Monday, November 30, 2015

Slow Baked Granola

I've discovered that my granola recipe works best baked SLOW and LOW. The flavors come together best this way.

1 cup of corn oil
1 cup of Grandma's Molasses
1 box of Old Fashioned Oats (measured as 42 OZ, or 2 LB 10 OZ or 1.19 kg)
1 teaspoon of real vanilla
1 rounded teaspoon of kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a big pot heat the oil, molasses, vanilla, and salt, stirring gently. When bubbly add the oats, stirring madly. When the goop is distributed over the oats pour the granola onto two trays. I use cast iron frying pans and I bake them at 250 degrees. Once the oats start to toast I stir them every 5-10 minutes. I use a timer because the toasting happens fast. Then, when lightly toasted I let the oats cool off before I store them in sealed jars. Allow an hour and fifteen minutes of baking time.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pepper Biscuits Make a Party

I will make these a few hundred more times. I could have a bakery based on wine and pepper biscotti and my bread.
If you fall in love with these, you will want to double the recipe.
Biscotti Di Pepe - Taralli - Italian Pepper Biscuits

By DeSouter

A great hard biscuit with a twinge of hotness! A staple in Italian delis and "pastosas".

1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast (equals 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees) (I used 1/2 cup of my liquidy sourdough starter)
2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half bread flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used a heaping teaspoon of Kosher salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper (I used twice that, cracking the peppercorns myself)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
(I added a Tablespoon of fennel) thanks to Donna Ruzzano who grew up on Da Hill!


Dissolve yeast in water.
Sift flour salt and pepper onto mixing board.
Make a well in the center and add yeast and oil.
Blend together and gradually incorporate into flour.
The dough will be stiff.
Knead 10 minutes.
Place in oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 375º.
Break off small pieces of dough and roll into ropes about 6 inches long. (I baked mine straight like bread sticks or cigars)
Form a ring and pinch edges together.
Place on baking sheet and let rise 20 minutes.
Brush with oil and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. (I had to double the baking time)
(I turned the pepper biscuits over halfway through the baking time so they could gently brown on the other side)

NOTE: My husband pointed out that the reason why I needed to add salt pepper and increase baking time from the recipe was because I used one cup of whole wheat flour instead of white flour and this increased the oil content and need for more spices and salt.
Don't be afraid to pinch a taste of the raw dough to test seasonings.

James Agee

A little bit of too much is just enough for me.
- James Agee

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Biscuit Memories

I went to Joblot today (it is a minor addiction and I need a monthly fix). I remember, as a tiny child, eating digestive biscuits and drinking hot chocolate as a treat when we would take to the bomb shelter during the terrible nightly raids over Southern England! Going there is like going on vacation. Then I went to "The Big Bunny" supermarket in the Asian and Latino laden town of Southbridge. They have wonderful veggies at 1/2 the price of the supermarkets in places like Northhampton whose clients also seek out Thai eggplants and 20 different kinds of hot peppers. I also shop at an amazing market (Asian) in Worcester, that would scare the shit out of my Worcester acquaintances just by the pungent smell as you go in the door. It also assuages my wander lust. Very few items have prices and the owners speak little English but the total on the receipt makes me think it is cheap. I miss and mourn Egypt terribly. The Dominican Republic and Egypt are my 2nd and 3rd homes - really deeply rooted.
Oh! Its suddenly dark! And snow due tomorrow.