Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Beany Rolls March 14, 2010

Filed under: beans,bread,bread machine,dessert,easy,thrift — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 6:23 pm

glazy days

Roll Out

Taking advantage of sales and utilizing leftover potato cooking water, I baked up a batch of sweet and puffy cinnamon rolls.  The surprise ingredient?  Eden Foods organic canned aduki beans.  Why not?  In Asia aduki beans (also called adzuki or azuki) frequently show up in sweets.  From Chinese moon cakes to Japanese ice cream and Thai shaved ice, aduki beans make life a little sweeter.  Or a lot sweeter, as in the case of these here buxom buns.

You’ll be happy to know that Eden Foods canned beans (on sale now at Whole Foods, four 15-ounce cans for $7) are at this time the only beans canned commercially in BPA-free cans.  With a great many varieties from which to choose, including harder to find legumes such as black-eyed peas, black soy beans and the adukis, you’ll be beanin’ with joy!

The aduki beans make this dough tender, moist and light.

BUXOM BEANY CINNAMON BUNS makes 12 large buns

  • 1½ cups potato cooking water.  Newflower Market’s selling organic russets at $2.50 for a 5-pound bag through March 17.  Get spudsy!
  • 2 Tablespoons organic or local butter.  Organic Valley is my favorite all purpose butter.  Click for a coupon.
  • 1 generous cup well-drained aduki beans.  I used Eden Foods brand.  You can use home-cooked.
  • 1½ teaspoons salt.  Use a scant measure if your potato water was salted.  Mine almost always is.
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar.  I buy this in bulk at Central Market.  I bring my own container and have the staff tare the weight for me.
  • 500 grams unbleached bread flour.  I like King Arthur brand.  Whole Foods usually has the best price on the 5-pound bag.
  • 2 Tablespoons organic quick oats.  Buy this in your favorite bulk department.  I stock up during sales and store it in the freezer if I’m not working through it quickly.
  • 1 Tablespoon organic or local whole wheat flour.  I love Richardson Farms locally grown, freshly-ground flour.
  • 1½ teaspoons instant yeast (bread machine or rapid rise).  NOT active dry.
  • 4 Tablespoons softened butter.  Organic Valley Pasture butter is especially tasty here.  You’ll find it on sale at Whole Foods for $3.39 right now.  Lucky Layla (available at Central Market) and Way Back When (available at our farmers markets and from Greenling) are Texas options for high-butterfat, lightly salted beurre.
  • 206 (1 cup) grams organic light brown sugar.  Central Market’s brand is on sale now at $2.50 for a 1½ pound bag.
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1½ ounces (3 Tablespoons) organic cream cheese, softened.  CM’s brand is usually the best buy.
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt.  I make my own from local goat milk.  Click to read how.  I like Swede Farm Dairy and Wateroak Farm, both at the farmers market in Sunset Valley.
  • 174 grams organic powered sugar.  CM again, with a sale price of $2.50 for a 1½ pound bag.  I don’t bother to sift for this glaze.  I’m too rushed (distracted?  lazy?).
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

I use my bread machine’s dough cycle to mix up the dough and give it a first rise.  For my appliance I add the ingredients in the order listed.  Your machine’s instructions may vary.  You can mix the dough by hand or with a stand mixer, too.  Combine the dry ingredients with the yeast before mixing in the rest.  Knead until you have a smooth and bouncy dough.  Let rise for about 2 hours at coolish room temperature.

Meanwhile line a 9″ X 13″ baking pan with aluminum foil.  I turn the pan upside down and drape the foil to the outside of the pan before putting the foil on the inside.  Butter the foil very well.

With floured hands pat the dough into a rectangle on a floured surface.  I love non-stick silicone rolling mats for bread work.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to approximately 12″ X 16″.  Spread the surface of the dough with the softened butter to within ½ inch of the edges.  Combine the brown sugar and spices (including salt, if using) and spread all over the buttered surface, patting it in a bit.  Starting with a long edge, roll the dough up jelly-roll style into a tight log.  Using a sharp chef’s knife or bench knife, cut the dough log into 12 equal pieces, one at a time, placing them into the prepared pan as you cut.

Loosely cover the pan of buns with a piece of plastic wrap—I reuse plastic bags that I’ve washed in the (clothes) washing machine (yes, you can!), cutting them open for greater surface area.  Let the buns rise for about 1¼ hours, until puffy and well-risen.  Gently brush with the melted butter before baking in a preheated 350º oven for about 35 minutes.  The rolls should be browned and test done when a middle bun is poked in the dough with a bamboo skewer.

Using the foil as a sling,  lift the rolls out of the pan and place them on a cooling rack.  Let them rest for 5 minutes while you whisk together the glaze ingredients (cream cheese through the vanilla).  After 5 minutes, drizzle the glaze over the rolls, separating them first if desired.

Eat warm.


Texas Bread February 25, 2010

Filed under: bread,bread machine,locavore,rice — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 6:25 pm

100% wild-cultured sourdough leavened

local loaf

Texas slice

I recently read about Carla Crownover‘s “No Grocery Store Challenge for a Year” on the Austin Farm to Table blog.  Inspired by her quest for bread, I began developing a 100% wild cultured sourdough starter with Richardson Farms locally-grown, fresh-ground whole wheat flour.  I succeeded in baking up two small, but well-risen loaves, sweet(!) and tasting nuttily of fresh wheat.  I strengthened the dough with organic white flour for my wild starter’s virgin attempt at leavening, intending to advance to a 100% naturally leavened, 100% whole wheat loaf next.

Despite the confidence-building rise of these initial breads, however, the light bulb part of my brain flickered and I thought, why not just sift out most of the bran from my whole wheat flour?  The sharp edges of the bran particles slice into the dough’s gluten strands, reducing volume and creating a denser texture.  Less bran=lighter loaf (not factoring in additives ).  Plus, according to BBC’s TV program Gardener’s World, bran is the best slug deterrent.  You needn’t throw it away.  Apparently the gooey pests eat it up and expire.  And then your chickens gobble the slugs.  Gotta love that food chain!

Here’s a not-necessarily-but-possibly totally local sandwich loaf (except for the salt—only Tuscans can get away with saltless yet edible pane, and yeast). Light-textured and wheaty, this bread makes fine sandwiches, fluffy/crisp toast and of course, an accommodating base for a thick swath of butter.


I used the bread machine to mix and knead the ingredients.  Place the ingredients into your bread machine in the order indicated by your instruction manual.  In my machine, that would be the order listed.   When the machine stops, take the pan out, cover it with plastic and let the dough rise.  A cooler first rise promotes flavor development, so I banished the dough to the cold laundry room for a couple hours.

With buttered hands, press the dough down and shape it into a loaf.  Cradle your bread baby into a buttered 9″ X 5″ loaf pan, cover the pan with a very large upturned bowl and let rise until the dough feels puffy when you poke it.  It should be risen to 1″ over the edge of the pan in the center.

Slash the top of the loaf and bake in a 350º oven for about 40 minutes, until well-browned.  Remove the loaf from the baking pan and let it cool on a cooling rack before slicing.

Keep it local!


PDQ—Pizza Day Quick February 4, 2010

Filed under: bread machine,easy,pizza — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 7:26 pm

kids' pie

spice your slice

Stealthy Pizza Thursday sneaked up on me, catching me nearly cheeseless, without mushrooms, sans spinach and the kindergartner’s school pickup looming.  Action!  The junior pizzaiolo patted out the crusts. Muir Glen canned fire roasted crushed tomatoes (stocked up on sale)), well drained, blended with dried basil, oregano and surplus fresh thyme still on the counter from beanin’ day.  Plenty of organic garlic, a little turbinado sugar, a couple of anchovies mashed up and the last of that jar of South River’s organic white miso plus an assortment of minced olives (I especially love those dry cured shrivelly black olives, their bitter edge heightening all flavors within reach) combined to tsumanic umamic effect.  Full Quiver Farm‘s raw milk cheddar melded the mashup, festooned with the obligatory olive oil-lubed Hillside Farms red onion slices.  Peppered with freshly cracked black pepper, and crushed red pepper and pickled jalapeño peppers for the peppery adults, these pies packed a palate poppin’ punch!  P-P-P-Pizza please!


Texas Sweet Potato Bread and Sticky Bun(u)s February 3, 2010

Filed under: bread,bread machine,dessert — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 3:42 pm

butter up!

stick a fork in this sticky bun

Sweet potato bread.  Simple enough.  And our local markets remain stocked with Texas sweet potatoes.  The bread machine, besides performing a superior knead, makes quick work of smashing up your ‘tater.  You can bake the dough in the machine as well, but with weather like this (someone please send this cold and wet Gaelic atmosphere back for a few days.  I need to synthesize some vitamin D), I’d just as soon crank the oven up.

This recipe yields dough sufficient for one standard-size loaf or two smaller loaves.  The smaller loaves will bake more quickly, saving you time and energy.

Check out the bunus–I mean bonus–recipe for a sweet treat to use up those cheap and juicy Texas oranges, on sale now at HEB for only $1.50 for a 4-pound bag (through February 9).

TEXAS SWEET POTATO BREAD makes one 9″ X 5″ loaf or two small 8½” X 4½” (1-quart) loaves

  • 8 ounces (a scant cup) cooked Texas sweet potato, mashed.  Skin-on is fine and preferable.  Standard issue Texas sweet potatoes work best here.  Fancier varieties such as some Japanese cultivars can be drier, and you may have to add up to ¼  cup more water to achieve an elastic dough.
  • scant 1 cup local milk, scalded (and cooled off a bit if not using a bread machine).  I use goat’s milk from either Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm.  Way Back When sells local cow’s milk at our farmers markets.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt.  I like Real Salt.
  • 1 Tablespoon local honey.  I love Good Flow‘s local wildflower nectar.  I buy it in bulk at Central Market and bring my own container.
  • 3 Tablespoons organic butter.  Organic Valley of course.  Click for a coupon.
  • 3 Tablespoons local and/or organic cornmeal.  I usually buy Arrowhead Mills.
  • 200 grams (about 1 ¾ cups) organic white whole wheat flour.  Whole Foods offers the best price on King Arthur brand in the 5-pound bag.
  • 250 grams (about 2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon) organic all purpose flour.  Whole Foods again.  Their 365 brand in the 5-pound bag is normally the best buy.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bread machine yeast (instant or rapid rise—NOT active dry)

Knead the dough how you please.  For my bread machine, I simply place the ingredients into the pan in the order listed.  For other mixing methods, whisk together the dry ingredients, then mix in the rest and knead until you have a smooth dough.

You can give the dough a cool rise in the garage or laundry room for several hours, depending on ambient temperature, or a colder overnight rise in the fridge, whatever suits your schedule.  Be sure to cover the dough with greased plastic wrap.  I have replaced most of the plastic wrap that I use with bags that I get when purchasing items in obligatory bags.  I cut the bags so they lie flat and wash them expeditiously in the (clothes) washing machine.

Form a loaf or two and place the dough into well-greased pans (I like to use coconut oil for this bread), lined on the bottom with greased parchment paper (this dough can stick).  Cover again with the plastic wrap and let rise until puffy.  Slash each loaf with a very sharp paring knife (or razor, or a lame) lengthwise down the center for an attractive split.

Bake in a preheated 350º oven (preferably on a baking stone) for about 50 minutes for a larger loaf and about 35 minutes for the smaller breads.  The loaves should be nicely browned and hollow sounding when tapped with your finger.  Give the bread a minute to rest in the pan before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

This bread enjoys the company of organic peanut butter (I use Central Market’s creamy “no-stir”) and a nummy jam.  Blackberry or sweet orange marmalade would play well.

You can use this same dough to whoop up some simple cinnamon rolls.  Or go all out with this bonus recipe:


  • 1 recipe Texas Sweet Potato Bread dough, through the cold rise
  • 2  cups fresh squeezed Texas orange juice.  Zest one before you juice it.  If you have time, zest a few and save the zest in the freezer for sparkling your cooking later in the year.
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) organic sugar.  Central Market’s brand is a good value at $2.99 for a 2-pound bag.
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) organic light brown sugar.  CM again, with a 1 ½-pound bag for $2.99.
  • 3 Tablespoons organic butter.  See Organic Valley above.
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) organic sugar
  • 104 grams (½ cup) organic light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt.  See Real Salt above.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest from your Texas oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter, melted

Press the dough down and let it rise at warmish room temperature while you work on the glaze and filling.  The cold dough can take more than two hours to come around (and you’ll need some time to juice all those oranges), so you may even have a chance to load the dishwasher.

Reduce the juice in the microwave to ½ cup.  I use a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup and start with a little over a cup of juice.  Nuke it for 10 minutes on HIGH.  Add the rest of the OJ to the cup and continue to cook on HIGH for at least another 12 minutes.  Do watch carefully.  If you get distracted for too long with a dirty diaper or fussy baby you can wind up with just a couple tablespoons of burnt caramel.

Pour the reduced orange juice into a small (8″) non-stick or enameled skillet.  Add the sugars and butter (the three Tablespoons) and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and syrupy.  Pour the glaze into a (greased) foil-lined 10″ square pan.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes to firm up while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

Combine the filling ingredients (sugars, spices and 1 Tablespoon butter).  I use the hot syrup skillet and still-hot electric burner to melt the butter without additional electricity.  Roll the dough out to a 12″ X 10″ rectangle—a nonstick mat really helps here.  Cover the dough with the filling, spreading it to within ½ inch of the border.  Roll the dough up into a tight log, starting with a long end, and pinch the seam closed.  Using a large, sharp knife, cut the log into 9 equalish slices—not quite 1½” wide.  Place each slice—spirals up—into the glaze-lined pan.  Cover with the plastic again and let rise until puffy, about an hour, maybe a little longer if the house is cold.

Bake at 350º for about 35 minutes, until very well-risen, lightly browned  and feeling “set” when tapped in the center.  Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before unmolding onto a heat proof platter.  Quickly scrape all the glaze onto the buns.  Let cool for at least another 10 minutes before digging in.

Enjoy warm!


Local Zone, um…(Lo)Calzone January 14, 2010

Filed under: bread,bread machine,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 8:45 pm

Calzone, calzone, what makes your big head so hard?

However you spell it, these pizza-ish turnovers, filled with local veggies and cheese, warmed our bellies and house last night.  A twist on pizza Thursday, these pockets don’t require much more work than full-size pies.  In fact, filling, shaping and baking seven calzones seemed to take even less time than assembling three pizzas.  And they were great company food, fun and easy to eat even for the toddlers.

I made this batch vegetarian.  You can add meat—I recommend almost any variety of Dai Due‘s scrumptious sausages fashioned from locally sourced ingredients (they return to Austin Farmers Market this Saturday)—or you can feed your vegan by replacing the cheeses with organic miso.  I love South River‘s handmade white miso.  Just stir in your favorite miso to taste, starting with at least a couple tablespoons.

LOCAL-ZONES makes seven pockets

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon turbinado sugar.  I buy this in bulk at Central Market.  I bring in my own jar and a staff member tares the weight for me.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, organic or local—Texas Olive Ranch
  • 10 ounces organic kamut flour.  Experiment with other whole grain flours such as spelt or local wheat.  Look for Richardson Farms at Sunset Valley Farmers Market or Wylie Farm and Ranch at Austin Farmers Market.
  • 12 ounces organic all-purpose flour.  The best price I’ve been finding lately has been Whole Foods 365 in the 5# bag.
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons bread machine yeast (rapid rise or instant, NOT active dry)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cleaned Texas leeks, halved and sliced thin (available at Central Market for $2.99 per bunch of three).  Chop them finer if you wish.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound Kitchen Pride Texas-grown cremini mushrooms, chopped fine.  I use the food processor.
  • pinch dried thyme, or fresh if you wanna brave the damp.
  • 3 Texas-grown broccoli tops, chopped fine—food processor again.
  • several cloves organic garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup canned organic tomatoes.  I used Muir Glen diced fire-roasted, pulsed in the processor to a chunky texture.
  • 16 olives, chopped.  Check out Texas Olive Ranch’s selection the next time your at our farmers markets.
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 ounces chèvre.  I used Wateroak Farm‘s very creamy plain fresh goat cheese.  You’ll find their products as well as Swede Farm Dairy‘s at Sunset Valley Farmers Market.  Maid in the Shade goat cheeses sell at the Austin Farmers Market and a variety of Pure Luck‘s goat cheeses can be purchased at Central Market, Whole Foods Market, Wheatsville Co-op and Boggy Creek Farm.
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil and kosher salt for shaping

Make the dough:  I use the bread machine’s dough cycle, but I remove the dough as soon as it’s finished kneading and give it a cool 4 hour rise in the refrigeratorThis dough is very active and you may need to press it down a couple times during the fermentation period.  You can even let it rise longer, refrigerated, if you need extra time to whoop up yer filling.

Cook the filling:  Heat the 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the leeks, salt and a Tablespoon or so water and saute until the leeks have softened.  Raise the heat and add the mushrooms and thyme.  Cook, stirring until the mushrooms have dried a bit, then add the broccoli.  Continue to cook and stir until the broccoli is fairly tender, then stir in the garlic and oregano, releasing their fragrance for a minute before adding the tomatoes.  Stir around a bit on lowest heat to assure an un-runny filling, then mix in the olives, basil and cheeses until well-blended.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Before assembling, preheat your oven to 500º.  Place a baking stone on the bottom rack.  You can get by without a stone, but your crusts will bake up crisper and more evenly.

Divide the dough into seven equalish pieces.  I do this by forming a ball with the dough and then dividing it with a knife into uneven halves.  I divide one half into fourths and one into thirds.  You can pinch and add to even the seven portions up, if necessary, but you needn’t be too  worried about a little imprecision.  Roll each ball into an approximately 9″ circle.  Place about 2/3 cup filling onto one half of the dough, leaving a ½” border of dough.  Fold the bare half of dough over the filling and seal the edges by pressing the seams firmly with your fingertips.  Place finished calzone on a piece of parchment paper.  Repeat for each ball of dough, making seven calzones, then brush the tops of each with a light coat of olive oil and finish with a sprinkling of kosher salt as desired.  With a sharp paring knife, slash four or five 1½” or so bias cuts into the top layer of dough on each calzone.

Using a large spatula (the pancake turner kind), cake lifter or pizza peel, slide as many calzones as will fit roomily onto your baking stone or oven rack.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned.  Let calzones cool on a rack for about 5 minutes before eating.  They’re hot!


Bread Machine Cornmeal Loaf, part II December 30, 2009

Filed under: bread,bread machine,easy,fast — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 3:42 pm

bread and butter, come to supper

I needed to make a quick loaf to feed the family while I worked but I was all out of milk (or so I thought).  So I reworked my “Bread Out Back” recipe for a fast baking bread machine pain (dare I call it by its French name?).  Especially great toasted, who—I mean what—isn’t?  Top your slice with a generous spread of very good butter–I recommend Organic Valley Pasture butter or Texas’ own Lucky Layla, and honey if you’re being sweet!


  • 1 ¼ cup plus a Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter.  I love Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.  I like Real Salt.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons local honey.  Austinites enjoy abundant apiary options.  I buy Good Flow in bulk at Central Market.  I bring my own container and have the staff tare it for me.
  • 125 grams organic white whole wheat flour.  Whole Foods sells King Arthur brand in the 5# pound bag for the best price.
  • 200 grams organic all-purpose flour.  WF 365 brand in the 5# bag is usually the cheapest.
  • 4 ¼ ounces organic cornmeal.  I use Arrowhead Mills.
  • 1 teaspoons bread machine (rapid-rise or instant) yeast—NOT active dry

Put the ingredients into your machine in the order indicated by your instructions.  In my bread maker, that would be the order listed.
Start the machine on the “quick” cycle (about 2 hours).  After baking, let the loaf cool completely for best flavor.  I know it’s hard, but it’ll be worth it!


Quinoa is the New Black November 19, 2009

I recently brought home a box of Alter Eco‘s organic black quinoa to play around with (work perk!).  The folks at AE work with small scale farmers and producers to maintain artisanal methods and ecological balance.  Alter Eco’s Mission Statement proclaims:

We believe that Fair Trade is a viable and successful alternative to conventional commerce. This business model will gradually close the gap between rich and poor, so-called developing countries and industrialized countries.

Sounds good and green.

My family eats quinoa regularly and I usually keep a cooked pot of this “super grain” in the fridge for quick nourishment (see Queen Quinoa).  Reheated with cheese (or not), and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper (or not—as for the minors), quinoa makes a fast, tasty and nutritious light meal.  The black variety, with its exotic color, piqued my palate so I gave it a whirl.  Plus the Quechuas of Bolivia believe black quinoa supports kidney health.

I found that this quinoa cooked up more quickly—a fast 15 minutes—and absorbed less water (less than 2 cups as opposed to a little more than 2 cups) than my usual brands of regular quinoa.  The family wasn’t pleased with the texture, however.  The black bran seems much thicker and heartier than the pale seed coat of standard quinoa.  Too chewy!  Fanciers of substantial grains, however, might like a simple breakfast pilaf of black quinoa with quality butter, good maple syrup and perhaps a splash of cream.

At my house, the black quinoa was relegated to more of a supporting role in which it could show off its striking color against contrasting backgrounds, lighter in taste as well as color.  We enjoyed this quinoa’s black speckles in both an easy, light bread machine bread and an otherwise standard pot o’ jasmine rice.

P B J & Q

Dalmatian Bread (Black Quinoa Bread)

  • ½ cup local milk plus enough water to equal 1 generous cup.  I use either Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm goat milk.
  • 1 local  egg
  • 130 grams (1 cup) cooked organic black quinoa
  • ¾ teaspoon salt.  I use Real Salt
  • 1 teaspoon local honey.  I buy Good Flow in bulk at Central Market.  Bring your own container and ask an employee to tare the weight for you.
  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter.  Organic Valley‘s my choice here.  Look for the $1 OFF coupon in Whole Foods Whole Deal newsletter, available at their stores.  Or click here.
  • 200 grams organic all-purpose flour.  WF’s 365 brand 5# bag is usually the best buy.
  • 163 grams organic white whole wheat flour.  WF generally has the lowest price per pound on King Arthur’s 5# bag.
  • 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast (rapid rise or instant)

Place the ingredients into your bread machine in the order indicated by your instruction manual.  In my machine, that would be the order listed.  Program the machine on the regular cycle (not whole wheat).  If you’re not heading out to work on bread day, you can use just your machine’s dough cycle, then form a loaf (use a 9″ X 5″ pan), give it a second rise and bake it off at 350º in your oven.  The weather’s perfect for crankin’ it up!


Appaloosa Rice (Black Quinoa Rice)

  • 1 cup minus 1 Tablespoon Lowell Farms organic jasmine rice
  • 1 Tablespoon organic black quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt–Real Salt.  See above.
  • dab of butter. Organic Valley, see above.
  • 1 fresh bay leaf if you’re growin’ or knowin’ somebody who is.

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, place a lid on it and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to LOW and continue to cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Texas Wheat Bread and Market Report November 5, 2009

Filed under: Austin Farmers Market,bread,bread machine,easy — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 11:25 am

love that loaf

spread the love

Speaking of holidays, just visiting our local farmers markets has me gettin’ into the spirit.  Expect to find TWO sources of local asparagus (if all goes well) at Sunset Valley Farmers Market this Saturday:  McKemie Homegrown and newcomers Montesino (organic!).  Georgetown Pecan Company is back with new crop pecans.  Orange Blossom Farms returns with the first of this season’s tangerines.  Richardson Farms has been selling pastured turkeys (this weekend they plan to offer fresh again!) plus their own freshly ground whole wheat flour.  See below for my bread machine recipe using their Texas-grown wheat!

If you’re headed for the Austin Farmers Market this weekend, be sure to check out Dai Due‘s new booth for the crème de la viande:  charcuterie (including their famous lard!), carefully crafted from locally-sourced ingredients.  Shop local and get cookin’ so’s you can get to eatin’!

You can’t beat a bread machine for convenient sustenance.  On workdays, if I have nothing cooked up already, I can just throw some ingredients (good ones, of course) into the bread maker and know that my family won’t starve in my absence.

BREAD MACHINE WHOLE WHEAT LOAF makes 1 medium sized loaf

  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice (HEB’s selling our sweet ‘n’ juicy Texas oranges right now) plus enough water to equal 1 2/3 cups total liquid.  The OJ is optional, especially out-of-season, but it helps tame the bitterness some folks detect in wheat bran.
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons local honey.  We Central Texans enjoy so many apiary options.  I’m partial to Good Flow’s local wildflower nectar from Central Market’s bulk department.
  • 2 Tablespoons organic butter.  I like Organic ValleyClick for a coupon.
  • ½ cup organic old-fashioned oatmeal or ½ cup plus 1 teaspoon organic quick oats (for an even lighter crumb).
  • 300 grams (about 2 ¼ cups plus a scant Tablespoon) Richardson Farms whole wheat flour.  If measuring by volume, stir up the flour to loosen it, then lightly spoon it into your measuring vessels.
  • 130 grams (about 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon plus 5/8 teaspoon) organic all-purpose flour—Whole Foods 365 is usually the best priced.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant (bread machine or Rapid Rise) yeast—NOT active dry

Put all the ingredients into your bread machine in the order specified in your instruction manual.  In my Zojirushi, that would be the order I have listed.  I use the regular cycle (not whole wheat or quick) and get great results.

An interesting note about freshly ground flour:  Used within 7 hours of milling (some sources say 8-24), the flour should work as expected in your doughs.  However, after that initial post-grinding period, enzymes get to working and interfere with the flour’s behavior.  I noticed that effect when I made my first batch of bread with Richardson Farms fresh ground flour the day after purchasing it.  After storing for 10 days or so (some sources say one week, others claim two), those enzymes settle down and the flour will perform reliably.  So I recommend putting that new bag of fresh ground flour in the freezer for a week before embarking on baking.  My third batch, baked 15 days after purchasing my flour, baked up the lightest.


Gettin’ Saucy October 23, 2009

Filed under: bread machine,easy,pizza — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:16 pm

Was it Thursday again?—Already?  These weeks just fly right by.  I’m always smearing our pizzas with some sauce concoction or other and today the combination of ingredients umamified my pies such that I had to share the” recipe”.  No pictures today.  Our camera’s battery broke so we sent it to the vet—I mean camera doctor.

For saucing three pies:

  • ½ cup toasted almonds or other nuts.  Newflower Market is still selling bulk organic almonds for only $6.99 a pound.  Local pecans are in season now, available at our farmers markets and Navidad Farms.
  • 1 or several garlic cloves.  I’m still buying elephant garlic from Hairston Creek FarmMorning Glory Farm may show up with more of the stinking rose tomorrow.
  • 2 ¼ to 2 ½ ounces arugula (about 4 cups, loosely packed).  Flintrock Hill sells conveniently bagged rocket.
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar.  I buy this in bulk at Central Market.
  • 3 Tablespoons dried basil or about a ½ cup fresh.
  • about ½ cup pitted olives.  I used spiced oil-packed black olives (on clearance for $1.99 a jar at CM.)  Other varieties will work.  Check out Texas Olive Ranch‘s Texas-grown olive offerings at our farmers markets.
  • 1/3 cup organic miso, any style.  I used South River sweet white miso from Whole Foods.
  • 1 28-ounce can organic whole tomatoes—I like Muir Glen, preferably “fire-roasted,” drained, crushed with your hands and drained some more.

I put everything except the tomatoes into the food processor and let ‘er whirl.  Then I stirred in the toms.  Add more salt if necessary.

I slathered the crusts, which I made with organic whole gain spelt flour (at a little less than half the total flour called for) and organic all-purpose flour—see Pizza 1.5 for basic recipe.  I used a touch more water for this batch, which yielded a lively, bubbly dough that baked up brown and crisp as all get out (I added a minute or two to the baking time because of the looser sauce and moister dough.)  So if you find some whole spelt flour in your freezer, try it out for your pizzas!

Dusted with reggiano and dotted with mountain gorgonzola (a freebie from work), peppered with sliced local red jalapenos (for the grownups) and feathered with frills of sliced local red onion (napped with olive oil), this week’s umami-pies tasted almost meatily satisfying.

I know it’s only Friday, but who says you can’t bake pizzas on the weekend?!


Focaccia in the Rye October 6, 2009

Filed under: bread,bread machine — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 12:45 pm
baking wryly

baking wryly

Craving a heartier rendition of that Italian flatbread?  I’m crazy for the taste of rye.  Some folks claim they don’t like rye bread, but usually they just don’t care for caraway (which I think is yummy, too!).  For all you rye lovers, here’s a focacci’er fer ya.

FOCACCIA IN THE RYE makes one 12″ round

  • generous 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.  I like Real Salt.  I buy this in bulk at WF.
  • 1 teaspoon local honey.  Central Market sells Good Flow in bulk.  I always bring my own jar.  The staff can tare the weight for you.
  • 1 teaspoon organic or local (Texas Olive Ranch) olive oil, plus more for tossing your onions and shaping your dough.  For cooking and baking, I like the price of CM’s organic oil.
  • 130 grams (about 1 cup plus a scant ¼ cup) organic whole grain rye flour.  I use Arrowhead Mills.
  • 70 grams ( about 2/3 cup) organic white whole wheat flour.  Whole Foods sells the 5# bag of King Arthur brand.
  • 100 grams(about ¾ cup plus 1 ½ Tablespoons) organic all-purpose flour.  WF 365 organic brand is usually the best buy.
  • 1 teaspoon bread machine yeast.  Also labeled rapid rise or instant.
  • 2/3 cup chopped mixed olives.
  • 1 quarter of a large red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano.  Right now, through tomorrow, Sprouts (in Sunset Valley on Brodie Lane) is offering reggiano for only $11.99 a pound.  Stock up!  Other cheeses will work here.  Try gruyere, pecorino romano, and aged goudas or goat goudas.  Venture to your favorite cheese counter and try some new quesos.

I use the bread machine to mix this dough and give it the first rise.  For my machine the wet ingredients go in first, then the flours, and finally, the yeast is poured in last.  I make sure the yeast isn’t touching any wet ingredients.  Set the machine to the “DOUGH” cycle and go about your business.  Usually, on most machines, a beeper will sound about 20 minutes after the mixing begins.  You can add chunky ingredients, such as your olives, at this time.  Or you can  wait until you form the dough and poke your olives into the top, where they’ll cook up more discernibly.

If you’re not using a bread machine, you can mix and knead the dough by hand.  Rye flour yields a heavy, sticky, mortar-like dough (but bakes up crisp and springy!) that’s not exactly a pleasure to work by hand.  You won’t achieve a smooth and bouncy ball, just aim for getting it all mixed and worked together very well.  Let rise 1½ hours to 2 hours.  It’ll look messy.

When your dough has risen, grease up a 12″ wide and 1″ or so deep, parchment-lined pan with olive oil.  Make sure your baking stone is on the bottom rack of your oven and start heating it up to 400º.

Using olive oil, grease up your hands very well and place the dough into the pan.  Lacking elastic cohesion, the sticky mass will resist your efforts to relocate it in one piece.  Use a spatula or a dough scraper and persist.  Once in the pan, the dough will settle down more cooperatively.  Re-lube your hands with about a Tablespoon of olive oil and pat the dough out flat, pressing up on the edges to make a bit of a lip around the perimeter.  The putty-like dough should give in easily at this point.

Poke your olives into the dough, if adding them now.  Oil up your onion slices and arrange them on top—children might like to help out and create a flower design or silly face on the surface.  Sprinkle the whole thing with however much freshly cracked black pepper your young’uns can take, and top it off with the cheese.  Let rise for 45 minutes.

Place the pan of dough on the baking stone and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and raise heat to 425º.  Using potholders and a large spatula, carefully lift the focaccia out of the pan, sans parchment, and place it directly on the baking stone.  Bake for another 4 or 5 minutes, until well-browned and crisp-bottomed.  Place on a cooling rack and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.  This bread doesn’t last long enough at our house to cool off too much!