Wednesday, September 19, 2012

quick sourdough bread

If you love fresh bread, you definitely need to try this recipe.  It's so easy!  Now, I admit, it doesn't have a very "sour" taste, so if you are a huge fan of sourdough, you might be a bit disappointed in its lack of kick.  However, it's a delicious soft, white bread that goes excellently with soups or salad.  I loved it!

You need to start this recipe the night before you actually want the bread.  Mix together potato flakes, sugar, one cup warm water and yeast in a large bowl.  Then, cover and let it stand overnight at room temperature.  It will look like a science experiment the next morning!

In the morning, add oil, salt, warm water, and flour.  Combine it until it's a beautiful ball of dough and let it rise.

Once the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it back down.

Then, divide it into three parts.

Knead each of the three parts and then form them into loaves.  I put two into greased loaf pans and then made one a round loaf.  They all worked well!

Bake the loaves for 30 minutes, and voila!  You have beautiful, quick sourdough bread without a lot of work.

Quick Sourdough Bread
from Gooseberry Patch's Made from Scratch

3 T. instant potato flakes
3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water, divided
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 2 T. oil, divided
1 T. salt
6 to 7 cups bread flour
2 T. butter

Mix potato flakes, sugar, one cup warm water and yeast in a large bowl.  Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.  In the morning, combine 1/2 cup oil, salt, 1 1/2 cups warm water, and flour; stir into the yeast mixture.  Cover and let dough double in bulk; punch down and divide into thirds.  Knead each third 6 to 8 times; shape into loaves.  Brush tops with remaining oil.  Let rise until double in bulk.   Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter.  Makes 3 loaves.

Monday, September 17, 2012

italian meatball subs

The weather where I live can't decide whether it's summer or fall, so I can't decide whether I should be making sandwiches or hearty soups.  Such a dilemma!  Fortunately, there's recipes like this one that transcend both seasons. 

These meatballs are cooked in a slow cooker in a delicious hearty sauce that will get your whole house smelling like comfort food (think fall).  But, you serve them up on buns to make wonderful sandwiches for an easy meal at home or a great dish for your next get-together (think summer). 

Fall...summer...who needs to decide?

Italian Meatball Subs
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Combine all ingredients except buns in a large bowl; mix well.  Form into 2-inch balls and place in a slow cooker; pour sauce over top.  Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, or on high setting for 4 to 6 hours.  To serve, top with sauce from slow cooker.

28 oz. can tomato puree
28 oz. can Italian-style crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1-1/2 oz. pkgs spaghetti sauce mix
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until blended.
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