Saturday, December 28, 2013 0 comments

No Knead Bread

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon  yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Parchment paper (not to eat, hopefully)

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. 
  2. Let sit out for 12-24 hours. Dough will be very level and bubbly when ready.
  3. Preheat oven to 450˚ with enameled cast iron pot inside oven (or other pot you can cover that can handle the heat).
  4. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. The dough will be very sticky. With well floured hand, fold the dough a few times over onto itself, and then shape it into a ball. Preferably have the seam side of the dough facing down.
  5. Dust the parchment paper and lay the dough on top. Let the dough rest for an additional 30 minutes.
  6. About 20 minutes after you have shaped the dough, using a sharp knife, make cuts about 3/4″ deep into the top of the bread. Then let rest the final 10 minutes. Because the dough is so sticky it won't cut 'pretty' don't worry about it.
  7. Lift the parchment paper with the dough on it and carefully lay it into the preheated pot. There is no need to grease the pan. It will not stick.
  8. Cover pot and bake for 30 minutes. 
  9. Remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes until crust is golden brown. 
  10. Let cool completely on a wire rack.  
Sunday, December 8, 2013 0 comments

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

  • 3/4 cup shortening (or unsalted butter, which I prefer)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • granulated sugar for rolling cookies
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and molassus until well blended.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Stir into the creamed mixture until blended. Chill for 1 hour, or until firm.
  3. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  4. Shape the dough into small balls about 3/4 inch in diameter; roll in the granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 to 2 inches between cookies. 
  5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until set. Cool in pan on a rack for 2 minutes; remove to a rack to cool completely.
    Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Saturday, December 7, 2013 0 comments

Dumpling Noodles

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup flour, approximate
  • 1/2 egg shell of milk

  1. Beat eggs until very frothy
  2. Add salt, milk and work in flour, knead well
  3. Roll out thin on lightly floured board. 
  4. Dust with flour. 
  5. Cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide. 
  6. Scatter noodles on board for drying (or skip drying for more dumpling like noodles)
  7. Cook in water, broth or soup for about 12 minutes. 



Zwieback or 'Double Buns' are a great favorite among the 'Russian' Mennonites, as well as any visiting friend. These buns are usually baked on Saturday to be served for Vaspa or lunch on Sunday. The dough for Zwieback must be kneaded well to give a good texture to the buns.

Years ago Zwieback were always served for weddings and for the fellowship hour following funerals. To some extent, this custom is still kept up in some Mennonite communities, and Zwieback are making a 'come back' in other circles of Mennonite ethnic groups. Zwieback are usually served with cheese, lump sugar, and coffee. Dunking them is also a special treat! (excerpt from The Melting Pot of Mennonite Cookery, 1974, Mennonite Press, North Newton Kansas)

  • 2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 packages yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ~6 cups flour

  1. Scald the milk and add butter, oil, salt and 2 Tbl. sugar. Let cool.
  2. Dissolve yeast in the warm water, then add 1 tsp. sugar. Let sit for a few minutes. 
  3. Add the dissolved yeast and 4 cups flour to the milk mixture. Mix well. 
  4. Add additional flour until dough is smooth. 
  5. Let rise until double, about an hour. 
  6. Pinch off small portions of dough and form into balls the size of a small egg. 
  7. Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise until doubled. 
  8. Place a smaller ball on top of a larger ball.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. 
  10. Eat hot with apricot preserves!


Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk (cream tastes MUCH better)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 16 oz carton of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
  3. Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.
  5. Put 16 oz heavy whipping cream into a bowl or stand mixer. 
  6. Add 1/4 cup maple syrup.
  7. Beat on high for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. 
  8. Serve pie with whipped cream!

Green Bean Casserole

Crispy Onions
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you have one)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko or plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola, safflower, peanut or other high-heat oil, for deep-frying
Mushroom Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 12 oz baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
  • Few gratings fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lbs fresh green beans trimmed

  1. 1 to 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
  2. Toss onion with flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. 
  3. Heat a 1/2-inch or so of oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. 
  4. Fry until a light golden brown. Remove and place on plate with paper towel. Set aside.
  5. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and boil greens for 5 minutes.
  7. Drain beans, then plunge them into ice water to full stop them from cooking. Drain again, and set aside
  8. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. 
  9. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute them until they start releasing their liquid, anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. 
  10. Add the garlic and saute one minute more. Add the flour and stir it until it fully coats the mushrooms. Add the broth, stirring the whole time. 
  11. Simmer mixture for 1 minute, then add cream and bring back to a simmer, cooking until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently.
  12. Add cooked greens beans to sauce and stir until they are coated. Sprinkle crispy onions over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions are a shade darker