Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How cool is THIS??

I found this ancient cookbook at the back of my Hoosier cabinet, and NEITHER of us have the faintest notion where it came from.  It's all handwritten, with recipes from a number of different women--each one wrote her recipe on a piece of paper, signed it, and then someone bound them all together with yarn ties.  I don't recognize any of the names, either from my home town or my adopted home.

I'm guessing it must have been a church group or women's club, and looks like from the 1920s or 1930s.  All the recipes are in pencil or fountain pen...and some look GOOD.

Stand by, we'll be trying a few of them and sharing them with you...a taste of history...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Whole wheat/white bread...smells WONDERFUL on a cold snowy day...

So once again I couldn't find my old bread recipe, and decided to combine whatever sounded good from a variety of other sources.  It rose beautifully, both in the bowl and in the pans, and continued to rise as it baked--gorgeous!

So, before I forget, here's the current recipe! 

1 T. active dry yeast (we got bulk, which is less expensive than in the packets.)
1 T. brown sugar (we use raw, organic sugar that just happens to be brownish

sprinkled over and stirred gently--

1/4 C. warm water--let this set for a couple of minutes and add

1 beaten egg
1/4 cup melted butter

Yes, we're getting into naughty territory, here...

Add 1 1/2 t. salt (sea salt is nice...)
And 1/4 to 1/2 C. honey (I got tired of squeezing the bear somewhere between those...)

Mix those into the yeast/egg/butter mixture.

One recipe called for 4 C. whole wheat and 4 C. white flour, but I was short of whole wheat, so I added a half cup of wheat germ, 2 C whole wheat and 6 of organic white. 

Whatever, stir them into the liquid mixture and then turn out on a floured board and knead this it sticks together reasonably well.

Let it rise in a BIG bowl till you're afraid it's going to run over, punch down and knead again.  It'll feel a lot silkier now...

(It's winter, we don't have a wood fire going, so warm places are a bit short.  I half submerged the bowl in the sink in warm water, which I refreshed twice during the rising.  You could probably use a heating pad too...)

Divide in two, form into loaves, and put these in buttered loaf pans.  I made decorative cuts in the top of the loaves, rubbed butter on top, and let them rise again--then baked at 350 for 45 minutes.

Oh, my.  VERY, VERY good.

Here's what it looked like, done--made two BIG loaves...

(I made an organic baby romaine, yellow bell pepper, and fresh mushroom salad, with Joseph's gorgonzola dressing, J. made his herb-encrusted roast from one I got him at Christmas at Whole Foods, and we mopped up the herbs and juices with bits of bread.  Doesn't get any better than that...)

This is artisan bread, also very good, but you have to keep a starter in the fridge for it...I ran out of room and time!
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