Homemade Artisan Bread

Artisan Bread

I think making homemade bread is some sort of secret in the bakers world. I’m a self proclaimed non-baker. I cook, but any time flour gets mixed in I get lost. I have proven this theory by making a dynamite flourless chocolate cake.  However, I have recently discovered that making break is not that hard. In fact, it’s rather easy.  So easy that I would say that bread machines are a bigger scam than that Nigerian princess who has been emailing you.

The ability to crank out delicious crusty loaves will seriously change your life. Normally, I am all about making dough in my mixer, but this recipe is actually no knead! That’s right, your hands will rest easy. The hardest part is waiting for it to rise!

Ingredients:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Teaspoons Salt

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

Method: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Slowly stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy-like dough. Make sure to not overwork the dough.  This is a no knead recipe. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 8 – 24 hours in room temperature.

When dough is ready, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place a dutch oven into the preheated oven for 30 minutes to “warm” up.  While preheating, place dough onto a well floured surface and begin to shape dough into a ball.  I scored the dough with a knife to create a criss cross shape. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest.  Once the oven is preheated and the dutch oven has warmed, place the bread dough into the dutch oven. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes more.

*This recipe was adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

Enjoy :)

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Thai Red Curry Soup with Chicken

I fell in love with Thai flavors recently.  I’ve always been a curry kind of girl but it all happened last week when I went to a Thai restaurant and had Tom Yum soup. I LOVE spicy in my soups.  Tom Yum soup is now one of those things I can add to my craving list.  In case you didn’t know, my craving lists is specific foods that cause an intense craving that needs to be satisfied. Currently the list consists of Pho, fried pickles, cheesecake factory salad (yah I know…) and green salsa.  I wanted to replicate Tom Yum soup but the nearest asian grocery store was way to far for me to venture out to.  Instead, I made a Thai Red Curry Soup and the result was quite pleasing.

IMG_3851

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
12 ounces rice noodles
2 14 ounce cans of coconut milk
2 tablespoons grated ginger
salt and pepper
a dash of Sriracha
Green Pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups precooked shredded chicken
Brocoli
Corn
Carrots
Cauliflower
(any vegetables can work in this…choose as you wish!)
1 cup fresh cilantro
Method:
Cook rice noodles according to package. Meanwhile in a large sauce pan, cook all vegetables in one tablespoon of olive oil 4-5 minutes.  Add red curry paste and “toast” in the hot pan for about 30 seconds.  Stir together vegetables and the paste with a wooden spoon. Add coconut milk and chicken broth and bring soup to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.  Divide the soup into bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Enjoy!
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Chicken Croquettes with Spicy Sriracha Aioli

Chicken Croquettes

Sometimes you just need to fry baby!  I love these croquettes and they are easy to fry.  Usually I end up with a crumbled mess but the mashed potato mixture really stays together in the oil.  The warm croquettes pair beautifully with the spicy aioli.  This recipe is perfect for parties or eating in front of your couch while watching reality tv. Did I really say that?? Nooo…

Ingredients:

2 large potatoes or 4 cups mashed potatoes (I cheated and used box mashed potato flakes)
1 cup roasted chicken meat, finely chopped (I cheated again and used a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 to 1-1/2 cups italian bread crumbs
oil for frying

Sriracha Aioli

2/3 cup mayonaisse
3 “squirts” Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic

Method:

Add garlic and onions to a small pan and sauté until onions are translucent and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside. If using a box mix, follow the instructions on the box to make mashed potatoes.  If not, fully wash and scrub potatoes to remove any dirt. In a large pan add potatoes and water until potatoes are fully covered with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until you can pierce potatoes with a fork. Peel the skin and place in a large bowl. If you allow the potatoes to cool, the skin usually peels right off.  Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes until the mixture is smooth and lump free. Add the milk, butter, onions and garlic mixture, chicken, mushrooms and combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Form the potato mixture into about 1 inch balls.  Completely dredge in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.  In a large pan heat about 2 inches of oil.  Slowly lower the potato balls into the hot oil and fry turning once or twice until croquettes are dark and crispy.  Remove from the pain and place on a paper towel. Serve warm and enjoy

For the Sriracha Aioli combine mayo, garlic, Sriracha, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix well.  This is a flexible recipe so feel to adjust the seasonings to your taste.

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Perfect Apple Pie

“Pilates?! Oh Heaven’s No.  I thought you said Pie and Lattes.”

Is there anything more enjoyable than an apple pie?

Apple Pie Recipe

Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

14 tablespoons cold butter, diced

1 large egg, 

2 Tablespoons Water (more if dough is dry)

Method: I make my dough in a food processor.  It may not be fancy, but I think it’s the easiest.  Blend Flour, Sugar, and Salt.  Add cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles a sand.  Add egg and water and blend until dough forms into ball.  Place in the refrigerator for one hour.

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Gala (I used Cortland, probably anything will taste delicious).

2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon all spice

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Method:

To start I cored and peeled the apples.  Then I melted the butter in a large skillet and added the apples lemon juice and sugar.  I cooked the apples until the sugar dissolved and liquid began to form.  I then strained the apples over a colander and collected the juice in a bowl.  I then returned the juice to the hot pan and let it caramelize and bubble up to a thick mixture. Once the liquid was bubbly and brown, I returned it to the bowl with the apples.  I then tossed the apples with the other spices. I took the dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan. I put the apple filling in the pan and molded it slightly in the center. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal (may be harder than it seems). i usually lattice my pies because I seriously think it is easier.  I didn’t this time and learned that latticing is in fact easier. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking.

Place pie in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.  Invite everyone over to smell how delicious your home smells and be jealous.

The orchards in my town are beautiful.  I had so much fun picking the apples for this pie.  An enjoyable annual tradition.

photo (1)

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