The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Monday, January 31, 2011

Buttermilk rusks and pita bread ... and Sandra's 3 bean soup

I thought seeing I am mentioning Buttermilk rusks so often, I might as well give you the recipe, you can buy your buttermilk at the supermarket so there's no need for you to go through the whole process of making your own :-)

This recipe is as old as time, way before I was born my grandma used to bake it, and still today we bake the same recipe. It's in pounds and I just use 500 gr per pound for dry ingredients.

4 pds plain/all purpose flour (2kg ... 454gr leveled to be exact)
1/2 pd butter (250gr)
1 pd sugar (500gr)
1 dessert spoon salt
1/2 pd margarine (250gr we used to use stork/copra do you remember them)
1teaspoon of baking soda/bicard of soda
2 teaspoons of creme of tarte
2 eggs
1 1/2 pt of buttermilk (1.640 ltr)

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Melt butter and add milk and eggs, beat together, add to dry ingredients. mix well. Prepare a deepish baking tray or bread pans by spraying non stick or do the old margarine and flour thing(I prefer doing this)Tip: Place a rolled up kitchen towel under one end of the tray, (that keeps them from spreading too much)Have a little oil in a bowl to lightly rub on your hands so it won't stick to your fingers. Now roll just less than a cup worth of dough into a ball and place it in the baking tray, Roll next one and place it beside the other one, keep filling up the tray 2x2. The oil helps to seperate the rusks when they baked and you need to pull them apart for drying. Bake in a moderate oven for 3/4hr -1hr (400*F) At this point I would let it cool totally before pulling the balls apart, cut them in half if they to big.
To dry them you need to pack the rusks onto the racks in your oven, (both racks) turn your oven on it lowest heat, but don't close the oven door completely(stick a wooden spoon in the door so it can breath)overnight or until hard. Enjoy dunking your rusk into a cup of coffee (Mom says it unlady like)Great for little ones teething too.

Also while paging through a new recipe book I just found at the Op shop (Goodwill store) "The Little Big Mediterranean Book", I got so inspired to try make Pita Bread.
It uses 3 1/2 cups or 500gr of all purpose flour,
2x 1/4 oz or 7gr dried yeast or 30 g fresh yeast.
1 1/2 cups of warm water (375 mls)
1 teaspoon sugar & 1 teaspoon salt

Mix yeast, sugar and half the water in a small bowl. let stand for 10 min or until foamy. Sift in flour and salt into a large bowl. make a well in the centre and pour in yeast mixture and enough of the remaining water to make a firm dough. Place dough on a floured work surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic (or pop it into the breadmaker for those that have one)Shape it into a large ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hr. Preheat oven to 450F / 220 C /gas 7 lightly oil 2 baking sheets. shape dough into small balls, then stretch your hands to make 1/4 inch or 5mms thick discs. Place on a baking sheet, spray with a little water and bake for 8-10 mins or until puffed and golden brown. Let cool in a wire rack.

Great for filling up with your favorite fillings, ours would be a hot chicken breast, green salad, freshly diced tomato and cucumber salad and a little salad dressing. Just slice it open a bit and fill the pocket up with your filling and enjoy.

I just found this recipe over at Sandra says ... Keeping it Simple I know it's good to eat a meatless meal and beans are very healthy for you, so I was glad when we tried this soup yesterday and we all liked it. The recipe came from an old recipe book I found at the Salvation Army. It recommended serving it over rice or with cornbread. I made some cornbread, but I just ate mine plain. It is just a good, hearty soup. I didn't use can beans but that is what the recipe called for, so I'll type it up as it was in the book. I just soaked a cup of each dried bean the night before and cooked them the next morning. 1-3/4 c of cooked beans equals one 15 oz. can of store bought beans. 1 cup of soaked beans was enough by the time they swelled up. I also was out of carrots so I didn't put them in, but it was still very good.

1-1/2 c diced onion
2 TBS oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. can tomato sauce
3 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1-1/4 c beef broth
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 (16 oz.) can Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 TBS chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt

In a large saucepan, saute the onions in oil until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, carrots, celery, broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Let simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the beans, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add water to make consistency you like. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Serve over rice or with cornbread. Please pop over to Sandra at Keeping it Simple

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