Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beets < 3 Bread (it's official)

This past Friday I went to the Union Square Green Market to work on an assignment for my curriculum class.  Naturally, all work and no shopping make Sarah and Julia hungry girls.  I bought lettuce, cucumbers, agretti, beets and a red onion.  Julia bought sugar snap peas.  Not that impressive compared to my list until she also bought a tomato that weighed in to cost 2$ but she only had 1$.  And so that was all that she paid.  One red, huge, fresh tomato at 50% off.

This is the new (to me) vegetable I bought:

Agretti is an Italian vegetable that sort of tastes like salty grass.  In a good way.  I tossed some into my salad and chopped some into my omelet.  It is tasty, but a lot of work.  Similar to kale, it is not fun to eat the stems.  But different than kale it doesn't have big leaves to take off.  The part you eat of this vegetable are those skinny little leaves growing off the tough stem.  Taking those leaves off was unlike any food prep  I have done before.  Still not sure how I feel about the ratio of work to deliciousness with this one.

But look at how cute it is cuddling up with the beets:
The bread is going to get jealous.

Which brings me, conveniently, to the beets.  Martha Rose Shulman published a bunch of delicious looking beet recipes in the NYTimes a couple of weeks ago so they have really been on my mind.  

Lil made a couple of delicious beet boules back in February.  So here we go again.  Letting this "winter vegetable shine in summer!"

Sourdough Beet Bread
(Printable Recipe)
Prep time 1 hour to roast, cool, and puree the beets and about another 3 before it goes in the oven
Bake time about 1 hour
Yields 1 boule

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup roasted beets, pureed
1/2 cup 8 grain cereal
1/3 cup warm water
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
1 3/4 teaspoon salt

First, roast your beets and let them cool before attempting to puree.
Then, soak the 8 grain cereal in the water for 10 minutes.  While it soaks, measure out your starter.
Combine the beet puree with the starter and soaked cereal.  Stir.  The starter should bubble and burp with delight.
Add the whole wheat flour, yeast, and vital wheat gluten.  The dough will still be wet.  Before stirring in any of the bread flour or salt let the starter work for about 20 minutes.  
Now add the salt and as much bread flour as you can stir in.
Once it becomes too difficult to stir, carefully dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in as much of the remaining bread flour as you need to in order to be able to work the dough but still feel that it is slightly tacky.  
Flour a clean bowl for the dough to rise in for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
Shape the dough, flour a dutch oven, and place carefully.  Let it rise for another hour or until it is doubled again.
Now, please note, the following cooking method was employed because it is over 90°F in NYC and our apartment does NOT have an air conditioner:
Turn on the oven to 400°F and place the dough, in it's floured dutch oven, inside as it preheats.
After it bakes uncovered for 20 minutes, open the oven door and cover it. 
Bake like this for 20 minutes.  Then turn off the oven.  Do not open the oven door for 20 minutes.
Take the dutch oven out of the oven.  Remove cover and take internal temperature to see that it is 200°F.  
Let it cool before cutting.

For information on roasting beets or other fun beet facts please see Lil's previous post (linked earlier).  One of the things I liked more about those loaves than this one was that the beet was more coarsely chopped leaving bright red flecks throughout the loaf.  This loaf got a really beautiful crust though, nice and chewy, probably because of my brilliant and intentional baking method.

Beet and Bread = BFFL

Aww, makes my heart skip a beet.

- Sar

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lentil Burgers on Onion Buns, Etc.

It's Independence Day!!  

This has always been one of my favorite holidays.  For the fireworks and for the weather and of course for being a proud American.  But it is not such a good holiday to be a vegetarian.  So, I did some research in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and decided to whip up some veggie burgers.

Lentil Burgers inspired by recipes from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
Yields 9 burgers about 3 inches in diameter
Prep time at least 2 hours
Cook time 30 minutes - 15 minutes on each side 

1 cup dried lentils soaking in about 3 cups of water
1 cube vegetable bouillon 
1/3 of an onion (we had white)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup corn (frozen or canned works)
1 shredded carrot
1 egg
2-4 tablespoons corn meal
cilantro, coriander, chili powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute the garlic and onions in extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan until translucent.
  2. Pour lentils and water into saucepan with vegetable bouillon cube.
  3. Simmer until the lentils are cooked thoroughly and stick together.
  4. Turn off the heat and add corn and shredded carrot.  Other vegetables can be added as well just be careful not to overdo it or else your burgers will not stick together.
  5. Add 1 egg and corn meal (I needed only 3 tablespoons to get my burgers to be the right consistency - sticky but handleable) to help the burgers stick together.
  6. Add desired spices.
  7. Shape into patties and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Chill in fridge until you are ready to bake.
  8. Remove burgers from oven and let them get back to room temperature as the oven preheats to 425°F.  Bake 15 minutes on each side.  

But what is a burger without a bun?  

Onion Buns adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yields 8 buns

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 egg white
poppy or sesame seeds optional

The instructions via the KAF link above are very comprehensive.. essentially:
  1. Combine dry ingredients and mix.
  2. Combine wet ingredients and whisk.
  3. Mix together slowly.
  4. Knead.
  5. Rise.
  6. Shape.
  7. Rise again.
  8. Egg wash and top.
  9. Bake.
  10. Enjoy.
Some process photos:

In the process of making the buns I realized we would definitely want some barbeque sauce to moisten/flavor them.

Barbeque Sauce from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

1 cup ketsup
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
cloves, salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. 

And once you have a great BBQ sauce, you'll remember other things you like to dip...

Sweet Potato Fries
Prep time about 45 minutes

Sweet potatoes/Yams
Salt, pepper and rosemary

Chop up two medium sweet potatoes into your favorite fry shape.
Drizzle about 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and toss with your hands.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and some fresh rosemary.
Spread evenly on a baking sheet.

Bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes until you have your desired crispiness.

Happy Forth of July!!
- Sarah

PS I am red (see blood), white (see helmet and shoes) and blue (see jersey and bike). 
How hardcore American are YOU??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hearty Whole Wheat

My very first post to The Upper Yeast Side was about a basic whole wheat sandwich loaf that I made for Lil's birthday.  Since I am still feeling awesome from my success with the sourdough sandwich bread I made recently I tried to recreate it minus the sourdough.  Essentially, another whole wheat sandwich loaf.  I'll do some of the things the same, some of the things different and try to figure out what made that loaf so phenomenal.  Here goes.

Hearty Whole Wheat 
(Printable Recipe)

What I Used:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup bread flour
3 teaspoons nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons melted butter (salted)
4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons yeast

What I Did:
  1. Proof 2 teaspoons yeast in 2 tablespoons warm water and with a dollop (yes a dollop) of honey.  
  2. While the yeast proofs, measure out all the dry ingredients and mix together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the yeast to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons melted butter, an 2 tablespoons honey.  Stir slowly until it becomes too difficult.  Then let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. After the dough has rested, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Flour mixing bowl and move dough to the bowl.  
  6. Wait about 1 1/2 hours until the dough has doubled in bulk.
  7. Shape your loaf and place it into a greased loaf pan.  Punch it down.
  8. Allow the dough to rise until it comes above the edge of the loaf pan.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Prepare a water-honey wash of about 1 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon honey..  Brush the upper crust with water and sprinkle with wheat germ or wheat bran or eight grain cereal or any combination.  
  11. Bake for 45 minutes.  20 minutes with a cast iron pan of water and 25 minutes without.
  12. Let it cool before removing from the pan and definitely before slicing.
Bring a slice to the Dennis for your couple of laps around the Park.  Just kidding, that's not a direction, but sharing is caring.  These are the slices we ate:

This loaf came out pretty well- I wish I was a little more patient on it's second rise because it didn't really get bigger in the oven but I got a great texture again (I think it might have to do with the steam in the oven) and nice upper crust from brushing with the honey-water.

I am definitely going to try this loaf again but wait longer for it to rise fully.
- Sarah