Category Archives: Baking

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The bread fails to rise

More research needs to be done, the gluten free bread didn’t rise. It had a texture like biscotti. I’m sure the problem is that I used guar gum instead of zanthan gum. The taste was excellent though. This why I am more of a cook than a baker. Baking is a science requiring exact measuring and temperature control. Cooking is an art, it can be improvisational. Take the stir fry we ate yesterday.  I found a recipe titled “Stir fried peppers and squash” in the Vegetarian Times cook book. It was a measure of how distracted I’ve been that while I read the recipe through before beginning, I didn’t notice until I was prepping ingredients that the recipe yielded only one serving! Normally I find myself cutting recipes in half or making things that are good as left overs. The recipe really became a starting point because by the time I served, the only ingredients from the original were bell ...

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Things Improve

My  blog titles recently sound like chapter headings from a Victorian novel or a silent film. Mr Dog seems much improved, his glands are still swollen but he seems less confused and a bit more coordinated. I changed his food formula to cooked beef liver,  raw carrots, ground flax seed, ground sesame seed, ground sunflower seed and chia seed. I found chia seed at the Comer downstairs in Gran Plaza for $100 pesos a kilo in the bulk bins. I am hoping all the omega 3 and vitamin E will help his recovery. I wish I had a way to confirm my ideas. Also we’ve been grinding up a quarter of a Centrum Silver Vitamin (actually the Kirkland equivalent) and sprinkling it on his morning food  as a suplement, I got that idea from a breeder’s website. This is just a temporary measure, eventually I’ll go back to 1/3 meat, 1/3 veggies and the final 1/3 rice. We’re thinking of ...

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Italian Garden Bread

Filling 2 large onions diced 3 cloves garlic diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup olives chopped (I used a mix of green and rinsed kalamata) fresh black pepper to taste 1 cup all purpose flour In a large pan, heat the olive oil , add the onions and garlic. Cook until transparent. Remove from heat. Combine with remaining ingredients. Reserve. Dough 1 cup whole wheat flour 3 to 4 cups white flour 1 tablespoon yeast 3/4 cup warm water 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon dry oregano crumbled 2 tablespoon olive oil 2 eggs 1/4 cup grated parmesan 1 cup grated cheese (I used Costco Italian blend) 1/4 cup tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon guar gum (optional) 1 recipe Filling In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water along with the sugar. Reserving the white flour, combine the rest of the ingredients except filling. Mix well.While using the dough hook (or kneading by hand) add ...

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Crockpot bread update

I have been making further experiments with the crockpot as bread oven. I made some sourdough oatmeal bread yesterday. Here are my findings. I got the best results when I put the bread in a mold (since my crockpot is round, I used a spring form pan as my mold) that I placed on a trivet. I also put a small quantity of water in the pot, around a quarter cup. Since I wanted the steam, I kept the pot lid tightly on. Even though several sites recommend rising in the crock with the machine on low or warm, I wanted a slower rise so did it the conventional way. If I was using a regular bread recipe I might try that method. I found that the bread was cooked with in 4 hours on high. I tested it by thumping (a hollow thump means cooked). I need to set a separate timer, my crockpot goes automatically to the warm ...

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Bread baked in the crockpot

We don’t have a real oven. When we moved here I couldn’t imagine baking in 100 degree heat, then we were in a rental and unsure if we would be permanently staying in Mérida. When we were remodeling our kitchen we decided to put in a wall oven instead of buying a whole new range since we were happy with our Bosch stove top. At that time, I could not find a decent built in oven for less than $10,000 mxp, which was a great deal more than a entire top of the line stove would have been. Our compromise was to buy a tabletop convection oven, big enough to bake one loaf of bread or 6 muffins at one time.As my last post explained, I have been reading a blog about crockpotting, and the Crockpot Lady actually baked in her crockpot. What intrigued me is that she advocated keeping the lid ajar so the steam can escape.My friend had ...

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Steamed chinese buns

I had a can of red bean paste in my pantry getting old so I made steamed buns filled with red bean paste last week. Today I was reading the back posts on Rachel’s incredible food blog called Coconut and Lime and I found a recipe for red bean buns. Since I’m lazy, I’m going to just link to her recipe.I have two recipes for steamed buns, one with yeast like Rachel’s and another one made with baking powder. I like them both equally well.

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Is that a real recipe?

yup, that is what Husband asked me last night! I would be insulted if it wasn’t for my tendency to veer from recipes. I made vegetable filled bread for the IWC coffee held at my neighbor’s house this morning.I indignantly informed him that it was indeed a real recipe, that I was making a savoury bread, thank you very much! Then proceeded to adapt it and make it my own.Actually, I was out of onions, zucchini and tomatoes. Even if I had them I had decided not to include the tomatoes and onions because I was pretty sure that one of “the girls” is allergic.If you already know how to make bread this should be easy, so I am just going to hit the high spots.In a large pan saute in oil until soft: 1 eggplant diced into quarter inch cubes, 3 large cloves of garlic minced, 6 large mushrooms, diced 1 carrot peeled and diced. 1 jalapeño seeded and ...

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The Kitchenaide is possessed!

I am a pretty good cook but I don’t have the temperament to be a great baker. Oh, I can bake, but it isn’t really my thing. Husband is a wonderful baker, or I should say was. He still knows how, but can’t knead dough due to his injury. Son is an outstanding baker too, he originally learned to make bread from Husband, he has that precise nature where he actually weighs and measures everything. Then we sent Son to cooking school and he blossomed as a baker. It is my belief that children need to know (before they go out on their own ) how to cook, sew and various household tasks, I don’t care if they never do them again, but they need to know how before they leave home. So the when the opportunity to send Son to professional cooking school came up, we took it. He is a great cook too, but what he likes is ...

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