‘Snack’

Herbed Focaccia Bread

Posted: 2nd June 2013 by doomthings in Dinner, Snack, The Foodening
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Focaccia bread is delicious.  It’s great for dipping in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and cracked pepper goo.  I recently came into enormous amounts of oregano and, after finding out you can snip fresh oregano and store it in ziploc bags in the freezer for months, put it away then decided it would be awesome in bread.  The original recipe calls for rosemary, but who can resist fresh herbs?   Originally we were going to use it as appetizer dipping bread, but we liked it so much it turned into multiple sandwiches for the next few day’s lunches.  I think I made it a bit too thick, so it was fat on the outside and too think in the middle, but it still tasted delicious!

Ingredients (Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book):

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup warm milk*
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk*
  • 2 tsp salt
  • handful fresh oregano leaves
  • olive oil (for drizzling)

*Water can be substituted for the milk (as in the original recipe).  I like the slight difference in texture and taste the milk makes.

Directions:

Day 1:  Prepare the “sponge”

  1. In a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup warm milk, 1/2 cup of flour, and yeast; beat until smooth.
  2. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit overnight at room temperature.

Day 2:  Make the bread!

  1. Remove the plastic wrap from the sponge and stir in the oregano.  (Add more in small amounts until you think it “looks right”.
  2. Gradually stir in the 1 cup warm milk, salt, and enough flour to make a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining dough until a stiff dough is formed (smooth and elastic).
  4. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and place a large bow upside down over the dough.  Let sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Shape the dough into a circle (about 11 inches in diameter).  Don’t work the dough too roughly to keep any air bubbles in tact.
  7. Make 1/2-inch deep indentations every 2 inches in the shaped dough and brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired.
  8. Bake at 475 degrees F for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden on a preheated baking stone or non-preheated, greased baking sheet.


 

| a doomthings™ original |

The other day, I was supposed to make just a regular salad.  Not necessarily boring (it was going to be full of spinach and peppers and tomatoes), but just a regular salad.  Upon finding that most of our spinach was kaput, we had to get creative.  With my husband calling out suggestions from the living room, we came up with a pepper and feta salad that did not disappoint.  Also, peppers from Costco are awesome.  Buy them.  They’re cheaper (6 per pack) and fresher than getting them fresh from a grocery store.  Seriously.

Ingredients:

  • Red, orange, and yellow peppers (we had already eaten the green ones), chopped into small bits
  • Grape tomatoes, chopped into small bits
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Handful of craisins
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked pepper
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)

*You’ll notice there are no quantities for any of these ingredients.  That is the way it should be.  This is a true tossed salad.  I tossed everything together.  It’ll work out, I promise!

Directions:

  1. Combine the peppers, tomatoes, craisins, and feta cheese in the desired size bowl for your foodening.
  2. Add some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and stir until coated.  Start with small amounts and add more to taste.
  3. Add cracked pepper to taste (I like lots, so I used a lot).
  4. Actually the crushed red pepper was an accident, but a happy one.  I just added one or two shakes of this and it added a very nice amount of heat.  A couple more couldn’t hurt!
  5. Stir until combined


+ 5 random creativity

Avocado Banana Bread

Posted: 4th May 2013 by doomthings in Snack, The Foodening
Tags: , , ,

So, another banana bread post.  Yay!  I actually made this one first, but wasn’t sure I wanted to post it because it was good, but not as good as regular banana bread or the chocolate chip banana bread.  Don’t get me wrong, I still thought it was good, it was just more crumbly and more cake-like than moist bread-like.  I think this is because I swapped the butter for avocado one-to-one and avocado doesn’t melt like butter.  Another big change is that I omitted sugar entirely.  I found, in multiple places, that people had omitted sugar because they used  super-ripe bananas, which are already pretty sweet.

If I make this again, I probably add sugar.  The original recipe called for 1 cup of white sugar, but I would start with 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar (my favorite kind of sugar; I substitute this in lots of my baking because I love the molasses taste it adds).  To make the texture more moist, I would probably add another banana (the original recipe calls for 5, yes, 5!  I think that makes it way too banana-y, but it’s really your preference.).  Despite these changes, I still thought it was really yummy!  Go forth and bake!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 avocado

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, bananas, and avocado.
  3. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into a greased and floured bread pan (or any smallish pan!).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 – 60 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test*.

*Toothpick test:  Insert a wooden toothpick in the middle of the bread.  If it comes out clean, the bread is probably ready.  If it comes out with batter, keep on cookin’!


Pita Bread

Posted: 19th April 2013 by doomthings in Lunch, Snack, The Foodening
Tags: , , , ,

I love pita bread, but we never end up getting it because other breads are more cost effective.  Naturally, I tried to make my own.  And it was delicious.  Now, I should say it wasn’t a complete success.  The taste and texture were great, but they didn’t make the pocket like they were supposed to.  Not that it mattered; I eat pita bread without anything in it on a regular basis, so I basically ended up with fat little flatbreads.  YUM.  Also, it turns out using milk for bread dough tastes SO MUCH BETTER than using water.

Ingredients (adapted from Under the High Chair):

  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk, warm
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bread flour

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in milk for 5 minutes or until frothy (throw in the pinch of sugar to help activate the yeast).
  2. Add salt and 1 1/2 cups of the flour, using a dough hook to combine.
  3. Add additional flour and continue kneading with dough hook until smooth and elastic.
  4. Add more flour if necessary.
  5. Turn dough onto floured surface and divide into 8 pieces.
  6. form each piece into a ball and flatten to form 1/4-inch-thick disks.  Try to keep the thickness even.
  7. Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour or until slightly “puffed” looking.
  8. Flip dough upside down onto baking sheet and bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, or until light golden.  (The puffing happens during the first 5 minutes if you want to watch!).

These can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.  The original recipe says 2 days, but I’ve had mine for a week and they’re still good.  You can freeze them for up to 3 weeks.

Oooooh kay, as I mentioned at the start of this post, these didn’t turn out quite right.  Not that they tasted bad, i couldn’t keep from eating them.  Seriously, I think I gained poundage over the first 2 days they were sitting on my counter.  The problem is that they did not seem to have the pocket that pitas are supposed to have.  I think the problem is that I did not make the dough disks flat enough.  They were roughly 1/4-inch thick, but I think they needed to be much thinner.  Next time (which will be soon I’m sure) I’ll thin them out and update this post.  Despite that, they were awesome.  I have one left.  I’m currently planning it’s funeral.  In my belly.

TAKE 2:  I rolled them flatter and KAZAM, actual pitas!  Full of cheese and meats.  YUM.


 

I mean, most of us do at one point or another.  I kept wanting to post about the fun sandwiches I’ve made since discovering that there is more than just “meat and cheese” sandwiches, but I pretty much make a toasted sandwich every day for lunch and that’s a lot of time to take a picture of every layer.  Ugh.  I’m just that lazy.  However, there is a solution to this!  A new page!  Click on “Foodage” and you will find a page dedicated to things like sandwich recipes, where it’s much easier to list the “layers” of the sandwich and a picture wouldn’t do the taste much justice anyway.  Right now, there’s only one sandwich on there, but I expect varieties of other similar items (i.e. quesadillas, pita “sandwiches”, wraps, etc.) will appear occasionally.  They will be things that are AWESOME but that really don’t need their own post.  Keep checking back for fun and interesting ways to keep you (mostly lunch) dishes fresh and exciting!!  – 20 laziness