I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cuban Bread

One of my favorite things to eat is a Cuban Sandwich. Finding the proper bread in the middle of Iowa is a bit of a problem. Here is a recipe and instructions for Cuban bread that makes exactly what I had in Miami.

Pan Cubano

4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) shortening; or 3 tablespoons fresh lard, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) water

Pour water into a mixer. Add yeast and sugar and let sit a few minutes until bubbly. Next add the rest of the ingredients and mix into a dough. Using the dough hook, knead 15 minutes at medium speed. Separate into two balls, cover, and let rest 30 minutes.

Next stretch each dough ball out and roll flat into a long, 1/4 inch thick oval. Roll the edges of the oval inward like you would if you were folding a letter. Seal the seam on the bottom. The finished product should look long like a roll of French or Italian bread but flat instead of round.

Cover and let rise 60 minutes. Slash the top of each piece of dough lengthwise. Mist with a spray bottle. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hoagie Rolls

One nice thing about knowing how to cook and bake is that if you can't get what you want at the store or at a restaurant, you can make it! The problem with rural Iowa is that you can't get good hoagie buns. Problem solved. This recipe comes from the website Pizza Maker's Quarterly.

Hoagie Rolls

1-1/8 cup water
1-5/8 tsp Salt
3-3/8 tsp Sugar
1-2/3 Tbl Olive Oil
16 oz Strong Bread Flour or Hi-Gluten Flour
2-1/2 tsp Yeast

Adjust water temperature to approximately 70F and add to the mixing bowl. Add the flour and all of the remaining ingredients. Using a dough hook, mix at low speed for four minutes, then at medium speed for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and fairly well developed. Target dough temperature is 80F. After mixing, scale the dough into 3.5 ounce pieces and form into balls, allow the dough balls to rest on a floured bench top for 20 to 30 minutes, then roll out to form a thin sheet about 1/4 inch thick. Roll the sheeted dough piece (jelly roll fashion) to form a small loaf about seven inches long. Place each formed loaf/roll onto a lightly oiled sheet pan with the seam side down to prevent the dough from becoming unwrapped during proofing. Be sure to separate the individual dough pieces by about 2 inches to prevent them from baking together
Place the rolls on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to proof for 45 to 60 minutes. Using a razor blade, make a slit along the entire top of each roll about 3/16 to 1/4 inch deep, lightly mist the rolls with water and bake at 425F for about 20 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly browned. Remove the rolls from the pans soon after baking and allow to cool on wire screens or racks. As soon as the rolls have cooled to an internal temperature of 100F they can be placed into cardboard boxes lined with an approved, polyethylene bag and sealed closed for storage. The rolls can be kept for 3 to 4 days at room temperature.

You can always make bigger or smaller rolls if you need to. For those who are interested, here is the baker's formula:

Flour 100%
Salt 2.0%
Sugar 3.0%
Oil 5.0%
Yeast 3.5%
Water 57%

They go great in cheese steaks!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Break and Italian Salad Dressing

DGF is on a little bit of a summer break. Here is a pretty good recipe for Italian Salad Dressing to tide you over until fall.

DGF's Italian Salad Dressing

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C olive oil
5 T red wine vinegar
1 t onion powder
1/2 t celery seed
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t basil
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t celery salt
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t black pepper
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
2 T corn syrup
2 t Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake.