Saturday, November 20, 2010

Look Who's Back!

After a two month hiatus to work on a few things out of the kitchen, I'm back for a little food blogging while I make some decisions about what the next stage of my life is going to be and where I'm going to be living for that stage.

A few things I've decided like where I want to be living: the Carolinas or southern Virginia. A few things I haven't but I'm working on those and hope to have that figured out by late winter or early spring. So, next year at this time, I'm hoping to be out of New England and happily living someplace where it doesn't snow that often and I can play golf year round.

For the past eight weeks I've been dedicating almost all my free time to improving my golf game. It has been break from blogging I needed and good way to re-center my life around an active and healthier lifestyle.

During my time away from blogging, I hired a fitness coach, swing coach and a nutritionist. I began a regime with a workout in the morning and evening while watching what I ate (cutting out white flour, sugar, etc. which made baking bread a very hard thing to do). I would go to work, go to the driving range and the golf course, and then come home and fall into bed exhausted. The work has paid off, not only am I almost thirty pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of September but I've got a pretty mean golf game these days.

So, now that the cold weather is setting in and besides doing drills on the golf simulator and working with my coaches inside, my time on the course is going to be very limited, I've decided it is time to see if I can find a way to slowly bring back into my life my love of bread making and not lose the good work I've done. The office and my neighbors is going to love me because nothing I'm baking is staying in the house. I'm giving it all away.

Now this doesn't mean that I'm going to be updating every week but what it does mean that I am back in a place in my life where finding a balance and being in the kitchen amongst the baking pans and flour is as much of a place of peace and comfort as standing on the tee box and smacking a 3 wood 180 yards down the center of a fairway.

It also means that I'm going to try and find a way to participate a bit more with my sisters, The Bread Baking Babes who this month made the most stunning bread I think we've made, cornucopias.

One of the bread baking items I did purchase while I was away was a Pullman Loaf Pan.

Pullman Loaf Pan

I have been wanting one of these forever because who can resist the perfectly square loaf of soft sandwich bread you bake in these.

Perfect Sandwich Bread

This bread went right into the office with the exception of two slices I used to make a turkey sandwich for lunch.

Right now, I'm working on some very zingy sourdough bread from my favorite starter, Groucho. Since I haven't been baking much Groucho was pretty dormant.

Groucho, My Best Sourdough Starter  Before Revive

To revive him, I started a few days ago by taking half of the dormant starter

Groucho Revive Step 1

Adding one half cup of luke warm (about 75 degrees)

Groucho Revive Step 2

and stirring in one half cup of flour

Groucho Revive Step 3

About forty minutes later, I had some bubbles.

Groucho Revive Step 4

I repeated this for three days and this morning, Groucho was bubbly and happy. Tomorrow, I'll be baking a boule for the office.

The office is really glad I'm back in the kitchen because they have been missing things like this Triple Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake on Gingersnap Crust I took in to work at the end of the week.

Triple Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

LB is pretty happy I'm spending more time at home too. So much so, when I'm sitting on the couch working on my laptop or watching some golf on TV, he immediately hops up and assumes his favorite napping position.

LBs Big Fat Feet

Have you ever seen such big feet on a cat?!

Triple Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake on Gingersnap Crust

1 2/3 C Gingersnaps, crushed
1/3 C Vanilla Wafer Cookies, crushed
1/2 C Confectioners Sugar
1/3 + 2 Tbsp Butter, melted

3 8oz packages Cream Cheese, softened
1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2/3 C Dark Chocolate (66% or darker), broken into small pieces (or in chips)
2/3 C Milk Chocolate, broken into small pieces (or in chips)
2/3 C White Chocolate, broken into small pieces (or in chips)
4 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Semi Sweet Chocolate, broken into tiny pieces (or in mini chips)

To Make Crust:
Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and moisten with melted butter. Press crust into prepared 9" spring form pan. Make bottom crust about 1/4" thick and press any excess crust evenly up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

To Make Cheesecake Batter:

Using 1/8 cup of cocoa powder coat semi sweet chips and set aside.

In large bowl using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in sweetened condensed milk and continue beating until smooth.

Melt dark, milk, and white chocolate in a double boiler until completely smooth. Stir into cream cheese mixture. Add eggs in, one at time and combine until smooth. Stir in vanilla and semi sweet chocolate until combined.

Pour into spring form pan over the crust and gently shake pan to remove any bubbles.

Place spring form pan on a baking sheet with edges to prevent butter from the crust leaking out in the oven and bake cheesecake for 60 minutes at 300 degrees until firm in the center.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before gently loosening the outer ring of the spring form pan. If necessary, run a knife under hot water and run along side of outer ring to loosen cheesecake from outer ring.

Let cheesecake cool completely or overnight in the refrigerator.

To serve, shave dark, milk, and white chocolate over top.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

WCB: A Fond Farewell For A Few

We're hosting Weekend Cat Blogging this weekend and it is a bit of sadness that Mom is letting me announce that this will be the last time that we host WCB for this year.


You see, Mom is getting ready to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future to pursue an outside venture that doesn't involve food. Don't worry, Mom is really excited and once she is in a place where she can tell you what she is going to be doing, I'm sure she'll be back at The Sour Dough to explain and share her news.

Since I only get to use the computer when she is using the computer, it will be really hard for me to host as Mom isn't going to spend much time on the computer.

Don't worry, our really good friends Othello, Salome and Kashim have offered to take our slots for the rest of the year.

In the mean time, since this is our last hosting, we want to thank all the kitties over the years we've been hosting for all the purrs and friendship.

If you want to join us with this lovely early fall weekend and show us what you've been up to the past week. Leave us a comment and check back on Sunday to see all the kitties in comments.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bread Baking Babes: Exploring the Portuguese Sweet Side

When Tanna first emailed me with a question about her bread for this month, Sweet Portuguese Bread

BBB logo august 2010

I almost peed my pants with excitement! You see, next to dark rye bread, Anadama bread and the perfect French baguette, there is no other bread in this world I love more than Sweet Portuguese Bread.

You see, I have had an almost 45 year love affair with Sweet Portuguese Bread ever since the first time my Auntie Nora took me to one of the many Portuguese bakeries Fall River, MA to help pick up the rolls for weekends at the summer house on Long Lake.

I remember walking into the bakery with the windows all steamed up from the summer heat, standing in line with all the other ladies from New Bedford, Fall River, Tiverton, and the surrounding communities waiting for our turn, the sweet lady behind the counter who would always give me a roll or cookie to "munch on" while I waited for my Aunt to have her rolls and desserts wrapped. I would then sit in the front seat all the way back to the summer house with a big box of still warm buns in my lap. Those buns were so yellow from the eggs and soft, shiny and melt in your mouth good.

We would have those rolls with fresh chunks of lobster in a light mixture of mayonnaise and lemon juice while sitting out on the back deck watching the sun go down over the lake and further out the distance the Atlantic Ocean.

The recipe that Tanna had us follow was an almost perfect match for those sweet rolls I remember from my childhood summers. The rolls I made from the dough (sorry Tanna, I wanted to be 10 again) were sweet without being over sweet like so many recipes for Sweet Portuguese Bread I've tried in the past. They were soft inside with a firm, slightly chewy crust that was dark brown, leading to a nice contrast to the yellowish insides.

I also strayed from the recipe by not marking the tops of my buns or long rolls like Tanna's recipe, again wanting to recreate the rolls of my childhood. Because you see, I had a special plan for my rolls of Sweet Portuguese Bread. I wanted lobster rolls.

There is a lobster pound down the street from my apartment where the lobster boats from Long Island Sound come in and off load their catch for the area restaurants.

lobster boats

This morning, on my way to my coffee shop, I stopped by and spoke with one of the guys on the boat about buying a lobster from them. He said to come back at 3pm when they were back and the restaurants had picked up their catch and if there was an orphan or "damaged" lobster, it was mine.

At 3:35pm this after a 1 1/2lb lobster found its way into my kitchen and into my steaming pot and about 12 minutes later I had a lovely pile of lobster meat.


While the lobster was cooling, I formed four round rolls and four long rolls from the dough that had been rising all afternoon and put them in my oven/proofing chamber for their final rise. After the rolls had baked and cooled,

portugese sweet bread

I pulled the lobster meat from the fridge, dressed it with a tablespoon of mayonnaise and squeeze of lemon.

I piled the lobster meat onto a sliced round roll, put a handful of Herr's Creamy Dill potato chips on the plate

lobster roll on sweet portuguese bun

and sat down to watch the final few holes of the 2010 PGA Championship. I could almost see the back deck of my Auntie Nora's when I bit into the lobster roll...

If you want to see what my fellow Babes did with their Sweet Portuguese Bread go visit the blogs over there on my side bar. You'll notice a few new names there too! Last month we welcomed four new Babes, Astrid, Elizabeth, Elle, and Susan to our ranks to help keep our group lively. You'll also notice that a few of us are on hiatus: Gretchen, Katie, and Monique. They will still join us from time to time to bake when their hectic lives allow. I'm trying to be a better Babe and bake more often as my crazy schedule allows as well.

If you want to be a Bread Baking Buddy, you can bake this fantastic tasting bread, post about it by August 29, and email Tanna, our Kitchen of the Month with a link to your post. She'll email you a nifty badge for your blog and include you in her round up.

Sweet Portuguese Bread
Note: Requires an overnight sponge

Over night SPONGE
72 grams bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons osmotolerant yeast (instant worked just as well too)
114 milliliters potato water, or whey or water (potato water or whey really make it extra tender & soft)

6 tablespoons butter, room temp.
30 to100 grams brown sugar
lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temp.
120 milliliters milk, room temp.
460 grams bread flour, I make approximately1 cup of the 460g whole wheat, you can use all bread flour if you like
2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground

Mix together the sponge the night before baking the bread. Leave sitting at room temp 8 to 12 hours.

Beat sugar and butter until creamy.
Add zest and salt and beat.
Beat in each egg separately and completely; mix will appear curdled.
Stir in milk and sponge.
Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour and beat vigorously (in a stand mixer it would clear the sides of the bowl, by hand lifting the spoon up should stretch the dough about a foot.)
Add remaining flour to make stiff dough. Knead 5 minutes or more to incorporate all the flour:
Dough should be smooth, soft and very supple with a slight stickiness. Looks a little like very thick cake batter or a brioche dough.
Shape into ball, oil bowl and dough ball.
Cover and allow to rise about 2 hours, should almost or triple in size.
Divide into loaves, shaped into balls.
Allow to rest 20 to 30 minutes before final shaping with rolling pin.
See photos for shaping.

For best demarcation of indents be careful to dust dough ball well with flour.

Shape and place into well oiled cake pans seam side down.
Allow to rise an hour to 2 hours; more than double in size.

Brush with egg wash if you want that beautiful glossy finish.

Bake 350°
50 minutes as two loaves
35 minutes as four loaves
mine took less

Brush with melted butter when hot from the oven.

Recipe a combination of recipes found in Tanna's books:
Advanced Bread & Pastry: A Professional Approach by Michel Suas pg 237
The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger pg 368
A Baker's Odyssey by Gregg Patent pg 221
The Bread Book by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake pg 136
The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart pg 215

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WCB: Lazy Saturday Morning on the Porch

Guess What! We're hosting Weekend Cat Blogging this weekend and we even remembered we were hosting!! (Thanks Astrid and the kitties for a reminder!)

I know, there was a bit of a snafu last month but don't blame me. Blame Mom. It's her fault.

cranky lb

Stupid work had her so crazy busy last month that besides one post about meatballs that I didn't even get to help with because Mom doesn't let me eat meatballs

(well, she doesn't think she lets me eat meatballs but I snuck one off her plate).

But this month, Mom hasn't been so crazy at work and she has even been home for most of it so far. Which means she has been able to not only spend lots of quality time with me but also spend some time in the kitchen baking.

She baked some cinnamon rolls for a friend at work who was leaving to go to a new job

Cain Cin Rolls

and she baked some cookies, double chocolate mocha fudge drops and her Arnold Palmer shortbread,

Caddy Cookies

for a friend who is a caddy on the PGA Tour.

Because Mom hasn't been working so much this month, she has gotten to spend more time on the golf course too! Which makes both Mom and me very happy because she isn't cranky.

Mom is going on a special golf trip next month with her friends from The Hackers Paradise at the PGA National Resort. She says there is a really tough golf course there that the PGA pros play a tournament on and that has three really scary holes called "The Bear Trap". So she has been practicing really hard.

Mom is always telling me it isn't just how you golf but also how you look when you golf so got this really pretty hat from The Hackers Paradise

HackersParadise Hat

to match her golf bag

hat golf bag

She is golfing this afternoon with her upstairs neighbor and said she was going to show off her new hat. The weather is perfectly sunny and nice. Tomorrow she told me she was going to golf early in the morning and then spend the afternoon baking and catching up on laundry.

But morning Mom is sitting out on the back porch reading and working on a few recipes. She is also doing laundry which means I get nap in my favorite place

LB in Laundry Basket

The laundry basket full of warm clothes!

If you would like to join us this for Weekend Cat Blogging and show us what you are up to or where you are napping or what food you are stealing from your Mom and/or Dad's plates, leave a link in the comments. And, don't forget to check back on Sunday evening and read the comments from all the kitties!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging: Meatballs and Golf Balls

First, I'm so sorry I had to miss last weekend's host duties. I was asleep for most of the weekend on the pile of pillows and quilts Mom left on the floor

LB on a pile of bedding

and Mom had to work all weekend on a stupid project. She worked 36 hours last weekend and by the time she got home on Sunday night she was really, really grumpy. So thanks to Othello, Kashim, and Salome for stepping in doing an emergency hosting!

They are hosting a special Weekend Cat Blogging this weekend in memory of Sher. Sher was very good friend of us here at the Sour Dough, a regular host of Weekend Cat Blogging, and one of the original Bread Baking Babes with Mom. (Did you know that one of the newest Babes is Othello, Kashim, and Salome's momma Astrid?)

Mom has many recipes that she uses in her kitchen from Sher but the one recipe she uses almost every month is her recipe for meatballs. Mom has been cleaning out her freezer and found a package of lamb from a local farm. Mom has also been craving a meatball sub like she used to get this little hole in the wall diner in Watertown, MA.

So, last night, she made lamb meatballs using the seasoning from Sher's recipe

Lamb Meatballs

and using a sub roll from the bakery down the street, made this wonderful looking meatball sub sandwich.

Lamb Meatball Sandwich

Speaking of balls, but not meatballs, Mom has been so busy at work she hasn't been on a golf course or a driving range in over 14 days. The last time she golfed was July 5th!! She's going to try and get on the course later this weekend but since it is also the weekend of the British Open or as it is called in the UK, The Open, she may not make it off the couch.

Of course, she cursed her favorite golfer by picking him to win in one of her golf pools and he had a horrible day yesterday and missed the cut. Mom really should know she is a jinx.

If you would like to join our hosts Othello, Kashim, and Salome this weekend in memory of Sher go visit their blog and leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Babes Getting Korni

I'd love to tell you that I baked this month. I'd love to tell you how fabulous this bread tasted and looked and smell. I'd love to tell you all about it but...

If the fact I'm typing this post about the bread I'd love to tell you about from my iphone in the Crown Room at Atlanta's airport in Terminal C waiting to board my third airplane in as many days says anything about how my month has been.

hen you'll understand I can't tell you anything about this month's bread other than it looks really interesting and my fellow Babes are reporting it has a hearty and delicious crunch and you should definitely try it as Buddy! To see the recipe and how to become a Buddy, go visit our host kitchen Lien of Notitie van Lien.

Then go see the other Babes on the sidebar and read about this bread. And maybe next month, I'll actually get a chance to set up shop in my own house...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging Flashback for Our Fifth!

Mom's been traveling again the past ten days. She was in Charlotte, NC; Houston, TX; and Las Vegas!

While she was away, she had a birthday too!! Her friends in Vegas took her out and let her have lots of fun.

Vegas Strip

She said she wasn't feeling very well though after her night out on the town.

Anyways, Mom is still recovering from her birthday bash in Vegas. So, she is having me post a Weekend Cat Blogging Flashback picture with presents since we are hosting this weekend and Weekend Cat Blogging is celebrating our 5th Birthday!

Kat present

If you want to join the Weekend Cat Blogging Birthday Bash, leave us a link and come back on Sunday to see how we all celebrated Weekend Cat Blogging's Birthday!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bread Baking Babes: Twofer Breads from a Bad Babe

I've been a Bad Babe the past few months.

Between traveling over hill and dale for my crazy work schedule and well, being distracted trying to earn an exemption into the LPGA (yea, right..) I have to truthful and tell you that baking bread hasn't exactly been at the top of my list lately.

It isn't that the breads the Babes have been baking aren't interesting and when I see the recipes posted in our secret clubhouse, I get all excited. BUT, by the time I find a few minutes to actually sit down and bake, I'm out of time before we are suppose to post. SO, I promise the gals that I will be a "buddy" that month. And you know what happens right? Yup, before I know it I've missed that posting date too! BAD BABE!!!

Anyways, last month my very good friend, twin sister and mother of just about the cutest little boy you have ever laid eyes on, Sara at I Like To Cook was our host kitchen and she gave us one of the best breads we've ever done, Potato Bread with Chives.

BBB logo april 2010

Now, I have to admit when I first read this recipe I thought to myself how can anything "vegan" be really that good. After all, I'm not a huge fan of soy milk but this bread is F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C.

Sara gave us the option to shape the bread any way we wanted and I opted to make little knots.

april BBB Bread: Potato Bread with Chives

I also added a bit of garlic to the dough to go with the chives and coated the knots with garlic butter when they came out of the oven. They were a HUGE hit when I took them to my watering hole. I love this bread so much, I actually keep single servings of soy milk on hand now so I can make it when ever I want to!

This month, Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies is our host kitchen and she has picked a humdinger of a bread for us this month: Tunisian Spicy Bread.

BBB logo May 2010

These are like empanadas but with those fantastic middle eastern spices and heat, Heat, HEAT baby!!

May BBB Bread: Tunisian Spicy bread

The dough is made from Semolina flour and is rich and eggy and frankly, really not my favorite dough we've made. But that is OK because it is the filling (chakchouka) that is the star of this bread.

A filling made of tomatoes, onions, peppers with chilies, cayenne pepper and harissa, it pushes the bread, which is a bit bland in taste to the background. Which, in my opinon is A-OK. I love the filling so much, I'm glad I made a big batch. I've been dipping corn chips, the leftover frozen Naan that was our January bread this year, carrots and anything I can think of into it.

If you want to be a Bread Baking Buddy this month for the Tunisian Spicy Bread visit Natashya's blog for details. You have until May 24th to get her your post about your experience with the Tunisian Spice Bread and don't worry about the spicy part, she let's adjust the heat to taste.

Unfortunately, you can't be a buddy for Sara's bread because the deadline has passed but you should really give the bread a try. I even use the dough for pizza dough! It's that good.

And don't forget to visit the rest of the Babes listed over there on my sidebar to see how they shaped their Potato Bread with Chives and how spicy they like things with the Tunisian Spicy Bread.

May 2010 Bread Baking Babes Bread Recipe:

Tunisian Spicy Breads
from Savory Baking from the Mediterranean by Anissa Helou

These are a Tunisian spin on r'ghayefs. Here the dough is made entirely with semolina flour and enriched with oil and egg, and the filling is enclosed between two circles of dough. The breads are usually pan-fried, but I prefer to bake them. Although the amount of harissa and cayenne pepper in the filling may seem excessive, the heat of the spices is tempered by the bread casing. The filling, which is called chakchouka, may also be served on its own as a salad or a dip. Harissa*, made by grinding chili peppers, garlic, and caraway seeds, is widely available in Middle Eastern markets and in some supermarkets.

*or feel free to make your own harissa! There are plenty of recipes online.

Makes 20-22 small breads


For the dough
3 1/3 tsp (1 1/2 pkg) (16.5 ml) active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups (828 ml) fine semolina or semolina flour
1 1/2 (7.5 ml) tsp fine kosher salt or sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the breads
1 whole egg
All purpose flour for kneading and shaping

For the filling
3 Tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 heaping cup) (250+ ml)
1 medium bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) (178 ml approx)
2 small chili peppers, such as serranos, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) harissa
1/2 (2.5 ml) teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fine kosher salt or sea salt


1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water and stir until creamy.

2. Combine the semolina and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the 1 1/2 Tbsps (22 ml) olive oil and the egg to the well. Gradually add the yeast and 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsps (188 ml total) warm water, bringing in the semolina as you go along. Knead until you have a rough ball of dough.

3. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 3 minutes. Invert the bowl over the dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead for about 2 to 3 minutes more. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest while the filling is prepared.

4. Make the filling: Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until golden. Add the tomatoes, chopped peppers, harissa, and cayenne. Season with salt to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is soft and the sauce is very thick. Remove from the heat and set aside.

5. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Place on a lightly floured work surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Roll out one ball of dough until it is 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) thick. Using a 3 1/2 inch (8.9 cm approx) pastry cutter, cut out as many circles of dough as possible and set aside. Briefly knead the extra dough together, and place under the plastic wrap, next to the other ball of dough. Turn the circles over and place 1 tsp (5 ml) of filling in the middle of half of the circles. Cover with the remaining plain circles and press on the edges to seal. Flatten the breads slightly by hand and pinch the edges to flatten further and seal well. Brush with olive oil on both sides and transfer to a non-stick baking sheet, or to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone pastry mat. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. continue making the breads until the dough, including the scraps, is used up.

7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly crisp and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Note: To pan-fry the breads, heat a little oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place as many breads as will fit in the pan, brush the tops with olive oil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden on the bottom, pressing on the breads if they puff up. Turn the breads over, brush the cooked bottoms with oil, and cook for 3 minutes more, or until golden all over. Serve immediately.

April 2010 Bread Baking Babes Bread Recipe:

Potato Bread with Chives
from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

"The addition of mashed potatos gives this bread a moist, dense texture and delicate flavor that is accented by that of the chives. This bread is best eaten slightly warm from the oven on the day it is made. It is also good toasted."

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or pure maple syrup
2 Tb corn oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup cold mashed potatos
1 cup soy milk or other dairy free milk
5 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 Tb minced fresh chives

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of water, the corn oil and the salt. Mix in the potatos, then stir in the soy milk. Add about half the flour, stirring to combine, then work in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Transfer to a lightly floured board.

Lightly flour your hands and work surface. Knead the dough well until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes, using more flour as necessary so the dough does not stick. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl and turn over once to coat with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside. Punch the dough down and knead lightly. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with the chives, and knead until the dough is elastic and the chives are well distributed, 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into one large or two small round loaves and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly and cover with a clean damp towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400'F. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf or loaves. Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes, depending on size. Tap on the bottom of the loaf or loaves - if they sound hollow, the bread is done. Remove from the sheet and let cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

WCB: Mom No Longer Lives Here

Seems like the only time there are every any words or action here is when I take charge.

LB on my clothes

Mom has all but abandoned this blog. It isn't because Mom doesn't like cooking or baking anymore. Or that Mom doesn't think about her friends in both the food and cat blogging world. It is just that Mom is so busy these days.

You see, Mom's job has her traveling all over. She says it is because the economy is getting better and that is good because it means that there will be more money to buy me all the kitty treats I like but that I had to give up when we economized. Plus all these projects she had last year that go put on hold have all have started up again at the same time and her clients think that just because they put the project on hold Mom kept working on them so she should be able to deliver their sound system designs on the same time schedule as the original schedule. She laughs when they say that.

Anyways, last week Mom was traveling to Charlotte, NC because the NASCAR Hall of Fame opened and she did the audio and video systems for the museum.

Video Cube Wall at Nascar Hall of Fame

It was a really cool project and Mom even got a chance to drive a race car simulator. She didn't do so good though except for crashing the car really spectacularly. When she stepped out of the simulator she said people started clapping because they show the crashes on a big video screen outside and her crashes were so good. That's my Mom!!

When Mom got home on Thursday, I was so happy to see her that when she sat down on the couch to find a recipe to make some pizza dough, I had to sit on her cookbooks.

LB on Cookbooks

But Mom found a great pizza dough recipe she had never tried before anyways and made this really great looking pizza.

Three Cheese Pizza for WCB

I didn't try any of it because she doesn't like anchovies and didn't put any turkey pepperoni on it for me.

We're hosting Weekend Cat Blogging this weekend and we would love to see what the other kitties are doing. So, leave us a comment with your link and check back at the end of the weekend to read the comments!

Now if you will excuse me, I have some window sitting to do and Mom has a golf game (of course!).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Weekend Cat Blogging: Laundry Day

Once again, Mom is on the road for an extended business trip. She's been gone for almost two weeks today and I sure miss her.

LB on Suitcase

And just to make sure she had a little bit of me with her while she's gone I slept in the laundry basket of warm fresh from the dryer clothes she was getting ready to pack.

LB in Laundry Basket

I'll just bet Mom sure is happy to have cat hair all over her business clothes!

We're co-hosting Weekend Cat Blogging along with our friends Othello and Salome, who are so excited to be hosting again that they posted a whole week early!! So, go leave a comment there too because between them and us, we'll sure have a party!

And check back here on Sunday or over there to see what all the kitties were up to.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brave Bread Baking Buddies for Gluten Free Bread

Wow! We only had a few adventurous buddies this month who wanted to take on the No Knead Gluten Free Hearty Seeded Sandwich Loaf:

Rita of Soepkipje had an interesting ride to say the least using gluten free flours she had on hand. Don't worry Rita! Sometime you win and sometimes you don't.

Andrea at Food and Family had an easier time because she had all the flours on hand but didn't really care for the loaf either.

Nicole from Bread, Butter and Buns has new found respect for those who have to bake without gluten after her attempt.

Oh well, I'm glad that a few people tried to step out of their comfort zone and tried something new. After all, sometimes we won't know if we don't like something unless we try it.

Thanks to all the buddies who joined us this month!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bread Baking Babes: Gluten? We Don't Knead No Stinkin' Gluten

Once again it is my turn to be host kitchen for the Bread Baking Babes and as usual, I wanted us to do something different.

I've made the Babes start sourdough starters from scratch for my Dark Onion Rye and then I made them not only make Injera but I made them make a whole Ethiopian meal to go with their injera.

Well, after this month, I'm pretty sure the girls are going to take my hosting duties away from me because I not only made them once again go scurrying around trying to find strange flours BUT I made them make a bread that didn't need to be kneaded when I chose a gluten free no knead sandwich bread from Nancy Baggett's Kneadlessly Simple for our bread of the month.

BBB logo march 2010

I've made no knead breads before and gluten free breads before but I have never tried to do both at the same time. Since I have really enjoyed the other recipes from Nancy's fine book I wasn't worried about the recipe (and this one didn't disappoint me). This will be the Bread Baking Babes first no knead bread and our first gluten free bread of the month. Hopefully, it won't our last of either.

The thing I was most worried about was some of our gang in Europe easily finding the flours. There were a few folks who had some trouble, but based upon the usual flurry of flour discussions on our super secret blog, I think most everyone had success.

The bread has a nice crust, good crumb and other than being a bit dense (common for gluten free breads) was pretty tasty. I'm not sure I would want to live on a diet of this bread but I really enjoyed it toasted spread with almond butter or Nutella.

If you want to join us this month as a Bread Baking Buddy, we're giving you a little extra time than the normal one week after our posting to give you some time find the gluten free flours. You have until March 31 to make the No Knead Hearty Seeded Sandwich Bread, post about it on your blog and email me a link to your post. I'll email you a badge for your blog and post a round up off all your wonderful loaves on April 1.

I hope you will find this bread as much fun and tasty as I did. To see how the other Babes did with this month's bread, go check out their blogs from the links on my sidebar.

Oh, and don't freak out Susan but I'm actually going to participate in Yeast Spotting this week too! I just may be getting back into the swing of this whole blogging thing again...

A special thanks to Nancy Baggett for allowing me to post her recipe in full on the blog. If you want to try no knead bread for the first time, I can't recommend a better or easier book to use.

So, without further adieu, here is the recipe.

Gluten Free No Knead Hearty Seeded Sandwich Bread
from Nancy Baggett's "Kneadlessly Simple"

1 2/3 cup white rice flour, divided (may need more depending on your dough)
1/2 cup cornmeal or brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup flax seed or golden flax seed meal
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/3 cup ice water
1/3 cup corn or canola oil
1/4 cup molasses (not black strap)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup plain yogurt, drained of excess liquid
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tablespoon of mixed seeds (millet, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, etc)

First Rise:
In large bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups of white rice flour, cornmeal or brown rice flour, tapioca flour, flax seed meal, salt, yeast, and 2 Tbsp seed mixture. In another bowl, whisk together water, oil, molasses and mix thoroughly with flour mixture.

nkheartyseeded making dough

If too stiff to blend, add more water to form a barely firm dough. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. For best flavor, refrigerate dough for 3 - 10 hrs then let stand at cool room temperature for 12 - 18hrs.

nkheartyseeded 1st rise

Dough will stiffen as it stands and it is alright if it doesn't rise very much.

Second Rise:
Whisk egg and set aside 1 Tbsp to brush top of loaf. Stir the yogurt, baking powder, and 1/3 cup white rice flour into the remaining egg. Vigorously stir the yogurt mixture into the First Rise dough until completely mixed.

nkheartyseeded final dough

If it is too soft, you can add more of the rice flour (white or brown, doesn't matter which). Turn dough into a well greased 9" x 5" loaf pan and brush a little oil on top of loaf.


Brush the reserved egg and seeds over the surface. Using a well oiled serrated knife, make a 1/2" deep cut lengthwise down the loaf. Cover the pan with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.

Let dough stand for 2 1/2 - 4 hrs in a warm room until dough extends 1/8" above the pan rim.


Loosen plastic wrap as dough nears top of pan to prevent dough from smooshing down.

15 minutes before baking, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake bread on the lower rack for 55-60 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. If the top starts to over brown, cover with a piece of foil. Continue baking until a skewer inserted comes out with few crumbs or the internal temperature of the bread reaches 206-208 degrees. Bake for 5 minutes more. Remove bread from oven, and leaving bread in pan, let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan


and let cool completely before slicing.