Friday, February 19, 2010

bread: home made pretzels

Homemade Pretzels
Combine in a large bowl:

½ cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast

Allow the yeast to fully dissolve (about 5 minutes).


1 ½ cups organic all purpose flour
1 ½ cups organic bread flour
2 tbsp local butter, melted
1 tbsp raw sugar

Mix by hand while slowly adding:

½ cup warm water


1. Stir ingredients until it comes out to a smooth, moist dough. Knead for about 10 minutes, but do not over knead so that the dough becomes rubbery.

2. Transfer dough to a bowl coated with olive oil. Turn the dough until it becomes lightly coated with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and place in the oven (makes sure it's off) to rise for about 1 ½ hours.

3. Punch down the dough using a closed fist to release some of the gases created by the fermentation process. Then divide into 12 pieces. Each piece should be about 2 ounces. Roll each into a ball. Brush each with olive oil and let rest under a clean cloth for ten minutes.

4. Roll each ball out into an 18-inch rope. Form into pretzels by pulling the ends towards you to create an oval, but do not join the ends.

5. Cross the ends, twist, and connect an end at 3 o'clock and the other at 7 o'clock. Lightly press each end into the dough to create the classic pretzel shape.

6. Place the pretzels on a greased baking sheet and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a large pot half full with water (8 cups) and bring to boil. Add 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp of baking soda.

8. Turn the water down to a simmer. Gently add each pretzel into the mixture and cook for about 30 seconds. Flip and cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, until puffed.

9. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.

10. Bake until pretzels begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Brush with melted butter and allow to bake until golden brown.

bread: traditional tuscan loaf

I want to try this so bad. I love, love, LOVE making bread, and the more rustic, the better as far as I'm concerned. And there's more bread recipes here.

Traditional Tuscan Loaf
2 cups lukewarm water
3 1/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil


1. Using the dough hook tool on a large mixing bowl (you could also do this by hand) combine water, 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 package dry yeast for 1 minute.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. The dough will ferment into a bubbly, doughy mixture.

3. Slowly add the remainder of the flour and the olive oil gradually until the dough forms. The dough will be a bit sticky and pretty elastic. This should take about 15 minutes.

4. Coat a large bowl with olive oil and add the dough ball, turning so that the dough is lightly coated with olive oil. Allow to rise for about 2 hours, until it's doubled in size.

5. Punch down the dough and shape into a round loaf by working in a downward movement underneath the bread.

6. Transfer the dough to a greased baking sheet and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in an oven that's turned off for about 1 1/2 hours.

7. Score the bread in a hatching manner.

8. Place a baking sheet onto the bottom rack of the oven.

9. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

10. Place the greased baking sheet holding the dough onto the middle oven rack and fill the empty baking sheet with a cup of very hot water.

11. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown.

12. Allow to cool completely on a rack.

Recipe: The Joy of Cooking

news: more from planet green

Apparently, turmeric can kill cancer cells in the gullet in under 24 hours, which means there's more reason than ever to eat curry. And other turmeric things. And I think you can buy the whole root as an Asian medicine and make tea from it... I think. It was a while ago that I was reading up on intestinal things, and I may be remembering wrong.

Anyway, here's another lovely-sounding recipe, from Akasha Richmond:

Turmeric Seared Pears with Arugula with Goat Cheese, Goji Berries & Pine Nuts

A recipe from Chef Akasha Richmond

Tue Nov 11, 2008 09:45 AM ET

goji berries photo

Planet Green

Yield: Makes 4 servings


For the salad:
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 small-medium Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons wildflower honey
4 ounces arugula, washed and dried
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
4 teaspoons goji berries
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons wildflower honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

When the butter is melted and sizzling, add the turmeric, let sizzle for 5-10 seconds, (turmeric should darken), then add the honey.

Add the pear slices in a single layer, season with a pinch of salt, and cook turning once, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pears to a plate.

Make the vinaigrette by combining the vinegar, honey, and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, season with freshly ground black pepper.

Toss the mache with some of the vinaigrette and the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the pears, pine nuts, and goji berries.

news: planet green wants to make sure we get all our vitamin d

And it offers this delicious-sounding smoothie recipe:

Stress Reducing Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
2 organic bananas
1 tbsp organic creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp local raw honey
6 oz organic vanilla soy milk
4 cubes ice

Blend until smooth and combined. Enjoy.

ingredient spotlight: asian-market fried red onions

Picture from because I'm too busy eating them to take my own picture when the Interwebs are right there with the very picture I need.


Somewhere along the line, I developed a severe addiction to fried onions. It started with some crispy little morsels from the salad isle of WalMart, and progressed to the big ol' jar you see above from the Asian Market, because it's a bigger jar for cheaper, and it has no weird stabilizers or anything. And because they're awesome.

See, a serving is a tablespoon, and they've got, like, 30 or 40 calories per serving, and they're loaded with flavor-- crispy, crunchy, sweet, oniony, fried-food flavor.

I throw them into everything. My Good Ramen (the kind from the Asian Market with, like, five seasoning packs that contain real soy sauce and little veggies and flavored oil as well as MSG-powder). My miso soup (which also has wakame, bonito, sesame and nori in it most days). On salads. On casseroles. Out of my hand. On savory sandwiches. On rice, with furikake of various flavors. On potatoes with butter, cheese, salt and pepper. On quiche.

I bet they'd be good in crackers or savory cookies and muffins.

They're so delicious, so much flavor for so little stuff!