Saturday, August 16, 2014

Light and fluffy natural yeast sandwich bread

Natural yeast sandwich bread


This is my go to sandwich bread recipe 2 times a week!

Ingredients:
2 3/4 C flour + 1 1/4 C flour
2 tsp salt
1 C warm milk
2 Tb unsalted butter, melted
3 Tb honey
1/2 Cup natural yeast 
(more info on natural yeast can be found here )

1.  Mix 2 3/4 C of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Mix the milk, butter, and honey in separate bowl.  Pour mixture into the 1/2 cup of natural yeast and mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  Turn the machine on low and add the liquid.  When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes.  If the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, one 1/8 cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks (you might not use all of the flour - it all depends on the humidity level in your home at the time).  Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, about 5 more minutes.
2.  Form dough into a ball, place in lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until double, (usually overnight in a warm place).  Punch out the air and form into a loaf. Place in a greased loaf pan, seam side down, cover and allow to rise until double, about 2 hours.
3.  Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown all over and internal temperature is 180°F.  Remove bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 15 min before slicing.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sweet peach candy fruit rolls - only one ingredient!


Ingredients:
Peaches ... yep that's it!!

The secret is to roast the peaches to release their natural sugars before dehydrating them.  Here is how to do it:


  1. Preheat oven to 375.  
  2. Slice peaches in half and remove pit.  Place peach halves pit side up in a glass baking dish.  Bake for 15min.  
  3. Switch the oven to broil.  Move the peaches under the broiler to roast for another 10 min (monitor peaches so they don't burn - just looking for a light browning.)
  4. Carefully remove the roasted peaches from the oven and let rest for 10 min.  (The pit cavity might fill with peach juices 
  5. Puree the peaches in a food processor or blender until smooth.  
  6. Spread the puree onto a dehydrator tray that has the fruit leather liner (smaller holes so the puree will not fall through).  use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth out the puree into an even layer (about 1/4 inch in thickness). 
  7. Set the dehydrator to 140°F and allow the fruit to dry for 8 to 10 hours.
  8. Peel the fruit leather off of the tray and slice long strips with a pizza cutter.
  9. Roll strips and place in an airtight container for storage.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fire roasted tomatoes and easy tomato paste

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasting vegetables and fruit is a great way to bring out their naturally rich flavors.  Roasting tomatoes before adding them to a sauce or hot dish will intensify the flavors and take that sauce to a new level.  Here are three ways to roast tomatoes, and how to make a tomato paste from the roasted tomatoes. 




1 - Grill them...  Place the tomato right on the grate or in a grill basket.  When the tomato skin gets slightly charred flip the tomato to the opposite side and repeat.  This method will give you the most flavor and will add a slight smokiness to the tomato.

2 - Broil them ...  Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a cast iron pan or heavy cookie sheet.  Place the pan directly under the broiling flames or heating element.  Keep a close eye on them because this will only take a few minutes.  When the first side is slightly charred flip the tomatoes and repeat.

3- Sear them ... heat a heavy duty skillet or dutch oven to medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot add medium sized tomatoes.  Toss the tomatoes around with a spoon until desired char level is reached on the tomato's skin.

Quick and easy fire roasted tomato paste
This paste uses the sear method mentioned above.  
  • After the tomatoes have reached the desired char level turn down the heat to medium.  
  • Use a potato masher to smash each tomato.  
  • Add a pinch of salt and stir the tomatoes until the desired consistency is reached.  
  • Add 1/8 cup of cold water and stir for a few seconds - then remove the pan from the heat.  Stir the paste to incorporate all the "flavor" on the bottom of the pan.  
This paste can be used right away, canned or stored in the freezer (ice cube trays are a great way to freeze them).

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