This one and Vickilynn's from RealFoodLiving site so I'll share both.

Nita's Whole Wheat Bread--4 loaf recipe

Recipe By : Nita Crabb

Serving Size : 32

Categories : Yeast Breads

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

4 cups water -- 110 degrees

2 tablespoons yeast

1/2 cup honey

1/4 to 1/2 cup gluten, wheat

5 cups whole wheat flour -- freshly ground

4 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup olive oil (which is about 5 1/2 Tbsp.)

3 cups whole wheat flour -- freshly ground

2-5 cups additional whole wheat flour for kneading

Dissolve yeast in water and stir in 1/2 cup honey. Add gluten flour and

5 cups whole wheat flour and stir. Let sit about 30 minutes or until


and bubbly (mine comes nearly to the top of the Bosch bowl). Stir; add

salt, 1/2 cup more honey, and oil. Mix; add 3 cups flour. Add flour by

1/2 cupfuls until dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Let mixer knead


low speed 10 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and place in large,

lightly-greased bowl, turning once to coat top. Let rise until double.

Punch down, divide into four equal pieces. Form loaves and place in

greased loaf pans. Let rise until 1 1/2 inches above the rim of the

pans. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (do not overbake). Remove from oven

and brush tops with butter to prevent crust from getting hard.


"4 loaves"

* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By :Vickilynn Haycraft C 2000

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

6 1/2 cups water -- warmed to 100-110

3 tablespoons yeast -- SAF

6 cups whole wheat flour

2/3 cup olive oil

2/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup vital gluten

9 cups whole wheat flour -- more or less as needed

In a large mixing bowl (I use a Bosch) place warm water, SAF yeast and 4

cups flour. Stir to mix well, then cover and let sponge 30 minutes.

Stir to punch down; add oil, honey, gluten and salt. Mix to blend; add 2

cups flour and turn mixer on low. Add flour by 1/2 cupfuls until dough

cleans the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky. Knead on low speed

6- 8 minutes. The flour amount is approximate, use only enough flour to

cause the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixer bowl. Do not

add more flour.

Let dough rise in covered bowl 30 minutes until doubled. Punch down

dough place on oiled counter and divide into six pieces. Form loaves and

place in greasedloaf pans. Let rise in warm oven (turned off) until 1

1/2" above the rim of the pans.

With loaves still in oven, turn oven on and bake at 350 degrees for

about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cover with clean towel to soften crust.


"Makes 6 loaves, each 12 slices. Each slice is 2 points"

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 121 Calories; 3g Fat (17.8%

calories from fat); 4g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg

Cholesterol; 62mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2

Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.


I might have already shared the pizza crust recipes I used but I can't remember!

This time around, I grabbed the two quickest recipes I could find. One was topped with basic pizza sauce and two pizzas were made. One had pepperoni and cheese and the other just had cheese.

Easy Pizza dough recipe

From All

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (sometimes I use a smidge more)

2 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. (I use my food processor) Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 13-in. circle. Transfer to two greased 12-in. pizza pans; build up edges slightly. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

I make this dough in my food processor. I let the machine knead so skip that step because I don't want the dough to be tough. I let mine stand up to 30 minutes. Then roll out and top and bake. You can back the crust alone first if you like a crunchy crust. I like mine more soft and tender, so don't prebake.

I have lost the Focaccia crust recipe I used but will hopefully find it so I can post it soon. I topped it with homemade garlic, white sauce, two cheeses and sliced Vidalia onions. It was loved by three teenagers and two adults (my DIL and I along with my daughter and two of her friends!) and we gave the other pizza to the kids so we don't know if they liked it or not. Smiles:)

Garlic White Sauce

Butter (a few tablespoons)
Garlic cloves (a few to several, depending on how strong you want it)  ... put through a garlic press
White flour (about as much as the amount of butter you use)
salt & pepper
milk or cream (just enough to make the sauce as thick or thin as you want it

Melt butter in skillet and add pressed garlic cloves OR chopped garlic. Sautee until fragrant and sprinkle flour in ... stir with whisk until blended and smooth. Add milk or cream until desired thickness and immediately take off stove. Salt and pepper and top pizza. I cooked my crust for a few minutes before adding and then add toppings. Cook at a high heat (400 degrees F. or more) until crust is cooked and toppings are starting to brown.

There have been lots more cooked up in our kitchen but this is getting longer and longer and it is getting late. I started it early this morning!

I will try sharing the rest in other posts!


Amy said...

Thanks for sharing. I have just discovered the joy of making my own bread. I am using my bread machine at this time. But I plan to try a few without.

I feel a calling to make the bread for communion at my church. They want round loaves. So I want to play around a little first before I committ to this.

Have a beautiful day.

naturalmotherhood said...

Thanks for the comment:)

I used to have a bread machine and I LOVED it. The fragrance through the house was wonderful and the ease is just amazing.

My biggest thing that switched me from using mine was needing more and more bread to keep everyone fed and when I started whole grain, I wasn't sure how to do them in the breadmaker. Now, they have recipes for ALL kinds of bread in them!

Whatever works for each homeamaker !

Oh, I just love the idea of you making the communion bread for church! Round loaves seem quite easy to me now that I have been forming different kinds for so long. It really just requires taking your dough and turning the ends under until you get a circle the way you want it. I imagine there are quite a few tutorials available to show how online!

Have a great rest of the weekend . . .