Ward House

Garden dirt and oven ashes

Great gardening today coupled with a short for exhilarating motorcycle ride.  In addition to the potatoes from last weekend, cabbage, yellow & purple onions, carrots, and lettuce are now planted/seeded.  I am very please with this years layout.  In addition to consulting Great Garden Companions, I found my copy of the The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch – two great books, imho.  *NOTE*  I am not being paid for mentioning these two books.

Coming into the house with garden dirt covering my feet and under my nails, it felt good to clean up and start up the cook stove.  From this stove the Broiled Perch with Lemon Mustard would be baked and carrots roasted.  Mmm, typing this out is making me drool!  Anyway, I was also searching for kefir recipes and found this post from Sondra over at Dairy Goat Info.

Here is the softest, yummiest bread. It keeps well on just the countertop wrapped in a plastic bag or tinfoil. It slices great and makes really good sandwiches:

Kefir Yeast Bread (compared to Buttermilk Yeast Bread)

4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups Kefir
2 cups whey or warm water
1 packet of quick dissolve yeast (SAF Instant)
1 tsp Rapadura sugar or regular sugar

Mix in large glass or porcelin bowl with wooden spoon. Cover top of bowl with cling wrap or a clean dish towel. Set in your oven and turn on the light. Leave until it bubbles, about 1-3 hours and the yeast and Kefir has a chance to activate.

Melt 1 stick of butter in small saucepan, cool. Remove bowl from oven, and add 1 Tbs sea salt. Stir with wood spoon. Pour almost all the butter into the dough (I pour in a corner, so if the butter is too hot, it won’t kill the yeasts, except maybe in the small corner). I stir slowly and gradually then quicker until all is incorporated, the butter.

Start adding, one cup at a time, more unbleached all purpose flour. At 4 cups, it’s thick enough to handle. I sprinkle about 1-2 cups more onto a clean counter top, and scrape dough onto top of this ‘bench flour’. I gently fold and turn the dough, until the counter top flour coats it…I gently knead this dough to absorb most of the flour, until it’s just managable and not too sticky. I shape into a ball, and let it rest while I clean up, 5-10 minutes.

Cut dough in to 4 portions. I lightly oil and sprinkle corn meal on two baking sheets. I shape each portion into a ‘log’ and place 2 logs side by side on each sheet, with some space in between. I cover them with a clean dish cloth and set in the oven again for about 30-40 minutes. I remove them from oven and preheat to 400 deg F. I brush the remainder of the butter gently over the tops of the loaves. I can fit both sheets into my oven, by placing one low, and the other shelf upper mid way. I rotate them at the half way baking point, and brush more butter if there is any left. Bake for ~28 minutes (adjust for your oven and altitude.)

If you cover the fresh baked loaves with a soft, clean cloth once baked, the crust is softer and more like store bought (good for kids). Use a serrated knife for slicing.

The dough mixed up so easily and it helped me to use some extra kefir – the girls are not eating as much of it as they used to so I must find creative, tastey ways to incorporate it into our diets.  Sondra includes recipes that use vanilla kefir; never heard of vanilla kefir before.  Do I just add vanilla extract?  For some reason I am thinking not.  Will let you know what I find.

The perch is ready to go into the oven – catcha soon!

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April 3, 2010 - Posted by | Cooking, Gardening | , , , , ,

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