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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I'm thinking of making them from scratch. Don't know if you do the fresh pasta thing, or if it's really worth the trouble.

    I can has guidance, plz?
    Oh, it's worth it!

    I will respond to your request after Easter, sir!


  2. #102
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    Thank you for adding this input for everybody!

    Yes, I do agree that roasting and grinding spices whole really makes flavors spectacular. I don't usually recommend this unless people are a little more experienced and therefore interested in taking the time to do this, but I think it's definitely the best way to go!

    Good point about the blending (I love an excuse to use my food processor, though, haha...)!

    P.S. Mango Chutney is DELICIOUS!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Have you tried roasting and grinding the seed forms of the spices? Where you have cumin and coriander, fry the seeds in a dry pan for about 2 minutes then grind them in a pestle and mortar (or is it mortar and pestle.. I never know ). Secondly, try replacing the ground cinnamon with a cinnamon stick that you leave in while it is stewing.

    Both of these things make quite a difference to an indian stew One can always leave said stew for an entire afternoon in the slow cooker/crockpot. Yumm!

    By the way.. I am *sure* you know this, but some people may not. All indian stews and meaty curries must must MUST be served with some mango chutney. Encourage your diners to stir a tablespoon into the curry before eating.

    Oh.. yes. Lots of indian recipes call for the ingredients to be blended to be smooth (as with yours). I've found you can often ignore this time consuming/messy step as the onions etc break down when they are stewed and a little texture never hurts

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    Hi Malia, just wondering if you know of any recipes for making bread where the bread stays fresh for several days, not just one? (I don't make bread often but I'd be more motivated to do it if the bread was palatable for more than a day, and no, I don't use a breadmaker.)
    Oh yes. All homemade bread will last you about 5-7 days before mold sets in, if you store it properly. But I have a feeling your concern is having bread that stays fresh-tasting, and doesn't dry out?

    Once it's out of the oven, let it cool on a wire rack until completely cool (this is important). As soon as it is cool, store your bread in a plastic bag, tightly sealed. Alternatively, you can try wrapping it in foil or plastic wrap.

    The reason sealing your bread up is so important is that it retains the bread's moisture. If you leave it out in the air, your bread will send its moisture far, far away into the atmosphere. And then it's hard and crusty as a rock (no doubt you've noticed this).

    Have you purchased fresh bread from a bakery and kept it in one of those paper slippers they sell it to you in? Big mistake. It's okay for a few hours, but that bread is meant to be eaten that night. IF NOT, you must seal it up in something NON-breathable.

    It's kind of like making home-made cookies; you wouldn't leave them sitting out to turn into miniature frisbees, hardened and inedible, would you?

    It's the same with bread.

    Also, I use honey in my bread to keep it fresher, longer. Honey acts as a preservative (so does the salt you use) and gives it additional moisture.

    All that said, here is a basic bread recipe.



    MALIA'S FAVORITE SANDWICH BREAD
    =======================


    INGREDIENTS

    5-6 cups all-purpose flour
    OR 4 cups all-purpose flour & 1 cup whole wheat flour
    OPTIONAL: 2-3 tablespoons gluten flour
    2 1/4 cups warm water (108 F is considered just right)
    OR 1 1/2 cups warm milk & 3/4 cup warm water
    1 package(2 1/4 teaspoons)active dry yeast*
    1 tablespoon honey
    OR sugar
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    OR melted butter, cooled to lukewarm
    scant 1 tablespoon salt

    *I use quickrise yeast, which is simply regular yeast that has less dead yeast cells coating each little ball so that the live stuff inside can get to work more quickly. Also, you can optionally double the yeast amount, but I usually don't. If you do double it, it's gonna rise slightly faster and bigger.


    INSTRUCTIONS

    In a large, preferably heavy, bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Whisk to combine once or twice, and let sit (proof) for about 5 minutes. Your water should look like it's getting a bit creamy, in which case you know the yeast is not a "dud" (these days, this kind of check is usually unnecessary, but I always do it just to make sure the yeast is REALLY good).

    Whisk in your melted butter and sugar or honey. Add the salt.

    Measure out 2 cups of the flour, and stir in well with a wooden spoon. Your mixture should start looking a bit sludgy, like mud. Add 2 more cups of flour, one at a time, stirring well. Keep adding flour until a rough dough begins to form.

    At this point, the remaining flour in your recipe will be used to flour your kneading board. You should only use as much flour as you have to, as a dough with too much flour will make a very heavy, dense bread.

    Turn out your rough dough onto a floured board. Flour your hands.
    Knead by pushing the dough down with your palms, folding dough forward and in half, turning a quarter or third turn, and pushing down again with your palms. Continually add more flour, little by little, and knead until your dough is smooth and elastic, and not so sticky it comes off on everything it touches.

    It can take 10-15 minutes to achieve this, depending on your kneading ability/experience.
    The more you knead, the better, so don't worry about the length of time or whether you're doing it perfectly -- practice will give you the hang of it in no time.

    Also, don't worry about using all the flour. You may not need to. If the day is pretty dry out, you will actually end up using a lot less flour than you expected. If it's a rainy day, you might need even more. That's why we don't add all the flour, all at once.

    Oil a clean bowl (or spray with nonstick spray), and place your smooth dough ball inside, rotating once or twice to grease your dough. Cover with plastic wrap (I actually just use a clean dish towel, like my grandmother used to).
    Place covered bowl of dough in a sunny window, or high up (on top of the refrigerator is good) where the air is warmer, and allow to rise 1 - 1 1/2 hours if using regular dry yeast, and 45 min's to 1 hour for quickrise yeast.

    When the time is up, punch down your dough and knead a few times to release accumulated air bubbles.

    You may now shape it any way you like (see "Shaping Ideas" below) and place it on a greased baking sheet or in greased metal bread pans. Allow to proof, or rise again (I like letting it rise about 15 minutes for quickrise and 30 minutes for regular dry yeast).

    While it's proofing, preheat your oven (see "Oven Temperatures" below for advice).

    Optionally, right before placing in the oven, brush bread with a variety of washes (see "Washes" below for options).


    Oven Temperatures:

    350 F - 1 hour cooking time for two loaves
    375 F - 45 min. cooking time for two loaves
    400 F - 30 min. cooking time for two loaves

    Note: as you increase your oven temp., you will result in a thicker, crustier crust.


    Washes (Brush onto bread right before baking):

    egg wash
    (1-2 eggs lightly beaten; alternatively add a little water, milk, or salt.)
    this results in a shiny, flashy, fancy crust. ;-)

    milk
    this results in a softer crust

    butter
    this results in a browner, more flavorful crust

    olive oil
    this results in a browner, more flavorful, and crispy crust

    oats
    (if you brush bread first with an eggwash and/or butter, you can coat the top of your bread with rolled oats for a beautiful, tasty effect.)


    Shaping Ideas:

    This recipe makes two regular bread loaves, and you can shape them into oblongs and place them in your regular-sized metal bread pans and be set.

    Optionally, I like to braid a giant loaf, or make an animal shape out of it, or make lots of little dough balls and place close together for pull-apart rolls.
    For these, bake on a cookie sheet with sides.

    You can always make slits in your dough (do this right before your last rise after you place the dough in a pan or on a cookie sheet) with a sharp knife for an even more attractive look. Crosses, diagonal slits in a row, the sky is the limit. You can even write your name!


    Last point: let me know if you want a mixer method, or to know how to do a slow refrigerator rise, or sponge technique. ENJOY!

  4. #104
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maliafee View Post
    Oh yes. All homemade bread will last you about 5-7 days before mold sets in, if you store it properly. But I have a feeling your concern is having bread that stays fresh-tasting, and doesn't dry out?

    Once it's out of the oven, let it cool on a wire rack until completely cool (this is important). As soon as it is cool, store your bread in a plastic bag, tightly sealed. Alternatively, you can try wrapping it in foil or plastic wrap.

    The reason sealing your bread up is so important is that it retains the bread's moisture. If you leave it out in the air, your bread will send its moisture far, far away into the atmosphere. And then it's hard and crusty as a rock (no doubt you've noticed this).

    Have you purchased fresh bread from a bakery and kept it in one of those paper slippers they sell it to you in? Big mistake. It's okay for a few hours, but that bread is meant to be eaten that night. IF NOT, you must seal it up in something NON-breathable.

    It's kind of like making home-made cookies; you wouldn't leave them sitting out to turn into miniature frisbees, hardened and inedible, would you?

    It's the same with bread.
    Oops, should have said how I store my home made bread. I always put it in a plastic bag, tightly sealed as soon as it's cooled. I assumed that was a given, sorry. But even if I do that (and double wrap the bread in two bags), it still goes dry and unpleasant the day after, unlike shop bought bread.

    Also, I use honey in my bread to keep it fresher, longer. Honey acts as a preservative (so does the salt you use) and gives it additional moisture.
    Ah, useful tip. Thank you! I'll try that instead of sugar next time. And thanks for the recipe, although I think it looks pretty similar to the one I use.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  5. #105
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    I think it's the honey. I use a breadmaker and ever since I switched to honey (I used two level tbsp in a large loaf) the bread stays fresh longer than it takes to eat it

  6. #106
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    I think it's the honey. I use a breadmaker and ever since I switched to honey (I used two level tbsp in a large loaf) the bread stays fresh longer than it takes to eat it
    OK, good to hear.

    I may start making my own bread more now. Kneading is a really good work out, and I've found a place that sells cheaper flour. (Pricewise, it used to be similar to buying shop bought bread, which didn't really make sense to me)
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  7. #107
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    k, I have another question. What's the best way to store potatoes so they last the longest? (I don't have a basement or anything like that, just a basic kitchen with kitchen cupboards for storage) I'm aware that potatoes need to be stored in the dark because otherwise they go green and poisonous, but other than that, I'm a tad clueless.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  8. #108
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    k, I have another question. What's the best way to store potatoes so they last the longest? (I don't have a basement or anything like that, just a basic kitchen with kitchen cupboards for storage) I'm aware that potatoes need to be stored in the dark because otherwise they go green and poisonous, but other than that, I'm a tad clueless.
    They need to breathe.. paper bag in a wicker basket in a dark cupboard works well for me.

  9. #109
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    They need to breathe.. paper bag in a wicker basket in a dark cupboard works well for me.
    Is the paper bag bit necessary? I generally just dump them in a spare bowl and put them in a cupboard. But the last lot deteriorated fairly quickly. Some of them were bruised, so I guess that was part of it, but I'm trying to avoid throwing out food.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    k, I have another question. What's the best way to store potatoes so they last the longest? (I don't have a basement or anything like that, just a basic kitchen with kitchen cupboards for storage) I'm aware that potatoes need to be stored in the dark because otherwise they go green and poisonous, but other than that, I'm a tad clueless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    They need to breathe.. paper bag in a wicker basket in a dark cupboard works well for me.
    YES. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    Is the paper bag bit necessary? I generally just dump them in a spare bowl and put them in a cupboard. But the last lot deteriorated fairly quickly. Some of them were bruised, so I guess that was part of it, but I'm trying to avoid throwing out food.
    Setting them out in the air can invite faster spoilage, but they do need to breathe, so Geoff's advice was great.

    Also, unless they're horribly green, just cut off the poisonous eyes and use the potato if there's nothing else wrong with it (i.e. if it's not bruised and spoiled or something).

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