Peter Reinhart’s Sprouted Whole Wheat Pancakes

Peter Reinhart’s Bread Revolution tackles baking with even more “weird flours” with a special emphasis on sprouted grains and heirloom grains (though there is also some recipe for a bread made from ground up grape seeds).  Many of these recipes are only for the die-hard (and I do not include myself in this group, so draw what conclusions you will about the recipes), but many are quite accessible.

What I really love are the sprouted whole wheat pancakes.  If you’ve ever made pancakes with whole wheat flour you’ll know that while healthy, they really aren’t as good as pancakes with white flour.  The sprouted wheat pancakes don’t present this problem–they are tender, light, 100% whole wheat and still 100% delicious.  Apparently sprouted whole wheat is even BETTER for you than whole wheat so, eat up!

(Click here to find the book on amazon)

Sprouted Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • 1 cup + 1 T sprouted whole wheat flour (4.5 oz/128g)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1t sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (12 ounces/340g)
  • 1 egg (1.75oz/50g)
  • 2T melted butter (1 oz/28.5g), plus more for the griddle.

Mix the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet ingredients together, then stir the wet mix into the dry until just combined.  Note:  The batter is fairly thin.  Make pancakes!  (I like to add blueberries).

High Protein Chewy Granola Bars

Yes, it’s been a while (more than a year).  Nor am I going to pretend this is some revival of once-upon-a-time frequent postings.  But I have lots of scraps of recipes floating around the house, and I don’t want to lose them, so, to my online recipe box it goes.  A poorly lit iPhone photo or two, a recipe, and that’s that!

Whole Foods was sampling this recipe and while (like most granola) it’s basically a cookie, it does have a lot of good proteins and no refined sugar, so that’s something.

IMG_4960

High Protein Chewy Granola Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (I used barberries because I had them)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (I used currants because they were very close to the use-by date)
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts chopped
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup cashew butter (I used almond)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cardamom
  • 1/2 t salt

1.  Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment.

2.  Combine nut butter, honey, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

3.  Stir honey-nut butter mixture into dry ingredients, pour into baking pan and flatten into shape.

4.  Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.  Can be stored at room temperature for up to a week and long-term in the freezer.  (Cut up your parchment paper to make squares to separate the individual squares of granola bars).

Poached Quince Galette

Some hunt for the elusive pair of shoes; come the colder months I keep my eyes peeled for quince.

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Besides the rarity (which we all know significantly increases attractiveness–sort of a “playing hard to get” theory), quince have a good backstory. The Romans would stuff them into jars and pour over honey, where their tannic, acrid fruit would soften over time, producing both a candied fruit and a fragrant syrup.  I’ve even read that they may have been the fruit that got Adam and Eve cast out of the garden of Eden (though since you can’t eat quince raw, that story may be, perhaps, apocryphal.  Straight off the tree, in fact, I doubt it would have been all that tempting). Quince are also, surprisingly, the fruit that originated the marmalade (the Portuguese name for the fruit is marmelo) and you may have seen it at the cheese counter in the form of membrillo, which pairs perfectly with manchego. (Yes, this may be ringing a bell: I blogged about making membrillo two years ago. I’ll spare you my reminiscing about Spain right now, which membrillo always induces).

Nonetheless, perhaps the extra work to prepare quince today, vis-a-vis other fruits, has made them fall out of favor, or perhaps it’s that they are not so photogenic. If you saw it in a fruit bowl, you’d probably leave it there. I showed one to my son, who guessed it was an apple or pear, which is not far off, as they are in the same family.  But I had to stop him when he tried to filch an uncooked slice and was put off the fruit for good.

Poached Quince Galette (1 of 12)

Poached Quince Galette (2 of 12)

So yes, you’ll often find that you need to poach quince before using it.  While this is a dreaded extra step, it’s quite easy:  just put in the oven for a few hours and relax while your home fills with a warm perfume.  The poached slices keep in their fragrant syrup for around two weeks in the fridge, so you can really space things out.  Prepping the quince is a bit tricky–while much like slicing apples, the seeded core of the quince is hard and must be cut out.  This, along with the slicing, must be done gently–not surgery here, but not as quick as slicing apples for pie.  The flesh is slightly grainy (only when raw) and the slices otherwise have a tendency to break on you.  Imagine a very dry apple.  Nonetheless, this is mainly an aesthetic consideration, and isn’t meant to scare you off!  The fruit is sweet, supple, and a lovely rosy hue when cooked.  It’s going to look pretty, and taste great, no matter what.

Poached Quince Galette (3 of 12)

Poached Quince Galette (7 of 12)

I simply spiraled the quince slices on a rolled out piece of pie dough, and folded the edges over to make a rustic galette.  (Galette:  the fancy sounding but much more relaxed version of pie–herehere, here, and way back here).  We brought this to a friend’s for brunch where it was happily received.  While you might have to explain again what quince is if you do the same, you’ll find that while unusual it’s readily approachable and easy to love.  Extra poached quince could be spooned over oatmeal, eaten straight, or used in other recipes–such as this Gingerbread Quince Upside-Down Cake from the lovely Apartment 2B Baking Co., which I made for New Year’s Eve.

Poached Quince Galette (9 of 12)

And on that note, Happy New Year!

Poached Quince Galette (12 of 12)

Poached Quince Galette
Ingredients
  • Poached Quince (makes extra)
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 3c water
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 1t vanilla extract
  • 4 medium quinces (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced.
  • Galette
  • [url href=”https://threecleversisters.com/2011/07/22/perfect-pie-crust-by-hand/”%5D1 disc of pie dough[/url]–use your favorite. (I used spelt flour mixed with all-purpose here).
  • Poached quince (from above)
  • 2T sugar
  • melted butter or half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 T sugar (preferably sanding or turbinado sugar)
Instructions
Poached Quince
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Put all ingredients into a baking dish and cover with foil or a lid, and bake for 1 1/2 hours until rosy and tender. Your kitchen will be warm and perfumed.
  3. Let cool and store the quince in its poaching liquid.
Galette
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Roll the pie dough into a 14-inch circle. Starting in the middle, arrange the quince slices in a spiral. When you have a rough 1 1/2 to 2 inch border, fold this over. (It’s going to overlap here and there and double over itself–that’s fine).
  3. Brush the crust with melted butter, cream, or half-and-half and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake on the bottom of the oven for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

 

Chocolate Pistachio Sables

I could try to write a long post here:

  • about how my sister-in-law introduced me to the wonder of a versatile cookie that is a sable last Christmas, a tender French sugar cookie that can be endlessly varied and which never wears out its welcome-

Chocolate Pistachio Sables (6 of 6)

  • about how I finally managed to make beautifully circular roll cookies rather than flattened tires (wrap your cookie roll tightly in parchment, cut the inner tube of a paper towel roll, slide your misshapen cylinder inside and roll it to cookie perfection and chill on a flat surface in the freezer, turning a bit in the first half hour or so to make sure it sets)-

Chocolate Pistachio Sables (2 of 6)

  • about how these cookies are beautiful and festive all on their own–studded with glistening chocolate and green pistachios–without need of mixing up seven shades of frosting nor a steady decorative hand-

Chocolate Pistachio Sables (3 of 6)

Chocolate Pistachio Sables (4 of 6)

but we know I’m not so diligent about my posting these days.  I trust you prefer a slightly abbreviated post now to a mid-January missive, so it’s time to get to the point and get you the recipe (from this month’s Bon Appetit).    Absolutely a must make.

Chocolate Pistachio Sables (5 of 6)

Chocolate Pistachio Sables
Recipe Type: cookies
Author: Adapted from [url href=”http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chocolate-pistachio-sables”%5DBon Appetit[/url]
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups (lightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon salt).
Instructions
  1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix just to combine, then mix in the egg white. Fold in chocolate pieces and pistachios. (While you want these to be roughly chopped, don’t worry if you have a few larger chunks. When you slice the cookies you’ll cut through any too-large pieces of chocolate or nut).
  3. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8”-long log about 1½” in diameter, pushing dough together if it feels crumbly. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (The colder your dough, the easier it will be to slice.) As I noted above, roll inside a paper towel tube to get a uniform shape, and chill immediately.
  4. Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Working with 1 log of dough at a time and using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut logs into ¼”-thick rounds and transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing ½” apart. Be extra careful to keep up the sawing motion near the base of the cookie log as it otherwise might tend to break off with an uneven rough finish.
  5. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt and bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until set around edges and centers look dry, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.
Notes
Per Bon Appetit, the dough can be made 1 month ahead; freeze instead of chilling. Slice frozen logs into rounds just before baking.

 

Czech Plum Dumplings

I’ve never been a big fan of fresh plums.  I have always wanted to like them, little orbs of summer that they are, and occasionally would try one or two from the fruit drawer in the fridge where my mom stored them.  Like the peaches we got, they always disappointed, but we also knew that the produce that made its way to our local grocery stores was also the most lackluster.  But even now, when I’m able to grab a few from a farmer’s market (so, as tree-ripened and as sweet as one could hope for), I never have any desire to eat them raw.  Cooked, roasted, baked, simmered, or jammed, however, they’re, at least for me, perfectly irresistible.

Czech Plum Dumplings (2 of 11)

Over ten years ago now (ugh) when I lived in the Czech Republic, I soon learned that plums were such an important fruit there that different words existed for the different varieties–to a Czech’s mind, then, an Italian prune plum and a sugar plum are perhaps as different as a peach and a nectarine.  And that late-summer-to-early-fall Italian prune plum is the key component to a whole range of delicious things:  from slivovice (plum brandy) to povidla (plum butter) to plum dumplings.  I’ve made the first two from that list, and have long been meaning to make the final entry.

Czech Plum Dumplings (11 of 11)

I’ve made them before, in fact, but not on my own.  The village I lived in for one year as an English teacher had previously housed a Czech language school for foreigners.  During the old communist days, students came from the so-called “nonaligned” countries to study at Czech universities–usually technical subjects like engineering–but needed an intensive crash course in Czech before they started.  Hence they lived in language school’s dorms for a year before they were off to Prague, Brno, or other Czech university towns.  Today the institute runs preparatory courses (for Czech students) to prepare them for their college entrance exams.  If I remember correctly, you sit for an exam in the program of your choice–medical, legal, general studies.  If you don’t get in, you can come to this program and spend another year preparing to retake the exams.  (Yeah, no pressure). Anyway, “Cestina pro cizince” (Czech for foreigners) is no more, but one of the program’s teachers, Alena, still live in the town–and lucky for me, she took me on for lessons.  Not bad to have “CSL” (“Czech as a second langauge?) teacher with twenty years of experience introducing you to the insanity that is Czech grammar. Since I was there in the evenings, Alena also took it upon herself to make sure I had a good grounding in Czech food.  She was one of those people who can whip up any number of things from scratch (of course she was!) and while I sadly must admit I haven’t retained all that much, I do remember making these dumplings with her.  A big bowl of blue-purple oval fruits, tvaroh (Czech “farmer’s cheese”, also known as quark), milk, flour, and butter.

Czech Plum Dumplings (1 of 11)

Czech Plum Dumplings (3 of 11)

First we mixed and kneaded the soft pillowy dough–me and Alena by hand, today me and little H with the stand mixer–

Czech Plum Dumplings (4 of 11)

An assembly line was set up, and we wrapped each fruit in its own little package–

Czech Plum Dumplings (6 of 11)

moistened the edges to create a seal–

Czech Plum Dumplings (7 of 11)

and set them aside while we waited for the water to boil.

Czech Plum Dumplings (8 of 11)

We slipped them into  boiling water to poach, and a few minutes later, carefully fished them out, hot and slippery.

Czech Plum Dumplings (10 of 11)

Drizzled with butter, powdered sugar, and poppy seeds.  My favorite type of lesson about culture–via the stomach.

Czech Plum Dumplings (11 of 11)

Note:  you’ll notice that it took me a while to get this post up as these plums, even if early fall fruits, are no longer in season. However, you can use other fruits so you don’t have to wait until next September.

Czech Plum Dumplings
Recipe Type: breakfast, dessert
Cuisine: Czech
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2T butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup “pot cheese” (farmer’s cheese, quark, tvaroh, tvarog).
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups cake flour or a combination of cake and regular flour. (I used 240g cake and 30g regular flour).
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds fruit (prunes, apricots, cherries, apples or other firm fruit; I used 16 plums)
  • melted butter, poppy seeds, additional quark, and powdered sugar for serving
Instructions
  1. Cream butter, egg and cheese together. It’s OK if it’s a bit lumpy. Add the salt, flour, and milk to make a medium firm dough. Depending on the firmness of your cheese, you may have to add more milk. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil while you make the dumplings.
  3. Break off pieces and form into balls–you’ll want 16 or so. Let rest 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. On a floured surface, roll dough out into rounds and place a pierced fruit in the center. Dab the edges of the dough to create an adhesive edge, wrap around the fruit, and pinch together, sealing the edges well. Set aside on a floured surface, sealed side down, while you make the other dumplings.
  4. Gently slip into boiling water one at a time but as quickly as possible. Cook for 5-8 minutes turning once. Remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon.
  5. To serve, tear open a dumpling with two forks, and drizzle with melted butter, more cheese, poppy seeds, and powdered sugar

Martha Stewart’s One-Pan Pasta

The promise:  a pasta sauce and a pasta that can be cooked in one pan.  I was intrigued, but skeptical.  No initial sautee of onion and garlic in olive oil to bring out flavor?  Cooking pasta in a mere four cups of water?  I’m usually sheepishly conscious I am not using enough, thanks to my impatience at waiting for the watched pot to (seemingly never) boil?

One-Pan Pasta (2 of 7)

The result–not bad, not bad at all.  When finished I was worried that the abundance of pasta relative to the flecks of tomato and onion would result in a bland dish.  The oil evenly coats every silky strand, infusing eat forkful with plenty of garlic, basil, and onion, and a surprising (but welcome) bit of heat from the pepper flakes. Because everything cooks so quickly, all the constituent parts retain their freshness, meaning this works well as a nice summery dish, and is brighter than just dumping out a jar of pasta sauce over a bowl of spaghetti.  And it might just be faster to prepare.

One-Pan Pasta (3 of 7)

This is not a household that can usually manage both primi and secondi:  we’re talking one main dish here.  And this pasta is more first course than main event, though with a few sides (would that be contorni since we’re doing the foreign language thing?)  it would manage that just fine.  Yet it’s so easy I can imagine myself adding this in as a first course even without having to summon up too much ambition.  And I’ll certainly keep it in mind if we ever manage to get ourselves organized enough to have another dinner party.  As I’ve learned before, pasta dishes can be a lifesaver at such events.

One-Pan Pasta (4 of 7)

I’ve made this with both the cappellini shown below, as well as with penne, and it’s worked out nicely both times.  Both times as a spur of the moment type thing.  It’s so nice to just breezily “whip something up” like that.

One-Pan Pasta (5 of 7)

 

Martha Stewart’s One-Pan Pasta
Author: adapted from[url href=”http://www.marthastewart.com/978784/one-pan-pasta”%5D Martha Stewart Living[/url]
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces linguine (or other pasta)
  • 12 ounces chopped tomato (if using cherry or grape tomatoes, halve or quarter depending on size).
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.
Notes
I have found that the amount of water called for may be a touch too much. This may depend on the type of pasta you use, but I’ve been scaling down amounts from the original recipe (which quantities are included here).

One-Pan Pasta (6 of 7)