Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

One of my Favorites

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie has become a Thanksgiving and Christmas staple for us. Originally, I was intrigued with Sweet Potato Pecan Pie after having it on some trips to New Orleans for trade shows.

I spent some time searching for a recipe to use and the basis for what we do is in Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking book which is now over 30 years old.  We have modified it, of course, but it is true to its origins with the flavor kicked up a bit.

It does take 2 days to make as the sweet potatoes must be baked and cooled before preparing the pie. We typically make it a day or 2 ahead to ease up on the holiday food prep craziness.  Plus it sets up better after chilling, making serving easier. While I love it warm from the oven, (and this is why there is a small wedge missing in the photo) it won’t serve well being too soft until chilled.

Sweet potatoes

Take 1-2 large sweet potatoes, scrub and poke full of holes (unless you want a grenade in the oven) . Bake at 375 for 2 hours on flat pan with parchment paper to ease clean up.  Remove, cool and scrape out the insides.   These are then mashed in preparation for making the pie.  We usually do this the day before making the pie.

Filling

1 c sweet potato mashed

4 oz (1 stick) butter

3/4 c light brown sugar

3 jumbo eggs separated

3/4 c skim milk

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 c bourbon (Makers Mark or Jim Beam are our favorites)

Prep

Cream the butter with sugar and sweet potatoes. Next beat in the egg yolks and milk. Add the spices and salt and liquor continuing to beat the mix.

Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl and then gently fold into the rest of the mixture.

Pie shell

Favorite recipe – par bake 10 min at 375F

Fill and bake

Add the filling to the shell and bake. Place on a sheet pan as the filling will rise a LOT and may spill over making a huge mess. (I really don’t like being on even cleaning detail prior to the thanksgiving baking, again) After 15 min then add the topping (below). If you do this too early the pecans will burn.

Topping

4 TB butter

4 TB brown sugar

4 TB flour

1 cup chopped pecans  – this  is WAY more than the original recipe called for but is needed.

After adding the mixed topping, bake for an additional 45 min (longer than the original) until the filling has set to a custard like consistency.  If the pecans are getting too dark, tent with aluminum foil right away. We always assume a custard pie will take longer than the recipe says. Burnt pecans spoil the flavor.

Serving

For serving top with fresh whipped cream (not that stuff from the tub or can) .

So go ahead make a slow food desert and forever settle the question of “Should I have pumpkin or pecan pie or both…”  This has the best flavors of both and is better overall.

 

 

Burnt Ends style Chuck Roast

One of my favorite things about going to a good barbeque joint or smoking my own meat is the crispy pieces around the edges.  A common restaurant appetizer is “burnt ends” made from smoked brisket. So far my own smoked brisket has been less than spectacular and I have been looking for a way to make the beef consistently good.

I wanted to try a combination of sous vide cooking and smoking to get the best of both worlds with a more predictable outcome. The idea was to use sous vide to cook the meat, break down the connective tissue with the smoking for flavor and caramelization. However, a search turned up only a few recipes of this sort with huge variability of cooking technique. So I decided to experiment on my own. This recipe was an absolute success. It yielded succulent tender beef with a nice smoke flavor (and smoke ring) and caramelized exterior.

Ingredients and prep

  • 3-4 lbs beef chuck roast, slit along fat lines and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1/4 c Chili powder
  • 2 tsp Colmans dry mustard powder
  • 1.5 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp Granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Dried onion, freshly crushed (I don’t like onion powder)
  • 1/2 c Brown sugar
  • 4 slices Bacon cut to 1″ lengths (bacon ends and scraps work well here)

Mix the above ingredients and rub into the beef pieces.

Place everything into a bag ready for sealing for sous vide cooking including the left over rub.

  • Add 1/4 c Worcestershire sauce and toss  (adding it earlier makes a mess)

Vacuum seal the bag

Cooking

Cook in the hot water bath at 155F for 24 hours. Cover the pan or add water every 8-12 hours as there will be significant evaporation.

Remove the pieces and cut the biggest ones so nothing is more than 1″ thick.  Smoke on indirect heat at 200F for 4 hours . I use a Big Green Egg and put the conveggtor down under the grate. Keep the pieces away from the direct heat at the edges or they will burn.

Chill the juices and skim the fat. Then reduce the liquid until it is about the consistency of BBQ sauce. This took about 1 hour in a large glass baking dish at 350 in the oven (stir once or twice).

Remove the pieces from the smoker and cut down to max 1″ pieces per side.    Lightly stir them into the reduced liquid and the brush with your favorite BBQ sauce  (we use Sweet Baby Ray’s). Bake at 350 convect or put on the grill again for another 30 min. This will caramelize the sauce and meat edges. Be careful this will burn easily at this point.

The reason for incrementally cutting up the meat was to have it neither dry out or crumble to nothing. Chuck roast is really a mixed bag of meat muscle types all rolled into one and it is hard to have the leaner portions and fatty portions get done nicely and all stay together if you immediately cut to 1″ pieces.

At the start, I had wondered if there would be a visible smoke ring on the pre-cooked meat and there was – nice bright pink. Plus the smoky flavor came through nicely, which was probably helped by the sweet rub. I used several chunks of cherry wood 3″ diameter branches for the smoke (well soaked due to the rain).

Serve and enjoy

Having some of the candied jalapenos to go with them just adds to the sweet and tangy flavor.  Some fresh baked bread (I did a sourdough whole wheat / rye combo) is great to sop up the sauce.

 

Pork, Apples, Onions and Stuffing

For us, this dish is a fall and early winter favorite. Usually we make it after going to our favorite apple orchards or picking our own apples.  It is super easy to make, basically slicing, chopping and baking.  It is also a good way to use up some of your damaged “ugly” apples.

We use a 5 qt “everyday pan” or 6 quart deep skillet for this.  You want a covered pan that is a bit on the deep side to contain the stuffing on top of the pork. The stuffing will shrink down by half while it bakes.  It would also be interesting to try in a dutch oven over a camp fire.

Pork

2 lbs pork roast. We use the smaller rib end toasts which have a bit more fat and break down better than a pork loin roast. You can substitute  pork loin roast or boneless pork chops or pork tenderloin (cut cooking temp and time). Exterior fat is trimmed off and the meat is sliced about 3/4″ thick. This should yield about 8 slices. Each slice is one serving for us.

Dredge in flour – about 3/4 c with a good grind of pepper, 1/2 tsp granulated garlic and a bit of salt (1/4 tsp).

Brown well on one side in bacon grease and lightly on the second side. leave the lightly browned side down when adding the stuffing. This dish is one of the reasons we save our bacon grease.

Stuffing

3-4 apples chopped into 1/4 ” slices

2-3 medium onions sliced to match the apples

1 fist full of fresh thyme and  10-12 leaves of fresh sage chopped (if dried about 1 tsp thyme and 1/2 tsp of sage) but this dish is one of the reasons to grow your own.

3/4 bag of stuffing / stale bread cubes to fill the pan

Baking

Pour the stuffing mix over the pork

Add 1/2 bottle of apple, pear or your other favorite sweet white wine

Add 1 can chicken broth

Bake covered 90 min at 350F. At 60 min pull it out and turn over the stuffing so the top does not dry out. Pull the cover off for the last 10-15 minutes to let it brown a bit.  Teal has reminded me that the pan needs to go on a jelly sheet pan or cookie sheet to catch the inevitable dribbles of juice that otherwise makes a mess of the oven.

Serving

Serve with the same wine you used to cook it (unless it has magically disappeared in the meantime).  The pork will be fork tender.  I like about a dozen rinsed capers on my slice. This will serve 8.  A small side salad is nice.   Of course, apple crisp is the favored desert.

For those of you that live in Wisconsin, my favorite orchards are Ski Hi and Brighton Woods with Aepple Treow winery as well as my back yard.

Teal’s Orange Chicken

Background

Teal loves Orange Chicken and Lemon Chicken. However, the breading and frying is a pain as well as adding un-needed calories.  So here is a way to get the delicious flavors with much less fat and calories.

Grill the Chicken

Take 2 packs boneless/skinless chicken thighs (8 thighs). Throw these directly on the grill. These are cooked on medium high heat to give some caramelization and melt off the fat. Pull from the grill when still somewhat pink in the center. You don’t need to have them cooked completely through as that comes in the next steps. This is so much better than trying to trim the fat and cube the raw chicken.

Now cut into bite size pieces.

Mix the sauce

1/2 can orange juice concentrate

3/4 c honey

1/2 c soy sauce

1/2 c ketchup

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic

3 Tbsp corn starch – This is a lot more than most recipes call for but there is no breading

1/4 c sesame seeds

Mix the above ingredients

Mix the corn starch into about 1/2 c of the mixture from above and then add into the rest. If you try mixing into the big batch directly you will get lumps.  The small amount lets you whisk out the lumps.

At this point, it will look like you have too much sauce and it seems to be too runny. Don’t worry, it will cook down and thicken.

Bake

In a 13×9″ glass pan place the chicken and then pour the sauce over the top.

Bake for 2 hours at 325 F .  Stir every 30 min for the first hour and then every 15 min thereafter. When you stir be sure to scraped the caramelized crust from the edges. If you leave this browning goodness it will burn and make clean up more difficult rather than adding to the flavor.

Serve

Serve over rice with a side salad.   I add some blood orange hot sauce and tamari sauce for mine.

This makes great leftovers. So don’t hesitate to double the amounts.

Candied Jalapenos – Cowboy Candy

Background

Last year, was our first try making these treats. They were an instant hit. However, with only 12 half pints we had to conserve the supply for family gatherings and parties. Even people that are not pepper aficionados will go for these (except for my wife Teal).  The original recipe from Foodiewithfamily.com was modified somewhat.  Our favorite way to enjoy them is with cream cheese or mild cheddar and crackers. Some of you may think this similar to the pepper jelly cream cheese and crackers that was popular in the 70’s.

So this year we set out to make a lot more. I planted a good supply of peppers of various types (Jalapenos, Big Jims, corno di toro, and caribbean reds)  and then let them ripen.  However with a dozen plants this was not enough. So yesterday, I went to the Waukesha farmer’s market early and bought out a couple of the vendors.   Each batch requires 3 pounds stemmed and seeded, approximately 3.5 to 4 lbs whole.  We overbought – next time I will bring a scale.  Ideally you will have 1/3 – 1/2 ripe red peppers and the balance being green jalapenos (or serranos if you like more heat) . This photo shows about 10 lbs.

You can double the batches without problem if you have large enough kettles.  Each batch will have left over liquid which you keep using, just add to it to replenish. Every 3rd batch or so, we skip adding more liquid.  Use pH test paper to make sure it is still in the sub 4.5 range, if not using pH paper , keep adding half as much vinegar on the “skip” batches to make sure it stays safely acidic.  Wear gloves, otherwise after handling several batches of peppers, you won’t be able to touch any sensitive areas for better than a day.

Prep the peppers

To prep the peppers there are 2 methods that we use. You can use a corer (like the Big Green Egg Jalapeno corer) or modify one of the cheap ones from the grocery store. This allows you to and pull the seeds and membranes out if they are large and then slice. However this really only works well with very large peppers. A better way is to start slicing from the pointy end and then pause when you hit seeds. 1/8 to 1/4″ wide slices. Now slice off the stem end. Stand the pepper on one of the cut ends and now start slicing vertically shaving off strips the same width around the seeds.   The second method is not only faster, you end up with a lot less seeds mixed in with your peppers.   I am not a fan of the bitterness of the seeds and membranes.  I think this is one of the keys to having great tasting results. We did a comparison to some commercially made candied peppers that were merely sliced with the seeds left in and ours won the flavor comparison hands down.

Ingredients

3 lbs seeded and sliced peppers (1/8-1/4″ thick slices or strips). We include 2 habaneros per batch for bit more heat and flavor. Weigh it out!

2 cups apple cider vinegar

6 cups white sugar  (yes a lot they are Candied peppers)

1/2 tsp ground Tumeric

1/2 tsp celery seed

1 Tbsp granulated garlic

1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

In a large pot, mix all of the ingredients except the peppers. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Watch carefully as it starts to boil as it will boil over easily (like jelly, and make just as much of a mess).  Add the peppers and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, boil for another 4 minutes.

Each batch makes 3 pints or 6 1/2 pints.   Boil your jars, lids, and utensils (slotted spoon, ladle, funnel). Using a slotted spoon and a canning funnel,  fill and pack the jars with the peppers. You will need to pack down the peppers a bit.

Boil the liquid to reduce for 6 minutes.  Ladle into the jars . Use a poker to work out any air bubbles. Add more liquid leaving 1/4″ headspace (maybe more like 3/8″).  Put on the lids and bands.

Process in boiling  for 10 minutes for 1/2 pints and 15 minutes for the pints after it returns to a boil.

Remove from the water, re-tighten the bands and set aside to cool.

These should sit for a month before using.  Today we made 36 half pints and 8 full pints (one lid blew off in the water bath otherwise we would have 9). This took about 6-7 hours.

All times start after hitting a full rolling boil. This recipe is not a complete guide to home canning. For more info look up info from various University extensions such as: https://fyi.uwex.edu/safepreserving/recipes/  or get the Ball Blue Book of canning.

 

 

 

Smoked pork loin chops

Today, Teal wanted pork chops and I had a craving for smoked pork chops. However the smoked pork chops at the store did not look all that appealing. However, thick cut boneless pork loin chops were on special.  So a compromise was in order, and it was still early enough in the day to get these done. So here is the experiment:

2 very thick cut pork loin chops, about 1.5 lbs. total.   These were a good 1.5 ” thick or more.

Brining

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 tsp Penzey’s jerk pork spice    You could use McCormick or others but they vary a lot in flavor, like curries do.
  • ~2 c water

Mix the brine.  Trim the chops removing the fat and sliverskin on the outside.   Poke with a paring knife repeatedly all the way through. This helps the brine to get absorbed more evenly.   Soak in the brine covered in the fridge for 4 hours or so.

Smoking

Prepare the smoker. I am using Big Green Egg. Start the charcoal with wood sticks for kindling. The “starter blocks” take too long to burn off and get rid of the paraffin odor. I added some nice big chunks (3-4 across) of cherry for flavor. Once the fire is going, set up for indirect cooking with the platesetter under the grate and set the Heatermeter to 225 degrees.   Smoke for 4 hours.

The chops hit 135 degrees internal temp at 1.5 to 2 hours, so anything in the 140-145 range at the end will be plenty safe to eat.  If in doubt, refer to Doug Baldwin’s pasteurization tables (the temps are for a sous vide water bath and therefore overkill here where I am watching the internal temps).  http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Table_5.1.

Results

The smoking temp overshot a bit at first, to 245-250 for the first 45 min as I neglected to put the daisy wheel damper on the BGE.  I was to anxious to get the trike out for a test ride.  From 1 hour on, it was staying right at 225. We pulled the meat at 3.5 hours rather than the planned 4 due to the aroma of not only the pork but also of the apple crisp that Teal baked for dessert. Our apple trees are providing a nice crop this year.

When cut, the smoke ring penetrated 1/3 of the way in from the edges (nice!). This is fairly “light” smoke. The pork was juicy, fork tender and delicious. This experimental recipe is a keeper.  In the future, I plan to run more time and temp variations.

Blueberry Banana Bread

One of our favorites is Blueberry Banana bread. Whether mid-summer with fresh picked berries (like today) or thawed berries from the freezer, it is delicious.

Today we tried a new variation substituting apple sauce instead of the shortening. The result was even more flavorful AND the blueberries were evenly distributed, rather than weighted towards the bottom. Contrary to popular belief, coating them with flour does not make much of a difference.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c apple sauce    (original had 1/2 c shortening)
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 jumbo eggs
  • 3 large ripe brown mushy bananas, mashed  (if you can’t smell them from across the room, they are not quite ripe enough for optimum flavor)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T vanilla extract (the good stuff)
  • 2 1/4 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c buttermilk, sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 chopped nuts (optional – Teal is allergic)
  • 1c fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter & flour 2 loaf pans. Place parchment paper (or brown paper like my grandma did) in the bottom of the pans. This helps the loaves come out cleanly without sticking

Mix ingredients until blended. Fold in the blueberries and the last 1/4 cup of flour at the end (if you mix them early they get smashed and the color is just plain wrong).

Pour the batter into the 2 loaf pans. Sprinkle the tops with 1 T Turbinado sugar per loaf.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check after 40 but make sure the center is getting done. Don’t be afraid to extend the cooking time by another 5-10 min.

Cool for 10 min in the pan, run a knife around the edges to loosen, and then turn out onto a rack to cool. Teal can do this neatly ending up with the loaves upright and intact, me not so much.

Compared to the original recipe with shortening, the edges are not as crunchy initially, but after a day or so it does not matter anyway as this is a very moist and dense bread. These will keep for a week or better in the fridge and freeze well.

Blueberries work well in many batter/ quick breads. We use them in zucchini, lemon poppy seed, rhubarb & apple breads.  With fresh berries mix them in and extend the cooking time by about 10%. Try the applesauce vs. fat in other recipes as well. Typically a 1 for 1 substitution by volume for quick breads and cakes works well.

Smoked Chicken Legs and Thighs

We have become turned to chicken legs and thighs as our meat of choice lately. We have become dissatisfied with chicken breasts and Teal thinks the thigh meat also makes better chicken salad for her sandwiches.

The more flavorful and juicy meat responds well to low and slow cooking. I was then looking for a new way to brine and then smoke them. We also had a surplus of Coke left over from a party that I needed to get rid of and neither of us drinks regular soda.  So I started searching for “coke smoked chicken” and this yielded a variety of results that were all promising but quite varied in both formula and time to brine. We also had a family get together coming up so I needed a big pile of chicken. The resulting recipe was VERY well received (no left overs).

Brine the chicken for 48 hours in:

  • 4 cans Coke, Dr. Pepper or Cheerwine
  • 3 C water
  • 2 Tablespoons (T) granulated garlic
  • 2 T dried onion flakes
  • 1T ground ginger
  • 1T Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1.5 T Allspice lightly crushed
  • 2 T dried thyme
  • 3T Chili powder
  • 2T Salt (yes this is a low sodium “brine”
  • 2 T black pepper lightly crushed
  • 1/2 c cider vinegar

Mix all, place in a small cooler with

  • 4- 5 quarter family packs of chicken legs and thighs.  Cut the legs and thighs apart before brining.

Place the cooler in the fridge or put the small cooler in a big cooler filled with ice. Turn or shake vigorously at least twice per day.

Prep the smoker. I use  a Big Green Egg (Large) with a Heatermeter for temperature control. The Heatermeter is a DIY open source temperature controller that makes long smokes easy (but this was a short one) .

Start with the bottom filled with lump charcoal at one edge and two 2-3″ diameter green cherry or apple branches the width of the firebox. Get the BGE up to about 200 degrees F and then add the chicken. I used the indirect method with the ConvEggtor and the 3 layer grate to hold this much meat. The heatermeter was set for 225 degrees F. The smoke was for 3.5 hours.  Raise the temp to 325 for 30-45 minutes at the end to crisp up the skin a bit.

Remember when smoking, you don’t want to let the fire get too hot initially and then struggle to get it down to the right temp without putting it out (again).

In the end, you have chicken that is luscious, juicy, deep mahogany brown and with a nice but not overpowering smoke flavor and a pretty pink smoke ring.  It is good hot or cold.   Unfortunately, I did not shoot photos before it was all gone. That is a task for the next batch.

We did sample a couple of legs at the 24 hour mark to make sure the brine flavors were going in the direction we wanted.

If you live nearby, I have plenty of surplus cherry and apple wood for smoking.

Bananas Foster Cheesecake

If you are wondering what to serve for Mother’s Day Brunch…
Here is a preview of tomorrow’s desert. Banana’s Foster cheesecake.
Teal Bronkalla saw a Facebook posting for the Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) Banana’s Foster cheesecake . However this was the jumping off point. Teal used our absolute favorite Colorado Cache cheesecake recipe (and of course when you are going to cover the cheesecake there are no cracks in the top) and the Banana’s Foster topping. This is absolutely delicious.


Cheesecake Crust

1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c melted butter
Mix and bake in a 9″ spring form pan for 12 min at 350 F

Filling

1 lb cream cheese (we use Neufchatel) to lighten it up a bit
3/4 c sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (the good stuff)
In the mixer, cream the cheese well and slowly add the sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time and keep beating.
Pour into crust and bake 45+ min at 350

Topping

4 TB butter
2/3 c brown sugar
4 bananas – not very ripe, just to the barely all yellow stage – you want them tart
Melt butter and brown sugar until bubbly. Stir in bananas and cook for 1 min. Pour into a bowl and cool for at least 10 min.
Pour over the cool cheesecake.

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Multi-grain Sourdough Boule

Background

I have been experimenting with sourdough breads. The various books and articles take you through arduous kneading, rising, forming, shaping steps and then backing with steam (tray full of iron parts and chain). However, reproducibility has been a problem, plus I don’t want to have to attend to it too much during the day long rise.. All too often I would end up with low dense loaf with nice crust. But this was not what I was looking for.

This version is a favorite and now quite repeatable. It freezes well and it makes the absolute best grilled cheese sandwiches.

Base recipe is based on King Arthur Flour (KAF)- Multigrain Sourdough Boule. See:  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/multi-grain-sourdough-boule-recipe

Day 1 Feed the starter

Pull the starter from the fridge. Pour off any grey liquid on top (if you let it sit a bit too long).  Dump the starter into a mixing bowl that you can cover. I have started using the whole starter rather than discarding a portion up front. This gives more sourdough flavor and is not as wasteful. My starter has been neglected for up to 6 weeks in the fridge at times.

  • Add 1C flour (your choice) I generally use all purpose flour – Gold Medal unbleached or KAF
  • Add 3/4 c water.  This can be adjusted. You want a wet but not runny starter.

Cover and let it rise over night. I will often start this after work on Friday. My oven has a 100 degree F proofing setting which is very helpful. The starer should almost double at peak activity and be nice and bubbly. The next morning it should have and even bubbly texture, sort of like thick batter. It will thin out in consistency while rising.

Day 2 Make The Bread

Moisten the grains

  • 1c boiling water
  • 1c King Arthur flour Harvest Grains Blend
  • 2 TB poppy seeds – as I like lots of poppy seeds in the bread

Mix and let sit in bowl until it drops to room temperature , then add the following ingredients:

  • 2c fed starter (from above). The balance of the starter is then returned to the crock and refrigerated.
  • 1 1/4 c KAF sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c Rye flour
  • 1 3/4 Bread flour  such as KAF Artisan Bread flour.  You need a high gluten flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp KAF Whole Grain Bread Improver   This seems to help build a nicer loaf that does not fall as easily
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 -2 tsp instant dry yeast . I use SAF – keep the back sealed/ clipped in the freezer and it lasts for years
  • 2 TB olive oil

Knead the mixture for 3 minutes. I use a Kitchenaid on speed 2 with dough hook. The dough should be soft and not too sticky. You may well have to adjust either adding up to 1/2 c flour or 1/4 c water depending on the humidity and how wet the sourdough starter was. If it is repeatedly crawling up the dough hook and spinning, it is still too dry. Push down, poke a hole in the middle and add water. If it is sticking to the bowl and not rising up the hook at all, it is too wet.

D3V_1461
Still too wet and sticky

Once it is the right consistency, knead for an additional 2 minutes.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise until doubled. At 100 degrees this takes 1.5- 2 hours.  Don’t let it go too long (e.g 3 or 4) or the second rise will not work.

Kneed the dough rolling around on floured surface to tighten the “skin” . Lightly oil or grease the bottom and sides of a dutch oven or other large covered pan. Place the dough in the pan and let rise again for another 2 hours.

D3V_1464
Ready to rise the second time

Baking

Remove pan from oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

You can slash the top if desired.  However, I often seem to cause it to fall too much if I do.

Bake the bread covered for 40 min.

Uncover  and continue baking for another 10-15 min. Remove when the center internal temperature is 190 degrees.  I normally insert the thermometer probe when uncovering the pan with the remote readout outside the oven (Thermoworks Chef Alarm).

Remove from oven and let it sit in the pan for 5 min, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

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Cool to room temp prior to cutting (if you can wait that long).  Apparently my wife Teal can’t.

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Additional items

We typically freeze 1/2 the loaf as there is just the 2 of us now. The flours and yeast all are stored in the freezer as well (milk crate for my baking supplies). The whole grains an whole grain flours go rancid too quickly otherwise.

The King Arthur Flour website is a great resource for recipes, tips and supplies.

Good books on bread making include:

  • The Bread Bakers Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
  • Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller
  • BakeWise by Shirley Corriher which is the companion to CookWise, which is another favorite.