Foody Friday

December 29, 2007

The French bread I’ve been making has proved to be pretty versatile, making a bit of a different pizza crust, and some really great sandwich rolls. Here’s what I’m doing:

1 cup warm water
2.25 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup flour + 1-1.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
cornmeal
olive oil

Sprinkle yeast on .25 cups of the warm water and let stand until yeast is dissolved (5ish minutes). Add the rest of the water, a cup of the flour, and salt and mix. Add about another cup of flour, just dusting it in while it blends until it clumps up on the hook instead of clinging to the sides. Leave the mixer on low for about four minutes for kneading. Pour a little olive oil (more than necessary for just greasing) in a bowl for rising, put the dough in, flip it so that dough is coated. Let rise for 40 minutes.

Pour the excess oil onto a baking sheet or pan, then sprinkle with cornmeal. Move dough to pan, knead a few times, flip and roll out and shape as desired, cover and let rise another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Sprinkle on some flour and slash the top (I do 4 diagnoanal on a loaf, one on a roll, and skip the slashing on pizza), then bake for about 25 minutes, then move to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly.

I also made cookies! Cookies have been the bane of my existence for the past decade and a half. I used to make great cookies but then for some reason for the intervening time I messed up every batch of cookies I made. Christmas Eve was a total success, though. I made a dozen chocolate chip and a dozen peanut butter chocolate walnut, then a half dozen each of choclate walnut, white chocolate, white chocolate walnut, and white chocolate peanut butter walnut. Some for me, some for Shawn, and some for Shawn’s co-workers. More would’ve went to the co-workers if I’d managed to get them done in time. I’d have made more if I’d had more brown sugar since I had a ton of leftover white and peanut butter chips. I’m pretty sure I’m going to dump those in some cocoa brownies soonish.


I also took the time to recreate a creamy tomato sauce I used to make ages ago for Mom. I wanted to be able to send her the recipe for Christmas, which meant ferreting through my brain to remember how I’d made it. I first had this at a small Italian restaurant in Satellite Beach, then went home and did my best to make it. I don’t have any idea if I’m doing it remotely right, but it is really yummy, and freezes really well for at least a week for home made frozen meals.

Heat up one jar of your preferred sauce — I use Classico Four Cheese. Add 1/2 stick unsalted butter, 1 container of sour cream (8oz), a pinch each of parmesan, salt, and garlic powder. Let simmer for an hour. Put over penne rigate or ziti rigate or whatever hollow ridged pasta you like, and sprinkle on Italian seasoning and mozzarella.

I also did the pretzel with a boiling method. They were more pretzely, both in smell and taste, but not exceptionally good. I think the water wasn’t hot enough, the dough not rolled thin enough, and they were left to rise too long. Next take I’ll try to correct all those things and start working on the whole grain to white flour ratio at the same time.

And lastly, a simple dinner of cheeseburgers on home made rolls:

The closest thing to a disaster this week was biscuits, which just turned out kinda blah. That’s my January-February goal, whenever I get the pretzels right — yummy biscuits!

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