Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Carb-tastic blog entry....

I've noticed a pattern with my last few blog posts - CARBS! Oh well, I love carbs and make no bones about it, one of these days I'll actually post something besides cookies, muffins, and breads but for now I'm still on this carb merry-go-round.

This past weekend I tried my hand at another recipe from my Food Network Magazine - "Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels" which the article touted were the closest you would get to an Auntie Anne pretzel! I just had to try it.

All I can say is, wow, these came out pretty darn good! My husband and I don't like salt on the outside of our pretzels so I skipped that step and dramatically reduced the butter on top of the pretzels after baking and they were still great. I just wish I had better pretzel making technique (example below) but hey, they could have come out looking worse I figure, plus the taste made up it anyway!

Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels
(from Food Network Magazine)

1 cup milk
1 pkg active dry yeast
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups AP flour, plus more for kneading
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse salt

Warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Let the yeast sofen, about 2 minutes; stir in brown sugar and 1 cup flour with wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate t, then turn out ontolightly floured surface. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms fo your hands into a 30 inch rope holing the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Dissolve 3 baking soda in 3 cups of warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution then arrange onthe prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until golden 10-12 minutes.

Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter in a shallow dish. Dip hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a warm wire rack to let excess butter drip of. Serve the pretzels warm.

Irish Soda Bread

I've always wanted to make an Irish Soda bread and with St. Patrick's Day approaching I thought there was really no better time. I've had this recipe from bookmarked for quite some time and finally decided to use it! I thought it came out great! I used 2 9x5 inch pans and cut the bake time down to about 45 minutes.

Irish Soda Bread I

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 pint sour cream
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream and raisins and mix until just combined. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans.

Bake loaves at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not a good memory lately....

...but I still have a recipe.

I yet again have tried a new recipe and failed to take a picture of it. Sometimes I think I get so excited with how well something comes out that taking a picture is the last thing on my mind, all I want to do is eat!

Despite not having a picture, I am going to blog about this recipe because it was great! I loved the little crumb topping on these muffins. The only change I made was to add a splash or so of extra milk because the batter seemed a tad too thick, this may be because I was using 1% milk so I figured an extra splash wouldn't hurt!

Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips, and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg; blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy).

Fill cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops of muffins before baking with a combination of 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoon brown sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. Serve warm.