Thursday, October 21, 2010

Scrounging for Fingerlings and Promiscuous Honey Wheat Bread

A few months ago, I picked up this Raspberry Merlot Glaze from Cardullo's, put it in the pantry and forgot about it. As we were wandering around Trader Joe's this week, trying to figure out what to do for dinner, I saw pork tenderloins and remembered that bottle in the pantry. We bought the least phallic piece we could find and started marinating for Monday's dinner.

(FYI, there's no such thing as a non-phallic pork tenderloin. They don't exist. However, last time we cooked pork tenderloin, I believe we found THE most phallic one that ever did exist! There is photo documentation but I am afraid it is too offensive. Seriously, we could get reported for it. )

We added some sea salt, pepper, and oregano, baked it in the oven for some minutes and viola.
Sorry it isn't more inspired or complicated, but it is what it is, and it is good...

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about is the vegetables. This is my favorite easy thing to do when there is nothing to eat and it's nice and autumnal outside. For those of you who don't know this, trying to figure out what to eat after about 3 1/2 weeks since my last trip to the grocery store is one of my favorite things. Because there is ALWAYS something. We can almost always scrounge up a potato or two, at least a couple of onions, and lots of seasonings. We just chop up a bunch of whatever root veggies we have lying around (in this case, carrots, potatoes and red onion), toss in some dried rosemary, s+p, douse it with oil and balsamic vinegar and roast it until the potatoes are tender. It is the tastiest! 

before cooking

Whatever, you've probably all done this before. Let us know if your bored or if you haven't heard anything new by next week. We appreciate any feedback! Seriously, it won't hurt our feelings! We can handle it! My sister told me tonight that I'm on the ADHD spectrum and I only cried a little bit!

I'll end by saying, the only thing to drink between the months of September and November are...

(the Dunkelweizen is Mandi's fave and Sanne's is the Black Lager)

This concludes my portion. Keep reading for Sanne's recipe for Promiscuous Honey Wheat Bread.  It's so delicious, and scandalous, too!

Oh yeah, we have a tie-- vegetarian chili and impromptu chicken dinner. Send your mom a link! She loves this crap. Or if you haven't commented yet, show us you love us! (I'm looking at YOU, Mrs. Hill!)


So, I bet you are wondering just how Honey Wheat Bread could possibly be slutty. Well, you'll see.

I like baking a lot. Fall makes me want to bake double time. Lately bread is what I have been wanting to bake most. It is the most time consuming but also the most rewarding end product. Because cooking and baking are relaxing for me, I usually devote part of my day off to do them. This past Monday I made Honey Wheat Bread. Here's the recipe:

3 cups of warm water (ideally 110-115 degrees, too cold or too hot won't activate the yeast)
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
3 eggs
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup shortening or butter 
2 tablespoons salt
10-12 cups of whole wheat flour

A note on the shortening vs butter. Butter has richer aroma and deeper taste.  Shortening results in a lighter textured loaf. It depends on your preference of fats, flavors, aromas, etc. You could always do a combo! 

This recipe is for 3 loaves. If you are going take the time to bake bread you might as well make more than one loaf! You can always save some dough for a later batch in the refrigerator or freezer. I have recently learned that adding old dough to a new batch adds a lot of flavor. The old dough helps new batches of dough because it already has lively yeast and the flavor of wheat from the flour has had some time to develop.  The old dough method is said to produce a full-flavored loaf with a lighter, open-textured crumb than a straight yeast dough and last longer too. This is something I will be exploring more soon...

Here are some instructions and photos chronicling the Promiscuous Honey Wheat Bread:

I started with these two bowls. Slight underestimation.

The yellow bowl was the appropriate size for the yeast mixture. However, you are going to need a jumbo bowl for the flour bowl. I underestimated how much 10-12 cups of flour is sans all the other ingredients. 

Give the yeast about 10 minutes to mingle with the sugar and water.
Mix water with yeast and sugar and let sit until foamy. In the meantime, put the 3 eggs (in the shell) in a bowl of hot water (to bring the eggs to room temperature).

Then, put flour and salt in the jumbo bowl.

Pour in yeast mixture and stir until combined. 

Combine honey, eggs, and butter/shortening and then add to flour and yeast mixture. Mix well. This is where the elbow grease starts to come in. 

Add more flour as needed. I like to start with a little less and add more. You want it to be smooth but not too dense. Slightly sticky is ok. 

Know knead that huge lump until it is pretty smooth. (Don't hurt yourself.)

Let set in warm place for about an hour until double in size. If you live somewhere hot just the counter will do. I like to preheat the oven for 175, then turn it off and put the bowl in there to its business. You can always heat a moist towel and drape it over the bowl too. 

This is the dough before rising.
A word on kneading: 
Kneading is essential bread making. I find that most people have seen it done or natural somehow know how to knead. Maybe I just had the instinct. It's pretty hard to mess up kneading though. I firmly believe that if you take out your day's frustrations on the dough you'll both be better off when you are done. Punch it, fold it, squish it. Heck, use your elbows. (Not really, scraping dough off of your elbows and/or potentially hitting your funny bone isn't worth it.) 

Here is the wiki how on how to knead if you need it. (hehe)

doubled in size! 

Divide into 3 loaves. Or in my case I decided to do a sandwich loaf (in a loaf pan), a braided loaf (I'll teach that in another posting) and buns! Let the dough rise again in warm place until doubled (about another hour). Just keep an eye on it. 

Bake it at 375 for about 30-35 minutes or until (if you want to get this technical) the interior gets to 190 on a thermometer. I don't have one of those. I usually gauge on the browning of he crust and time. 

I don't think I have to tell you about the satisfaction of making bread. For one, your whole house smells like heaven on a stick (you know that saying...everything tastes better on a stick...right? I am doubtful you can improve on heaven but I already said it.) and then you have an entire warm, soft, crusty, buttery loaf of bread fresh out of the oven to eat. The satisfaction is better when there are friends and family there to share it with you. You want to show off your skills and you probably shouldn't eat the entire loaf yourself. So make sure you have a neighbor or friend or loved one around. 

Teen Mom: The sandwich loaf and the braided loaf produced hot crossed buns of love. 
So maybe the Honey Wheat Bread isn't all that promiscuous but it sure is tasty. Bread making can be daunting to undertake but I promise, if I can do it, you can do it. Just take a deep breath and remember that your efforts will fill the house with the most wonderful smells (unless you start watching Jurassic Park and forget that a roaring t-rex, triceratops and velociraptors drown out the sound of your oven timer thus producing crispier bread and the firemen to show up. Neither of which I find bad...). The crispier bread happened but sadly no firemen showed up. True story but not with this batch of bread. 

We will soon be doing a pumpkin post. It is October after all. All Hallow's Eve is just 10 days away!! I have a great recipe for pumpkin scones with ginger molasses icing and pumpkin chocolate chip-walnut cookies to share. 

What is something you like to cook when the weather starts to turn chilly? 

Leave us some love!


  1. i think i just drooled a little when you mentioned the scones! sounds amazing! and i agree, there is something terribly therapeutic about baking bread!

  2. this makes me excited to come for thanksgiving and cooking all day!!! And i want to cook those veggies:)

  3. mmmm...I think I can smell that bread!! Your pictures just bring everything to life and it's delightful to read your posts , as I feel like I'm sitting right there in the kitchen with you! I'm feeling inspired for my pork chop dinner tonight and can't wait to check in tomorrow!

  4. This makes me hungry and gives hope to my limited bread baking. Looking forward to pumpkin recipes. And yes, the fall months are best spent with Sam Adams.

  5. When it gets cold, it only means one thing. Baklava.