Monday, January 18, 2010

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

I have had many requests for my homemade bread, so I thought I would do a tutorial on it.
My camera is acting up however, so I am missing a few photos, UGGH!! But you will get the idea. On my journey to making bread, I have decided to make it much healther. Now, when I say healthier, I do not mean fat free or light. Just better ingredients and using the ingredients in there raw form. Hence the lard in place of veggie oil. Here is a photo of the ingredients, the missing ingredients are whole wheat flour and salt, but you DO use them.

Dee's Bread
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup yeast
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups warm water
1/4 cup melted lard
1/4 cup regular lard
1/8 cup honey
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 flax seed
Whole Wheat Flour ( notice no amounts, read on!)
Unbleached White Flour (same as above, read on!)

The yeast I used is Saf-instant from King Arthur Flour. Besides it being a better quality yeast than the stuff you get at the grocery store, it is a real bang for your buck. This large bag of yeast was only $5.95!!

Ok, so here we go:
In a bowl place sugar, yeast and salt. Add warm water ( use it right from the tap, anything more than that will be TO HOT). Stir with a whisk.

Now add wheat germ and do not stir yet,
Now add in flax seed. (just a tip, leave flax seed and wheat germ in the fridge for optimum results)

Now whisk to mix all of the ingredients up.

Add melted lard. (just stick a small amount in a bowl and microwave it to melt it)

Add in the hard lard.

Add in honey. Then stir until the lard is broken down a bit. There will be a few lumps and that is ok.

You can see a few lumps, it really is OK!!

Add in about 2 cups of whole wheat flour

Stir until it is blended almost all the way, then add more wheat flour

about another cup


Add in white unbleached flour. I have tried to make a whole, whole wheat flour bread, but it produces a way to dense bread. So I add in about 2 cups total of white unbleached flour, including the amount I put on the table to prevent sticking. As you will notice, I do not add exact amounts to flour. It depends on the weather, tempeture etc., of how much flour I use. It is a feel thing really. You add the flour slowly. If you add it to quick, it will result in a very hard bread and the dough will be very heavy.

Ok, so now add a good amount of white unbleached flour to the table and plop, yes I said plop, the dough down. At this point the dough should be very sticky and appear it needs quite a bit more flour.

Ok, now KNEAD the dough. Do not use your finger tips and be all dainty like. Get in there with the palm of your hand and really go at it! Don't be afraid, it won't break. Knead the dough until it is mostly soft and pretty:)

Spray the cleaned bowl with an olive oil spray, I use pampered chef's pump bottle that you can put olive oil in.
Place dough in the sprayed bowl

Now spray the top of the dough. My best friend asked me why I did this. It is so that the dough can rise easily. If you don't spray the top of it, it tends to dry out and not get that good rise.

I set my tempeture to 350 now and let the dough rise on top of the stove. I get perfect results every time!

After about an hour bring the dough to the table to get it ready to form into loaves.
Take off the towel and punch down.

Look how pretty!!

Now punch dough down

turn it out onto a floured surface and roll into a semi log

now cut it in half, it does not need to be perfect!

now flatten out the dough with your hands to a long squareish rectangle

You will begin to roll and pinch dough , this will give you a beautiful even inside.

Keep going
Now pinch off the ends
Do it until it is all sealed up like this then

turn the dough over so the sealed part is on the table
Spray the pan

Place the rolled dough in the pan

stab the bread with a fork to let air out while baking.

about 5-6 times is good

place bread on stove and cover

Uncover the loaves and put them in the 350 degree preheated oven.
Bake for about 22-30 minutes. I know that is a range in time, but every oven is different.

This is after the loaves have risen. The key here is not to let the bread rise to much. It does most of the rising in the oven. I used to get funky looking bread, the middle would always sag. When I took cooking classes, my instructor told me I was letting it rise to much. You only want this to sit and rise for about 20 minutes. That is it :)

A view from the side. Notice how it is not HUGE!

Ok, so this has been in the oven for about 20 minutes, it needs about 5-8 more minutes

Here they are after they have been baked. Let them cool in the pan for about 2-3 minutes.


Now take the bread out of the pan and let it sit on its side for about 3 minutes, then let it sit on the opposite side for about 3 minutes. Then go ahead and put it in normal position. this helps to keep the breads shape.

Use a 1/2 of a stick of butter and peel off most of the paper. Rub the butter over the loaves of bread. This helps maintain a soft crust. If you like it crunchy, just skip this step.

Make sure you get the edges!

That is it!! Let the bread cool COMPLETLY before you cut it!! I know it is hard, but it will make for a moister bread!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Soups On!!

Ok, so I don't have a photo tutorial, but I do have a picture of the finished product. I had a ton of black beans in my cupboard and wanted to use them up. I also had steak tips out and wanted to use those, so I created a soup!
So here is the low down.

1 lb of Steak Tips or 1 Large Rib Eye
4 -14.5 oz cans of Black Beans
29 oz can of Tomato Sauce
1 Tablespoon Beef Minors Paste- This is THE BEST soup base ever. They have all different kinds, chicken, beef, lobster, veggie etc. It is based out of Cleveland Ohio and I found out about it from my cooking classes that I took there. It is amazing! They actually make the broth home made and boil it down until it gets to a paste. You then add it to water to make an amazing broth. Truly, you MUST try it.
1 large onion chopped
1/2 of a small bag of baby carrots
1/2 of a red pepper chopped
3 bay leaves
1-2 Tablespoons Cumin ( I used 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon thyme
58oz of water (use the tomato sauce can and fill twice)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 tablespoons olive oil

1) Place 2 cans of black beans in a blender with juices. Puree until completly smooth.
2) Place 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a stock pot. Do not turn on heat yet. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Now turn on heat to low. Allow the garlic to come to a slow sizzle. Once you smell the garlic, add in chopped onion, thyme, cumin, bay leaves, red pepper and carrots. Turn heat up to medium. Let this saute for about 5 minutes.
3) Add tomato sauce, water, pureed beans and Minors Paste. Let this simmer on low.
4) Cut steak tips into small chunks.
5) Heat a skillet over high heat. Add in a Tablespoon olive oil.
6)Place 1/3 of the meat in the pan, DO NOT STIR AROUND. Let this get brown for about 2 minutes, THEN stir around. Move to the stock pot, continue until meat is all browned and added to stock pot.
7) Let this simmer for about 4 hours if not longer.
8) When your about 30 minutes from serving the soup. Add the 2 remaining cans of black beans.
9) Top with sourcream.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Making a can a gift.

Good afternoon to you!
Today I have taken an ordinary can and turned it into a gift to give to a co-worker or friend. The cost of this gift is about $1.50 including buying the can of Beene Weenie that I don't even eat!
This is the stamp set I will be using from Stampin Up. I LOVE this set! I got it from my Momma for Christmas! I just adore it! I will be using Chocolate chip and regal rose ink.

Ok, so first you need a can that has a pop top.

Now be careful when choosing your can, the bottom has to be able to take a can opener. The bottom of a campbell soup can can not be opened with an opener, because it is slightly rounded. See the photo below.

Now you will open the can from the bottom, leaving your pop top intact. Wash out your can.

Now you will peel off the lable.

Cut two peices of card stock, I used red riding hood from Stampin up, cut at 8 1/2 inches long by 2 3/4 wide. I then cut a peice of regal rose also SU at 8 1/2 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide.

Put adhesive on the red peice and add the pink peice on top of it leaving a border that is equal on top and bottom.

Now you will roll the paper on the edge of a table to get the paper to kind of bend so it will go around the can much easier.

Now, tape the red side, be sure to get the outter edges mostly so the edges don't roll up.

Now you will place one edge on the can and really press down to secure it in place

Now you can begin to roll it around the can. Be sure to really stick it down.

Now be sure to really stick down the seam!

I then used a piece of SU's Valentine paper cut to 8 1/2 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide. Place the tape on the side you do NOT want showing. Then place it around the can.

Ok, so now you can use the large Marvy circle cutter and punch out a circle.

Now trace the inside of the circle of the tab

Now you will cut it out using your guide that you traced. So it looks like this.
Then tape it down.

I stamped the 3 heart image then punched them out using the 3 heart punch from SU. I doubled them my punching out 3 solid pink hearts and just layering them a bit. I used the Gelly pen that is pure glitter and glittered up the hearts.

I wanted a dimension to my hearts so I used Glossy Accents which dries clear and it dries thick like you see in this picture. It looks like a brad when it is dried. I love this stuff!

I stamped the image with versa mark

Don't be afraid, go ahead and dump it right on there! Use a catcher like this one to catch all of the extra glitter in I got mine at Michaels for a few dollars. You can also use a coffee filter. They are anti static so it makes it easy to catch and re pour your powder. Cheaper too!

Now that it is covered go ahead and dump it into your catcher

Now go ahead and tap it off to get any excess powder off. Now you will use your heat gun (sorry I thought I took a picture of this but did not. But heat it up. Then I cut out the heart leaving a slight pink border.

I cut a heart out of red and layered it so it appeared doubled. Sorry forgot a pic on this one too!

Run the heart on the edge of the table to help it bend around the can.

I then stamped the love image onto the same pattern paper using the opposite side of the stripes. I then cut it out. It is very hard to stick down small images or fine images, so I used my handy dandy xron sticker maker. LOVE this thing!! I then ran the image through.

Now to fill the can, turn it upside down and fill it with sizzle and candy or a gift of your choice.

This step is very important. Be sure not to have any sizzle or any part of the gift sticking over the edge. Make sure it is all tucked in nice and neat. Now you will need your rubber cement.
You will put the cement on just the outter edge of the lid bottom.

Press down your lid. You will notice that there is some that spills over, it is ok, just use your finger to wipe off the excess.

And then that is it!! You're done! How easy was that! What a great gift to give to a loved one!