Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Basic Sourdough

I'm not really sure what it is about having more time to get things done that makes you do less. I think the excitement of being busy keeps you going strong. I blame this for my recent lack in posting. I haven't been a total waste, though. I've been experimenting with a few things, like scales and sourdough. First things first, let's talk about scales.

There are a few websites that post their ingredients by weight, not volume. For a while I steered clear of these recipes. I was either too scared to try something that seemed so advanced, or I just really didn't want to go out and buy a scale. However, I wasted more & more time on the internet and found a few pages that convinced me that having a scale was necessary. One of them was a post by Susan at Wild Yeast Blog, The Right Weigh. Here she really explains why scales are important and how they can be used for things such as Baker's Percentages (another one of her great posts, or four, the first of which is found here). She really knows what she is doing, so listen up and go buy yourself a scale! I got myself the Salter MaxView scale from BB&B for about $50, and it was well worth the money.

The next topic is sourdough. While it seems very daunting, it really isn't that difficult. It just takes some time. The thing that makes sourdough different is the fact that it uses an aged, fermented starter, which is composed simply of flour, water, and yeast. You can make your own starter at home (Another Wild Yeast post, very in depth tutorial by Heavenly Homemakers, etc. I will post on that in the future), or buy some commercially (from King Arthur Flour, for example). After that's done you can make some sourdough bread!

So here we go. This recipe is adapted from one I found at King Arthur Flour. 

1 cup / 8 oz active sourdough starter
1 1/2 cup / 12 oz lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp / 1/2 oz sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups / 15 1/4 oz all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups / 6 oz whole wheat flour

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead to form a smooth dough.
  2. Allow the dough to rise in a covered bowl until doubled in size, about a 75-90 minutes. 
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into two 10" logs or two round boules.
  4. Cover with a lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size again, about 60 minutes.
  5. Near the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F.
  6. Wet a sharp knife and make two to four cuts in each loaf in either an X, a cross hatch, or diagonal slashes. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown. Let cool 1 hour before slicing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Sauce

I was at the grocery store the other day and saw red peppers on sale for $0.89! Eighty nine cents!!! For those of you who don't pay attention to how much each item you buy at the grocery store costs (I have to - I'm a starving college kid), red bell peppers get expensive. The green one's aren't bad - they usually go for about $1 a piece or so. But the red ones can be as much as $3 for one! Which is usually enough incentive to just buy the green ones, even though the red taste sooo good. So anyway, I seized the opportunity and grabbed a few... and then had to think up ways to cook them. So here's one of them - Stuffed Peppers. These are very easy to make and the recipe is very flexible. No matter what you do, they're almost guaranteed to be good!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies

I really should be studying for finals, but I came home after taking two of them today and really didn’t feel like sitting down with a book quite yet. So I decided to make some whole-wheat sourdough bread (coming soon!), and then got stuck making cookies while I waited for it to rise. And by “stuck” I mean I went to New Frontiers to pick up some chocolate chips, stock up on whole wheat flour, meander around and find nutritional yeast... and then come home and make some cookies. Apparently this blog is appropriately named.

Anyhoo, I took a traditional favorite and made it vegan, more nutritious, and soooo delicious! In case you didn’t notice, these have no added oil, no butter, and use whole wheat flour, which makes them that much more awesome. I only made a half batch just in case they didn’t turn out great, but I think I’m going to need to make some more.. I don’t expect they will stay around very long!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Poppy Seed Loaf

I'm so excited!! First of all, this turned out AMAZING. I made it last night when I really should have been focusing on my essay that is due today, but I needed a break. But it's all good, because I ended up finishing my essay with plenty of time this morning, AND I get to eat this amazing.... loaf. About that, I'm not really sure what it is. It's not really a cake, because It's a little tougher than cake and it's made in a loaf pan. But it's not just bread, either.... It's somewhere in between. So I've officially just dubbed it a loaf. It's great toasted and with a little jam for breakfast (my boyfriend can attest to that), wonderful as a snack, and just sweet enough to pass as a dessert. Hey, you can just eat it all day long :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


My parents got me the cutest little mini Cuisinart food processor for my birthday, so I put it to use for the first time today and made some guac! This one's a bit spicy, so cut down on the jalapenos if you're sensitive. Enjoy!