Garlic and Rosemary Baguettes

August 18th, 2015

Garlic Rosemary Baguette 1

I can live without chocolate, but I can’t live without bread.  It is one of the great joys of a meal as far as I’m concerned.  Now, because of changes in our food choices, I am trying to experiment with different types of flour in my bread baking.  These garlic and rosemary baguettes are excellent.  King Arthur has a white whole wheat flour that I wanted to try.  It is milled from hard white Spring wheat – a lighter colored grain than traditional red wheat which yields milder-tasting baked goods.  Because this bread recipe also has an abundance of garlic and rosemary in it, the lighter but healthy white whole wheat flour is a bonus.

Garlic Rosemary Baguette 2v

But what I was most excited about, and inspired me to make this bread, was the free printable French bread wrappers that I found on Heather Bullard/ Lifestyle blog.  She is a contributing editor to Country Living Magazine and found the script sheets while traveling in France.  A big thank you to her for making them available.  They make a pretty presentation if you bake  loaves to give to friends and family.

Garlic Rosemary Baguette 3

The original bread recipe came from a blog called Good Life Eats.  I changed the flours, but kept the garlic and rosemary.  This is a very garlic heavy bread, so if you are not a great fan, you can reduce the number of cloves.  It makes a convincing looking baguette but tastes more like a conventional homemade bread.Garlic Rosemary Baguette 4

The rustic loaves make great sandwiches and are a great accompaniment to spaghetti.
GARLIC AND ROSEMARY BAGUETTES

2 cups warm tap water, about 110 degrees
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 3/4 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup flour for dusting the loaves
Cornmeal for the pans
2 small cookie sheets or a large (at least 11×17-inch) jelly roll pan

In the bowl of a food mixer, mix the water with the yeast.  Allow to ferment for about 10 minutes.  Once the yeast is bubbly add the olive oil, 2 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour, the white whole wheat flour, garlic, rosemary and salt.  With a dough hook gently mix until all of the ingredients are combined.  Mix on medium for about 5 minutes to knead the ingredients together.  If dough is too moist add a little more of the all-purpose flour.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl.  Leave to rise for 2 hours.

To shape loaves, scrape risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and press it to deflate it. Divide dough in half and shape one piece at a time. Press dough into a square, then roll it up tightly. Rotate cylinder of dough 90 degrees and roll up again from short end. Arrange dough seam side down, cover with plastic or a towel and let it rest of 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining piece of dough.

Dust pan with cornmeal. Roll each piece of dough under palms of your hands to elongate it. Work from middle of loaf outward, pointing the ends slightly. Place loaves seam side down on cookie sheets and dust each loaf heavily with flour, using about 1/4 cup in all. Cover with plastic or a towel and allow to rise until doubled.

About 30 minutes before you intend to bake the loaves, preheat oven to 500 degrees F and set racks at the middle and lowest levels. Set a pan on the lowest rack to absorb some of the excess bottom heat and keep the bottom of the loaves from burning.

Holding a razor blade or the point of a very sharp knife at a 30-degree angle to the top of each loaf, make 3 to 4 diagonal slashes in each loaf. Immediately place loaves in oven and lower temperature to 450 degrees F. After loaves have baked for 20 minutes and are completely risen, lower temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking about 20 to 30 minutes longer, until bread reaches an internal temperature of about 210-220 degrees F. Remove loaves from oven and cool on a rack.

Printable Recipe

Buckwheat Walnut Bread

July 29th, 2015

Walnut Bread 1

As much as we love to eat most foods, including fatty meats and desserts, there is always in the back of our minds the fact that we should be making healthier choices.  David has recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Most of the meals that I cook are pretty healthy; lots of interesting salads and fish or poultry dishes.  But David decided to get really serious about eliminating carbs like white rice, pastas, breads, and potatoes.  I did a little research on bread flours to see if there was a way to make a bread that we could substitute for even the healthy whole wheat bread that we normally eat.  It turns out that buckwheat is a healthy alternative for people with diabetes.  Nuts and seeds are also recommended for a healthy diet.  Walnut Bread Close

While eating breakfast this morning, I was looking at a few of my newer cookbooks.  I pulled Katie Quinn Davies What Katie Ate On The Weekend from the shelf and found her recipe for Walnut Bread.  It had everything that I was looking for in a healthy yeast bread.  It took me just a half of an hour to throw all of the ingredients together and process the dough in my KitchenAid.  After two hours of rising, it was ready for the oven.

Walnut Bread 3VAs it baked, David said “You are killing me”.  The smell was amazing and he assumed that I was just cooking it for the blog (My second child, my the way).  When I told him that it was really good for him, he reluctantly tasted the still warm bread.  I did not smear the amount of butter on it that you see here, but even with just a flick of butter it was delicious.  This bread is moist, nutty and just darn good.  Not only does it include buckwheat flour, but it also has lots of walnuts, wheat germ, chia seeds and hemp hearts (my addition). He will be eating it in moderation and I will try to do the same, but I have to say that it is one of those breads that will make you sit up and take notice.

Walnut Bread 2

Enjoy!

BUCKWHEAT WALNUT BREAD ( What Katie Ate on the Weekend by Katie Quinn Davies )

2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons active dried yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup buckwheat flour, sifted
2 1/2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chia seeds, divided
2 tablespoons hemp hearts (my addition, optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Makes 2 small loaves

Combine the sugar, yeast and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl or bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer.  Leave to stand for 10-12 minutes until frothy.  Stir in the oil and another 2/3 cup lukewarm water, then add the flours, wheat germ, walnuts, half of the chia seeds, hemp hearts and 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir to combine or using dough hook of mixer blend together.  Either turn out onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes or mix in stand mixer for 5 minutes.  Place in a clean greased bowl, set in a warm place and let rise for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and sprinkle flour over a large baking sheet.

Turn the dough out onto a clean floured countertop and knead once or twice to knock out the air. Divide in half and shape into two loaves.  Place on the prepared sheet, then cut three evenly spaced, 1/2 inch deep slashes on an angle across each loaf.  Brush the tops with melted butter and scatter over the remaining chia seeds.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and the bases sound hollow when tapped.

Printable Recipe

 

Blackberry Cornmeal Muffins

July 16th, 2015

Blackberry Cornmeal Muffins 1

Summertime is blackberry picking season.  I remember picking blackberries as a child, smearing the dark juices all over my fingers and clothing.  Unfortunately I haven’t found any blackberry bushes where we live now.  So I was forced to pick up a plastic box of them at the grocery store.  There is just something wrong about that.  I need to find a patch of blackberries somewhere.

Blackberry Cornmeal Muffins 2V

There is an odd synergy between blackberries and cornmeal.  They both have a grainy consistency.  Blackberry “seeds” always get stuck in my teeth and cornmeal has a sandy bite to it.  But that is why the ingredients make such a hardy and satisfying munchable muffin.

This recipe came from one of my favorite NC markets and chefs, Sara Foster.  Foster’s Market is an institution in Durham, NC and loved by the Duke University family and residents far and wide.  We like to stop in when traveling to visit the kids.  Sara Foster, former catering chef for Martha Stewart, moved to NC in 1990 and opened her gourmet market and cafe in a funky building with a gravel driveway to rave reviews.  It is the kind of place where you would want to hang out, as many Duke students actually do.  Sara’s food is honest, fresh and seasonal.

Blackberry Cornmeal Muffins 3

These simple and easy muffins taste like summer on a plate.  Smear them with a bit of butter and start your day with a smile.

BLACKBERRY CORNMEAL MUFFINS ( From Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line 12 large muffin cups with liners and spray the top of the pan lightly with vegetable oil spray or grease lightly.

Stir the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

In a separate large bowl, stir the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla together.  Gradually add the flour-cornmeal mixture, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moist and no flour is visible.  Do not mix more than necessary.  Gently fold in the blackberries.

Scoop the batter with a 1/3-cup measure or ice cream scoop to fill the muffin tins to just below the top of the liner.  Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops spring back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning them out.

Note:  I used standard muffin tins and ended up with enough batter for 18 muffins.

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BLT Scones for the 4th of July

July 1st, 2015

BLT Scones 2

The countdown has started for the 4th of July celebration.  We have geared up for a visit by the whole family.  What fun.  I have been cooking up lots of treats for everyone.  The freezer has been my friend.  I made these BLT scones this week.  We sampled one and the rest went into the freezer.  David declared it delicious.  I loved the bacon bits and basil, but thought the sun dried tomatoes a little too much.  The whole idea of the scones is the combination of bacon, tomato and basil (taking the place of lettuce).  Really good, but I will reduce the tomato component next time.

BLT Scones 3V

Breakfast scones are always a part of our breakfasts when the family gets together.  My DIL Kristen has become the scone master in the family.  She introduced me to the Triple Cinnamon Scones and makes a mean savory scone with Chorizo sausage.  The recipe for this BLT scone came from a blog called 3 Many Cooks.  It is written my Pam Anderson, cookbook author, and her two daughters.

BLT Scones 4

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend.  We have many reasons to celebrate.

BLT SCONES ( 3 Many Cooks )

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, frozen solid
  • ½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • ½ cup chopped cooked bacon*
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup sour cream, light if you like
  • 1 large egg
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Grate ⅓ of the butter into the flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; toss. Repeating grating and tossing twice more. Using fingertips, work butter into flour a bit more. Mix in tomatoes, bacon, and basil.
  2. Mix sour cream and egg with a fork until smooth. Using same fork, stir into dry ingredients until large dough clumps form. Use hands to press dough against the bowl into a ball. (There may not seem like enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together. If necessary, flick a little water into bowl bottom to get the last bits to adhere.)
  3. Place on a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 7½-inch circle, about ¾-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut dough into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably silapat- or parchment-lined), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve—hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe

 

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread

May 21st, 2015

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread 4

This may look like an American quick bread, but according to Dorie Greenspan, it has a French soul.  Savory breads, cake sale’, are served all over France with apperitifs. What is so nice about this bread, other than its wonderful taste, is that it is indeed quick and easy.  After you grate your cheese, toast your walnuts and snip your chives, it is just a matter of mixing the wet ingredients with the dry and baking in a loaf pan.Savory Cheese and Chive Bread 2

The aroma from the oven was heady.  I was impatient to cut into the bread even before it had cooled.  I managed to get a few shots of it before we dug into it.  David, who has been avoiding carbs, said it was the best bread I had ever made as he nibbled away at one small piece after another.  We have eaten it with salads, as an accompaniment to grilled chicken and as toast for breakfast.  It is best that way.

Lake Lure Deck 1

We have almost finished with the dock in preparation for the summer festivities.  We ordered new window boxes for the boathouse windows and I planted some geraniums.  I will add some trailing greens and white vinca when I make it to the garden center.  David got a little carried away with the spray paint.  The green chairs used to be a more subdued shade of green, but the neon color is starting to grow on me.  Now at least I can tell boaters clearly where we live;  the boat house with the bright lime green chairs.

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread 3V

This savory bread would be great with any of your Memorial Day picnic offerings.  Let’s remember our Veterans on this very special weekend.  My Father was a proud Marine who served duty in Guadalcanal during the Second World War.  My Brother, Bill, served two tours of duty in Vietnam.  They make me so proud.

Dad in Marine Uniform

Semper Fi.  And Happy Memorial Day.

SAVORY CHEESE AND CHIVE BREAD ( Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table )

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (depending on what cheese and add-ins you’re using )
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (or more to taste; you could even add a pinch of cayenne )
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 generous cup coarsely grated Gruyere, Comte’, Emmenthal, or cheddar (about 4 ounces)
2 ounces Gruyere, Comte’, Emmenthal or cheddar, cut into very small cubes (I omitted this)
1/2 cup minced fresh chives or other herbs (or thinly sliced scallions)
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to350 degrees F.  Generously butter an 8-x-4 1/2-x-2 3/4-inch loaf pan – a Pyrex pan is perfect here.  If your pan is slightly larger, go ahead and use it, but your loaf will be lower and you’ll have to check it for doneness a little earlier.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and white pepper together in a large bowl.

Put the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk for about 1 minute, until they’re foamy and blended.  Whisk in the milk and olive oil.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and, using a sturdy rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, gently mix until the dough comes together.  There’s no need to be energetic – in fact, beating the dough toughens it – nor do you need to be very thorough: just stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the cheese, grated and cubed, the herbs, and the walnuts, if you’re using them.  You’ll have a thick dough.  Turn the dough into the buttered pan and even the top with the back of the spatula or spoon.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the bread is golden and a slender knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and wait for about 3 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pan and turn the loaf over onto the rack; invert and cool right side up.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.