Dark Whole Wheat

August 10th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 2 regular sized loaves


2 packages (1 1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 cups water
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounce bittersweet dark chocolate
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3 cups medium rye flour
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose or bread flour
1 cup bran
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon minced shallots


1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and sugar with warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Heat two cups water, molasses, vinegar, butter and chocolate until the butter and chocolate are melted. Set aside.

3. Combine whole-wheat, rye and white flours in a large bowl. Set aside.

4. In bowl of a heavy mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine two cups mixed flours, bran, 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, fennel seeds, salt, espresso and shallots. At low speed, add yeast and chocolate mixtures. Mix until smooth and beat at medium speed for three minutes. (If you don’t like whole seeds in your bread, grinding them in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle allows their flavor to come through without the texture. I always make my black bread this way.)
[Note: This, or any bread, can also be made by hand, simply mixing the ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon and kneading the dough on a counter until springy and smooth.]

5. At low speed, add half cup of remaining mixed flours at a time, until dough clears sides of bowl and begins to work its way up paddle. It will be very sticky but firm.

6. Scrape dough off paddle, flour counter well, and knead to make a springy yet dense dough. You might not use all of the flour mixture.

7. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Combine cornmeal, flour and remaining caraway seeds, if using, and set aside.

8. Gently deflate dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two portions and form into two rounds or loaves. Loaves should be placed in a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray, while rounds should be placed seam down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle loaves with cornmeal mixture, if using. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled and puffy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Slash an X into the top of a round before baking it; no such slashing is needed for bread in a loaf pan.

9. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until loaves are well-browned, or register an internal temperature of 200 to 210°F on an instant-read thermometer. Baking time in your oven may vary — check in on the bread when it is 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through the baking time to make sure it has not super-speedily baked. Remove from baking sheet to cool completely on a rack.

*Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

August 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 5 Cups


1 ½ cups molasses
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 ½ cups ketchup
½ tablespoon garlic paste (smashed garlic)
½ tablespoon ginger paste (smashed ginger)
2 tablespoons franks hot sauce
½ cup bourbon


Place all ingredients, except the bourbon, in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until a thick and properly desired consistency. In another small pan reduce the bourbon by half and add to the sauce at the end of cooking, stir allow to cool before using.

*Recipe property of Polo Dobkins

Garden Baked Beans

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


Serves 12


2 pounds dry beans or 3 pounds fresh (cranberry, navy, yellow, eye, heirlooms in general are best)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup molasses
1 cup dark amber beer
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup spicy yellow mustard
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine


If using dry beans, clean and soak the beans overnight submerged in water. For fresh beans or after dry beans have soaked, place the beans in fresh water with the sprig of thyme in a large pan and cook until tender for about 30 minutes. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven pot or heavy bottom pot, with a little olive oil sauté the garlic and yellow, red, and green onions until a little translucent, season with some salt. Strain the beans in a large mixing bowl, reserving the liquid, and mix together with the molasses, amber beer, maple syrup, mustard and tomatoes until well combined. Pour the bean mixture over the onions and mix together well. Pour about 2 cups of the water into the pan; the water should cover the beans by a few inches.

Preheat the oven to about 375 degrees F. Place the pot covered in the oven and bake for about 4-5 hours, making sure to place more water in the pot as it evaporates, mixing as you do this as well. The mixture will start to get thicker and darker. When the beans are very tender for the last hour uncover the beans and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F, stirring every 15 minutes. Taste the mixture at this stage making sure it’s sweet and spicy enough to your taste, then add the fresh herbs and mix well. The final product should be dark, the beans super tender and the juice thick!

Natural Cola

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes many colas


3-4 cloves
1 cup molasses
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Seltzer water


In a sauce pan combine cloves and molasses and simmer for about eight minutes, take off heat and cool, discard cloves. At the same time combine the cinnamon sticks, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Take off heat and discard cinnamon sticks; cool. In a 10 ounce glass filled with ice place 4 ounces of molasses syrup and 2 ounces of cinnamon syrup, fill with seltzer and mix well!

Apple Bread Pudding with Golden Raisins

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 loaf Challah bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup (6 ounces) golden raisins, plumped in hot water for 15 minutes
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
â…› teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
â…› teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
¼ cup sliced almonds


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Generously butter a 9×13-inch deep baking dish and set aside.

Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6 minutes, until crisp. Transfer to a bowl and add the apple and raisins.

In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer or whisk, beat the eggs with the sugar. Beat in the ground spices, vanilla and salt.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk with the molasses until just warm to the touch. Gradually beat the warm milk into the egg mixture, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Spread bread mixture out in your large baking dish, or distribute it among ramekins. Pour the custard over the bread mixture, nudging the bread around a bit to make sure it soaks all of the pieces. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes, until puffed and set, with the tops lightly browned. Let the bread pudding rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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