This old dough…

Two weeks ago I made bread and took some of the dough for pizza. I made two pizzas but not the third. So the dough was smelling like beer and was way over-fermented. I thought I’d take a chance and use it in today’s bread.

At first, I thought I made a terrible mistake. The dough would not hold together and as I lifted it to stretch my hand went right through it. Such a large pocket of overdeveloped dough looked to be too much. 

But after the second turn (stretch and fold) it was holding together much better. And by the end of the third hour I knew it would be fine.  Or, I hoped so. 

It came out excellent. And, I avoided wasting an over-fermented dough ball. 

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Non-Stick Pancake Trick. 

I love pancakes! But, like anybody else, I am sometimes frustrated by Satan, who visits my kitchen on occasion to make my pancakes stick to the griddle. While I could count myself lucky that this is all he does, I have now banished him from my kitchen with nothing more than a potato. 

Get the iron hot. This may work with stainless too. I don’t know. I use low heat and let it run while I make the batter. It preheats for close to 8 minutes or so. 

Slice a potato and rub the hot griddle. You can invoke some Latin phrase here if you are superticious or really fear that Satan is making your pancakes stick. 

That’s it. I would say repeat as necessary, but because it is so easy and because it’s too late once you learn it is necessary, I will instruct, repeat after each batch. 

Now, this might work on medium heat. It might even work without the potato. But, all I know is that it works much better than the coconut oil I usually use. And it is a lot easier. Bonus: no more smoke-filled kitchen because the oil reached the smoke point and bits of pancake stuck and burned on the grill. 

Give it a try and leave a comment when you do. Let me know if you are as amazed as I am.  

p.s., stick that potato in the fridge when you are done. You can just slice off the dirty piece and continue using next week. 

p.p.s., that is our five-year old son asking  what I am doing and saying it is a funny way to use a potato. 

 

Scrambling an egg in cast iron, with no oil. 

There is nothing wrong with using oil in your cooking. But, if you don’t wish to do so, it is nice to know you can do it in a decent pan. Here I use cast iron, heated under medium heat. When the on is hot, add the egg and get cooking. It takes less than a minute after adding the egg. 

Bread Pudding

Occasionally, I will bake a bread and not get around to eating it while it is in its prime.  My mom makes the a great bread pudding, and this is adapted from her recipe. The only real change is that I use a home made loaf of very crusty bread and bake it in a piece of cast iron, one hour covered and one hour uncovered (using the deep end of the lodge combo cooker). 

This is delicious. Unlike Mom’s the edges and top are crunchy. The middle is moist and the whole thing is just delicious. 

  
   
Ingredients

Bread (large loaf)

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups of sugar

2 eggs

1 quart of skim milk

2 Tbs Vanilla

Cinnamon

Process

In a large bowl (I used a 12 quart cambro container) tear up the bread into 1 inch pieces. 

Melt butter (I used a stainless steel bowl set on top of a saucepan with boiling water). You  can use the microwave. I also dumped in a couple tablespoons of cinnamon at this point. 

Mix eggs, milk, sugar and 2tbs vanilla. 

Sprinkle cinnamon over the mixture, mix it up again and add cinnamon again and mix. Note: there is a cinnamon theme here. Turn the oven on to 350 while it heats, keep stirring the mixture to make sure you have all of the bread soaking and softening. 

Pour into buttered cast iron pan (or baking dish) and bake at 350 for 2 hours.  I covered the dish with the combo cooker lid for the first hour and baked uncovered the second hour. 

Lemonade

Nothing says summertime like a nice cold glass of lemonade.  And, of course, I don’t mean chemicalade from canned powders or high fructose corn syrup from Minute Maid. 

And, the good news is that this is really, REALLY great. You will want to keep drinking but also be able to stop. And, I will wager that you will make it again if you do so once.  

  • For the sweet, make a simple syrup by adding 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water and bringing to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar melts. Allow to cool.

Feel free to use raw sugar or turbanado to make the simple syrup. And use less of it for a lighter drink. 

  • For the tart, squeeze yourself one cup of lemon juice. This can be 5-8 lemons. So go ahead and buy that bag.

I squeeze the lemons straight into the Pyrex measuring cup, and when I get to the cup mark, I pour it through a strainer to remove the seeds. Add the pulp back if you wish. 

  • Add the lemon juice to 8 cups of water. Mix in the simple syrup, and stir.  

Store the lemonade in a large glass pitcher, individual mason jars, or repurposed  tomato sauce jars. 

Note: This makes 10 8 ounce servings, at 84 calories each.