Monday, November 28, 2011

French bread!

We made some bread. It was pretty easy, and felt awesome. And tasted awesome. 

Felt awesome on my hands.
The ingredients were:
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
4 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast with 1/2 cup of the water and stir until the yeast is dissolved.

2. Add the sugar, salt, butter, and remaining 1 cup water. stir until all the ingredients are well blended and the powdered ingredients are dissolved. Add the flour and stir until the dough is smooth; do not knead. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half; let the dough halves rest for 10 minutes. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one dough half into a 10 x 8-inch rectangle. Beginning on a long side, roll up the dough, jelly-roll fashion; pinch the edges to seal the loaf. Repeat with the remaining dough half.

4. Lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Place the loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet; sprinkle the tops of the loaves with additional cornmeal. Cover the loaves and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, make five diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf. Bake the loaves until they are lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the loaves to wire racks to cool.

6. Before removing bread from oven, press play:

And...the final product: yum!

Black bean & mushroom Chilaquiles


Our first recipe was the Black Bean & Mushroom Chilaquiles from the recipe book "The Vegetarian Bible" (although I'm fairly certain there are upward to a million books with that or similar titles).

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and minced
2 cans (about 15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (about 14 oz.) diced tomatoes
10 oz. white mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup (4 oz.) shreeded sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional for garnish
6 cups tortilla chips

We strayed from the recipe a bit, using a red bell pepper instead of a green, chopping fresh tomatoes, and fresh oregano from our garden.  We mortared some cumin seeds instead of using previous ground cumin, which was fun, made us feel like alchemists and what have you.


1. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens.

While the things fried we prepared our other ingredients.
Mushrooms and tomatoes and cumin

A chinese tea cup's worth of oregano.  Very precise.

2. Transfer fried ingredients to slow cooker. Add beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, cumin and oregano. Cover; cook on LOW 6 hours or on HIGH 3 hours.

3. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over bean mixture.  Cover; cook until cheese melts. Stir to combine.

4. Coarsely crush tortilla chips.  Top with black bean mixture and sprinkle with additional cheese.

Finished product is like an explosion with a flavour eagle flying out of it.