Monday, January 18, 2010

Bread Baking Babes: Live Bread Blogging

5:54pm East Coast Time: I Begin Naan


I had planned on doing this month's BBB Bread: Naan as suggested by our lovely Lynn live while I made it and keep you up to date step by step.

That was the plan anyways. But, I'm seeing a problem with this whole live blogging thing. It is hard to type and mix dough at the same time!

So, instead of absolutely live there will be a 5 minute taped delay.

You know just in case the yeast has a wardrobe malfunction or the flour utters a word that isn't fit for the little yeast tots out there.

So off we go!

6:45pm East Coast Time: Little Blobs of Dough

Here is the recipe we are using:

Plain Naan

scant 4 cups white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 oz / 15 g. package compressed fresh yeast*
water to mix (10oz)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
olive oil for frying

1- Line a baking sheet. Put the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl and add enough water to make a soft, but not sloppy dough. Add the seeds, then divide the dough into three pieces and put on the baking sheet. Let rest for 1 hour.

2- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and, using a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a circle, 10 inches / 25.5 cm in diameter, and let rest for 5 minutes.

3- Heat a skillet to a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Shallow-fry each naan until browned on both sides, then set aside to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 3 naan (which I wonder about - same amount of flour as above, so why half the yield? - Lynn's Note) I wonder why too so I divided it up into eight pieces!

BBB Naan: Blobs of dough

Another place I kind of deviated from Lynn's recipe was I always proof my fresh yeast, regardless of what the recipe calls for. I use a 1/4 cup of luke warm water and pinch of sugar when I proof fresh yeast. You are all set to go when your yeast looks like this

BBB Naan: Proofed Yeas

I used two spices in my Naan: cumin seeds and the Penzy's Balti mix (coriander, garlic, ginger, cumin, dundicut chilies, Ceylon cinnamon, funugreek, mustard, cardamom, clove, fennel, chamushka, star anise, ajwain, black cardamom, cilantro, anise seed, and bay leaf).

BBB Naan: Spices for my Naan

I put that stuff on everything, including popcorn and I can't wait to taste it in my naan.

While my dough is finishing resting for the hour, I'm going to marinate some chicken for my curry and cook the rice.

8:45pm East Coast Time: Let's EAT!

After letting the dough rest for one hour you have puffy little balls of dough.

BBB Naan: Puffy Dough

The dough was lovely to work with, soft and pliable when rolling out.

BBB Naan: rolled out

Heat some oil in a pan and fry up the naan.

BBB Naan: Into the pan

Traditional naan is actually baked on the side of a tandorri but since I don't have one of those, nor do any of my friends or fellow Babes, we have to use shallow frying.

Look at this bubble!

BBB Naan:  One Big Bubble

When they are golden brown on one side, flip them and let them brown and take them out to cool.

BBB Naan: All done!

I'm lucky I had any left for dinner because I had the curry sauce and my favorite Indian condiment, tamarind chutney on the counter while I was making the naan.

BBB Naan: Condiments to go with

I decided to try one while the rest were frying and next thing I knew, I had eaten two. oops.

I restrained myself and while the rice finished cooking in my rice cooker, which next to Isabelle (Kitchen Aid Pro V) is my favorite kitchen appliance, I fixed the curry.

BBB Naan: Next to Isabelle, my favorite kitchen appliance

Fifteen minutes later I sat down to a wonderful home cooked Indian meal.

BBB Naan: Dinner!
Naan was pretty darn easy to make and I can't wait to try another batch.

Go see what the other Babes made to go along with their naan by visiting their blogs listed on my sidebar. If you want to try your hand at making naan, we'd love to have you join us as a Bread Baking Buddy. Just make the naan, blog about it and email our lovely host kitchen, Cookie Baker Lynn by January 25.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drive-By Weekend Cat Blogging

Happy New Year to all my fans and fellow kitties!

This is my first time this year that Mom has let me have the computer and I know it will come as no surprise to you but she is no where to be found this morning to help me with this post for our first hosting of Weekend Cat Blogging for 2010.

You will also be further non-amazed that she is out on the golf course this morning.

10th Tee at Royal Oak Country Club Titusville
(10th Tee Box a Royal Oak Golf Resort in Titusville, FL)

Yes, you read that right. Mom is out golfing. In the winter. In the cold. She has completely lost it I tell you.

You see Mom, despite her best efforts to not travel in January has been informed she is leaving on Wednesday to go spend a few days in Las Vegas on that project and she is planning on taking her clubs with her and since it has been several weeks since she has been on the course, she decided she better get back out there before going and playing with some business people. Besides, she wanted to show off her brand new pink golf bag

My pretty new pink golf bag

that my Grandma, her MIL, gave her for Christmas.

Grandma also sent back from Tennessee a box of kittie treats, a funny ball that I've already batted under the china cabinet to lose sight of God and man, and a can of tuna for me. I got one more Christmas present from Grandma that Mom didn't know about.

Her pink and purple warm socks!

LB on MR Socks

You see she took them off and set them next to her one night two weeks ago and they were so soft and warm, I decided she didn't really need them anymore and I've taken for myself.

Right before Mom left for Christmas in Florida and Tennessee, she decided to join the 21st Century with her cellphone. She had a seven year old Nokia phone that she was loathe to give up but it finally stopped working right and she was forced to give it up and bought herself this

New Iphone!

Yup, that would be an I-phone

golfball dipple iphone skin

with it's golf ball skin.

She downloaded a bunch of cool audio, golf and cooking apps and has fun playing with them and getting to know her phone. She even found out that the phone takes really good food pictures


and pictures of dough.

steissel dough

Now if she would just quit taking pictures of me all the time with it!

LB Not Amused

I'd be happy.

If you want to tell me what you or your humans have been up to this week for Weekend Cat Blogging, leave a comment. If you want to find out what all the kitties and humans have been up to, check back on Sunday evening to see the comments.

Now, I have to go sleep in the sun

before Mom comes home and makes me pose for more pictures...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Blogging By Mail: A Lovely Little Package of Indulgence

Late last year the lovely Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness announced another round of her popular Blogging By Mail and I, of course, signed up immediately.

I had quite a lot of fun picking out the little items for my package that was sent to a fellow food blogger with whom I have more than a passing acquaintance with and after I sent my package off, I admit I kind of forgot about the whole event as the end of my year was a bit wacky with my travel schedule for work and then my two week vacation to Florida for Christmas.

But when I arrived home there, amongst all the mail and bills was this lovely package from emzeegee and the hungry three.

BBM Package

This package came all the way from Australia and boy was it full of some great stuff!

BBM Goodies

First, let me confess something. I have a weakness for trashy celeb gossip rags; especially when I'm on a vacation. One of the first things I do when I land at my vacation spot is pick up all the latest issues of US, In Touch, etc. So, I was pretty excited to see a trashy celeb gossip rag in my package. It will be the perfect reading with cup of tea from my stash later tonight when I fill the bathtub with hot, steamy water. This will probably be followed by a bit of chocolate!

The photos in the food magazine are incredible and I'm already dusting my scale off to make a thing or two from the issue. And as if that wasn't enough, I have a new pen to scribble in my 2010 journal! All in all, a great package of Little Indulgences.

Thanks emzeegee!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Kind of Food Related

Besides work, the major thing that took me away from The Sour Dough last year was my new found obsession, and it is an obsession, with golf. When I wasn't in the kitchen, I was at the golf course or driving range.

One of the funniest commercials I saw over the Christmas holiday was this ESPN Sports Center commercial:

If you don't know the reference, that is Arnold Palmer "playing through" in the ESPN cafeteria to make himself his namesake drink, The Arnold Palmer.

It gets even better. Apparently, after filming the commercial the staff of ESPN and Arnie went out to the back and The King proceeded to chip a ball into a glass filled with an Arnold Palmer.

Man, I wish I could hole out like that!

The wind is howling outside, making the 18 degrees feel like -3 below zero and, even if I wasn't recovering from the flu, I don't think golf is in my future any time soon here in Connecticut. But, to make it feel a little more like summer here is a flashback recipe from the end of the summer last year for my Arnold Palmer Cookies.

Arnold Palmer Cookies

Arnold Palmer Cookie

1 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C sifted confectioners sugar
1/4C sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/8 C lemonade, (Homemade is best but if you have to use store bought, try to get some that doesn't use high fructose corn syrup)
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 C AP flour, sifted
1/8 C finely ground black tea

Combine flour, salt and tea and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until the butter is light and fluffy. Add into the butter mixture, the lemon zest and lemonade. 1/4 cup at a time, add in flour mixture until the dough just comes together.

Form the dough plank on waxed paper, place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Dough can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.

Slice frozen dough in 1/4" slices, place on prepared or parchment paper lined cookie pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are just starting to turn golden brown in pre-heated 350 degree oven.

Remove from oven, allow to cool on pan for 1-2 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before glazing.

1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp lemonade
1 Tbsp freshly brewed tea

Combine the ingredients together. You may need to add more liquid or sugar to get the glaze to the consistency you desire.

Make 2 dozen. These cookies freeze well, ship fantastic, and will stay fresh for one week in a sealed container.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Ringing in the New Year and New Decade with...

The flu.

I returned home from Florida and a wonderful visit with my folks on Wednesday evening last week feeling not so hot. It started somewhere around Roanoke, VA with a weird nagging cough that I thought was the last bit of the sinus/ear infection I took to Florida, thanks to six continuous weeks of flying, but by the time I hit Winchester, VA and had ringing in my ears, a craving for orange juice, and a dull thudding headache, I knew I was in trouble. Since I drove to Florida and had a rental car due back Thursday morning, I had no choice but to keep going.

I got home at 9:30pm, took a shower, took my temperature,101 degrees thank you very much, and fell into a coma in bed. Poor LB barely got a hug and pat.

After returning the car early thirty on Thursday morning and finding that my everyday car's battery was dead, dead, dead (I have two, my every day car and my fun car, a 1991 Mercedes 350SD Turbo Diesel), I had to uncover the fun car, unplug it from the engine block warmer, start it up, let it get warmed up, and drive or rather slip and slide my way to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of bread, some soup, cough medicine, orange juice, and some ginger ale before returning to bed where I have been for the last four days.

Needless to say, my resolution to be a better food blogger this year has started out not so good. I didn't do a year end wrap up post, look what I got for Christmas post, what I wish for you and The Sour Dough in the New Year post. I haven't even opened the mail from my vacation where a "Blogging by Mail" package sits and waits for me to open!

Bear with me for a few more days. I'm not 100% yet. Heck, I'm not even 30% yet. But with a little more rest and more watching Miami Vice, the Complete Series (Thanks Bro!), I expect to be back up to snuff very quickly.

Hope your New Year was safe and fun and see you in a few days.