Lesson 53, How to Turn Bread Into Amazing Things


That recipe I gave you for Lesson 52 was originally a pastry dough, as I’ve already said.  Can anyone here think of something else that could be made with the basic recipe?

Ok Janet, you first.  What’s that?  Oh, Eclairs.  Well, no.  Eclairs are made from choux paste.

Ralph?  Doughnuts.  That’s good Ralph, but we already said that in the last lesson.

Katrina.  Cinnamon Rolls, now that’s something I can sink my teeth into.  So let’s go with cinnamon rolls.  First, I have to ask you; what is it you love about cinnamon rolls?  Is it the ooey-gooey texture; is it the cinnamon flavor, is it the pecan, or walnut pieces, the glaze, the pastry itself?  What is the best part of the cinnamon roll?

Cinnamon, glad you want to share.  You say that the best part is the whole thing, and that I forgot the raisins?  I have to agree.  I love all of the separate parts that make up a great cinnamon roll.  But put them together and it all becomes a magical ballet of flavors, dancing Swan Lake across your tongue.  Wait, that’s not a good image.  I don’t want any dancer’s feet on my tongue, thank you very much.  I’d rather have that cinnamon roll tickling my taste buds.  So, let’s make this.

Tools: large mixing bowl (you’ll want lots of these), Wooden spoon, Measuring Cups, Measuring Spoons, Rolling Pin, Sharp Knife, Large Work Surface, Salt Shaker filled with Cinnamon, Small Saute pan, oven.

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                  1 recipe Potato Bread                                                                                                              1 cup real butter, melted                                                                                                            1 cup brown sugar                                                                                                                    1 cinnamon shaker                                                                                                                    3/4 cup raisins                                                                                                                          1 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts                                                                                          1 cup milk                                                                                                                                  1 cup powdered sugar                                                                                                              1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatine

Place raisins into a small sauce pan with just enough water to cover.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Simmer raisins for 1 minutes.  Drain and remove from the pan.

Liberally sprinkle all purpose flour on your work surface.  Roll the dough until it’s as thick as three, stacked, flour tortillas.  Melt half of the butter and spread all over the dough.  Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar.  Sprinkle the raisins and nuts evenly over the surface.  Now it gets tricky.  Roll the dough with the filling inside.  Dip the knife in water, and cut the dough sideways into half-inch thick pinwheels.  Place the pinwheels into a greased baking pan and cover with a clean linen towel.  Place in a warm area and let rise for a half hour.  Twenty minutes into the rise, preheat oven to 350′ F.  while the oven is heating, combine the milk, the remaining butter, the gelatine, and the powdered sugar into a sauce pan.  Heat until the milk just starts to simmer, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Remove the cloth from the cinnamon rolls and spoon the glaze all over the top of the cinnamon rolls.  Place into the oven and bake for twenty minutes.  When the aroma of baked cinnamon rolls fills your house, they are probably done.  Check them.  They should be golden brown on top, and firm, yet tender.

Here’s the most difficult part, let them cool enough before eating so that you don’t burn your lips, tongue, or any other part of your mouth.  And I warn you, after making these, you might find that you are more popular than you want to be.  Just sayin’.

May your hot things be hot, your cold things be cold, and your cheddar be served at room temperature.

And remember this quote; “There is no success outside the home that can compensate for failure within.”

G.W.North

Lesson 52, Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone, But He Might Want To


I have written my thoughts, and appreciation for the potato-doughnut recipe in previous posts on a cooking website known as DiscussCooking.com. Last night, I was in the mood to make some bread. I have several good recipes for white, wheat, and multi-grain breads, all of which give me great results (especially since I now, usually add vital wheat gluten to the flour mixture). But instead of using one of my bread recipes, I decided to use the potato-dounut recipe, with a few tips I learned from paying attention to those who know how to bake bread. For those who don’t know, potato-doughnuts are a yeast-raised doughnut that incorporates mashed potatoes in the pastry dough.  The doughnuts are amazingly tender, and light, and absolutely scrumptious.  I’ve used the dough to make dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and scones (yeast raised frybread).  Last night, for the first time, I put the dough into loaf pans and made bread.  And what bread it is.

The resulting bread was possible the best I’ve ever made. It is airy, light, moist, with a great yeasty, mildly sweet flavor that works perfectly with savory and sweet, such as gravies, or fruit jams.

Of course when it came out of the oven, DW (that’s dear wife) and I both had a slice of warm bread with butter. It came out so good that with the first bite, my eyes rolled upward with that overwhelming sensation of something rare and wonderful. This morning, I made a piece of thick toast with it, spread on butter, then strawberry freezer jam. No eye rolls this time, as I knew what to expect. Instead, I ate it slowly, to make every bite tickle my senses as long as possible. For me at least, this was the perfect piece of toast.

Now I’m not bragging, as I certainly didn’t creat the recipe. I’ve just used it in ways unique. It was originally a yeast-raised doughnut recipe. I’ve discovered that it is much more. And so, I give it to you. This recipe will make two loaves, with enough leftover to fry up some scones. Or, you can just make three loaves. I wanted three loaves. DW wanted some scones. I made two loaves with dough left over for a scones breakfast.

Here’s the recipe, so you can enjoy this wonderful bread. I’m thinking that you could make really great English Muffins with it as well.

[B]Potato Bread:[/B]

Ingredients:

1 lb potatoes (about 3 medium russets)
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 Large eggs
1 tbs. salt
1/2 cup cooking oil
8 cups all-purpose flour

Microwave, or boil potatoes until cooked through. Peel and mash until lump free. While the spuds a cooking, Heat the milk and sugar to a temperature of 110′ F. Stir in the yeast until dissolved. Let sit until a head of froth develops on top. Beat in the eggs, salt, and cooking oil.

Add the mashed potatoes to the milk mixture and stir until all is creamy. Add the flour. Knead for ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a 110′ oven, with a pan of boiling water and let rise until doubled is size (about 20 minutes). Punch the dough down and fill buttered bread pans 2/3rds full of dough. Place the remainder of the dough in a zipper-freezer bag and place in your fridge for tomorrow’s scones.

When the dough as again doubled, remove the pans from the oven and heat the oven to 375′ F. Leave the pan of water in the oven. Place the loaf pans in, on the center shelf position, and bake for 30 minutes. When the crust is golden brown, lightly thump the bread with your knuckles. If it sounds somewhat hollow, it’s done. Remove from the oven, and let cool for ten minutes. Remove the bread from the pans and let cool before bagging them.  And there you have it, one of the best breads you’re gonna eat. Enjoy.

May your warm things be warm, your cold things be cold, and your cheddar be served at room temperature.

“No success outside the home can compensate for failure withing the home.”

From the Kitchen’s of G.W. North

G.W.’s Good Grub, Lesson 50, Umami Continued


I have for you, my friends, another soup that uses umami to add robust and exiting flavor to your cooking.  This soup is far different that the last one in that it is hearty enough to be a meal.  It’ll warm your belly on a cold day, and make you feel all cozy.  You’ll think the world has just been made a better place.

What’s that Frank?  You say you ate so much canned soup as a boy that you really don’t care for soup any more?  Well believe me, this soup is nothing like the canned varieties you ate as a child, or even what today’s canned offerings give you.  You’re going to like this soup.  In fact, if you make it, that wife of yours just might want to snuggle up on the couch with you, and watch a hockey game.  Now that takes some good soup.

Now, let’s get cooking.

Tools: 3 quart pot, sharp chef’s knife, cutting board, large cooking spoon.

Ingredeints:

On Saturday, I started thinking about what I could throw together for lunches I could just throw into the microwave at work. I thought to myself that a good soup was in order. I looked in the refrigerator for possible leftover candidates. A couple of days back, we had a cheaper cut of beef steak. As my wife won’t doesn’t care for the gristle and fat, I had cut that portion off of the steaks and placed it into the freezer for a future soup. The week before, we had pork chops, with one chop left over, clearly not enough for a meal for my wife and myself. I found some cooked green beans, and cooked cauliflower that we’d had a couple days back. I knew that I had what I needed for some great soup. Here’s what I made.
Ingredients:
1 pork chop, with the bone
¼ cup fresh cauliflower
1/4 pound chuck steak, or sirloin, cut into half-inch cubes.  Don’t discard the fat or gristle.
2 carrots peeled and sliced into thin rounds
½ cup fresh green beans
¼ cup sauteed mushrooms
1@ onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed, peeled, and chopped
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. bacon fat
3 cups water

Cut the pork from the chop and cut into half-inch cubes. Cut the beef into small pieces. Peel and slice the fresh carrot.
Melt the bacon fat in a three quart saucepan. Add the pork and beef, and fry over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and gently boil (simmer) for 30 minutes. Serve hot with buttered bread.

May your hot things be hot, you cold things be cold, and your cheddar at room temperature.