Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kitchen Therapy

I love to cook. I don't cook nearly as much as I'd like; and when I say 'cook' I mean create something delicious not just feed the family. During the week I keep things pretty basic and simple. My fiance and I have very different tastes in food (he's a carnivore to the extreme, I'm a budding vegetarian) so I end up cooking 2 versions of dinner on the nights I cook (which is most nights).

Today I ventured into a new realm of cooking... homemade bread, with yeast and everything! I originally planned on making english muffins but then decided to make an English Muffin Loaf instead, because, honestly, it looked easier.

After gathering my ingredients I noticed that I'd bought the wrong kind of yeast and had to run to the store for instant (aka rapid rise) yeast. I don't have a thermometer so had to guess at the temp of the milk/oil/water mixture, this may be the reason my dough didn't right the way I wanted it to. This dough is a very sticky and soft dough and as I was transferring it into the loaf pan I noticed a good amount of flour hadn't been mixed in so I mixed it in with my hands, basically kneading the dough; this also may be the culprit for the less than fluffy texture of my bread.

I followed the tip about boiling water and letting the loaf rise in the microwave with the cup of boiling water. I checked on it at 45 minutes and it wasn't done rising, so I reboiled the water and gave it another 15 minutes. It had risen a bit more, but still not to where I wanted it, but I figured it was done rising. I popped it in the over and 27 minutes later I had freshly baked English Muffin bread.

While the bread cooled we took a 7 mile family walk along the rail trail. When we got back the house still smelled like fresh baked bread and I was famished! I had a slice  toasted with butter with my lunch and it was quite tasty!

For dinner I decided to try something a little different as well. According to the menu board tonight was burger night. So I decided to make myself a portobello burger. I searched several recipes online and almost all of them suggested marinading the mushrooms in a balsamic/evoo type marinade. I used balsamic vinegar, evoo, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. I only marinaded them for about 20 minutes. For a side I sauteed some kale with evoo, garlic, and onions topped with feta. There were also some leftover tater tots (which I made to go with the fiances cheeseburger) so I had a few of those as well. The portobello burgers came out very nicely, the texture was nice a 'meaty' and the marinade was perfect. I topped my burger with feta, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and black olives.

I've also noticed that my camera really SUCKS and I should really get a new one... soon!


MommaLizard said...

Couple of comments on the bread making process - sometimes you need to let your bread proof (rise) for up to two hours, especially if you want knooks and crannies. The other comment is why the hell would you let your bread cool before you bust into it! There is nothing yummier than fresh from the oven bread. Silly girl!

Tara said...

Lol, it was too hot to handle and I wasn't quite hungry anyway. The house smelled great though!