Tag Archives: 11/29/11

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – served as a loaf

Community meeting/training dinner, 2/27/12 – served as iced squares

loaves made with roasted butternut squash

This recipe is very adaptable and always a hit. It works equally well with canned pumpkin, cooked and mashed fresh pumpkin, or cooked squash of any kind. It is also delicious with canned or cooked mashed sweet potatoes.

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • heaping ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cups cooked mashed squash (canned pumpkin, or any cooked mashed squash or sweet potatoes)*
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 eggs

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Whole Wheat Olive Oil Crackers

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – served with roasted garlic bean dip

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

This recipe is a bit more time-consuming than the others on this blog, since you have to knead the dough, let it rest, and roll out the crackers very thin with a rolling pin. If you want to impress people with something delicious and unexpected, though, homemade crackers are a great way to do it. These crackers last for up to 4 weeks in a sealed bag or container, without any preservatives whatsoever.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (can substitute regular olive oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil), plus extra for sprinkling

In a bowl, combine the flours and the salt. Add the water and olive oil and mix to form a dough.

Place the dough on a floured counter or cutting board. Knead, folding the dough over on itself and pressing it with the heel of your hand, until the dough is smooth, slightly tacky, and springs back when poked, 7-9 minutes.

Shape the dough into 4 balls. Rub each piece with a little bit of extra olive oil, then cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest one hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dust two baking sheets with flour.

Take one ball of dough and, using a rolling pin on the floured surface, roll the dough as thinly as possible. Using a pizza wheel or a knife, cut into pieces of the shape and size you want for your crackers. Place cut crackers on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the three remaining balls of dough.

For puffy crackers, put directly into oven. To avoid puffing, poke each cracker a few times with a fork. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Roasted Garlic Bean Dip

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – Served with carrots, celery, and homemade wheat crackers.

This dip can be made using dried or canned beans. Serve with raw vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers, and broccoli, or with crackers or bread.

½ cup dried beans, any variety (or one can of beans)*
1 head garlic*
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided use

If using dried beans, soak the beans overnight (up to 24 hours) in plenty of water. Then, rinse the beans, put them in a pot, and add water to cover by about 5 inches. Bring beans to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until beans are tender, 1-2 hours (taste them to see when they are done, and overcooked is better than undercooked in this recipe). (Can be done in advance – add a large pinch of salt to the water, cool, and refrigerate in the cooking water for up to 4 days.)

While the beans are cooking, preheat oven to 350º. Cut the top (pointed, gathered end) off of a whole heads of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt, and cover with foil. Roast until tender when cloves are pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Squeeze cloves out of papery exterior. (Can be done in advance – refrigerate until ready to use.)

In a food processor or blender, combine cooked beans (prepared as above, or start at this step using canned beans) with roasted garlic cloves, remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Process or blend until smooth, then add up to 1 tablespoon cooking liquid (or liquid from can) to reach a dip-able consistency. Add salt to taste.

Yield: approximately 1 cup dip

*Both garlic and beans can be grown in Nebraska and stored for long periods of time.

Easy, No-Knead, No-Timeframe Wheat and White Breads

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – White bread served as a tortilla española sandwich

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/11/12 – Wheat bread served with roasted garlic and potato soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 3/18/12 – Wheat bread served with winter minestrone soup

whole wheat bread, baked inside a cast aluminum pot

a flat, round bread to accommodate a tortilla sandwich

The authors of book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day have developed a technique that lets you keep a no-knead bread dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and take off a small amount to bake whenever you want. Tasty, homemade bread doesn’t get much simpler than this. The loaf you get from this recipe isn’t the best for slicing into sandwiches, but it’s great for eating alongside a meal or soaking up gravy and sauce.

The master recipe is available here.

A 100% whole wheat version is available here (the vital wheat gluten called for is available in the baking section of many larger grocery stores).

For best results, bake the bread inside a cast iron or aluminum pot or dutch oven: 30 minutes at 450 with the top on, then about 15 minutes with the top off, until the loaf is browned, sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom, and has an internal temperature of 200 degrees.

Tortilla Española (Potato Omelet) with Kale

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – Served as a large, round sandwich with aioli between homemade bread, cut into wedges.

tortilla española with kale, pre-flip

There’s no kale in a traditional Spanish tortilla, but it’s a simple and tasty addition that incorporates healthy garden produce. You could add in any cooked green of your choosing.

  • 1 bunch kale or other greens (or use leftover cooked greens, or omit)*
  • 1/3 c olive oil (or vegetable oil, if you, like me, are on a very tight budget – don’t tell the Spaniards)
  • 6 medium-sized potatoes, cut into 1/3″ rounds (Spaniards would peel, but I didn’t)*
  • 1 onion, chopped*
  • salt
  • 9 eggs (you may need more or fewer eggs depending on the size of your pan – just make sure the potatoes are submerged in eggs when cooking the tortilla) Read More