Sunday, September 23, 2007

Basil Olive Whole Wheat

The Basil Olive Whole Wheat loaf, with San Francisco Sourdough starter

the crumb of a smaller loaf

the dough, after overnight rise in the refrigerator

and formed into the loaf

the loaf, risen

and the ingredients:

Whole Wheat Basil Olive

King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
Amish Cornmeal
Quinoa Flour
Oat Flour
Ground Flax seed
Hemp seed
Org. Barley Malt
Org. Canola Oil
Kosher salt
Chopped fresh basil
Chopped green olives w/garlic

Mixed 9/21/07
Baked 9/23/07

Friday, September 21, 2007

not bread, but other good stuff--

Starting bread, which will get baked in the next day or so; in the meantime:

A bread recipe from last year:

Multi Grain

King Arthur Rye Blend
KA Whole Wheat
Org. Rye
Millet flour
Org. unbleached white
Org. corn meal
Ground flax seed
Mashed sweet potato
Org. Milk
Potato water
Sea salt
Org. barley malt
Org. canola oil
Org. gluten

while the poolish is slowly rising in the refrigerator, some images from recent meals. First, black rice cakes topped with oyster mushrooms, inspired by a dish we had a couple of weeks ago at Eric Tucker's Millenium restaurant in San Francisco--couldn't begin to match his tamarind sauce

and here's the pizza we had tonight; a pesto laced crust, topped with Japanese eggplant rounds, onions, garlic and garlic stuffed olives, Ann's own tomato sauce, and other goodies---

and some spicy tofu dishes from Chi Thai, a restaurant from the east side of Columbus; great and fiery spices--

Friday, September 14, 2007

San Francisco Sourdough

A year or so after buying the San Francisco starter from Ed Wood at Sourdough International (, finally got around to activating it and making bread! Took three days to activate, following Wood's directions; made two sets: baguettes, and a no-knead loaf (again following his directions). Photos of the results below. Terrific San Francisco taste--and having just been in San Francisco last week, and had the real thing, this is either identical or so close that our jaded tastebuds can't tell the difference!

dough formed

no-knead loaf shaped and in the cast iron pot

the loaves baked; should have let them brown a few more minutes, although the look is purely cosmetic--taste still good!

no-knead baked; should have let it rise more, but it was 1:00 a.m., and I wanted to get some sleep--

no-knead crumb

and the crumb of the baguettes, resting on the other loaf

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Whole Spelt Bread

Mixed and baked today.

Whole Spelt Loaf

4 cups organic whole spelt flour
1 cup Amish cornmeal
1 cup organic teff flour
1 cup quinoa flour
½ cup oat flour
½ cup ground flax seed
1 Tablespoon organic barley malt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 oz Saranac Pilsner Ale
KA “New England” sourdough starter

Kneaded, shaped into two loaves after first rise; topped with seeds; baked in 425F oven 14 minutes, then lowered to 375F until done, additional 35-40 minutes. Not much of a rise once shaped, but good crumb and taste.

and as a bonus: a salad Ann put together for supper; red peppers, yellow peppers, carrots, beets, and kolrabi disks.

With a vinegrette and herbs, a welcome addition to a modest supper after a long day of baking/gardening/yard care/recuperating from much air travel.

Monday, September 3, 2007

No Knead Bread I

Finally had the opportunity (and time) to try to much-discussed no-knead bread, published in November, 2006, in the New York Times by Mark Bittman, adapted from Jim Lahey's method at the Sullivan Street Bakery. Followed the recipe from the Times closely in terms of technique and timing (full 18 hours slow first rise), although I did substitute a half cup of whole wheat flour for part of the white flour. And had to use Gold Medal all purpose flour, since that's what's available here in Japan--no high gluten or boosts of any sort.

Dough performed as predicted. Rose slowly, bubbles formed on surface on schedule. Preheated oven, with a soaked Roemertopf clay baker, into which I plopped the loose dough.

Finished loaf was indeed crusty, and delicious. Once we get home, I plan to try the King Arthur variation. But Lahey's loaf fulfilled all expectations.

I still expect to knead loaves in future, however, except for the occasional no-knead loaf. Too many therapeutic benefits!

good texture!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Misawa Stir Fry

Cooked stir-fry for daughter and son-in-law in their kitchen on the Misawa Air Force Base in northern Japan. Had to improvise a lot, although with the base commissary, American products are available. No wok, no peanut oil, etc. But this is what we wound up with:

1 large white onion, chopped
4 gloves of garlic, chopped
2 10 oz. packages baked tofu, cubed
1/2 large carrot, chopped
1 small summer squash, chopped
1/2 small eggplant, chopped
1/2 can water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 can bamboo shoots
3 handfuls spinach, chopped
6 button mushrooms, chopped
3 oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons capers
small dried red pepper, to taste

stir fry in canola/olive oil mixture, adding each ingredient in order

add sauce made of 1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 2 cups of water; cook over low heat about five minutes. Add additional water as needed, and dissolve half of one packet S&H Golden Curry (hot). Simmer an additional five minutes. Serve over rice/grain mixture

Rice/Grain mixture

2 cups brown rice
1 cup couscous
1 cup pearl barley

cook couscous according to package directions. Mix rice and barley. Sautee a handful of chopped onion and garlic in oil, add rice/barley mixture, stir to coat. Add water to barely cover. Bring pot to slow boil, cover, reduce heat, cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand without removing cover for 15 more minutes. Combine with cooked couscous.

As is visible in the photos, this was served with a mixed salad.

And was devoured by the four adults at the table.

While doing all the chopping and preparation, kept hearing more news about Senator Craig's resignation; another conservative closet case. Seems to be a pattern: the most rabid anti-gay, 'family values' politicians turn out to be self-hating repressed gays. And in a public toilet, to boot! Couldn't have been more archetypal.