Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mama the Lunch lady...

My nightly routine. I bake my bread, I cut my bread, I stack the bread with goodies.
The spots are Balsamic Vinegar, the red strings are Roasted Red Peppers, green is Romaine lettuce.

Mustard and Turkey Ham, or whatever meat I have on hand.

Done and ready to pack in foil.

Johnny gets a small one. Will gets two because he is at school for 12 hours.

Bill gets the one of his choosing, and Alex wants his packed with Pepperoncini peppers.

All I need is a hair net, a hairy mole, a cigarette and I am in Lunch Lady business like the one that worked at my Jr. High back in the day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The perfect Salad for Stale Bread

Stale Bread.
Yes, sometimes, we don't eat all our bread or I over bake a loaf or two and it sits around for a few days.
Yes, it happens.
Just like everything else in life... the new becomes old hat.
Don't get me wrong... I'm not stopping baking my own bread... I've realized how much money I save making and baking my own... plus... it's totally fun, and it's a habit making the dough now.
But... Like the saying goes... Man does not live my bread alone.
So... the Italians are geniuses at coming up with recipes to use absolutely everything up so there is no waste, and one of our favorite salads is
Panzanella Salad.
I may have already blogged about it... but it is so good, it deserves a second mention.
It is basically just a tomato salad with bread cubes in it, but it is just so delicious, and my kidlets ADORE IT!
Cut up a bunch of tomatoes
thinly slice an onion
chopped some parsley, basil and oregano
or use an Italian dry blend
Season and dress with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper
and just before serving
cut stale bread into one inch cubes and toss them in.
Your taste buds with thank you!
So good!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Buttermilk bread made with Yogurt instead!

This cinnamon raisin bread was made with a modified "Buttermilk" recipe from the book.
I frequent the books blog, and a reader posted a comment about how he used Yogurt instead of Buttermilk in the Buttermilk Bread dough recipe. I don't have buttermilk, but I did have plain yogurt hanging around for Tzazkiki, so I tried it!
Can you say YUM?
The dough is tangy, easy and oh so tender.
I am so proud of this bread!
One loaf has lasted us 3 days, and the kids have been eating it every morning for breakfast toast.
I had to snap this picture before it was all gone.
I priced a large loaf yesterday at the store, and it would have been $7 if I had purchased the same amount of bread that I made.
My 25lbs of bread flour only costs me $7, and it lasts me 2 months!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to use up a whole bucket o' dough!

My Mom and I did a big catering job on Friday... and we needed my back patio fridge to store all the sauce and meatballs she made, so I had to move my buckets of waiting dough. There was no room in my house fridge, so I had to use all that dough up, in one day.
Luckily, I only had two buckets of dough. Sometimes I have a third going of another kind of dough other than the Master Recipe.
I wanted to use it quickly, and in a way I knew it would be eaten, and not left to go stale.
I found the perfect use... Focaccia. One. Big. Huge. Focaccia.
I oiled up a Stoneware Bar Pan, and dumped an entire bucket of dough onto it, and gingerly started to spread it by lifting and gently pulling it to the outer edges. Then I just let it sit for about 20 minutes, dimpled it with my fingers and put it into a hot 475 oven.
It was gorgeous!
If I hadn't lost my camera, I would be able to show you! {sigh}
So when it was all done baking... I wrapped it in a towel after it cooled completely, and
the next night, before the Drive in, I made sandwiches with it.
My men went mad for the them!
I layered turkey, sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, shredded lettuce, pepperoncinis, roasted red peppers, balsamic vinegar and olive oil between the pillowy bread.
After wrapping it in foil, I put it in the fridge to ripen and put a skillet on top of it so the layers would squish together to make a sorta Muffaletta, a Mockaletta, if you will.
The rest of the dough was rolled out into thin sheets and my Mom's famous meatballs were chopped up and fresh Mozzarella cheese was grated and encased in the thin sheets as Calzones.
I made them right on the stone, and put the in the oven. I couldn't slide them of a peel because they were too full and dough was thin.
Alex said I should sell them. He kept making dreamy noises as he ate them.
Oh, how I wish I had those pictures...
I'll make more this week, after my new camera delivers.
It was weird not having dough buckets in the fridge.
I am waiting for them to rise as I type this. Both are going into the fridge tonight.
I am having a friend over for lunch tomorrow and I want to have fresh bread to make our Paninni's on.