Saturday, January 16, 2010

Really Really Really Quick Bread

Awhile ago I listed a recipe for sourdough bread that was easy, well this one is easy and fast. Let's say someone shows up unexpectedly and you want some appetizers or bread with dinner.
This bread will be ready to serve in 15 minutes or less.

You don't believe me?

Try it, you may like it!


In a medium bowl, Mix, flour, salt, baking and water together to make a gloppy dough. Be sure all the flour is incorporated, not hard since the dough should be the consistency of peanut butter.

Once mixed, scrap it out of the bowl, onto the 10 inch non stick skillet to which you have added about a tablespoon of olive oil.

Turn up the flame to medium.

With an rubber spatula that you have dipped in the excess olive oil that the bread plopped into, so it doesn't stick, spread out the dough so it is as evenly spread out in the skillet, thickness wise.
By this time the olive oil should be starting to sizzle the bread.

Add two tablespoons of water onto the oil, try to get it on to the skillet not on the bread. If you do get some one the bread, it is not a big deal.
Immediately cover the skillet with a cover.
Walk away for about 8 minutes.

Take the top off and with a non stick utensil life up one edge of the bread and see how it is doing.
It should be a nice golden brown.

Now , if you are a somewhat seasoned certified skillet tosser, you can flip the bread in the skillet to the other side.
If you are not, just use two spatulas.
Immediately cover the pan.
Let cook another 7 minutes or so.
Take a look see after 7 minutes and check to see, or thump the bread and it should sound hollow.

Remove, set on a wire rack for about 5 minutes or if you want, cut right away and serve
Do not leave it on a flat surface since it will come soggy.

Now.......if you want to add a twist to the recipe, use sesame oil instead of olive oil and it will have a nice flavor.
Or, put some chopped onion on the skillet (remove the bread before turning it) and put the uncooked bread on top of he onion, and just keep checking it so it doesn't burn....and your result will be an onion bread.

Pretty easy!


Enjoy!

Stuff you will knead.
(No kneading involved)

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda.
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
1 cup water
2 TBS of olive oil.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

With your coffee....

My wife has to have something to nosh on with her morning coffee.
We usually will buy some conchas, and I started buying the orejas, for myself.

The orejas just seem a little lighter, nothing to do with the butter in between all those layers of pastry....Ok, they are only a 1/4 of an inch thick so they have to be less fattening than those big conchas.

For those of you who do not know what I am talking about a concha is a Mexican sweetbread made to look like a sea shell, usually enough for about two days worth of coffee. The orejas is a puff pastry which is some times called elephant ears or Palmiers

Well, anyway back to the story here, Lots of times the bakeries do not have fresh conchas or orejas so I started making the Italian Biscotti. They last almost forever and are great for trips on the road. If you buy your coffee at a Starbucks, Biscotti are usually about $1.50 each....unless you get the one dipped in chocolate, those are 2 bucks.

I love them, since they can be made pretty easy, you can add health thing into them like almonds, or other nuts, plus raisins, and the zest of lemons or oranges.
Here is a easy recipe for my orange almond Biscotti. I usually make a double batch, the photos are of a double batch. They are also called twice baked and some people dip them in their coffee sometimes.....

Orange zest Almond Biscotti.

Preheat your oven to 350.
Take the almonds and toss on a cookie sheet and toast them for about 10 minutes, let cool, set aside.
In a large bowl put in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix to incorporate.

In a smaller bowl, mix the sugar and melted butter until smooth, then toss in the eggs, ( out of their shell) add the almond and vanilla extra, mix. ( You can use an electric hand mixer to froth up the mixture if you like)

Now add the wet to the dry bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until all mixed. You might, just might have to add a little water or milk if your flour is real dry. No more than about 2 TBS of liquid.

Add the almonds then flour your hands and work surface. Mix and knead the mix until it is one whole glob.
It should hold together but almost crumbly. Not like bread or cake dough.
Divide the glob into two parts. Shape it into a 12 inch long by 1 1/2inch log. put on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and once on the sheet push down a tad so it is about 1/2 inch high.

Slide it in the oven
In about 15 minute it should be starting to be gold brown. Remove and lit sit for about 2 minutes.
Take a serrated bread knife and slice into 1/2 inch diagonal pieces, separate on the cookie sheet and put it back in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and prop open the oven door about 2 or 3 inches so they will cool slowly.
When totally cool, put in a zip lock bag and they will last about 3 weeks or until scarfed up!

If you double click on the photo you can see the strands of Orange zest in each cookie.

Enjoy.

Stuff you will knead.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup almonds, roasted, not salted
1 cup sugar
4 TBS butter melted or softened
2 eggs beaten with 1 tbs of water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest from a large orange or two small ones, chopped medium
2 -3 TBS milk, enough to moisten dough

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bread of the Magi

If you arrived here from our other site, then you need no explanation otherwise, go to: http://ranchocanyon.blogspot.com/2010/01/dia-de-los-reyes.html

For the whole story on Rosca de Reyes Bread!


To get started.

Proof the yeast by adding it to the warm water and let sit for about 10 or 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast water, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, cinnamon, anise seed and vanilla extract. Mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then cover and let rise in a warm area until dough is doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down and shape into a wreath. You can do this by simply rolling it into a log shape then bending the ends around to form a circle, or you can make three thinner strips and braid them, then put the ends together. The wreath should be about 12-14 inches in diameter. Lift up one area and insert the toy by pushing it up through the bottom. Smooth out any lumps or tears.

Add the dried fruit by laying it across the top and pressing it in slightly. Let it rise until doubled. Brush top with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you want to make it look real good, put something in the middle of it to keep the dough from getting misshapen during cooking. I usually have either a metal 1 cup measuring cup or a sutable ring mold ( metal ) that I put in there to keep it's shape while cooking. DO NOT put anything plastic or nylon in there, since it will melt......


Stuff you will knead

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A small figurine or toy ( preferable something resembling the Christ Child) and something that will not easily melt!
  • Candied Fruit (about 2 cups of assorted fruit cut into strips such as figs, orange, lemon, mango or cherries)
  • 1 egg beaten (egg wash)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (topping)

Enjoy!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Some nice cold Mexican Chocolate


I use my frozen dessert machine for lots of stuff, but Margaritas in December is just a tad too cold. But a Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream with some nice Hot Chocolate is a great dessert. You would be surprised on what you can toss into the machine and have it make in about 15 minutes. This one has a special taste because of the Ibarra chocolate.

Stuff you will need;

9 oz of Ibarra Chocolate, chopped in small chunks
One vanilla bean
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 cinnamon sticks
6 egg yolks
1/2 sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt



Take the vanilla bean and split it down the middle, then scrap out the seeds, in a small saucepan on medium bring the milk, cream and chocolate to a simmer. Toss in the vanilla seeds and the bean and add the chocolate.
Let simmer for about 5 minutes, stir now and then remove from heat and let steep for about half and hour.
Meanwhile, toss the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a mixer and whisk at medium to high for about 3 minutes until the sugar has incorporated and the mixture looks a pale yellow. Or if you have Mexican chickens, a nice yellow color.
Strain the milk/cream mixture through a fine strainer and remove the bean. Discard the cinnamon sticks. With the mixer running on medium, slowly pour the cream into the egg mixture. Be sure that the milk has cooled otherwise you will have some nice scramble eggs......
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and return to the low heat. Mix with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens up a tad...and the temperature reaches 170 . Do not overheat.
Remove from heat, pour mixture into a cold bowl, and stick it in the fridge. Every 10 minutes or so, stir it around so it doesn't form a skin on the top After it has cooled , (1 hour ) cover with plastic and chill for another hour, or at this point you can keep it in the fridge for a day or so, until you are ready to make CHOCOLATE Ice Cream!

When ready, process the mix in your ice cream maker, once done, place in freezer to harden up more.
That's it!
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