This was dinner last night.
Again, I got the recipes from realmomkitchen. She loves bread so much that she has several recipes on different types of bread.
As for me, it was my first time to make bread. Honestly, I got all nervous about it because it was my first time to cook something with yeast. So, I approached it with the only way I know how...READ about it. Hehehe. I googled about yeast and baking, which actually led me to several great sites. If you want to learn about bread baking, check out Baking911 and theFreshLoaf. I warn you though, it may be information overload but it was information I needed. I checked out their pages on bread baking. I learned about the different types of yeast, about the First Rise and the Punch Down and the Second Rise and so much more! All the tabs in my IE had bread baking sites for about a week hehe. I made notes about the techniques on my recipe printout. That's the OC in me, on overdrive hehe.
But enough about that, it's quite embarassing - me...the bakezilla or cookzilla heehee.
I have printouts of several bread recipes from realmomkitchen and I'm excited to try them out especially that one on 45-minute cinnamon rolls and her peasant bread. Last night, I just tried her Herbed Oatmeal Bread which I paired with Baked Ziti (again, her recipe).
These turned out to be a hit with my MIL and hubby-o. I just really hope that the little boy develops a bigger appetite for solid food. So, without further ado, here are the recipes. Items in italics are my notes, I incorporated the techniques I got from the baking websites.
Herbed Oatmeal Bread
2 cups water
1 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp butter
3-3/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used about 3-1/4 but it could use some more)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 pkg Active dry yeast (I used Fleischmann's active dry yeast which sells for P145/3 pkg at Shopwise. I know, it's pricey but I couldn't experiment with yeast just yet)
1 egg (at room temperature)
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves (I used ground oregano so I had to use less than 1/2 tsp - about 1/4 tsp+1/8tsp)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
6 tbsp butter, melted (bring to room temp; I used only 5 tbsp - 3 +2)
1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in rolled oats. Remove from heat; stir in 3 tbsp butter. Cool to 120 to 130 deg F. This should be lukewarm by the time you mix it with the yeast. Too much heat kills the yeast.
2. In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well. Here's another thing I read about yeast...you can't add salt directly with it because apparently, salt kills them too. So just set aside about 1/4 cup of the flour and mix that with the salt. Once you've mixed in the other ingredients with yeast, add in the 1/4cup flour + salt. Add this mixture to the rolled oats mixture and egg; blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.
3. By hand (i.e., don't use the mixer; just use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula), stir in an additional 1-3/4 cups (or more) flour to form a stiff dough. Add the flour half a cup at a time. When the dough starts to smoothen, add a tbsp at a time. STOP when the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Apparently, we can't rely on the recipe that much - we may need less or more than that of the recipe, depending on the type of flour used and the humidity at the time of preparing the dough. Continue to mix the dough until smooth and elastic - about 5 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
4. Grease a 13x9-inch pan. I used a 11x13-in pan, it worked just fine - if you're not really that particular about the bread's appearance. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Press into greased pan. Using a very sharp knife, cut diagonal lines 1-1/2 inches apart, cutting completely through the dough. Repeat in opposite direction creating a diamond pattern. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. I just can't make this diamond pattern without pulling on the dough, I guess my dough was bit too sticky and needed a little bit more of flour.
5. Let rise in a warm place (80-95 degF) until light and doubled in size, about 45 minutes. For a warm place, if you have a gas oven, heat the oven to 200 degF. Close the door for 1 minute. Turn off the oven then place the rising dough inside. If you're using an electric oven, you have to leave the oven on for about a minute and a half.
6. Heat the oven to 375 degF (remember to take out the dough first!). Uncover dough. Redefine cuts by poking tip of knife into cuts until knife hits bottom of pan; do not pull knife through dough. As I've mentioned earlier, I couldn't make the diamond pattern so I had to contend with diagonal lines hehehe.
7. In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese, basil, oregano and garlic powder; mix well. Set aside.
8. Spoon 4 tbsps of butter over cut dough. I just used 3 tbsps.
9. Bake at 375 degF for 15 minutes. Brush remaining 2 tbsps butter over bread. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese-herb mixture. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cool.
This recipe is enough for a 9x13-in pan. I only had a 8x8-in pan so I just halved the recipe.
1 lb ground beef (approximately half a kilogram)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (32oz) jar meatless spaghetti sauce (I used 2 packs of 8.8oz Clara Ole 3-cheese spag sauce for my half-recipe)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1 (16oz) package ziti pasta, cooked and drained (16 oz = 1 lb = 454 g; I used San Remo penne pasta, about 250g for my half-recipe)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I'm sure using mozzarella would have made it more delicious but I didn't have any so I just used Kraft Eden cheese and it tasted fine)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degF. In a large skillet, add ground beef, onions and garlic. I added just a little bit of salt to the beef. Cook over medium-high heat stirring frequently until the beef is browned. Stir in spaghetti sauce, chicken broth and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer for 10minutes.
2. Stir in 1 cup of sauce into the cooked ziti noodles. Spoon 1/2 of the ziti mixture into a 9x13-in baking dish. Sprinkle 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese over the top of the ziti mixture. Top with 2 cups of sauce, then add remaining ziti mixture and top that with the remaining sauce.
I find this to be a great technique to have the cheese incorporated into the flavor of your pasta dish. Placing it on the middle was a genius idea! It may be the usual for some but I just found out about it last night :P
3. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degF for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
I didn't need to preheat my oven because I was baking bread and I didn't follow the 350 degF temp either. I just popped in my pasta with my bread but reduced my baking time (for the pasta) from 20 minutes to only 15 minutes. Then took it out, sprinkled the cheese and baked for another 10 minutes.
That's about it!
On the homefront, the little boy is getting more makulit each day. And he loves watching Pocoyo, Bob the Builder, the Piglet Movie, Pixar's Partly Cloudy, Dora, among others. He watches it while on his tummy, with his legs swaying in the air. AND, he chuckles at certain parts of the movie. Hehehe. Nakakagigil nga minsan kaya natatadtad sa kisses at hugs from me :P
When we leave in the morning for work, usually he's still sleeping. So we just kiss him goodbye. I can't be content with just one kiss - kasi I smell him pa. Baon ko sa office ung sweet baby smell ni Ethan :)
I'm sure I'm getting incoherent here - when we sing that Rehab song from Glee (by Amy Winehouse), he just dances to the music with his bungisngis smile. Ah, ang sarap tuloy kantahan para sumayaw nang sumayaw hehehe. They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no...*insert chubby buttocks and arms swaying to the music here*.
His jigsaw puzzles are becoming no-brainers for him because he can solve them in less than a minute - these are wooden puzzles featuring 4 mom-baby animal pairs. He also has Joytoy puzzles with the numbers stuff. Basta wala lang sumpong, mabilis magawa. Pag may sumpong, kung anu-ano ang pinipilit - like making 6 go to the 9 spot. Kanino kaya nagmana sa kakulitan ito? Hehe.
And, we now have a parrot in the house so we have to be really really be extra careful with the words that come out of our mouth. Because the little boy can easily repeat them.
He's also learning to feed himself (usually soup) using a spoon. We also noticed that his left hand is bit more dominant than his right. No problems with that, and we don't plan to force him to be a righty if indeed he's a lefty.
Potty training, er, getting to that. But I guess he's not that ready yet. Preferring to make his potty chair a throne for his bear (King Bear daw) or Pablo (of the Backyardigans). Hehe, he'll get to that :)
Hmm, this post is getting all lengthy. I'll stop here, till my next :)