Pancakes with a Hint of Orange

March 22, 2009
orange-pancake-mosaic
1. Easter Egg, 2. Baby-Goat im Jülicher Brückenkopfpark, 3. Green Apple Bee!, 4. California Oranges on the Vine in San Diego, California
I was in the middle of making pancakes when I realized that we were out of milk. We were also out of soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk.*

Not one to be discouraged by a lack of basic ingredients, I plunged ahead.

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More Adventures in Improvisational Baking

March 1, 2009

The other night, Jerry and I decided to make our box of (out-of-season, Chilean) blueberries into a tart. This posed a slight difficulty given the total absence of butter at Jerry’s apartment, but we were not deterred by such trifles.

Secret, improvisational pie crust recipe after the jump.

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Oatmeal Bread

February 24, 2009

I try to make a few loaves of homemade bread at least a couple times a month. I bake four, freeze two, and devour the rest.

Here’s the version I made this Saturday – it’s a very dark, whole-wheatish version with molasses. You can make it with more white flour and honey if you’d like a lighter loaf.

4 cups milk

4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3-4 cups oatmeal

1 cup molasses

2 tablespoons yeast

Great quantities of whole wheat flour (I never measure flour in this recipe, but I would have at least 10-12 cups on hand)

Smaller quantities of white flour (again, I don’t really measure flour when I make bread, but I’d have at least 6 cups on hand – better to have too much than too little)

Heat the milk, salt, and oil until it’s warm, but not hot. (Imagine that you’re going to give a baby a bath in it – that’s the temperature you want.) Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the oatmeal and molasses, and add the yeast.

Stir in great quantities of whole wheat flour and smaller quantities of white flour (the bread I made Saturday was about 3/4 whole wheat and 1/4 white) until you can hardly stir in another bit.

Clean off the counter, dry it, cover it with a mound of flour, and dump the dough onto the counter. Knead the dough for about ten minutes (fold, press, turn, fold, press, turn), then let it rise in a clean pot, covered with a dish cloth.

Once the dough has doubled in size (this should take a couple of hours – go amuse yourself), punch it down and knead it again. Divide the dough into four pieces, knead each one for a minute or two, then shape it into a loaf and plop it into a greased loaf pan. Cover all the loaves with a dish towel and let them rise until they double in size (this will take an hour or two, so go ahead and do something else for a while).

Bake the bread at 375 for 30-40 minutes. It’s best to cover the loaves with foil for the first 20 minutes or so – it keeps the crust from burning before the bread is done.


Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Almonds and Raisins

February 24, 2009

banana-muffin-mosaic

Photo credit: 1. spotted banana 2. golden raisins 3. almonds 4. eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

3-4 very ripe mashed bananas

3 tablespoons yogurt (you can use plain or vanilla – I like to use Greek yogurt)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1-2 handfuls of slivered almonds

1-2 handfuls of raisins

Beat the sugar and oil together. Beat in the eggs. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, beat the eggs in a glass first, then stir them in.)Add the mashed bananas. Stir in all the flour. Stir in the almonds and raisins.

Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. This will make somewhere between 12 and 15 muffins, depending on how big you make them.