Wednesday, January 24, 2007
This is fougasse, a French bread that is a staple in the region of Provence. As is customary, I slashed this loaf to resemble an ear of wheat. It's cute, and it is so fun to hold a warm, homemade loaf of bread that is this artful! It's tasty too. (Recipe included at the end.)
Besides homemade bread, I have another homemade venture to share. Inspired by Dori's post about soy milk, Bob and I decided to purchase a soy milk maker. It wasn't a rash decision; we have been thinking about it for a while, and really it is ridiculous to pay the prices that commercial soy milk is sold for--even locally produced soy milk (which, here, I cannot find any local soy milk that is made with non-GMO soybeans). Here is the machine in action:
We ordered it from this site, and we have used it several times now. The soy milk it makes is very tasty, depending of course upon your inputs. We're still tinkering around to find that perfect recipe for our tastes, but as soon as I have it figured out I will share it with you.
Finally, here's something that's hardly homemade at all. Waaaay back in November, we found one of these in the frozen section of the health food store, and we bought it and saved it until now. It's a Tofurky.
We hadn't planned on buying one, but some vegetarians we met at a veg*n potluck were raving about them so when we saw it we just went for it. We didn't feel compelled to take it to Bob's family's house for Thanksgiving. So we kept it. Tonight, while I was studying, Bob got in the kitchen and roasted it, alongside some carrots and onion wedges and potatoes. He also lightly wilted some Swiss chard to go along with it and, at the last moment, we decided the Tofurky probably needed some gravy. In a pinch we used the mushroom gravy recipe on the Tofurky box. I'll include the recipe, in case you're interested.
We both were surprised at how good the Tofurky actually was. I thought it might be bland, but we really didn't think it was. The stuffing on the inside was perhaps a little bland. Oh well. The gravy was decent--as Bob put it, it served the purpose of gravy. It was very easy and quick to make, and so it served us very well tonight when we failed to plan ahead! The Swiss chard was delicious--it would be hard to mess that one up.
Apple Hemp Muffins from Vive Le Vegan! Dreena never misses a beat, does she? I love the flavor of hemp seeds. Another thing I appreciate about Dreena's recipes is her use of ground oats. Oats are a wonderful alternative to wheat flour, and they lend a soft texture to her baked goods. These are simply delicious!
Speaking of Dreena, guess what I got in the mail this week?
A lot of you probably know that I won her recent cookbook giveaway. A lot of you probably further know that I won her last giveaway as well. Sheesh! How does that happen to one person??? Anyway, just so you know, I definitely plan to BUY Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan when it hits the market--not even going to try and win a third freebie! But, thanks Dreena! I am definitely looking forward to hitting up this book some... probably this weekend, when I have some time to breathe.
Looking forward to catching up with you all!
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup very warm water
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
Mix the yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in a bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
Sift flours and salt together and make a well in the center. Pour in the cup of water and then the foamy yeast mixture. Mix to a soft dough and gather into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth. Place in a large, lightly oiled bowl and leave in warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch down dough and knead for one minute. Press into a large oval, 2 centimeters thick and make several cuts on either side. Lay on a large floured baking tray (or I recommend a baking stone, for best results) and leave to rise for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 415 F.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until crisp. After 15 minutes of baking, spray the stone and the loaf with water to make the crust crispy.
I'm going to play with this recipe some more and try to get the proportion of whole wheat flour up--this is already a better ratio than the original recipe prescribed. Fun to make!
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup sliced onions
1-1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons oil
4 cups stock, vegetable bouillon, or soy milk (I used stock)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Lightly sauté the mushrooms and onions in the 1-1 1/2 tablespoons oil. In another pan combine the flour and remaining oil and whish over low heat for one minute. Whisk in the stock, soy sauce, and pepper. Cook until thickened. Stir in the mushrooms and onions.
I actually cut the oil by about half in the recipe, and it worked just fine.