Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Shanna's Easy Pizza Dough

Shanna Holden's quick pizza dough recipe that even works at 7000 feet. Makes 2 medium or 1 large pie.
Mix in large bowl:
1.25 C warm water (~120 F)
2 t honey
1 T oil
2.5 t yeast (1pkg)
Let sit in bowl 5 min then slowly mix in:
3 C flour (whole wheat is fine)
3 T of gluten
1 t salt
Knead 5 min
Cover with damp towel and let rise ~15min in oiled bowl.
Roll dough, layer with your favorite ingredients and bake at 500F for 10 - 15min.

Baguettes at 7,000 Feet

So I've been trying to make a proper baguette since we went to France, and made some rather-nice-bread-that-wasn't-a-baguette for awhile before I worked out that the recipe needs tweaking for the altitude and the dry air here in Flag, and the salt isn't optional. Its still not _quite_ right, but its getting close, and the bit of paper with my scribbled notes is getting nigh-unreadable, so its time to put this down somewhere that I can find it again...

Baguettes at 7,000 feet.

1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. (Yes the amount seems to matter; don't just dump a whole packet in.)
1/4 cup very warm water.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
4 cups unbleached high-gluten bread flour

2 1/4 teaspoons salt. (Don't skimp, especially at altitude, no matter how little you usually cook with salt. The salt retards the yeast growth so it doesn't go too nuts too fast in the low pressure at altitude.)
1 1/2 cups cool water. (1 1/4 cups in the original recipe - the extra helps adjust for the altitude.)

White of one egg, mixed with ~1 tbsp water.

1) Combine yeast and warm water and mix well to dissolve the yeast.
NOTE: steps 2-7 are taken care of nicely by my bread machine on the large, white, dough setting, which takes an hour fifty and ends with a quick knead cycle.
2) Mix everything except the eggwhite in a large bowl, adding the liquids last. Mix to form a shaggy mass.
3) Knead for 4 minutes on a floured surface.
4) Rest, covered with plastic wrap or a towel for 20 minutes.
5) Knead for 6-8 minutes.
6) Place in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in volume.
7) Gently deflate the dough and fold it over itself in the bowl. Re-shape into a ball and re-cover.
8) Let rise for 1 1/4 hours, or until nearly doubled in volume.
(Original recipe calls for another punch-down and rise here; I've been skipping it.)
9) Deflate and re-form, then break the dough into 3 equal-sized pieces. Gently stretch and/or flatten one into a rough rectangle without tearing it - it will try to shrink back, but you can let it stick to the surface a bit to hold the shape. Then roll the rectangle up from one edge. Pinch sealed the seam and the ends. Set aside and repeat with the other two thirds.
10) Going back to your first "loaf", elongate it by gently stretching and/or rolling the loaf, until its about the length you want your final loaf to be (length of my baking tray, in my case...) Place it on a baking tray scattered with a bit of corn meal. Repeat with the other 2.
11) Cover the tray, and let rise for 30-40 minutes, until not quite doubled in volume.
12) While waiting for the last rise, pre-heat your oven to 500 F (260 C). Put a large metal baking dish (really; don't use glass!) empty in the bottom of the oven while it heats. I use our paella pan for this and its perfect. Get a plant mister and load it with tap water. Boil the kettle, and turn it back off.
13) Un-cover the bread tray and paint the loaves with a mixture of the white of one egg and about a tablespoon of water. Using a very sharp knife held at about 45 degrees to horizontal, cut a long shallow cut from one end of each loaf to the other.
14) Put the tray in the oven. Take a cup of the hot water from the kettle and dump it in the metal tray in the bottom of the oven. Shut the door quick!
15) Wait a minute, open the door, use the plant mister to spray the loaves and each side of the oven 6-8 times (and shut it again quick!)
16) Wait two minutes, open the door, use the plant mister to spray the loaves and each side of the oven 6-8 times (and shut it again quick!)
17) Wait 12 minutes, turn the oven down to 400 F (205 C), then open it for half a minute to drop the temperature, and spray the loaves and sides once more.
18) Bake for 20 minutes (original recipe called for 25-30, but 20 seems pretty consistently right for me.)

That makes it sound all very complicated, but for me it amounts to: dump ingredients in bread machine; come back in 3 hours. Fold over once; come back in an hour. Form loaves, wait a bit, and cook.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Two new nummies


So I came home cold and hungry and lazy and all I had was some eggs and zuccini...Persian Omblet


It turned out amazing, all fluffy and yum. The sugary tumaric gives it a really interesting taste.

Emptying the shit out of the fridge - Pheasants

So my fridge was infested with pheasants that needed to be eaten...I again didnt have too many ingredients so I modified this one...



1 pheasants
Freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 manderine
1 tbl sp thyme dried
bacon pieces
1/4 cup Madeira
1 cup rich chicken stock
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 260C degrees. (I cant remember if I used this temp or reduced it,...use brains)

Season the cavities and the outside of each pheasant liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff carrot, onion, manderine pieces (cut in half), thyme (snap its spine if the stupid birds are too small)

Arrange the pheasants in a large roasting pan, breast sides up. Thow bacon pieces over the pheasant (its supposed to be rashes but I didt have any so I basted lots) Roast for 15 minutes, then remove the bacon strips and continue roasting for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear. (It is important to not overcook the pheasants, as they are very lean birds.) Remove the pheasants from the oven and transfer to a serving platter, loosely tented, while you make the sauce.

Using a spoon, carefully remove as much extra fat from the pan as possible. Place the roasting pan over high heat and, when hot, deglaze with the orange juice and Madeira, using a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When the orange juice and Madeira have reduced by half, add the chicken stock and continue to cook until sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 to 4 minutes. Swirl in the butter and remove from the heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Remove the back bone from each pheasant, then cut along the breast bone to divide the birds into two halves. Serve 1/2 pheasant per person, napped with some of the sauce.

Id do this again anyday, the thyme and orange were great. It would probably work for other little birds like geese, swans, emus, or pterodactyls too.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Marinated beef ribs in dark ale and mustard

4 beef spare ribs, about 2kg in total
125ml dark ale (1/2 cup)
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp cider vinegar
2 small red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
20g unsalted butter

Place ribs in a single layer in a large non-metallic dish. Put the ale, sugar, vinegar, chilli, cumin and mustard in an bowl, stir well to dissolve the sugar, then pour over the ribs. Toss to coat, then cover and marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Preheat kettle or covered BBQ to medium indirect heat. Transfer the ribs and the marinade to a large shallow roasting tin and place in the middle of the BBQ. Lower the lid and cook the ribs for 50 minutes, or until the meat is tender and about 1/2 cup of marinade is left in the pan. Transfer the ribs to a warm serving plate while you finish making the sauce - leave the pan on the BBQ to keep warm.
Using a whisk, beat butter into the reduced marinade in the roasting tin and season with salt/pepper.
Drizzle ribs with sauce.

From Leanne Kitchen's The Butcher.
I use dark Kozel for preference, and have used tabasco in place of the chilli but it's not as good.