Sourdough Garlic-Herb Melba Rounds

There are certain things my husband loves to eat with crackers… and I wanted to get him some the other day. I carefully read label after label, trying to find something that didn’t have any scary ingredients like soy oil and other things that he doesn’t eat anymore. There was NOTHING except some little round “melba toast” garlic-herb thingies and they were made with white flour. I did get those for him. And I got to thinking I might be able to come up with my own version. Here it is and we like it. They are very crunchy, but nicely tasty with some liver pate or broken into soup.

Combine the sourdough starter, water, garlic, herbs and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Begin adding whole wheat flour, a little at a time and stir in thoroughly.
Add and stir in flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead.
Using a little more flour to prevent sticking, knead vigorously for 10 minutes.
Wash and dry bowl.
Put a little olive oil in the bowl and rub it around.
Put the dough in and turn it over to oil the top.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Let rise for 12 hours.
Moisten your work surface with water and place the dough on it.
Divide it into two, and form into two long skinny loaves that will fit in your French bread pans that have been buttered well.
Alternately, you can put them on a buttered baking pan, but they will be less “round.”
Allow to rise in pans until when you touch it lightly with your finger, the dough springs back slowly.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees F. for 30 min.
Cool completely on wire rack.
Slice into 1/4 inch slices.
Place slices on baking sheets and into a 200 degree F. oven.
After 2 hours, turn slices over and put the baking sheets back into the oven for 1 more hour.
Remove from oven and check to make sure they are dry and crisp.
Do not let them cool before putting into containers if you live in a humid climate.
Store in air-tight containers at room temperature.

Buttery Coconut Flour Cinnamon Date Nut Scones

I am always searching for breakfast recipes that are quick to make, portable, and freezes well. These scones do just that! Even though these buttery scones are made with nutritious coconut flour, they do not require any eggs. The flax mixture helps hold them together and provides Omegas.
Easily freeze these in an air tight container and defrost in a toaster oven for an instant snack or meal. I especially enjoy these with a cup of herbal tea.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, stir together the ground flax, milk kefir*, honey, and vanilla extract. Let sit for about ten minutes.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Stir in the flax mixture until completely mixed. The mixture should be somewhat dry, but will come together when you squeeze it in your hand, similar to pie crust. If it is too dry, add in cold water a tsp at a time until mixture comes together.
Add in chopped crispy nuts and chopped dates.
Scoop the large ball of dough out and place on an ungreased, parchment lined baking sheet.
Flatten into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Slice into 8 wedges with a sharp knife.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.

*For dairy free: Use 6 Tbsp coconut milk + 1 Tbsp Apple cider Vinegar in place of milk, and use Organic Palm Shortening  for the butter

Easy Leftover Sourdough Starter Crock Pot Rye Bread

I have two different sourdough starters that live in my fridge. There is Carl, and the new one, which is named Caleb. They are both very nice, the first being more sour in taste than the second.

I had to be away from home for nearly a week and so my sourdoughs languished in the fridge. Normally, I feed them twice a week, and so they are very happy and Not Too Sour. But, after a week’s neglect, I needed to refresh them. I poured out all but 1/2 cup of each, added 1/2 cup of filtered water and 1/2 cup of freshly ground whole wheat flour to each jar. But then I had about 2 cups of extra starter. I didn’t want to throw it away!

In a medium – sized bowl, pour in the sourdough starter, add the salt and the caraway seed.
A little at a time, stir in rye flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead by hand (it will be sticky, and you will not be kneading it.)
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 24 hours on the kitchen counter.
Butter a crock-pot. Any size will do, but I suggest one not larger than 3.5 quarts.
Pour in the dough, and smooth the top of the dough.
Put on the lid.
Plug it in and set on “high” and cook for 2 hours.
Take out the loaf of bread and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
When you are done eating as much as you wish, slice the rest of it and keep it in the fridge.
If you would like to freeze the bread, place pieces of wax paper or parchment paper between the slices, wrap it tightly and freeze. (It is very moist and would otherwise stick together.)
Then, you can remove one slice at a time from the freezer to reheat or toast.
Eat with plenty of grass-fed butter!

Sprouted Beet Muffins

These beet muffins are a lightly sweet way to eat your beets without losing the beet flavor. The best thing about this recipe is that my kids love it!

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers or oil the pan.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and all spice. Make a well.
Add eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla. Mix together. The batter won’t be as moist as most muffin recipes.
Fold in the beets. I found that almost kneading the beets in was the best way to completely combine.
Fill each hole to 1/2 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
Enjoy.

Beet Ricotta Gnocchi

I am not a fan of beets! My family will attest to that. However, when they come in my CSA box, I have to eat them. In order to do that I find or create recipes that allow me to incorporate them into my diet. I adapted this recipe from a recent Food and Wine recipe, and it was heavenly! I love to top this with Brown Butter and Sage leaves, but any pasta sauce will do.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking dish with a lid, place beets and drizzle olive oil to coat.
Salt and pepper the beats.
Add 1/4 C filtered water to the baking dish, cover and bake for 1 hour, until the beets are tender.
Uncover dish and let beets cool completely.
Peel skin of beets and cut into 1-inch pieces, transfer to a food processor or blender to puree.
In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, combine 1 1/2 C of beet puree (reserve any remaining for another recipe), ricotta, egg, nutmeg, 3/4 C Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, and 1 T of salt.
Mix until ingredients are combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Sprinkle flour at low speed until dough comes together. You may not need all of the flour.
Scrape dough onto floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth and slightly sticky.
Place into a bowl and cover with a damp towel.
Let stand at room temperature for 4-6 hours.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.
Cut gnocchi dough into 10 pieces and roll each piece into 1/2 in. thick rope.
Cut ropes into 1/2 in thick pieces and transfer to prepared baking sheets.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add 1/4 of the Gnocchi to the water and cook them until they rise to the surface.
Repeat this process until all the dough is finished.
Drain them and place them on a baking sheet that has been coated in olive oil.
To serve: Melt butter in a large skillet until the milk solids start to brown.
Toss in sage leaves and simmer until fragrant (med. low temperature).
Add Gnocchi to coat and serve with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano.

David’s Slow Rise Rye Bread

My husband is an OTR Truck Driver (Over-the-Road), and you know how healthly these guys eat. NOT! I developed this recipe because he needs whole foods that will keep him filled and nourished throughout those long days. He loves it too. This recipe yields to large loaves, and it freezes well. Great with roast beef sandwhiches or in a classic Rueben!

In a large mixer bowl add yeast, water, succanat, oil, molasses.
Stir to mix, let sit for 10 minutes or until mixture becomes creamy.
Add caraway seed, orange peel, and rye flour.
Mix to combine and let rest for 10 min.
Add salt to whole wheat flour.
Add whole wheat (2 lb), using dough hook, knead with mixer until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides.
(About 7 min)
Remove from bowl and knead in remaining flour if needed.
Cover and let rise until doubled (6-8 hours or overnight)
Remove from bowl and shape into two loaves.
Let proof for another 4-6 hours or until it is twice the size.
(This bread will have a nice dome on the loaves)
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Slow-Rise Whole Wheat Flax Seed Bread

The long, slow raising of this dough nicely eliminates anti-nutrients. The additon of ground flax seeds, brewer’s yeast and blackstrap molasses kicks up the nutritional punch. This is a lovely moist loaf, good for sandwiches, toast, and it stands alone very nicely! Start this dough in the morning. You will probably be baking it early evening.

Put the yeast into a large bowl. Add the water, all at once.
Grind the flax seed in a little electric coffee grinder.
Add the ground flax seed, olive oil, molasses, brewer’s yeast and salt to the bowl. Stir.
Add 7 cups of flour. Stir well.
Begin adding more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each time. Keep adding the flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Don’t add too much. The amount will vary with your circumstances (flour, humidity, etc.)
Turn dough out onto floured surface, and knead, vigorously, for at least 10 minutes, adding a little flour as you go if it gets too sticky.
If you are an accomplished bread maker, 10 minutes may be long enough. If not, it might take up to 15 minutes to get a smooth, elastic dough.
Wash and dry the bowl. Pour a Tablespoon or so of extra-virgin olive oil into the bowl, and using your hand, spread it around. Place the dough in the bowl and then turn it upside-down. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set it on the kitchen counter.
When it has raised until it “sighs” when poked by your finger, punch it down. Replace plastic wrap and let it rise double again.
Form into 3 loaves using a little more olive oil to prevent sticking on your work surface and place in well-greased medium-sized bread pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. When it has raised double again, and is springy, put into a pre-heated 350 degree oven.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from pans to a cooling rack.
This bread has good keeping qualities, but if you will not use it all soon, slice and freeze for later!

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes

These pancakes are easy to make, and they are grain free, gluten free and dairy free. Coconut flour is much lower in carbs than normal flour, plus it’s high in fiber, protein and has some good fat to boot. These pancakes are fluffy but the texture is a little different than a normal wheat flour pancake.

Preheat a large griddle over medium heat (I use a cast iron)
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until liquid and frothy.
Whisk the coconut milk, vanilla and maple syrup (or honey) into the eggs.
In a small bowl sift together the coconut flour, baking soda and salt.
Mix the coconut flour mixture into the liquid mixture. The batter will be thick.
Melt coconut oil or butter in your pan.
Drop the pancake batter by 1/4 cupfuls into the pan, smoothing out the batter so that it won’t be too thick.
Cook until brown on each side and done in the middle.
Serve with real butter, honey, maple syrup, etc.

Quick Sourdough Starter – 12 Hour

How you can make sourdough starter in the morning and serve your family rolls at dinner. I use this starter as is for rolls or biscuits, and even bread.

Place equal amounts flour (I like whole wheat) and kefir water in a Fido or mason jar. The amount will depend on what you’re going to make. 2 cups of each is how much I typically combine.
Stir the flour and water kefir, cover with white plastic lid on your mason jar, or close your Fido, and wait 9-12 hours for your bubbly starter!

Slow-Rise White Whole Wheat Pita

I am in love with white whole wheat flour. I use it in place of hard red wheat. The kids enjoy it! I started making pita while in pastry school, and I really enjoy eating them better than store-bought. On a side note, make sure your skillet is piping hot in order to get the bread to puff up.

In a mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, olive oil, and water.
Knead for 7 minutes unitl it forms a tight ball.
Let rise over 6-8 hours (or over night), or until it has doubled.
Divide dough into 2.5 oz balls, this recipe should give you 10.
Let it rest for 10 minute, cover with a damp towel.
Flaten dough balls, cover again, and rest for another 10 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a cast iron skillet until it starts to smoke.
Roll dough to a quarter inch.
Place each pita on the hot skillet, cook until bread puffs in the center.
Flip over to cook on the other side.
Remove and place on a rack to cool.

Slow Rise 8 Grain Bread

I love whole grain bread, however I noticed that most store bought breads use soy nuggets. So I came up with this recipe to fill my craving for this bread. It is a tasty treat toasted with butter on it. I use weighted measurements in this recipe to maintain consistency.

The night before, place grain mix in a bowl.
Pour boiling water and lemon juice over grain mix.
Let sit 8-9 hours (overnight).
Make Sponge in a large mixing bowl.
Let it rest covered 8-9 hours (overnight)
Make dough by adding the remaining flour and salt.
Knead until dough forms a ball. (10 min.)
Cover with a damp towel and let dough proof for the next 4-6 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
(Note: This may take longer due to the room temperature.)
Shape and place dough in greased loaf pans.
Cover with damp towel and rise until doubled in size, 2-4 hours.
(See earlier note)
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool.

Soaked Flour Apple Fritter

This is a great treat for breakfast or dessert. Make the batter the night before (for breakfast) or first thing in the morning (for an evening treat). The kids can’t wait until they are out of the pan to dig in. Serve with your favorite syrup, or warmed honey.

Mix all the dry ingredients and whisk together.
In a separate bowl whisk all liquid ingredients.
Mix the wet into the dry to make base batter, cover and rest for 6-8 hours (or overnight)
Before frying, In a cast iron skillet heat oil (lard) to 350 degrees.
Slice apples
To the soaked batter, add sparkling water (beer) and mix until they are combined.
Dip apple rings into batter, coat evenly.
Place rings in heated oil and fry until they are golden brown, remove from pan and drain.
Serve with warmed maple syrup, or honey.