Friday, March 26, 2010

No shopping experiment, update

I accepted the job at Cornell the other day.  I'm not sure if it's coincidental, but I've been backsliding on the no-shopping experiment.  I bought a frozen pizza, mustard, juice, sausage, and almond milk today.  I don't need any of those things, really, but I'm getting pretty bored with the contents of my freezer/cupboards.
Nonetheless, I've made some progress. There is noticeably more space in my freezer now.  I'm cooking one of the turkeys in a few day, so that's going to free up a lot of space.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"It'll keep you regular" mixed grain and seed bread

As part of my "no-shopping experiment," I'm trying to use up my supplies of different flours + seeds.  Today I decided to make the mixed grain and seed bread from the recipe book that came with the stand mixer.  I didn't have enough whole wheat flour, and I had a lot of buckwheat and rye flour, so I ended up with the following recipe.  I am sort of frightened by the fact that I had all these ingredients on hand.
The name needs no explanation, of course.

"It'll keep you regular" mixed grain and seed bread

2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
1 dry yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tbsp. vital wheat gluten
3 cups bread flour
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Mix the water, maple syrup, and yeast together and let it stand for 15 minutes, then add the vegetable oil and honey. Combine all the flours, oats, gluten and salt and mix.  Add to water/yeast mixture and mix for several minutes with stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add seeds and then add more bread flour 1 tbsp at a time until a dough ball forms that clings to the hook.  Mix for 4 minutes, then let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1-1 1/2 hours).  Punch dough down, divide into three equal portions, shape, and place in oiled loaf pans.  Allow dough to rise until doubled, then bake in a 375F oven for about 35-40 minutes.

My dough was a lot drier than I would've expected. I did change the recipe quite substantially from the original, so I think I should've added less flour.  Nonetheless, the dough had a nice texture and rose well.  I punched it down, divided it, and prepared two loaves. I froze the third portion for later.
The bread was dense but tasty.  It tastes sort of similar to the whole wheat artisan loaves they sell at Costco. I took a loaf up to Missy's and it got the toddler seal of approval from Kadin.  Next time I'll use a bit less flour and let it rise longer.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More musings on the no-shopping experiment

OK, so I've realized a few things now that the no-shopping experiment has been going on for a while.  In particular, some stuff just can't be replaced easily.  I'm almost out of wine, so it is now exempt. Peanut butter and tofu are also exempt.  They're not dairy but in my mind they're part of the same vegetarian protein source group as dairy.
Bread and cereal also fall into a grey zone.  I don't eat a lot of cereal, but it's nice to have around.  I replaced my supply today.   I'm going to try to continue to bake bread, at least until I use up most of my flour.
I've made a pretty good dent in the frozen leftover soups, so that's good.  They will be replenished shortly once I start cooking again.