Irish Soda Bread

Adapted from: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/irish-soda-bread-recipe

Quick and Easy Bread: No Kneading

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cups Bread Flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

Combine, Flours Sugar and Baking Soda. Cut in Butter, making sure there are no large chunks incorporated into the flour mixture.
Flours

Butter

Yup I did it in 6 not 8 but oh well!

Add Buttermilk and egg, Everything should come together, should not be dry or have any extra. If its slightly dry add a tablespoon of liquid and combine.

Dough

Shape into a ball and add to a greased pan. I used a bread pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes

Bread1 Bread3 Bread 2

Serve with the Lentil Soup from Previous Post: https://peskyapronstrings.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/lentil-vegetable-soup/

I didn’t add salt to my bread, because I was pairing it with the soup which had salt. I don’t tend to use a lot of salt, it far more healthier to omit those things.

Hope you enjoy the meal.

 

 

 

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~Zucchini Bread~

If you are not sure what a Zucchini is, then you probably need to do some research. It is a summertime green squash, almost looks like a cucumber.

 

Zucchini

Zucchini (Photo credit: Farmanac)

 

Yes, it’s a veggie. But like the carrot can be incorporated into something sweet or savory.

 

It’s one of those things that makes a great spice cake, or spice bread, which is what Zucchini bread is if you combine the right ingredients.

 

Okay, Peel your Zucchini, Cut the ends off. Grate your Zucchini on a cheese grater on the small side.(not the mini, or large)

Zucchini shredded

 

Set aside,

 

Combine these two ingredients. 1 and 1/3 cups of sugar and two eggs.

 

Add in the grated Zucchini.

Zucchini and Sugar

 

Add 2/3 cup melted butter. (not hot), mix to combine

 

Add 2 tsp. Baking soda into the mixture.

Spice

 

Add 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp Nutmeg

 

Add 3 cups of flour a little bit at a time, The batter will be lumpy.

Batter

Pour into greased loaf pans. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

(Large loaf pans will take longer, my mini loafs only took about 20-25 minutes)

 

You can add nuts, berries, raisins to the mixture if you like.

Finsihed

 

 

What the blooming is that coming from the yeast

Yes, perhaps that was little too weird of a title. For those of you who do bake, specifically bread bakers. You know what I am talking about.

What does it mean to allow the yeast to “bloom”?

For you non-bakers or non foodies out there I am talking about bakers yeast which can come in many forms:

Fresh, dry or liquid, yeast varies between countries, traditions and environments. When dehydrated, yeast can resist sometimes difficult climatic conditions; it is often found in this form in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It is frequently used fresh in countries with a well-controlled chill chain. Crumbled, liquid or frozen, yeast has always adapted well to industrial processes.

Liquid yeast
Until 1825, when pressed yeast was introduced, yeast was sold in liquid form. The current return to this form corresponds to demand from industrial and traditional bakeries.
Pressed yeast
This is the most popular form in industrialised countries for economic and practical reasons. As its name suggests, pressed yeast comes in the form of compact blocks. White in colour and very flaky in France, it can be darker in colour and have a more “plastic” consistency in other countries.
Crumbled yeast
It is found in the form of relatively fine and easy to pour particles. Crumbled yeast is frequently returned to suspension in water by industrialists in order to allow automatic dosing.
Active dry yeast
Active dry yeast comes in the form of granules or beads. Its rustic character guarantees good stability at room temperature, appreciated in places with unfavourable climatic conditions (high temperature and humidity).
Instant dry yeast
Its name comes from the fact that it is not necessary to rehydrate it before adding it to flour. Instant dry yeast is as easy to use as pressed yeast. The fine particles of instant yeast are vacuum-packed or protection-packed.
Dry frozen yeast with intermediate humidity
This yeast’s dry matter is lower than instant dry yeast. It comes in powder form and can be used in raw frozen applications. It is comparable to the functional features of pressed yeast. Its exceptional conservation allows long storage, making it ideal for export purposes.

Table and Sources from: http://www.exploreyeast.com/article/different-forms-yeast

I use mostly Active Dry Yeast and occasionally rapid rise. They each have their own properties on how they affect bread dough in the rising process.

The purpose of yeast is this:

It Ferments the sugar in the bread dough:

The fermentation process serves three primary purposes:

  • To produce carbon dioxide gas to create a light and airy texture in the bread
  • To enhance the flavor of the bread
  • To change the protein structure of the bread to prevent a chewy texture

So back to my question what do bakers mean when they want the yeast to bloom?

 

I bloom yeast before adding it to the bowl. However, not all yeasts need to be bloomed.  Active Dry does in fact need to be “Activated”. Key word there to start the proofing (or rising) process.

Activates the yeast, letting you know that once combined it ensures it will ferment and proof.

How do you proof yeast:

Add said amount of YEAST to a little bit of  warm liquid (usually enough to cover yeast allowing it float) (110 degrees-115 degrees Fahrenheit) If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast, too cold will not activate it. Add  1-2 tbsp of sugar, honey, molasses. Sugar is yeast’s “crack”. It loves sugar and sugar will help it grow.

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the Yeast will slowly come to the surface, slowly gaining height. It will look bubbly or foamy. It will actually be moving. (although unless you are watching it which will get very boring you wont see it)

I usually allow it 5-10 minutes, if the yeast is not “blooming” then your yeast may not be any good. IF your yeast is out of date it will not bloom.

Once yeast is bloomed add to other ingredients as said by your recipe.

Hope this is interesting enough.

I love yeast breads, but I know many people who do not make their own. Thinking it is a difficult process. In reality its simple. Just a matter of waiting, and a bit of patience. Once you start making your own bread, you won’t want to buy it at the store ever again. The smell, taste, texture is unbelievable especially if it was made by YOU.

 

Please stop by my Facebook page Apron Strings: Cooking Tips and Advice: If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me via my blog or my page:

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Tapioca Flour: Gluten-free (Breaking the great Food Code)

Bobs Red Mill Brand

Bobs Red Mill Brand

I am going to attempt to work with Tapioca flour, Making brownies as soon as my Butter thaws. A lot of people I know personally are going Gluten-free. Although, some have to do it because they have allergies, others choose to do so because They put Gluten together with weight loss, which has not been proven. I just like to try new things, and maybe I’ll enjoy the benefits of the occasional gluten-free item. I don’t have applesauce on hand or I would be replacing the butter with applesauce. If you know anything about going somewhat healthier with baking, you can make a 1:1 replacement with butter for applesauce. Other fruit purees are also possible, although you may have to make sure on the ratio.

Okay, I should explain what Gluten is to those who don’t bake: gluten is what makes bread, or I should say is bread. It’s the building blocks of what makes up the structure, strength and texture (Ever Tried a Gluten-Free Bread and noticed how much it lacks in texture and taste, I remember trying a gluten-free sandwich bread, it was akin to rubber) Although nowadays companies are trying their best to better their products for the Gluten-Free Lifestyle.
Another word for Gluten Elasticity. Pizza Dough, for instance, has a lot of Elasticity. If you have ever watched someone toss it.
Although I say we are going gluten-free by using a specific product such as Tapioca flour, we should still be able to create an item that will not be unstructured and untasty. Tapioca Flour and other Gluten-free flours are a wonderful substitute for people who live the gluten-free lifestyle but still want to be normal and enjoy things like cookies, cake and brownies.

Scientific Definition:1.The mixture of proteins, including gliadins and glutelins, found in wheat grains, which are not soluble in water and which give wheat dough its elastic texture.

Gluten develops from the Kneading process, which causes it to be pulled and stretched. Which us as consumers of this bread, taste the chewy, tender Nom Noms.

I love Gluten. But Occasionally it’s nice to add something in your diet that defies the code of Great Food.

Tapioca Flour What is it? (Other Name: Tapioca Starch) Comes from the South American cassava Plant. It looks just as ugly as a Ginger root. They extract the starch by repeated washing and pulping, and separation of the liquid. It has properties to help bind gluten-free ingredients. Remember that when you take gluten out of things your taking the basic structure of an entire item and pulling it out, so sometimes items won’t bind together properly leaving you with an awkward product. Tapioca flour also helps In texture and effects crispness of items. It also has its uses as a natural thickener in gravy’s, soups, and sauces. You can you use it combined with other gluten-free flours for the best quality of the product.

I am making a simple brownie Recipe, replacing All Purpose Flour with Tapioca flour 1:1 Ratio. We will hopefully see the difference and like it. (I am saying we, because my 2-year-old is home, and she will definitely want to eat Brownies)