Hot Polka Dot
9Mar/12

Refined Sugar.

I'm busy preparing for a takeover sleepover this weekend so I'll have to keep this brief.

As if three preteen girls need any help in the hyperactive department, I decided I would be a swell idea to feed them at least three different kinds of sugar with this Maple Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread.

Granulated sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup. They'll never sleep. Ever.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a vacuum cleaner with my name on it.

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21Jun/11

How To Tuesday: Means To An End.

We all have them. Bread ends. Stupid, tiny, crusty, thin, burn in the toaster bread ends. But why throw them out like most people when you can use them to make delicious bread crumbs?

And go one step further and make your own seasoned bread crumbs. There are so many options and the best part is you can make it exactly the way you want. Italian, Greek, curry, Herbs de Provence, Thanksgiving. Be creative! The possibilities are endless!

Then why not take it another step further and do your own Shake and Bake? Mind blowing right? All you do is dredge your chicken, pork or fish in flour, then beaten egg, then your bread crumbs seasoned to your liking and bake or pan fry.

Let's start with the bread crumbs and let your imagination go from there.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and position a rack in the center. Place your bread ends or slices on a baking sheet and bake them for 20 – 25 minutes. They should be dry and hard but not necessarily toasted. Transfer them to a cooling rack until they're room temperature.

Break the dried bread into chunks and blend it in a food processor until you've reached your desired consistency. You could make it superfine or coarse. It's completely up to you! You can stop now and keep your bread crumbs plain or you can play the flavour game.

Now the fun part! Mix and match your flavours to create the seasoned bread crumbs of your dreams. Here are a few of my favourites to get you started.

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9Jul/10

Now With Less Yeast and More Expletives.


This is the first time I made bread. Sad, but true. I've put it off for far too long and I decided that today was the day. I was full of misplaced optimism and enthusiasm. It was great.

Have you ever thought you followed a recipe to the letter and then you realize that you skipped one crucial step or forgot one key ingredient? Yeah, I wouldn't recommend you do that with bread. Like I did.

Which ingredient would you say is the most important in bread? That's right, yeast of course. So here I was covering my freshly kneaded hunk of dough to rise feeling pretty happy with myself. I reread the recipe for about the gazillionth time and I realized to my horror that I didn't add enough yeast. How could I have missed that? I added 1 1/2 packages of yeast, not the 2 1/2 it called for.

Needless to say there were expletives involved. Birds flew away. Flowers wilted. Squirrels ran for cover.

I half expected my dough not to rise at all and instead be left with a spongy glossy lump of stubborn goo. Either that or there was going to be an explosion of some sort. I don't know why when anything goes wrong I always brace myself for an explosion. To my surprise and delight I was wrong. So wrong.

French Bread with Brown Butter Spread. Hey that rhymes. And yes, it's as awesome as it sounds.

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