Friday, September 25, 2009

And then some...

My goal for this week was to do at least two recipes.  I've surpassed that, and here are three more! :)
15.  Easy No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread, pg. 58

I was suspicious when I saw that name.  I don't like my bread to be easy, and I'm wary of yeast bread that doesn't need to be kneaded (ha!).  I decided to give it a whirl, anyway, and see what became of it.
Everything started out okay, the amounts were fine...I was careful to add the eggs after the warm liquids and flour mixture had been stirring for awhile (to avoid cooking the eggs).  But then came the "5-6 c. flour" part that proved a bit difficult.  I'm a bread-baker by feel, and having to tell by stirring and seeing when a dough has enough flour proved frustrating.  I put it a bit over 5 cups (to be safe), and decided just to see what happened.  An hour later, the bread was spilling out of the bowl (note: use something bigger than a 5 quart...), and looked positively sticky.  (I was already over the bread by this point).  I dumped the dough into two 9x5s, and set them to rise the stated 25-30 minutes.  By 15 minutes, the dough was spilling over the pans, and I had to spoon the extra back into the pans, and tried to lightly punch down the overflow.  I turned on the oven immediately, and when it was hot, I shoved in the pans and watched as the new overflow fell onto my pizza stone.  
The result had less-than-desireable flavors, with the eggs overpowering the normal yeasty taste.  I used one loaf to go with a spinach and artichoke dip and it fared fine as a vehicle of other-goodness, but this is not bread to be eaten by itself.  The second loaf may get made into croutons or something like that.  If anyone has made this recipe before with satisfactory results, please tell your story!
Overall: 1 out of 5

16.  Honey-Baked Lentils, pg. 106

Having made this recipe many times before, I knew what kind of yumminess I was getting into when I decided to make it for dinner last night.  A simple, make-ahead kind of dish which is mild enough to serve to your grandparents, but potentially sassy enough to serve at a dinner party :)
A couple changes I made to the recipe...I used a teaspoon of regular, sandwich mustard instead of dry.  I grated fresh ginger instead of the dry ginger as well.  I have never put in the bacon it calls for, and think it's perfectly fine without it (although I'm sure some good bacon would taste lovely in it!)  I did forget to put in that last cup of water this time, and the result was that the lentils got a little dry (though that might have also had to do with a slightly longer baking time...)

Overall: 4 out of 5  A sturdy, filling dish fit for you and yours or company!

17.  Apple Crisp, pg. 270

While I'm not a huge fan of fruit crisps in general, with the abundance of apples in Justin's shares the past couple weeks, I had to do something to get rid of them.

I used gala apples, and because they're a fairly sweet apple to begin with, reduced the amount of sugar that gets tossed with the apples.  I sprinkled in about a teaspoon of nutmeg to complement the cinnamon, which I found was just enough for you to get a hint, but not too much to overpower.  When I was mixing the crisp part, I felt like it seemed over-greasy, but once baked, the consistency was nice, and evened out the flavors.

Doubling this recipe made a very hearty 9" pan's worth, and could realistically serve up to 10.

Overall:  3 out of 5  Nothing special about it, but nothing terrible about it. :)

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