Friday, July 31, 2009

BBD: Accidental Mango Coffee Bread

Bread Baking Day is hosted this week by Hefe und mehr.

It has been an interesting process preparing a post for Bread Baking Day this month. After a busy month getting back into the "flow", I began the process late. Then, as I discovered later, I had been reading outdated information, and thinking that this month was for "small breads", so I went through the recipes I have been saving to find the one for Hot Dog / Hamburger Buns that I had been wanting to try. I laid out all the ingredients that were listed in the recipe, and began the preparation. I mixed together all the wet ingredients and yeast in one bowl, and as I began adding the dry ingredients, I realized that the recipe's ingredients had left out the 3 cups of whole wheat flour that was needed in the recipe. I didn't have any more white flour, and I would normally use a mixture of white flour and bran to make the required amount of whole wheat flour. I could have set everything aside and gone to the local store for a couple of pounds of flour, but then I remembered a bag of special flour that a friend, who owns a cookie baking business, had brought for me. I did note on the label that the floury mixture was made up of several different biodynamic ingredients, but since whole wheat flour seemed to be at the head of the list, I didn't put too much attention to exactly what was in it. As I reached the point where the "dough" should be forming up, it was still a "batter" ... so I tasted it. It was delicious ... and SWEET!! Very sweet! I realized immediately that this mixture was not destined to become sandwich buns

Accidental Mango Coffee Bread

So, I re-read the list of ingredients in the bag of "flour" and sat down to figure out what I could possibly do with a "sweet bread batter" ... and it came to me ... A COFFEE CAKE!! I remembered that I had 4 fresh mangoes in the refrigerator that I wanted to use up ... so I diced them up to use as a filling. I greased the pan well ... spread a layer of the "bread batter" over the bottom of the pan, put a good thick layer of diced mangoes over the batter, sprinkled a mixture of grated panela (real brown sugar in a block) and cinnamon over the diced mangoes, then added spoonfuls of batter over the top of the mixture.

I decided to let it rise for about an hour (it did have yeast in it, after all) and then I baked it at 350' for about 45 minutes ...

WOW ... it was really tasty! Its too bad that I could never duplicate the recipe.

Meanwhile, I didn't realize yet that Bread Baking Day this month calls for "Sweet Breads" and went ahead and blogged the OTHER bread that I made after this one made its unexpected "transition" (I went out to buy more flour) ... then when I went looking for today's Bread Baking Day event, I discovered my error BUT ... I could hardly believe my good luck ... all was not lost .. I still had this incredible Mango Coffee Bread to post.

As I began trying to upload the first picture I noticed that the process wasn't completing and that none of my webpages were loading ... I did a quick check and ... sure enough ... someone in our library in the morning had downloaded over the Hughesnet restrictions and our internet connection is now 90% shut down for 24 hours.
So, after all, I am not going to be able to finish my post before the end of July. However, all of the pictures that you would normally be seeing in this spot will be posted tomorrow after our penalty has been lifted.

(Saturday Note .... our restrictions have been lifted and I am now able to upload the photos for this blog entry).


Easy, Perfect Homemade Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns

I wanted to participate in Bread Baking Day (BBD) this month and a week ago I checked online to find the topic and somehow I got the idea that it was "small breads" (now that I look closer, I see that "small breads" was on the menu for August 2008!). So, I made small breads. That is not necessarily a bad thing ... I have wanted to find a great bun recipe that I could use for sandwiches (or hot dogs or hamburgers, but we don't eat them often) for quite some time. One of the Craving Ellie recipes that I missed is for Lobster Roll, and I wanted to use my own home made rolls for it, so this gave me the incentive to read through a pile of recipes for the "perfect" hamburger/hot dog bun ... and try out this one that, yes, could possibly be the most perfect sandwich bun of all!

I found what I consider (albeit with somewhat limited experience) to be the perfect recipe (after all, that is what the blog title said) at Baking Delights by Marye Audet.

Easy, Perfect Homemade Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns


1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups flour (unbleached, whole wheat, or a mix)
1 package instant yeast
1 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, room temperature


Heat the milk, water, honey and butter until butter is melted. Check temperature. Depending on the temperature, let cool to 120F. Carefully beat in egg.
Mix 2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt. Mix into the milk mixture. Stir in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition.
When the dough pulls together, (it will form a soft ball) turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This should take about 5 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 -16 equal pieces. This will depend on the size you want for the finished bun. Shape into smooth balls, flatten slightly, and place on a silpat covered baking sheet.

If you are making hot dog buns, the author found it easiest to roll the dough out into a large rectangle and cut into smaller rectangles. Let rise with sides touching.
You can brush the tops with egg wash

and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse sea salt, or whatever you like. You can add dry onion soup mix for onion rolls. These are very versatile!

Let rise for 30 to 35 minutes. When buns have almost doubled bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 12-16

I made 6 hamburg style sandwich buns and we almost immediately heated a couple up for sandwiches of turkey ham, tomatoes and cheese ... and they were perfect ... not heavy and hard to chew with the ingredients of the sandwich.

And I made 6 hot dog buns, so I would have some to make the Lobster Roll recipe.


These were definitely the best home made hot dog and hamburg buns that I have tried so far ... so good that my search has ended and I will now be using this recipe for all my sandwich buns needs. I found them light enough to eat with heavy meat fillings. They had a fine grained texture and an excellent "background" flavor to enhance any sandwich filling.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

CEiMB: Oven Baked Onion Rings

I began participating in the "Craving Ellie in My Belly" event so that I would be motivated to create and blog at least one new recipe each week ... and now I am making these recipes because they are so incredibly delicious! Every one I have tried so far has been a taste sensation at the table. The recipes that I've missed making for the weekly event, are lined up to try as soon as I am able. Today's choice of Oven Baked Onion Rings by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen was another winner.

I made some substitutions in the ingredients ...

I used home-made yogurt instead of buttermilk.
I used regular potato chips instead of "baked" potato chips.
and I used regular onions instead of vidalia onions (I only wish I could get vidalia onions!!)
Just as a note, I don't usually own "cooking spray" ... that is one of the additions to my larder (along with balsamic vinegar) that was made possible by the opening of a local Walmart. At the rate that I use it, this one can will last me for a few years yet.

Oven Baked Onion Rings
2007, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved

4 side-dish servings


Cooking spray
4 cups baked potato chips
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 to 2 large Vidalia onions, peeled


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet slightly with oil and set aside.

Place potato chips in the bowl of a food processor and process into crumbs, about 20 seconds.

Transfer to a shallow bowl, add cayenne, and set aside.

In another bowl, combine buttermilk (or yogurt), 2 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper and set aside.

Slice onions into 1/2-inch circles and separate into rings, keeping only large, whole rings (reserve rest of onions for other uses). You should come out with about 12 to 14 rings.

Place the remaining flour in a sealable plastic bag, then add onions, and shake to coat.

Dip onions 1 at a time into the buttermilk mixture, then dip into potato chip crumbs and place on baking sheet.

Spray canola oil evenly over rings and bake for 20 minutes, or until coating is crisp.

Season with salt, to taste, and serve immediately.


I had company here for lunch, and served the Onion Rings with Linguini w/ Cilantro Pesto and ... well ... we ate them all! They were excellent. The only thing they lacked was a good dip ... we all agreed that a ranch style dip would have finished off the flavor of the dish perfectly. In the absence of that, I served mayonaise with the Onion Rings and we were all quite satisfied with the result. I would like to experiment a bit with the coating ... I'm sold on the yogurt part of it ... it gave a fantastic flavor. But I'm thinking to TRY with bread crumbs (maybe that excellent coating that was on the fish sticks) or with cracker crumbs. I liked the bite of the cayenne.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

CEiMB: Aromatic Noodles With Lime Peanut Sauce

I was really looking forward to getting back into my weekly "Ellie" recipe, since I have fallen so far behind these last weeks, what with visiting in Canada, followed up by running a Solar Oven Workshop right after returning to the jungle. However, between the complications of changing from an old PC desktop to a new Mac Book Pro ... combined with an ongoing problem uploading photos since we put in a wireless internet system for all of Project Ix-canaan, my best intentions have been thwarted again, and my posting is really late.

Today's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was chosen by Supplicious. I knew just by reading the ingredients, which sounded kinda "Thai" to me, that it would be a flavor that I would love. I changed a few things from the original recipe ... well, maybe more than a FEW things ...

I used regular linguini, since that is all I had.
I used guisquil, carrot and red pepper with the brocoli, since it is almost impossible to find snow peas or snap peas here.
I used my own home made peanut butter.
I used panela in place of brown sugar (real raw sugar that the sugar can producers make here and sell in blocks)
And at the last minute (after the photos were taken) I decided to add a cubed chicken breast to the recipe as well, since Enrique prefers meat in his meals and I knew I was already pushing the envelope with the "Thai" flavorings.

Aromatic Noodles With Lime Peanut Sauce
2005, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved

6 Servings


3/4 pound spinach linguine or whole-wheat spaghetti
2 cups (about 9 ounces) broccoli florets
2 cups (about 6 ounces) snow peas, trimmed
2 cups (about 6 ounces) sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 scallion, cut into pieces
3/4 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shelled unsalted peanuts ... toasted in a dry pan until fragrant


I took some liberties with the instructions as well as the ingredients ... so I will write mine here ... you can check with the online recipe to see how Ellie made this dish.

First I made the sauce by pureeing the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, scallion, ginger, sugar and red pepper flakes in my mini-blender.

until smooth....

I decided to stir-fry the vegies instead of steaming them ... guisquil and red pepper first ...

then I added the broccoli ...

the carrot shavings ...

and the cubes of chicken breast ...

I mixed the chicken in with the vegies ..

and added a few spoonfuls of the peanut sauce ...

and covered to steam to desired done-ness (in my case, a bit beyond desired doneness).

Ladle the vegetables over the cooked pasta.
Top with the sauce.
Coarsely chop the peanuts, sprinkle them on top and serve.


I will steam the vegies less the next time I make this dish ... however, the flavor was superb. I particularly liked the crunch of the toasted peanuts. I will very happily make this again.

Read more about the Craving Ellie in My Belly weekly event, and see what the other adventurous cooks have produced.


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