Sunday, 24 February 2013

Filling your cookie jar - Oatmeal cookies

I'm always trying to find some good cookie recipes. I found one that looked very promising with very tempting name - The Best Oatmeal Cookies. Description was promising "Chewy oatmeal raisin cookies with lots of flavor." And actually they turned out pretty good and kids love them. So definitely I'm going to do these again.

I made 49 medium cookies from the batch, enough to fill my cookie jar and satisfy children for couple of days. The dough will be stiff and sticky, so if you will find that it is a bit runny, add some more flour or oats. I'm using normal quick oats.

So here is the recipe:

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped pecans

For detailed directions just go to the original at:

The Best Oatmeal Cookies

Saturday, 9 February 2013

No-knead bread

There are so many recipes online. Some come out great, some not so well. Some are awesome, some are plain disasters.  I'll be sharing with you some those tried and tested and awesome recipes that I will definitely make again.

Here is the first one.

No-knead bread

This is amazing bread with lot of texture and very little work. Because it takes about 12 - 18 hours to rise, you can do it overnight and enjoy nice and hot bread either in the morning or if made later for dinner in the evening.

This bread requires very little work, so even those who do not own any mixer or bread machine, can make very nice bread.

Recipe is asking for about 3 cups of flour. Even though the dough will multiply, it is fine for 4 member family. Mine has a lot more people in it, thanks be to God and may God preserve them in a good health all, so I went for 6 cups of flour. So for a family with 7 members, I would recommend increasing the original amount of flour.

You don't need to stick to white flour, this would be great mixed with rye flour, however it seems to disappear from store shelves around us.

So this is recipe that has definitely worked for me and I recommend it.

How to - simply lightly mix flour, yeast, salt and water. And let it rise for 12 - 18 hours. Bake in a very hot over for 30 minutes with lid on and about 15 minutes without lid till desired brownness. Let it cool down. The crust will get nice and soft, but will maintain some crunch. If you keep it covered in some kitchen towel, it will stay tasty even 2 days later.

I have made two breads and I recommend for softer and fluffier bread to make the flour nice and wet. Not leaving any dryer spots.

I also don't have any proper bake-ware for this as on the video. I read that someone tried even glass-ware. Mine does not have the lid. So I have used simple pot with lid, nothing fancy. It worked just fine.

In future I'm planning to add some herbs and I want to experiment a bit with different flours. 

For now I have added a squirt of vinegar and teaspoon of cumin to remind me more of Czech bread that I miss a lot. I'm also preparing to make no-yeast starter that I think will be great with this bread. No-yeast starter is made by fermenting flour with water for couple of days. This replaces the yeast in the dough and gives its unforgettable taste. 

Here is the video recipe I have been following.