Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Whole Wheat-Molasses Bread

In my quest to find a recipe delicious enough to give away for Christmas food gifts, I came across this:  a dark, slightly sweet, very tasty yeast bread that's studded with caraway seeds.

Yum.  I do believe we have a winner.

The original recipe gave directions by hand, and yielded two loaves.  I cut it in half so I could use my handy dandy little bread machine.

Aren't bread machines wonderful?

7/8 c. water
1/4 c. molasses
1 T. shortening
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour (and maybe a little more)
1/8 c. packed brown sugar
1 T. caraway seed
1 1/2 t. salt
2 1/4 t. yeast (or one package)

Pop all the ingredients into machine in order listed, press the "dough" setting, and start.
Check on the dough as it starts to knead; you want to make sure it is stiff.  If it looks too wet, add more flour until it's the right consistency.
When the machine beeps, shape dough into a slightly flattened 6-inch ball and place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled (maybe an hour?).  Bake at 375 for 30 - 35 minutes, until browned and sounding kind of hollow when you tap  it.  (I took mine out at 28 minutes).  Yields one loaf.

The recipe came from this book, which used to belong to my husband's grandma.  My own grandma is the one who gave me my first bread machine.  So it seems to me this loaf is truly a family effort. 
Happy holiday baking.  Any ideas for great Christmas food gifts coming out of your kitchen?

P.S.  The lovely blogger, Bitterroot Mama, posted this review yesterday of Queen of the Castle.  Thank you, Bitterroot Mama!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Summer may officially be over, but the weather here is finally starting to feel summerish, and the garden is liking it.

I mentioned here that our most pleasant garden surprise this year was the eggplant.  Absolutely every recipe I tried with it was scrumptious. 

Who knew we even liked eggplant?

I tried another recipe today, with the last of our cute little eggplant.  It, too, was outstanding.

If you aren't sure you even like vegetables, you might want to give this one a taste.  Yowzer, it's good.

2 1/2 c. diced eggplant (leave the peels on)
3/4 c. thinly sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
3 green peppers, cored and thinly sliced
(recipe called for 3 c. zucchini, thinly sliced, but I didn't have any so omitted)
2 c. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 t. fresh basil, chopped
salt, pepper to taste
plain yogurt (optional)

Put eggplant in colander (in sink) and salt lightly.  Leave for 30 minutes to drain.
Meanwhile, in large, deep-ish non-stick skillet (one that has a lid), over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until golden.  Add peppers, zucchini if you're using it (I didn't), and tomatoes.  Add drained eggplant and basil and simmer, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes.  Uncover and cook 15 minutes more to reduce liquid.  Add salt & pepper to taste; serve warm or cold with a dollop of plain yogurt, if desired.

The recipe claims this serves eight, but it really serves two.  Insert smiley face here.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Fudgy No-bake Drop Cookies

If you need a quick chocolate fix, here's a great recipe that stirs up in no time.  You dump most of the ingredients in a bowl, microwave for three minutes, add the last couple ingredients, then plop onto a greased cookie sheet and pop in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Voila.  Done.
You may want to use oven mitts as you take the bowl out of the microwave.  And next time I'll grease my cookie sheet a little better, or even use parchment paper, so the tasty little morsels will slide off the pan more easily.
Also, I cut this recipe in half to get the amount shown here. 
Because we all know that if cookies are just sitting on the counter, they are asking for it. 
Go visit Sandra at Keeping it Simple to get the recipe.
Now I have a question for you.  On a completely unrelated chocolate note,
How the heck do you get chocolate curls, not chocolate dust?  Any secrets?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Chocolate Chip Bread

While I could have posted aboutthese vegetables that I made today, which were good, honesty prevails upon me to admit that the chocolate chip bread, visible here thanks only to a cookbook photo seeing as we descended upon and devoured the actual product like a pack of famished wolves before a true-life photo could be taken, was better.
What can I say?  We like our treats around here.
The recipe came from this book, because I think it is entirely appropriate to start baking Christmas-y items once October rolls around.  I use my bread machine, so I'll alter the directions to reflect that.
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. butter
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar
3 - 3 1/2 c. flour
3 T. cocoa
3/4 t. salt
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
1 package (about 2 1/4 t.) yeast
Place these ten ingredients in bread machine in order listed.  Make sure machine is on "dough" setting and press button to start :)  Once it starts mixing, check to see if it looks like the amount of flour you've added is enough.
When the dough is done, remove from pan and roll out with floured rolling pin on floured surface to an 18- x 10-inch rectangle.  Sprinkle with about 3/4 c. chocolate chips (the recipe in the book called for 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chunks, but I had chips, not chunks, so that's what I used; I also decided 1/2 c. did not look like nearly enough -- a good decision).  Press chips lightly into dough, then roll up starting from shorter side.  Fold ends under and place, seam side down, in greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.  Cover, let rise in warm place for about an hour, until doubled.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.  Remove from pan immediately.  When cooled, drizzle over this glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla
Mix all glaze ingredients together.
NOTE:  My loaf rose quite a bit while baking, so make sure you bake on a rack toward the bottom of the oven to give it plenty of room. 
So what's your favorite thing to bake this time of year?

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Book Winners

Big congratulations to Confessions of a Closet Hoarder, Meg at Little Bit of Life blog, and Barbara at candy di ricette barbare blog  for winning the Goosberry Patch books.  May you have many happy hours of pumpkin and apple baking.  And thanks so much, everyone, for entering.