Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pita Summer

The summers here in Florida are beastly hot. I'm not the one to be sweating my na-na's off cooking hot food from after June till about October. This summer, I'm leaning towards flatbread sammies and pitas. Stuff as much veg as you can into a flat breadish food holder, add meat + cheese and top with some handy variant of Ken's Salad Dressing. (The Buttermilk Ranch and Sweet Vidalia Onion are our favourites!)

Whole Wheat Pita Recipe
1 packet Yeast
2/3cup Warm Water
1 Tbsp Molasses or Honey

Mix the molasses, water and yeast in a bowl and let it proof for 10 minutes or so.

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup White Flour
1 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix dry ingredients together and add to the foamy yeast. Drizzle olive oil on top and let the mixer do it's job. Once the dough is holding together nicely, turn it onto a floured board and knead until you have a smooth, elastic, happy dough ball. Put it in a greased bowl, covered with a damp towel in a warm room. Let the dough rise for about an hour, till it's doubled. Cut into 6 chunks and hand roll them into balls. Put those on a cookie sheet, covered with wet paper towels until you're ready to roll them into discs.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out the dough balls one at a time to a thickness of between 1/4 and 1/8 inch on a lightly floured board. You don't want the dough to stick to your pin or board, but you don't want them all sandy and floury either. Just a touch of moderation, Grasshopper.

My discs end up about the length of my hand, maybe a little shy of it.

See how many you can fit on one cookie sheet. I'm working with a toaster oven, so I can only do em one at a time. Bake disks for 2-3 minutes. The high heat will steam the dough as it cooks and create the big bubble that becomes your pita pocket when you slice em in half. If you have rolled the dough too thin, they won't inflate properly. See? Nice and puffy!

When you have finished baking your pitas, cover with a damp towel for about 5 minutes, letting them rest.

Slice, stuff and Nom!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Johnnybread, Johnnycakes & Johnnywaffles, oh my!

Coming from the south, my parents taught me all sorts of odd recipes that aren't common yankee fare. Dad loved his johnnycakes. Just simple Jiffy cornbread mix pancakes cooked on the griddle. Johnnybread is the same as Johnnycakes, regional differences cause the name change, I suppose.

A Johnnywaffle is what you get when your stove AND oven are broken or gone, but you do have a waffle iron. :)  Truth enough, I prefer the waffle variant to the cake one. Those little squares hold gravy and/or butter mighty nice!

Just make your standard cornbread recipe or use good ol' Jiffy mix and add a little extra milk to it. You don't want it quite as thin as pancake batter but thinner than the cornbread batter.

Cook em like you cook your standard pancakes or waffles and enjoy!

Make em Gluten free if that's what works for you.
Add chopped onions, jalapenos or kernel corn to make em funky.
Cheese tends to overcook and may be hard to get off your waffle iron or griddle... go ahead if you want to, you were warned. :)

Another Banana Bread Recipe

Banana bread. We've all got a recipe somewhere for it. Everybody swears theirs is moist and wonderful...blah, banana, blah blah. Here's mine to throw into the ring. Special points : no oil plus whole wheat flour, flax and honey peanut butter.

It go like this here it go:

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter

3-4 Elderly Bananas
3/4 c Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Molasses
1/2 c Honey Peanut Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 c Ground Flax Seed
2/3 c White Flour
1 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Almond or Walnut Extract

Mash bananas, add sugar & mix. Beat 2 eggs & mix them in as well. Add salt, baking soda, molasses and flax beating after each addition. Add flour and stir until it's well combined. Not too much, but do get the floury lumps out.

Spray grease loaf pan then pour batter in. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or so. Check with a toothpick - nothing is worse than half baked gloppy banana bread. Let it rest 10-15 mins then turn it out onto a plate.

A loaf rarely makes it past three days over here. Hehehe.

Note: Why no vanilla? Cheap vanilla might contain the juice of a beaver butt gland. I'll be making my own vanilla here in the not so distant future - without the butt goo.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Flatbread craziness

I had a moment and decided to make some flatbread, using my standard bread recipe. I did switch it up a little and used 1 cup of semolina rather than whole wheat flour. What I ended up with was 16 dinner plate sized flatbreads. They were on the thin side, but that's so they will handle better as a folded sandwich.

What the hell do you do with 16 big flatbreads and a family of 3?

The first one gets eaten straight off the griddle... shared with the pups, of course. Taste tester seems to be a hobby around here.

I made pizza for two days as lunch for my daughter and m'self. One round was just the right size for us to share with a side of fresh fruit. A light slather of tomato paste, a bit of thin sliced ham, some shredded spinach, italian spices, garlic, a dust of parmesan and some shredded jack = YUM!

Warm flatbread to dip into gravy with dinner the first night.

A turkey & veg sandwich for Mr. Man's lunch for two days.

One to give to a chum to test out.

Turkey & Bacon Flatbread Dagwoods for dinner on night two.

Ham & Cheese & Veg Foldover Sandwiches on night three.

....and that's all of them. 3 dinners and 2 lunches.

Cheap? Pshaw yeahhh

Milk = 20 cents
Egg =  8 cents
Oil = 15 cents
Flax = 40 cents
Sugar = 20 cents
Flour =  50 cents
Salt = 2 cents
Yeast = 67 cents

Total is $2.22 - however call it a simple $3. I prefer to round up as you can't always catch a good sale.

No preservatives. Better for you ingredients than store bought. More expensive than cheap white bread but less than packaged flatbread. Oh yeah, it tasted mighty fine as well. :)