Wednesday, January 28, 2015


These are the three I'm starting with.
One of my goals for this year is to explore new flavors and cuisines in the kitchen. And since I absolutely love baking sandwich and artisan breads, I'm starting with some flour. I order a lot of Bob's Red Mill products, I like them. I can order them at Amazon and they bring it right to my door. And many of the products are available in these smaller sizes, I can try them, and if I like them, then I'll order a big batch.

First one I tried: SPELT
The plan for this one was for some bread. Nothing fancy, just plain bread. And I didn't want an artisan bread that it's going to take 2 or 3 days to make. I want to make dough in the morning, bake in the afternoon, and eat still warm bread with my dinner. That's just me, so I'm going to wing together my own recipe and work it until I get something I'm happy with.
Here's my ingredients and the amounts I used. This stuff and some water are all you need to make a loaf that's not bad at all!
Here's the crumb shot, it's a little denser than I like, but it was very tender and had a wonderful flavor.

And it holds butter quite well. I have a five point rating system I use for bread. And here are my five criteria:
     1. Does it look good?
     2. Does it smell good?
     3. Does it taste good?
     4. Will it hold butter?
     5. Was it fun to make?
I realize that other people have different criteria, these are simply the questions I ask myself to determine if I'm going to make it again someday. And I will make this again, but I'm going to adjust the recipe and try to open up the crumb a little bit.
Next I tried: TEFF
This is interesting stuff. It may indeed be a nutritional powerhouse, but to me it tastes like dirt. And not that good garden soil type dirt, it's more of that middle of an old, dry dirt road dust. I didn't care for it much. The plan was to make an Ethiopian flat bread called injera. And the recipe for that called for a starter. So I made that.
And here it is in it's happy little bowl where it will be allowed to ferment for five days.

And in the meantime, I made these peanut butter cookies from the recipe on the back of the package. These were very delicate cookies, if you looked at them hard they would break into pieces. And to me they tasted like you had dropped you peanut butter cookie in dirt, but ate it anyways. At this point I really wasn't sure that I was going to like anything made with teff.
But by the time it had fermented long enough to develop a hooch, I liked it much better. And I did try making the injera.

I had enough batter to make 4 injera flat breads. I glued the first one I tried to the cast iron skillet I was using, to the point where it took an industrial solvent to get it off the surface of the pan. So I switched to a non-stick skillet and got this.
The third one I tried, came out of the non-stick pan in pieces, but it was still edible. The fourth one became one with the non-stick pan. Not sure what kind of an issue I was having, but I've never had anything stick to pans as bad as this flat bread did. And I also discovered that I don't have the proper seasonings to make a true Ethiopian culinary experience, so I went Mexican. I don't care for curry, so here's chicken in a spicy red chile sauce, don't do lentils either, but I can do refried beans, and a side of Spanish rice. The bread went really well with the chicken, and I will try this again, until I can get it right.

And after all that, I'm holding off on the Kamut experience until later, but I will keep you all posted!

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