Posts tagged ‘Mark Bittman’

March 8, 2011

More Delicious Bread

This past week I tried out Mark Bittman’s “Rick Golden Bread” recipe (How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, page 714).

The result:

The recipe:

3 1/2 cups flour (I did one cup wheat and the rest white)

2 teaspoons yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon cold butter

2 eggs

about 1 cup of milk

softened butter as needed

melted butter as needed

  1. Combine all the flour, salt , sugar, yeast, and cold butter in a bowl and mix with your hands until the butter is broken up into the dry ingredients.
  2. Slowly add 3/4 cup of milk and mix until the dough is soft and smooth.  Add the remaining milk if need-be.  It should be slightly sticky.
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, just until it is smooth.  This is a chance to knead in more flour if you need to.  Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a plastic bag and a cloth, and let rise 2 hours.
  4. Next, divide up the dough into however many loaves you intend to make.  I cut 1/3 off and made a single small loaf with that portion and cut the remaining 2/3 into three pieces to braid for challah.
  5. Shape the loaves (for the challah, roll out each section into a snake about in inch thick and then braid them together).  Cover and leave them to rest 20 minutes on a floured surface.
  6. When they have puffed slightly, use your fingers to seal the bottoms of the loaves and place them in buttered baking pans.  Cover and let rise 2 hours.
  7. Now, baking: preheat the oven to 350.  Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter.  Bake until golden  brown (about 40 minutes, or less with out unpredictable and hype-active oven).  As a baking guide, we sometimes pull the loaves out of their pans and knock on the bottom: when  the bread sounds hollow, it is done.

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March 7, 2011

Pizza dough recipe

We’ve been making pizza every few weeks since it requires relatively few veggies and is consistently delicious.  Over the  weeks I have tested both  Mark Bittman’s pizza recipe and my own personal one.  Ultimately we all agreed on my recipe: it is more diverse and always wonderful.  It also doesn’t require a food processor.

My pizza recipe was given to me in 2005 when I lived with friends of my parents in London.  They were both great cooks and passed on tidbits of their knowledge to me.  So, scrawled into a handbound notebook six years ago, I have this fail-safe recipe:

  • Make a sponge of the following:

1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 rye or whole wheat flour

  • 2. Let is rise for 20-30 minutes
  • Stir in the rest:

1/2 cup water (also lukewarm)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
(Note: if you do 100% whole wheat flour, add 1/4 teaspoon extra yeast in the first stage)

  • Carefully oil your dough all over and place it in a bowl.  Let it rise for 2 hours in a warm place with a cloth over the top.
  • Punch down lightly and let it rise another 40 minutes
  • Finally, knead gently for a few minutes, roll out into desired shape and place on a oiled and floured baking pan.  Bake at a very high temperature until slightly golden-brown.

Some topping ideas for mid-late winter:

Mushrooms

onions

raw garlic

arugula

This weekend a friend from college was here visiting (and here snowed in for the night…just because we had a few days relief in the mid-40s doesn’t mean winter is over) and we made a mushroom onion pizza with small garlic chunks. When she arrived for dinner last night-the pizza dough rising on the counter-it had only just started to rain; however, by the time we’d eaten dinner and sat down to watch The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (2009) it was snowing heavily and we decided our friend should spend the night.  Of the Imaginarium: a wonderful movie with an unexpected ending.  It could have done with a few more exposition scenes to help smooth the narrative shifts, but overall very enjoyable.  Beautifully shot and designed.

This morning it is still snowing heavily and the word from the fine people who have actually left the apartment this morning is that the snow is at least two feet deep.

February 2, 2011

Garlic and Parsley Soup, French Bread, and Upstate New York Wisdom

Here in the hinterlands, we got another good foot of snow last night, and it’s begun blowing and flurrying again tonight. We’re cozying up and dosing ourselves with a heady combination of hot toddies, garlic and parsley soup with noodles, and a particularly inspired homemade crusty French bread. Followed by a rousing game of scrabble and some cheerful bluegrass—and okay, for one of our roommates (hint: the one who lives in the actual closet) “bluegrass music” also means some freakin’ Dixie Chicks. If this sounds like a recipe for perfect bliss, friend, it is. We’ve been inspired by the towering success of the bread to begin a weekly series of blog posts, each attempting a different bread from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. Below you’ll find the recipe for the spicy, light soup, and some helpful hot toddy hints. Take one into the hot shower with you (it is not weird quoth the closet-dweller) after the cold, snowy walk to the liquor store and you’ll feel you’ve died and gone to heaven.

And now, for an anecdote as the cherry on this Wednesday sundae: We are three fairly liberal gals living in a very conservative enclave. Today this was all turned on its head with a choice comment made by our salt of the earth neighbor, a dispenser of advice on dog-walking, sprained-ankle-healing, snow-shoveling, and truck-moving who is naturally named Bob. One of our gang happened to be tramping into town past Bob’s house, where he was indeed heartily shoveling snow, with a troupe of snow-day-addled and rosy-cheeked children. Bob took one look at our harried compatriot wrangling a small herd of children through the snowdrifts and cheerfully exclaimed, “You need me to give ya the number for Planned Parenthood?” And thus, an ever-so-slightly scandalous joke about birth control made our night. We’ll take what we can get!

Hot Toddy
The classic recipe is a tipple of whiskey (Irish, American (i.e. bourbon) or Scottish (i.e. scotch) a slice of lemon, and the rest of the glass filled with just boiled water. Variations include throwing some tea into the mix, and milk and sugar if the spirit moves you, though dairy and alcohol might just throw you for a nasty loop in quantity.

Parsley and Garlic Soup


1. Cut at least two heads of large garlic.
2. Cook over very low heat with olive oil and black pepper. Stir frequently
3. Add eight cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil.
4. If using water, add at least two vegetable bouillon cubes.
5. Add a teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, and salt.
6. Once the bouillon has dissolved turn the heat down a bit.
7. If you want, add a few handfuls of uncooked pasta. It will cook in the soup.
8. When the pasta is done, turn off the heat and add at least half a bunch of parsley. We used frozen parsley from this fall, but fresh would work just as well.
Serve with delicious bread and parmesan if you want.

 

January 30, 2011

Asian Greens and Tofu with Peanut Sauce

This has become a favorite of ours this winter because it’s simple, tasty, and more or less failsafe. It does call for several things we obviously can’t get locally, but none of these are produce. This is a good recipe for a few people to make, since it’s full of separate sections, but it’s also fairly straightforward alone.

1 cabbage or 4-5 cups of Asian cooking greens
1 block firm tofu
Peanut sauce
First, get your rice started, if it’s brown rice you need to leave more time than white rice, so keep that in mind
1. Cut the tofu into small cubes and lay them on a clean cloth to dry.
2. Fry the tofu in a little neutral oil until they start to turn golden brown, about 20-30 minutes depending on your stove. Try to avoid moving them more than you need to prevent sticking. When they are done, set them aside in a bowl.
Meanwhile, don’t lose track of the rice, and start the greens:
3. Chop the cabbage or Asian greens into two-inch long strips and set aside
4. Finely chop two shallots and three cloves of garlic.
5. Cook the shallots and garlic until they turn slightly translucent, then add the cabbage or Asian and a few tablespoons of water.
Meanwhile, make up the peanut sauce:

We like to use Mark Bittman’s peanut sauce from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian but you can use whatever peanut sauce you like. We’ve been using Ithaca Tofu, a delicious tofu brand made in Ithaca, NY.