It all started with the need to use up our Brie cheese. I found 2 good looking recipes on Pinterest. I decided to made this soup. Some modifications that I made were to put the onions in the oven to caramelize as well as the mushrooms. I did not have enough room on one cookie sheet so I used 2, 1 for the mushrooms and 1 for the onions. I used a little less butter than called for to cook the garlic and make the roux. And I just used fat-free milk not cream. The soup was creamy and delicious!
For the bread, I sauteed an onion until golden and toasty to add to the bread dough. I did not put the sundried tomatoes in. For the herbs, I used dried thyme and some Penzeys herb mixture. Very good bread- moist and flavorful!! Yummy with the olives, cheese, onion and herbs!
jillpickle: Irish Soda Bread: I know it looks like a big cookie but it’s actually bread. This is an old family recipe that we always made on St. Patrick’s Day. The only adaptation, besides adding more raisins, was that I baked this on a parchment-lined baking sheet. It seems to turn out less doughy in the middle than when I baked it in the casserole pan. Here is the recipe for Irish Soda Bread.
Matthew: I’ve made many loaves of bread and one of the hardest parts for me is to get the crust to turn out. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to get the perfect rustic loaf with a tough and crispy crust in my oven. But then I tried a new recipe in my Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook. The crocodile-like loaves are flour-dusted and rough and surprisingly easy to make. The sponge, which is put together the night before, left my apartment with a wonderful smell of yeast and beer. I used Makeweight by Furthermore Beer for the bread. And, not only is this bread easy to make, but you get two good-sized loaves which is perfect if you have a new neighbor who just moved in. Here’s the recipe:
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup dark beer at room temperature
3 cups cool water
1 cup semolina flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina or whole-wheat flour (I used semolina)
1 tablespoon sea salt
about 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for work surface and pan
To make the sponge, in a large bowl, combine the yeast, beer, water, and the semolina and all-purpose flours and whisk until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.
To make the dough, add the all-purpose and semolina flours and the salt to the sponge and stir with your hand or a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a shaggy mass. Using a plastic pastry scraper, scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead until it is smooth and elastic, dusting the work surface with only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, 5-7 minutes. The dough will be soft.
Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2-2 hours.
Dust the work surface with 1 cup of the all-purpose flour. Heavily dust a half-sheet pan or rimless baking sheet with all-purpose flour. Punch down the dough and, using the pastry scraper, scrape it out onto the floured surface. Bounce the dough around on the flour, shaping it into a large, round loaf. Do not be daunted by the softness of the dough.
Place the round loaf on the prepared pan, cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, 30-45 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees F. Liberally sprinkle the top of the loaf with all-purpose flour. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut straight through the middle of the loaf crosswise, separating it into two loaves. Flour your hands and turn the loaves so that they sit cut side up on the pan, spacing them generously apart. Bake the breads until they are brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, 35-45 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the door closed, and let the breads sit in the oven for 10 minutes to set the crusts. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely before slicing.
Matthew: Now that it is getting cooler I’ve been itching to do more baking. But with so much late summer produce at hand, I decided to try something a little different. I found the basic cornmeal biscuit recipe in The Joy of Cooking and then added some roasted corn, red bell peppers, jalapeno, and cheddar cheese right before forming the biscuits. They didn’t rise as much as I hoped they would, but they still taste really good, especially warmed up. Next time, I would add a little more than the half of a jalapeno that I used to spice them up a bit more. Below is the biscuit recipe:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 2 t baking powder, 2 T sugar, 1/2 t baking soda, and 1/2 t salt. Cut in 5-6 T cold butter until pieces are the size of breadcrumbs. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, mix. (Add roasted veggies and cheese.) With floured hands, gather dough into a ball and gently knead in the bowl. Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick and cut into 2 inch squares. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Katie: Ever since discovering millet, I’ve looked for different ways to use it, cooked or dry. It’s great to use in breads as a way of adding some texture and a nutty flavor. After enjoying seed bread with millet from a bakery, I decided to try to make some myself. I found this recipe on Bread from a Novice Baker. I substituted half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour for the whole wheat flour. I also toasted the sunflower seeds and let the bread rise longer than called for. It turned out really good! The honey was a sweet addition, and the bread was really moist.
Sunflower Millet Bread (slightly adapted from Pamela on The Fresh Loaf found via Bread from a Novice Baker)
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup whole hulled millet
- 2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Add the sunflower seeds to a frying pan over medium-high heat. Toast seeds, stirring occasionally until they turn light brown. Remove from pan and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast and water, stirring until dissolved. Blend in the honey, seeds, and millet. Mix in 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel and let proof about 30 minutes, or until the mixture becomes a light, bubbly sponge.
Stir down the sponge and blend in the oil and salt. Gradually add remaining flour to make a soft, workable dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and resilient. Cover with a towel and let rest 30 minutes.
Lightly grease two 8 1/2-inch loaf pans. Divide dough in half, shape into loaves, and place in the pans. Cover an let rise 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the loaves about 35 mintues, or until golden brown. Remove the pans and let cool and wire racks.
Makes 2 loaves.
Matthew: As the rhubarb at the market gets bigger and more green each week, I decided that this week would be my last hurrah with rhubarb for the season. I’ve done unconventional things thus far, so I thought I would try something more familiar. I saw this recipe for rhubarb streusel muffins on Smitten Kitchen and thought it sounded good. These muffins are sort of like rhubarb crisp in muffin form. They were really quick to make and turned out very moist with the addition of sour cream. I used 1:2 ratio of whole wheat to regular flour and that seemed to work out well.
Ok, so I guess my last use of rhubarb wasn’t entirely traditional. In addition to making the muffins, I extracted some juice from the rhubarb and used it to make a really fantastic rhubarb margarita. Juicing rhubarb is a little strange, but all you need is a blender and some cheesecloth or a sieve. I followed the instructions for juicing here. For the margarita, I used approximately 3 oz of rhubarb juice, 2 oz of tequila, juice from 1/2 a lime, and 2 oz plus more to taste of triple sec. I have to say, this was the perfect summer drink! Below is a photo of the juice before I made it into the margarita.