Monday, November 14, 2011

Whole Wheat Raisin Bread, Onion Straws, and Sweet Potato Casserole

I did a lot of cooking and baking this weekend and these were all new recipes. We really enjoyed them all.

I saw the Cinnamon Raisin Bread a while back in Food Network Magazine and decided to give it a try. It is a healthier bread. I used white whole wheat flour instead of the whole wheat flour. It was a nice light bread. Its not overly sweet. I used my stand mixer with the dough hook instead of the bread machine and it turned out well. I added 1 TBSP of sugar and 1/2 tsp of maple extract. I also sprinled the top with cinnamon sugar.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
From Food Network Magazine
2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
Cooking spray
2/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
Make the dough.
Measure out 1 1/4 cups very warm water and check the temperature; it should be 120 degrees F to 130 degrees F. Combine both flours, the dry milk, egg, canola oil, honey, salt, yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix 3 minutes on the lowest setting, then increase to the next highest setting and mix 5 more minutes. The dough should be soft and sticky.
Let it rise.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough has nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Soak the raisins.
Dry raisins will rob moisture from the bread, so soak them first in boiling water until plump, about 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Fold the dough.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Picture it as a loose square. Lift up one side of the dough and fold about one-third of it across; press down on the dough with spread fingers to remove any air bubbles. Repeat with the remaining 3 sides of the dough.
Add the filling.
Mist two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. Divide the dough in half; roll out each half into an 8-inch square. Brush each square with canola oil, then sprinkle with the cinnamon (it's high in antioxidants!), brown sugar and raisins.
Form the loaves.
Roll up each square of dough into a tight cylinder; place seam-side down in the prepared pans. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough fills the pans and springs back when touched, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Bake the bread.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the loaves with canola oil and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Next was the sweet potato casserole. I made twice baked sweet potatoes a few weeks back and this was similar to the filling in them. Very Good. I had left over Land o Lakes Cinnamon Butter Spread and I used that. I may cut down on that next time as it left it a little too spicy. I also used 1/2 the sugar in the filling and it was plenty sweet enough.

Sweet Potato Casserole V
3 cups cooked and mashed sweet
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup eggnog
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat one 2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, 1/3 cup brown sugar, eggnog, melted margarine, vanilla extract, salt and egg whites. Spoon mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar and flour. Cut in the chilled 2 tablespoons margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes

These were really good too. We put them on top of hamburgers with pumpkin rolls and BBQ sauce. I baked them and you really couldn't tell they weren't fried. I recently bought a pizza screen to use with my pizza stone and these worked perfectly on this.

Crispy Onion Straws – Baked or Fried
1 whole large yellow onion
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp hot sauce – or more if you like it hotter
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Vegetable Oil for frying
Cooking spray for baking
Begin by slicing the onion into thin ¼ inch rings. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce; add the sliced onion and toss to coat. Let the onions sit in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes.
In a large dish, mix the cornmeal, flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Carefully drain the onions and toss, in batches, in the cornmeal mixture. Shake off any excess cornmeal and set aside to either fry or bake.
To Fry:Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and fill with 2 ½ - 3 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry the onions for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully drain and set aside on a paper towel lined dish. Sprinkle with a little salt as soon as they come out of the oil.
To Bake:
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees and place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. The cooling rack will let the heat of the oven penetrate all sides of the onion making them crispy.
Lay the onions evenly on top of the rack without overcrowding. Liberally spray the onions with cooking spray and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until brown and crispy. Sprinkle with salt when they come out of the oven.Continue reading on Crispy onion straws - baked or fried - Norfolk Cooking

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