Monday, December 22, 2014

Oatmeal and Brown Sugar Bread

My friend Chelsea, here in Brazil, gave me her bread recipe after I couldn't stop eating it one evening. Spread on some Nutella and you'll be in heaven. I quadrupled the recipe today. I think the flour ended up being more than quadrupled, but I lost count somewhere and don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure I used about 10 cups. It was still a little sticky when I took it out of my Bosch (I hate touching dough - I know some of you Pratts find kneading bread cathartic, but that's not my favorite thing) and put it in the bread bowl to rise, as I didn't want to go overboard and end up with heavy loaves. It wasn't too sticky after it rose, though. I still had to wash a little dough off my hands after putting them in loaf pans, but not too much. Also (amazingly), 35 minutes was really all it took for four loaves to be baked.

1 cup water
1 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oatmeal (instant or old fashioned)
2 1/4 cups flour (more or less)

Knead all ingredients together. Let rise for an hour.
Shape into loaves, put in loaf pans, and let rise for another hour.

Preheat oven to 400* Fahrenheit. Slice tops of loaves lengthwise with a sharp knife (optional, but this bread cracks as it rises while baking. This slice makes it crack down the middle of the top and look cute, rather than cracking on one side and looking like an earthquake hit it).

Put in oven and immediately reduce heat to 350* F. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.

Friday, November 14, 2014

How to Make Thin-Crust Pizza for Dough-Troubled and Baffled People

Makes 1-2 Pizza crusts, depending on size and how much skill you have at rolling out dough:

3/4 cup WARM water

2 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon active, dry, completely necessary yeast

Olive oil

Tomato sauce(not spaghetti sauce, unseasoned if possible), basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and sugar or store-bought pizza sauce if you are too lazy. Enough sauce for a Pizza. Figure it out, it changes every time.

Mozzarella cheese: Make sure you have more than you think you will actually need. 

Preferred pizza toppings: Pepperoni, olives, sausage, Canadian bacon(YAY), or just cheese if you really want that.

This is why the dough is so easy:

Step one:

    1. Put the following ingredients in a bread machine in the following order:
      1. Water
      2. Flour
      3. Salt and Sugar
      4. Yeast
    2. Put bread machine on dough setting
      1. Make sure you did not put it on a bread setting
      2. Make sure it is not on the same power circuit as too many other objects, as you may blow the switch off
    3. While it is almost done: 
      1. Put plain sauce in a pot on the stove, heat it up, add a small amount of basil, same amount as oregano, much more garlic than both, salt if necessary, and sugar if desired. Quantities will vary. Add to taste and sight.
      2. OR stare at your bottle of store-bought sauce for 15 minutes. Is necessary for those who used it only because it was easier, and not because of time restraints or other factors.
      3. Preheat oven to 426 Fahrenheit. 425 is fine, but use 426 to be precise. Or not. 
    4. Roll out dough on to desired amount and size of pizzas. I recommend using cornmeal on a pizza stone, but using only olive oil on, say, the pizza pans with holes is also okay. Never use vegetable oil on pizza, always use olive oil; it is sinful any other way. Flatten out the pizza, and try to make sure the edges are higher than any other part to prevent grease from falling on the pan and setting off your smoke detectors. This used to be a major problem in my household, but my current house does not seem to have smoke detectors, and I am not sure if there is even a fire code here that relates to it.
    5. After oil has been applied, cook for 5 minutes in the oven with just oil. 
    6. Apply sauce  evenly. Do not let it spill on the pan or it will set off your smoke detectors, unless you live in my house.
    7. Apply cheese and toppings(Canadian Bacon and Black Olive is my favorite)
    8. Cook in oven(426 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, and then keep putting it in for 1-2 minute increments until it is done.
    9. Do not eat with Ranch Dressing, Ketchup, or a fork(Brazilians...).
    10. I only put this step here so it would be an even 10. Credit to someone called "Healthy Boy" on Allrecipes for the Bread machine dough recipe. The Original Recipe is Here. Use fresh herbs on sauce if possible. Step 9 is essential, just like all of the other steps.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


One would think that a simple cornbread recipe would not be hard to find.

One would be wrong.

Of course, nothing tops mom's yellow cake mix + jiffy cornbread mix approach.

But if you don't have the packaged goods on hand (and I think that will be the case for us for the next few years), this one hits the spot:

2 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal
1-1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
6 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 c milk
2/3 c oil

Greased 13x9, 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Simple simple.

Best part is, you need a teaspoon measure, a cup measure, and a 1/3 cup measure.   Minimal dishes.  Second best part is, it's not green bean casserole.  So there, Mubba.

Serve with buttuh. And seerup.  Oh yes I did.