Friday, 15 June 2012

Garden Goodness

I wandered out to the garden with Tux this morning to plant a few onion seedlings (rossa lunga di Firenze, from the Italian Gardener if your interested) into the spot I had prepared for them last week. But after I planted those out I pottered around the garden and came inside with this haul.
A very funky looking Violet Sicilian Cauliflower to the right,  diakon radish,  a mix of heirloom beetroots,  Gem Cos and some beautiful salad greens including mizuna, baby spinach and baby Bok Choy (you will see where that went in a second). We'll be having delicious home made hamburgers tonight with the below buns, made from my recipe for no knead bread and will include some yummy roast beetroot and that little Gem Cos. I'll probably make a salad with the baby spinach and Mizuna that will include roasted almonds and a lemon and white wine vinaigrette, yum! Roughly worked out, if had bought this from the supermarket it would be around $11.00 and most of it would have been soggy and limp. 
And below is my lunch Mizo soup made with the Diakon radish and Baby Bok Choy, its was good.

In addition to gathering all the goodness from my garden, I ripped out 3 cauliflower plants that were finished and need to go out and plant some seeds maybe some dwarf snap peas or some gigante d'inverno Spinach, decisions, decisions.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

No Knead Bread - cafe style meals at home

I love making bread but have always made sad, dense, chewy loaves. No longer though, I came across a recipe for no knead bread and thought I'd give it a go. I changed the recipe to fit me a bit better by changing the quantities of a few ingredients and the waiting times as well. When I first made this bread I thought it would be ok, but it blew me away. It was like the bread I see at the farmers market selling for $6 a loaf and whats more it was better! So here is the recipe.

Alyse's version of No Knead Recipe

6 cups of Bakers flour
2 tsp of Yeast
3-4 cups of water
1 tsp of salt

I like to do this in the morning just before leave for work.

Mix all the dry ingredients together well, if you want a large loaf continue without this next step otherwise take 3 cups of the mixed ingredients and put into another bowl cover with cling wrap and put aside (for me this is the next lot of bread I will be making as I only want 1 small loaf).

Mix in 1 1/2 cups of water, if its still quite dry add the other 1/2 a cup as you want quite a wet dough, mix really well. Cover your bowl with glad wrap and leave until just before you go to bed when you will need to stir it to knock all there air out of it. Cover and go to bed.

When you wake up flour your bench and tip out the dough, shape into a ball. Get a linen tea towel and flour it quite heavily. Put your bread on the tea towel and wrap up, it will rise over the next two hours.

After 1 1/2 hours of rising turn the oven onto 180 - 200 degrees Celsius and put in a camp oven or heavy metal casserole dish. After that has been heating up for 1/2 an hr take it out of the oven, take your dough in the tea towel and flip it into the camp oven or casserole dish so that what had been on the bottom in the tea towel is now on the top, put the lid back on and return to the oven. This is the fiddly bit but after making this a few times its easy. The first time I made this I forgot the tea towel I grabbed to hold the hot camp oven(putting it back in the oven) had been the heavily floured towel I had used for the bread. As you can imagine Poof - Flour every where. Below is the final result, crunchy crust with a soft tasty inside, Yum!

I really only make this on the weekends as I work full time and don't have the time to make this most days. But man is it a treat on the weekend. We can avoid going out for breakfast at a cafe which can easily add up to $40-$50 with coffees. Below is how I like to eat it. But its just as delicious with butter and yummy Boysenberry Jam mmmmm.
This is as good if not better than a cafe breakfast and only costs around $1.50 - $2.00 a serving. I'm drooling remembering how good this was. Terry loves it grilled with Vegemite and cheese, he says its so good he can't even share a little with the dog Tux!