Fall is turning into winter, it gets dark far too early, it’s cold and dark out. Yes, winter has started to creep into St. Louis. And as the wind whistles around outside, it is blowing through the empty halls of this blog as well. Sorry about that. What happened to me? What happened to November? I’m still here but I’ve been a prisoner, locked in my room eating nothing but bread and water all month.
Of course, by “prisoner locked in my room” I mean that I have been super busy working with some great clients on some really exciting projects and by “bread and water” I mean more good food than I can shake a stick at. And then there was Thanksgiving. So I haven’t actually been starving. Suffice it to say that I feel fat.
Ugh. I should probably stick to bread and water for the next month.
I promise that I will get back on the food blogging bus again soon, because I am most definitely off of it right now. Yes, this is me not being on the bus. I’m not blogging about Thanksgiving turkey (since I didn’t make one) and other holiday foods (since I haven’t made any of those either). No parties – dinner, holiday, birthday, other – or social activities to speak of. Except for the ones that involve drinking with friends, I managed to find time to squeeze in time with one of my best friends: Mr. John Jameson. As far as food of the non-liquid variety, in all honesty I have been photographing more food than I have been cooking, and when I have had a chance to get in the kitchen I’ve been cooking food that I’ve already discussed here on the blog and don’t want to bore you with again.
I should mention, however, that I have gotten quite good making chicken stock which I have been using to make Leftovers Risotto using whatever I happen to have around. Risotto is decadent and delicious and I love it. For futher reading, here’s one of my earlier attempts to keep you going. Keep in mind that once you learn the technique you can swap out virtually all of the ingredients for what you happen to have on hand.
Another development is my acquisition of a pressure cooker! As some of you may recall I broke up with dried beans a while back, and when I made the announcement my food-inclined friends all told me to try a pressure cooker. So expect to hear more about that coming up.
Other than that I have been eating a lot of sandwiches at home and have been trying out various recipes for sandwich bread. As a side note, I have been doing pretty well with crusty breads and now am trying to figure out how to make a healthy, delicious and relatively soft sandwich bread, which is harder than I thought it would be. The loaf pictured above was very tasty but also very dense. Since many health professionals encourage foods that take longer to digest for good diet food, this bread is perfect for it. I will be more productive here on the blog in December than I was in November. I promise.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Yes, I used a scale for this one
1 lb whole wheat flour
12 oz hot water
8 oz unbleached all purpose flour
5 oz milk
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp salt
3 tsp yeast
Additional flour as necessary
Mix hot water with whole wheat flour in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour. Add milk, honey, salt, yeast and white flour to the mixture and stir until smooth and tacky (but not sticky). Put dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Push out air, form into a large loaf and put in a large buttered loaf pan (I used a 1 1/2 lb size). Allow to rise until well above the edge of the pan, covered loosely with plastic. It helps to spray some oil on the plastic to keep it from sticking.
30 minutes before the rise is complete, preheat oven to 425 degrees. When rise is complete put pan in the oven, then immediately turn temperature down to 375. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top and bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool fully on a rack before cooking.
Makes one large, dense loaf.