Archive for August, 2009

The Best Brownie You’ll Ever Taste

30 August 09

Herself used to say that the brownies that you made from the box were as good as it could get. There was therefore no need to make them from scratch. She no longer says this.

{{HERSELF SEZ: Lots and lots of Yummy Sounds!!}}

8 – 1 ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
5 eggs
600 g sugar (3 cups)
12 g vanilla (1 Tbs)
230 g flour (1-1/2 cups)
7 g salt (1 tsp)
250 g chopped pecans or walnuts toasted (2-1/2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lube a 9 x 13 pan with your favorite grease. I like unsalted butter.

The easiest way to melt the chocolate and butter is in a double boiler. Put enough water in the bottom pot to do some good, but just shy of touching the top pot when it is seated. Plop the butter and chocolate into the top pot and set it on the bottom pot when the water is boiling. Reduce the heat enough to keep the water boiling without getting it all over the place. Stir the chocolate and butter fairly frequently. When it is completely melted and smooth take it off the heat.

While the chocolate and butter melt set up a mixer and beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla at as high a speed as you can get without a mess. Usually works out to a 4 or 5 on my Kitchenaid. You want to just let it run for about 10 minutes. Yea, I know that this sounds excessive, but you will notice a definite color and texture change about 6 to 8 minutes into this. I would hate to do this by hand!

When the chocolate and the sugar/butter are ready, add the flour and salt to the butter/sugar and mix briefly. Add the chocolate melt in small batches, then add the nuts.

Dump everything into the pan and then bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 375°F.

Resist temptation and do NOT cut it until it has cooled off. Some nice home-made whipped cream goes well with this.


Dill and Onion Bread

20 August 09

This is a quite tasty bread – quite flavorful without being overpowering. Goes really well with most anything that goes with onions (just about everything). Makes a jim-dandy sandwich with pastrami, mayo, whole-grain mustard, tomato, lettuce, dill pickles, kitchen sink, and so on. Makes rather nice toast. Try it warm with cream cheese and decent tomatoes.

600 g bread flour (4 cups)
10 g milk powder (3 Tbs)
20 g butter (3 Tbs)
40 g sugar (3 Tbs)
7 g yeast (1 pkg)
8 g salt (1-1/2 tsp)
15 g minced onions (2 Tbs)
1 g dill weed (2 tsp)
4 g poppy seeds (2 tsp)
300 g water (1-1/3 cup)

Put all the ingredients into the mixer bowl. You can use fresh chopped dill and onions or dried. The dried is quite satisfactory. Mix 3 minutes on low speed. Adjust the hydration by very small amounts if necessary. Mix 3 minutes on second speed.

Rise until doubled – about 1 hour – in a greased, covered bowl.

Stretch and fold dough, then divide in half and place into greased loaf pans. Let rise until doubled – about 1 hour.

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Normal humidification from a spray bottle for a good crust. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

{Herself Sez: This is wonderful bread! We even like it toasted for breakfast! But, then, I love ALL the Ol’ Curmudgeon’s bread!!! Guess I’m not an unbiased observer, hunh?

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