Thursday, July 28, 2005

Honey-roasted pumpkin and spinach risotto

This was my dinner tonight and my dinner alone, P is not a big fan of rice dishes and no meat,unfortunately for him as far as I am concerned.

I found the recipe in my friend's copy of this magazine. I have always thought this was a quality foodie magazine, but the latest issue has convinced me that a subscription is definately in order.

I found at least four things I must cook, the first is out of the way, being the risotto for tonight's dinner. On the weekend I want to give the red roast duck curry a whirl. For a dinner with my in-laws date yet to be determined I think I can safely say I won't be able to beat the dessert on the cover, brownie pudding with chocolate sauce. And for a mid-week vegetarian soup next week I really must try the minted pea soup.

I thought the risotto turned out very well and I loved the honey flavoured pumpkin mixed with the lemon and yoghurt. However I did alter the recipe as it used mascarpone instead of yoghurt and italian parsley instead of baby spinach and I also embellished with some dried chillies.

So I will present the recipe as provided in the article with my alternatives and additions in italics. Because if I had mascarpone on hand I bloody well would have used it!

Serves 4-6
900g pumpkin, cut into 1cm cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2tbs honey, plus extra to drizzle
850ml vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2cm piece of ginger grated
1 cup arborio rice
2/3cup white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish (baby spinach)
2 tbs mascarpone, plus extra to serve (plain yoghurt)

Preheat the over to 220c
Lay pumpkin in an even layer on a large baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of honey, tossing well to coat each piece. Roast for a further 15 minutes until cooked and golden.

Place stock in a saucepn and keep at a simmer over low heat.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based pan over low heat. Add onion and stir for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add celery and cook for 1 minute, then add ginger and rice and cook for a further minute, stirring to coat grains. At this point I smashed two dried red chillies in my pestle and mortar and added them to the rice.

Increase heat to medium-low, add wine and cook until absorbed. Add stock a ladleful at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked but still firm to the bite

(It took me at least 30 minutes which has always been a standard time for making risotto for me. I like my risotto reasonably wet as well so when I add the last ladleful of stock it is not to be completely incorporated into the rice but allow a bit of a gravy to develop).

Add lemon juice, pumpkin and parsley (baby spinach). Season, then stir in mascarpone (I omitted this step for the yoghurt as I thought with the lemon it would be tangy enough and it didn't need more from the yoghurt. Also I decided not to season as I went a bit heavy on the salt on the pumpkin. When I tipped the roasted pumpkin into the risotto it came with seasoned olive oil and honey juices which really added quite a bit of flavour).

Serve with a dollop of mascarpone (yoghurt), a drizzle of honey (damn forgot to do that!) and extra parsley.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A "special" meal. Roast chicken and greek potatoes.

Sunday morning - such a change from two weeks ago, a reprieve from Gabriella and I get to wake up at 7.45am instead of 6.30am and another reprieve and I decide to cook one breakfast for absolutely everyone. Bill Granger's scrambled eggs, bacon and fried Turish bread - very indulgent as I usually steer clear of dairy, red meat and wheat bread.

This weekend I have been pleasantly pleased with having obtained some ingredients "on special" however I thought the meal I produced with them has so far been quite special (I also bought some chicken legs and yellow peas, I am marinating the chicken legs for tandoori chicken, and preparing the peas for a dahl).

I love a bargain and must tell what I paid for my ingredients the 2 kg cornfed chicken was $5.99 and had to be used by Saturday, and the 1.5kg packet of pontiac potatoes were $1.40.

Very basic ingredients and this is how I prepared them for the final dinner of the week long celebration of P's birthday:
The chicken I decided to stuff with a gluten-free mixture of toasted pinenuts, chopped apricot, coucous, shallot and a piece of crumbled gluten-free bread mixed together with one egg.

On the outside of the chicken I used my pestle and mortar to pound some basil leaves, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and generously coated every nook and cranny of my lovely yellow chicken.

The potatoes are prepared via a recipe from my sister and is called Greek Potatoes. The gorgeous pre-preparation colours of red, white and green give way to the delicious caramel colours below and what has been scrumptiously carmelised are the potatoes cut into halves (and sometimes quartered if large), roughly cut chunks of red onion and roughly smashed bulbs garlic. The dish is seasoned with ground pepper and salt and liberally coated with olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Then water is added to about halfway mark of the dish. Lots of fresh oregano is scattered throughout the potatoes.Due to the water the potatoes require a fair bit of baking to reduce and carmelise.

I put the potatoes in a hot oven with the chicken, for about one and a half hours and made sure I turned them occassionally and kept an eye on them to ensure they did not dry prematurely or burn.

The finished chicken.

The Greek potatoes in all of their caramelised goodness:

Finally the plated product.

I decided to keep the green vegetables simple and I sauteed some onion and bacon and added some chicken stock, green beans and celery.

When making gravy I always roast my meat on a rack and in the roasting tray keep some water. After I remove the meat from the rack to rest, I pour the remaining juices into a saucepan and usually thicken with some flour, however this time I used cornflour I was trying to keep to my gluten-free theme.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Coffee and Chocolate Fudge cake

Coffee and Chocolate Fudge cake.

I found the recipe for this cake on this fabulous weblog and I am completely in awe and enamoured of Niki's cake making and decorating skills. Niki's recipe can be found in her index under chocolate cake (note to self must make time to work on my index - I have started really)!

Some of the high points about this cake - I used chocolate coated bailey's coffee beans on top and flavoured the chocolate fudge with kahlua and caramelised walnuts are THE BEST and were not that hard to make!

Another little lesson I would like to pass on. This cake was made by me on Sunday morning for the celebration of a number of family birthdays and I was quietly very pleased with myself and quite confident after having taken a few dozen photographs of my latest accomplishment. But then......... what is the saying "with pride comes a fall". I was feeling sooooo confident I thought quite stupidly that I could push the cake on it's plate into the inverted tupperware cake box lid - alas it was not to be. As stable as stiffly whipped coffee cream can be on a very cold day in Brisbane in mid July it was not stiff enough to support my vainglorious efforts and the cake actually ended up looking somewhat different just prior to being transported to the actual party. I decided not to be so vain as to not have any photographic evidence of my folly and a photograph would serve as a timely reminder that I can still have some lessons to learn about confidence and complacency.

Very easy upside down pear and caramel cake

I had to decide very quickly on Friday afternoon what dessert I would make and take to our friend's place for dinner. I did not want to waste time shopping or making pastry so this was the best product I could come up with the ingredients on hand - brown sugar, walnuts and a tin of pears. I thought a pudding would suit the cold evening as well then remembered how people enjoyed eating this pudding-like pear cake with caramel sauce all rolled into one last time I made it.

I made it once many years ago but was unable to find the same recipe I found this recipe on the internet at this address. I decided to dot some walnuts throughout the bottom of the cake as well. It smells divine whilst baking all that caramelly goodness. The other thing is that it is quite a big cake and would serve 8 people quite easily. It is also a cake which is quite lovely served warm with ice-cream and cream and extra caramel sauce though I didn't remember about the need for extra caramel sauce till later that night.

Despite the link above I will repeat the recipe here in case that link ever dies.

Pear Caramel Cake

340g unsalted butter
175g brown sugar
4 ripe pears (or one tin of pears)
300g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp ground mixed spice
250ml milk

Melt 170g butter in a heavy based saucepan over low heat. Pour into a prepared 26cm round springform pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter.

Peel, core and cut pears into thick slices arranging over the base of the pan, slightly overlapping. ( A small tin of pears works very well too)

Beat remaining butter and caster sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder and spices into bowl and fold in.

Fold in milk and mix gently by hand to form a smooth batter. Spread batter over pears being careful not to move any. Bake in a pre-heated 180 C oven for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, invert onto a serving plate and serve immediately.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Mini whisk

Mini whisk - my best gadget friend in the kitchen this morning.

I love this mini whisk! This morning it was there for me when I needed some assistance.

A few minutes ago, just after 10am I mentioned to P that since I had been up since 6.15am this morning with Gabriella, I had managed to cook and serve about 5 different things:

1. Peanut butter on mult-grain toast with some warmed milk and a glass of pear juice - Gabriella.

2. Smoked salmon and cream cheese omelette with a splash of hollandaise on toast for my nephew Mason and myself. Soy milk flat whites for me.

3. Boiled egg for Elliot.

4. Coconut crumpets and lemon butter for my sister and a much later second course for Mason and me.

5. Fried egg on pan-fried ham with avocado and pesto on toast and a side of grilled tomato for P and a couple of flat whites.

What else do you do on Sunday morning from 6.30am, when the wind is blowing an icy gale outside? My making some hot breakfasts seemed like the best answer.

Back to my sad little mini whisk, I think he should be much happier given how much I enjoy using him i.e. for the omelette, for uncurdling my lemon butter, for reconstituting my hollandaise (which had separated on being re-warmed). I also use him for dressings, gravys and much more.

My day ahead involves domestic duties and planning a roast pork for dinner tonight. I have yet to figure out how I want some sage to feature in the pork. I also get to have some delicious seafood chowder for lunch.

I then have to think about my dinner and lunches for next week, as during the week I have a gluten free, no red meat and a mainly dairy-free, mostly vegetarian diet. Obviously I splurge on the weekend - well I think 2 days of treats is better for me then 7 days!

So to prevent me having to cook 2 different dinners every night (because P refuses to adopt a meat-free dining working week!) when I really don't have the time, I try to make myself a big batch of vegetable soup, last week it was a pureed cauliflower with a dollop ofbasil and walnut pesto for a few nights.

I was also heavily into pumpkin. One night I sauteed some diced pumpkin in nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves to which I added some soy,chillie and honey marinated tofu - this was eaten with brown rice and some english spinach. Another night it was soba noodles tossed in sesame oil, peanut oil and chillie (inspired by delicious days) More adventures with tofu involved a slightly curried version, again the tofu had been marinated - in soy,lime juice and curry powder was then stir fried with shallots, slivered almonds, carrots and dried apricots and served on basmati rice.

I am thinking this week there will be more pumpkin, brown rice, soba noodles, rice noodles, broccoli, zucchini and tofu to feature. I should be doing up a soup but I can't decide what sort maybe a batch of red lentil and vegetable soup -though I wouldn't mind trying a yellow split pea soup for a change. Who knows plenty to mull over.

Oops nearly forgot I will also have to stew some pears in some brown sugar and spices to add to my pecans which I put over my porridge in the morning.

Serve of seafood and pumpkin chowder

Serve of seafood and pumpkin chowder

Some very good friends of mine recently brought a huge bowl of seafood chowder to share with me at work. It was a white creamy soup, jam packed with lots of lovely seafood – scallops, calamari, mussels and prawns being the predominant ingredients.

It was the most gorgeous comfort food to imbibe on a chilly day and as I wanted to make some this evening I tracked down a few recipes on the internet and did some adapting to my tastes. I would say my biggest influence though was the clam chowder recipe from Larouse.

Some of the recipes I located used potatoes, I am not a huge fan of the texture of potatoes in a soup plus I prefer to steer clear of them so I substituted pumpkin for potato. I didn’t use a lot of pumpkin just enough to provide an golden/orange tone to the colour of the soup.

I also used cream, though I dabbled with the thought of light carnation milk but then when I had purchased such gorgeous seafood I think some light tinned cream just wouldn't do my chowder justice plus it's not like I make seafood chowder every weekend.... maybe that will change.

1 medium onion
3 rashers bacon diced
1 red/green capsicum
3 stalks celery
small piece of pumpkin
few dried red chillies finely diced

1.5 litres vegetable stock*
salt and pepper
Italian Parsley

lots of mussels (12)
couple of dozen green prawns,
3 -4 tubes of cleaned calamari cut into strips,
couple of dozen scallops,
1 fillet white flesh fish

300mls cream**
40 grams butter
40 grams of plain flour (I think? I used 3 heaped wooden spoonfuls not a flat wooden spoon hope that helps)

Remove the rind from the bacon and simmer the bacon in water for a few minutes then drain and dice.

Add the diced bacon to the finely diced onion, capsicum, celery, pumpkin and red chillies and saute in some garlic infused olive oil for 5 - 10 minutes, do not allow the ingredients to brown. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes. (I didn't do it, but in retrospect I think a liberal splash of white wine wouldn't have hurt at this stage)

While the vegetable stock is simmering, in a separate saucepan melt the butter but don't allow it to brown then add the plain flour stirring it until it mixes into a smooth paste. Stir the flour and butter in the saucepan on medium heat for 3 minutes then remove the saucepan from the heat and add the cream, mixing until smooth and there are no lumps.

Add the roux to the vegetable stock and mix through thoroughly until the chowder is heated through. Add the seafood and mix in thoroughly. I then turned the chowder off and let it stand till I was ready to serve.

When I reheated the chowder I did so until the seafood flesh was firm. I then seasoned with salt and white pepper. Prior to serving the chowder I scattered some finely chopped Italian Parsley over it.

I also decided to serve the chowder with some garlic bread which I made from some long bread rolls cut in half with lashings of garlic butter dotted with some parsley. The garlic butter I quickly mashed together with my pestle and mortar and then toasted the bread under the grill (broiler).

*I decided against using a fish stock and I used vegetable stock instead. My reason being, that I didn't want an intense seafood flavour from the start, I wanted the flavour from the seafood I was adding to eventually infuse the chowder as I reheated it prior to serving. **I found that the chowder became thin on reheating so I found myself quickly thickening again with a cornflour paste which I had made with milk. I think the thickness of the chowder is a personal preference, in this case I wanted something that was about the thickness of a custard which in turn made the soup extremely filling.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Pot of seafood and pumpkin chowder

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lemon - Almond Butter Cake

I found the recipe for this cake in the New York Times in the Dining and Wine section on the on-line version of this publication a few years ago. I made this cake last night and it is continuing with my passion for lemon flavoured desserts and lemon butter.

The last time I made this cake was 2002 and baked it to take to work nd share with colleagues and that is exactly what I did again today. It was still as good as I remembered.

As with most recipes from U.S publications the measurements are somewhat unfamiliar to us Antipodes. One day I hope to convert it to grams for convenience sake but that doesn't mean it isn't that difficult to work with the recipe below just a bit fiddly:

Lemon-Almond Butter Cake
(adapted from ‘in the Hands of a Chef")

For the lemon curd
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
3/8 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (I use a half a cup - no big deal about being exact!)
4 extra-large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed

For the cake
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 extra large eggs
½ cup ground toasted almonds
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
About ½ cup heavy cream for garnish
1 tablespoon almond liqueur (optional)

For the curd – combine zest, juice, sugar and eggs in a heatproof bowl, and beat well. Add butter, and place over a saucepan full of simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until mixture thickens into curd, about 5 minutes. Strain into a bowl, and press plastic wrap onto suface to keep skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, at least 1 ½ hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees (I didn't convert exactly and decided to use about 180 degrees C ).

Grease 9 inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon butter, and dust with 1 tablespoon flour, shaking out excess. I also used some silicone paper on the base of the pan.

With an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter and 1 cup sugar together until light and fluffy.

Sift together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt, and stir in. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until they start to foam. Do not over beat or the cake will be tough.

Add eggs and ground almonds to batter and mix well. Scrape batter into the prepared pan, drop 8 individual tablespoons of lemon curd around the perimeter of the batter, leaving a 1 inch border, and taking care to space drops evenly.

Drop 3 to 4 tablespoons of curd in the centre of the batter. Refrigerate remaining curd for another use. Sprinkle the cake with toasted almonds and 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, depending on taste.

Bake until cake is toasty brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the curd) comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Let cool on rack 10 minutes, then remove side of pan, and cool completely. Whip cream with almond liqueur. Present cake at table and offer whipped cream on the side.

Some of my experiences with this recipe - I used an 8 inch pan and was only able to fit six tablespoons of curd about the perimeter of the pan and drop two in the middle.

The sprinkle of sugar isn't really necessary - given the one cup in the batter. I haven't thought it necessary to use the almond essence in the whipped cream but do think the whipped cream is essential with such a dense cake.

More cake

Quick canapes

I made these canapes on Sunday night before P's mother and grandmother came for some roast lamb. We didn't have lunch so I decided to serve something very light to cut our appetites before serving the main course so I had to come up with whatever I happened to have on hand.

There are only two types of canapes here - one is smoked salmon,caper, chives and sour cream and the other is blue cheese, walnut and pear. I served the salmon on some little toasts I made by cutting out some circles of bread (I used multi-grain because that's all we had but any bread is fine) brushing the circles with some garlic oil on both side and putting on a tray in the oven for 5 minutes till crisp. The cheese is served on a falwasser cracker.

I actually quite like the idea of serving an assortment of canapes before a main course in the place of an entree however most the time if it is a leisurely dinner I will do about 4-6 only to have with some champagne over the years between my sister-in-law and her husband and P and I we have come up some tasty morsels.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Roast pork

Traditional Roast pork

I made this roast pork some time ago, I think since then there has also been a roast chicken and a roast lamb. But this one was the only one I had the chance to photograph. It is very simple in its appearance which is in fact what I was aiming for. I am no expert in roasting having only ventured into making a roast by myself after my good friend P and his English ex-pat wife stayed with us and treated us to roast pork and roast beef with yorkshire pudding last winter.

They really got me over my apprehension about roasting I have also viewed it as quite a logistical nightmare, ensuring everything was golden brown, meat perfectly cooked and presented piping hot to the table with a steamy jug of gravy.

I have reached my idealised roast heights yet, but I am getting there and am moving out of entirely novice territory. I have made a habit of roasting at least once on the weekend now that it is cool. Roast pork and crackling is one of P's favourites. I have fallen into a habit of roasting a minimum of vegetables, potato, carrots, pumpkin. This time I added parsnip and some baked garlic. For green vegetables I simply use some frozen baby peas and I make my gravy from the drippings left in the baking tray.

I also bake my meat on a rack and ensure there is water in the base of the tray at all times so the meat is never dry. When roasting pork I rub the pieces with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Hasselback is my preferred style of potato. The Hasselback potato involves cutting a peeled potato in half and using small slices almost all the way through the potato. I employ a hint that I read somewhere which ensures that you don't end up cutting too far through the potato and end up with quarters instead. I line the half potato between two chop sticks and that way the chop sticks form a barrier and prevent the knife slicing through.

I have become better with browning my vegetables since taking this last photgraph as my son insists on "golden roast potatoes". Last week when roasting some lamb, I par-cooked the hasselback potatoes in the microwave and coated them with some seasoned plain flour and splashed some garlic infused olive oil over them. Plus I cooked them on baking paper.

With the pumpkin and carrots I also coated them with seasoned flour splashed them with the garlic infused olive oil and cooked them on baking paper and put them in some time after the potatoes so I could ensure the pumpkin was not over cooked.

What I love about my adventures with roasting is that I am becoming much more expert at roasting the vegetables in conjunction with the meat and being able to serve an entirely warm meal to everyone at the table. I have always had so much trouble coordinating the final parts of the roast but practice in roasting appears to truly make perfect or at least better.

My ambition is to do that roast beef with my own yorkshire pudding I feel that will be the true test of my roasting skills, I would love to hear of anyone's adventures with roasting beef and what a good cut to use is, plus any hints on yorkshire puddings.

Coconut crumpets with lemon butter

This morning I just had to finally make the coconut crumpets I have up until now only been able to purchase. I think they turned out pretty well, though I made way too many for just P and I and I had to freeze the remainder. Nevertheless, it was much easier than I imagined. I made the lemon butter while the mixture was standing so it was a little warmer than it should have been, but it was still damn good.

Coconut crumpets with lemon butter
(Makes two dozen crumpet in egg rings)

1 sachet (7g) dried instant yeast or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
3 cups (450g) plain flour
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1 teaspoon sugar
250ml milk
375ml water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Sift yeast, flour and sugar into medium bowl.
Heat milk and water together in small saucepan, or microwave, until it reaches blood temperature. Whisk milk mixture gradually into flour mixture until a smooth batter is formed. Cover, allow to stand 1 hour. (Heat oven to 200 degrees C then turn off and let the mixture stand in there for one hour or until doubled in volume)

When ready to cook, stir in salt and bicarbonate of soda. Heat heavy pan (my le creuset pan was perfect) until a small knob of butter browns and burns within 10 seconds. Wipe burnt butter off pan.

Make sure batter is consistency of pouring cream. If it is too runny it will run out of the moulds, if too thick, the bubbles that form and characterise a crumpet will not form. If too thin, thicken with a little extra flour. If too thick, thin with a little warm water. It is best to try cooking one crumpet before altering the consistency as you will have a better guide of what is too thick or too thin.Place egg rings, biscuit cutters or muffin rings onto pan. Spray lightly with spray oil to lightly coat. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons mixture into rings or cutters. Do not fill too full as mixture will burn before it cooks through. You may have to reduce temperature if bases are burning before tops have dried out.Cook crumpet without moving until bubbles have formed on the surface and the top has a dried out look. Flip egg ring and crumpet to cook top. Allow to cook only briefly to lightly brown the top.

Allow to cook only briefly to lightly brown the tops. Eat immediately with butter and home-made jam or honey, or caramelised bananas or lemon butter.

Lemon butter
I have learned how to use my microwave to make lemon butter and hollandaise sauce so it is extremely quick and easy.

In a small bowl add two eggs, ¼ cup of caster sugar, and the juice and zest of one lemon and whisk together. In a separate bowl, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Add the melted butter to the egg mixture and whisk again. Place in the oven then on half or three-quarter power level begin cooking for 3 minutes checking every 30 to 45 seconds and whisking again. Lemon butter is done when it is a thick consistency.
You could strain the butter to remove the zest, however I am a big fan of the zest and never bother straining. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap pressing down on the surface of the mixture so a skin will not form and put in the refrigerator to cool.

Smoked salmon,eggs and hollandaise

This photograph is of Paul's eggs I like mine with baby spinach too.

An old post I am finally up-dating with some details.

This hollandaise was made on soy butter, a small gesture to reduce the impact of the cholestorol laden nature of this breakfast indulgence.

2 toasted crumpets
avocado on each toasted crumpet or pesto if you have some handy
smoked salmon for each crumpet
2 poached eggs for each crumpet
hollandaise sauce
freshly ground pepper

I like to poach my eggs in a large saute pan of hot water (with a dash of vinegar in the just simmering water) by breaking the egg onto a saucer then swirling the hot water with a spoon and sliding in the egg. Using this method I am able to cook 4 eggs fairly quickly.

I make the hollandaise in the microwave and my measurements are a bit slap dash.

Put 2 egg yolks in a medium bowl, add some white pepper and sea salt to taste (just a pinch) and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and whisk together till combined. In a separate bowl melt about 80 grams of butter in the microwave and add to the egg mixture and combine with a whisk.

Then on either 1/2 power or 3/4 power place the egg and butter mixture in the microwave and in short bursts (45second and less as you progress) cook the mixture - taking it out at intervals and whisking. The mixture is done when it is like a thick pouring custard.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Mmmm cinnamon rolls.

Recipe courtesy of Small Hands
4 1/2 - 5 C (unbleached/organic, if doable) flour
4 teaspons active dry yeast (2 packages)
3/4 C milk
1/2 C water
1/2 C vegetable shortening (I used copha and some soy margerine)
1/2 C sugar (I used caster sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature

Measure 1 3/4 C flour into yr large mixer bowl. Add yeast and blend. Measure milk, water, shortening, sugar, and salt into saucepan. Blend. Heat until warm (blood temperature)

Pour into flour/yeast mixture. Add eggs. Beat 30 seconds with electric mixer at low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 more minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stop mixer.Gradually stir in more flour (by hand) to make a soft dough. It will be rather sticky. Knead on lightly floured board or counter until nice an' smooth, about 5-10 minutes (it's good exercise!!). Cover with bowl or pan and let rest for 20 minutes. Shape as desired.

Cut the hunk of dough in half, roll out one of the halves until it's flat and rectangular and large, brush it with butter, sprinkle it with a cinnamon/sugar mixture, add raisins (sometimes), and roll it up.
Then cut off the ends and cut the rest into 1 inch wide slices. They usually fit nicely into 2 9" greased cake pans. Then put them in a warm oven (usually warm it to 100 degrees C for a few minutes, then turn it off) with a pan of hot water under them and a foil tent over them and let them rise for 40 minutes, or until doubled.Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Ice these with icing sugar after they've cooled off.

Cool them on a rack. When they're cool, you can wrap them in foil, and freeze. Just warm them in a 100 degree C oven for about 45 minutes to re-serve.

The recipe is from a cookbook called Homemade Bread, published by the Farm Journal people in 1969.

About Me

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Mother of two with one of each. Wife of one.Dogless. Busy working five days a week, baking and cooking when time allows. Writing rarely these days. Wishing I had time to read more often.