Friday, December 2, 2011

Cold Cloudy Weather = Baking

Today is heavy clouds, mist and cool, not really cold, YET, but they say that is coming on Sunday and Monday.   It does inspire me to bake.   I'm not sure that this is a good thing. 

So for I have made Gingerbread.  A double batch!  It is so yummy.   The recipe is some where back in the blog.  Do a search if you want to make it.  It is easy and good.

What inspired the gingerbread was a recipe I found on Fox news for Gingerbread syrup for Gingerbread Coffee.   It sounded good.  It is! 

Gingerbread Syrup
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce hit and allow for syrup to simmer. Leave uncovered for 15 minutes and then remove from fire.
It didn't cook down very much in the 15 minutes, my simmer must be lower.  So I upped the fire and simmered some more.   Once it was looking syrup like I poured it in a jar and then reheated my cup of coffee in the pan.  That was my only option since the coffee pot was empty.   I really wanted to try it.  It is yummy!!!! 

In between doing this the boys chopped onions and red potatoes for clam chowder.   It smells yummy.   Just a small batch, maybe 2 gallons by the time we add milk and corn starch before we eat.   With that much we might get left overs for tomorrow.  I doubt enough for every one though.

While they were doing the chowder I mixed up an interesting bread recipe I found that we LOVED last time I made it.  
Basic Focaccia Bread

Preheat pizza stone to 450,   I don't OWN a pizza stone, so scratch that.  

Place in Bosh:
2 cups warm water, 1 Tbs. salt
3 TPS garlic oil or any salad dressing with an oil base, (I used Italian)
3 cups unbleached flour, (WW flour here)
2 Tbs. maple syrup or honey, (rapadura)
3/4 cup cottage cheese or sour cream, (today it was cream with lemon juice)
2 Tbsp. SAF instant yeast
enough wheat flour for dough to pull away from sides of the bowl

Mix together all ingredients.  Add flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Then add back a couple of tablespoons of water so dough is very soft.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle 2 paddles or wooden boards generously with corn meal.  Oil hands well and shape into 3 large dough balls.  Roll out to 1/4 inch.   Using a soft brush dipped in cool water, brush top and sides of each circle of dough.  Then dip fingertips in water, and with four fingertips of each hand make indentations all over the dough.  Pour flavored olive oil or salad dressing lightly all over the dough so that it collects in the indentations.  Sprinkle sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, pepper and your favorite herbs all over the top, Transfer to preheated stone.  This does not need to rise before baking.   Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  

This was a HUGE hit last time I did it and I forgot to put the herbs and Parmesan cheese on top. 

Today I made it and stuck them in the frig for supper.  I will get them out and put them in a hot oven at about the same time I add the corn starch and milk in the chowder.

As to how much weight this will add... I refuse to think of that!  It is good!  Think of how good the house smells!  Think of all the learning the kids get out of helping!  Think of all the munchies I can share if you come visit me.  

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