September 18, 2011

Spiced Whole Wheat and Oats Bread Rolls

Sometimes subtlety is very good thing. Case in point: these rolls. I wanted to make a bread roll that has an interesting flavour profile - something more complex than the usual bread flavour - so I added a bit of allspice to the dough, then topped the rolls with anise. The result is pure love and goes really well with the squash soup I made. Not everything I make turns out so well, though. The day before yesterday I unintentionally crafted what could be a very effective bread-based melee weapon... :P Check my personal blog later today for details.

  • 1 c. bread flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 3/4 - 1 3/4 c. bread flour

In a large bowl, or stand mixer bowl, combine first four ingredients. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine milk, butter, and honey. Heat to 130 - 140F (very warm, but not boiling). Pour into the oats and flour mixture; stir well. Add beaten egg. Mix well for two minutes then let the rest for 10 minutes.

Add whole wheat flour and allspice to the wet dough mixture. Mix well. Add bread flour 1/2 cup at a time, while mixing, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will still be sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding flour as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough into a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until dough is double in size.

Punch down the dough until almost all of the bubbles are expelled. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and shape into rolls. Place onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Let rise for 30 minutes, or until dough rolls are double in size.

Just before placing the rolls in the oven, beat one egg and brush the rolls. Sprinkle the rolls with oatmeal and anise seeds.

Bake at 375F for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack.


September 17, 2011

Squash Soup

A few days ago, I woke to find my car covered with thick frost. I was both delighted and disappointed. It means that summer is gone, but it also means that autumn is upon us. It is now the season of warm socks, sweaters, scarves (yay! scarves!) and soup. This luscious, slightly spicy soup is one of my favourites as it is hearty, but very healthful, and can be thrown together in 45 minutes, making it ideal for preparing after work.

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp balti curry powder
  • *1 1/2 - 3 lbs squash (butternut or acorn), peeled, and cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and diced
  • 3 14 ounce cans of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 12 oz low-fat evaporated milk

  • *Consider this amount to be a mere suggestion. For some magic reason that I don't understand, a large squash or a medium squash can be used. If you use a particularly large squash, just add an extra can of chicken broth.

In a large stock pot, saute onion in the vegetable oil. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add apples and curry seasoning; stir. Add squash, apples, chicken broth, and apple juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the squash and apples are tender. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a kitchen blender, blend until the soup is smooth. Return to the stock pot; add evaporated milk. Stir well. Garnish each bowl with cracked pepper and fresh thyme or sage leaves.



September 11, 2011

La Rossa by Birra Moretti

La Rossa

  • Appearance: Rich, deep caramel.
  • Aroma: This has a really nice nutty aroma.
  • Flavour: When it first hits your palate there is a hoppy bitterness followed by a mildly sweet finish that then reverts to slightly bitter. Subtle caramel and nutty flavours. It is really quite nice.
  • Mouthfeel: Not quite what I would call creamy but it is definitely smooth. It has just enough body to form a nice head.
  • Overall impression: This is a really nice beer with just enough complexity to be interesting, but not so much so that you wouldn't be able to enjoy a few over the course of an evening.

Summary (each characteristic on a scale of 1-10, where one is very poor and 10 is excellent):
  • Appearance: 9
  • Aroma: 8
  • Flavour: 8
  • Mouthfeel: 8
  • Overall impression: 8
Total: 41/50

I have recently developed a strong appreciation for Fridays and an equally strong dislike for painting. I dislike painting almost as much as I dislike Jello...or vanilla pudding. OH! Cilantro = supreme evil. Mondays are like cilantro. Mondays are to cilantro as Fridays are to La Rossa. I don't even know what that means. What I do know is that you should try my new favourite beer. When I first bought it several weeks ago, I took a photo as I always do, then sat down to sip and write. I so thoroughly enjoyed it that I never got around to writing. I simply sat and enjoyed. However, as I am a stick-to-it kind of girl, I thought I should buy a couple more bottles and give it another go. *cracks open a bottle, pours, admires, sip....sip....sip...does not write* Do you see a pattern here? Third time is the charm. The things I do for this blog.

In any case, if you can find this beer, you should buy some. It is lovely. You should also check out my even more personal blog. See that link over there on the right? Don't click it. Srsly.