Go Vegan Baking

Go Vegan Baking

Go Vegan Baking – two firsts today . . .

  • First Giveaway for My Texas Kitchen
  • First vegan bread recipe to bake

The winner of our first Giveaway is Megan McWilliams with her Vegan Banana Bread.

Confession – this is my first vegan bread recipe to bake. The recipe looks great until I reach the part where no eggs where included. (Of course, it’s vegan!) I continue smashing bananas, blending ingredients, pouring the batter into the pan, and baking. Forty-five minutes later, the bread is golden brown. Slicing, spreading a bit of butter and finally . . . the moment we have been waiting for . . . the first taste. Wow! it’s full of flavor and moist. We have a winner!

Please try it for your self and let me know how you like it!

One thing is for sure . . . I will never let those too-ripe-bananas go to waste again. :- )

BTW . . . this is my first blog post since April 7th because I have focused on quality face masks production. I am happy to report that I have cut and local seamstresses have sewn 1,800 face masks within 8 weeks.

I’m happy to get back to the joy of baking.

Go vegan!

Vegan Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1/3 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup neutral flavored oil - corn oil is okay
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3-4 large ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, only if needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350Fº.

  2. Spray a 5 X 9 X 3 pan. Set aside.

  3. In a mixing bowl, blend the dry ingredients together.

  4. Add the oil, vanilla, and bananas; stir together just until blended.

    Add the milk if needed.

  5. Pour into the prepared pan.

  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown.

  7. Serve with plenty of butter!

 

Time For Coffee And Cake

Time For Coffee And Cake

Time for coffee and cake . . . Happy National Coffee Cake Day!

Bake and celebrate:

Hungarian Coffee Cake, pieces of buttery dough dipped into butter, rolled in cinnamon/sugar, piled into an Angel food cake pan, baked and topped with frosting. That’s Hungarian Coffee Cake . . . it became known as monkey bread, a beloved breakfast treat!

Essential Equipment:

Time for coffee and cake . . . bake a Hungarian Coffee Cake and celebrate National Coffee Cake Day!

Hungarian Coffee Cake

Hungarian coffee cake became known as monkey bread. It is a beloved dessert and breakfast treat!

Ingredients

  • 2 pkg. active dry yeast 1/2
  • 1/4 cup warm water(110ºF.)
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk, scalded and cooled
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Dip: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Frosting: 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons whole milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; add more milk to desired consistency.

Instructions

  1. Proof the yeast: in a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup, add the water, yeast, and sugar; set aside to proof for 5 - 10 minutes.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the proofed yeast, cooled milk, shortening, sugar, salt, eggs and flour; blend together. Switch the paddle attachment to the dough-hook attachment, knead the dough until smooth, possibly adding a bit of flour. At this point, do not leave the Kitchen Aid mixer. It can rock off the table!

  3. Add a couple of teaspoons of corn oil to a bowl. Put the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean dish towel; set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Punch down dough. Set aside for a second rise; 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

  4. On a lightly floured silicone baking mat, pour out the dough. Using a pastry scraper, cut the dough into walnut-size pieces, brush with butter, dip each piece in the sugar/cinnamon mixture, and drop into an Angle Food cake pan. Cover with a clean dish towel, set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 30 - 45 minutes to rise.

  5. During the rising, preheat oven to 375ºF.

  6. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, watching carefully towards the end. If it begins to brown too much, cover lightly with a piece of aluminum foil.

    When the coffee cake is fully baked, the internal temperature should be between 195ºF. - 205ºF.

  7. Cool on a rack.

  8. Remove from pan, smooth the frosting over the top and just over the top's edges.

    Enjoy!

Only The Pure Of Heart

Only The Pure Of Heart

Only the pure of heart can make good soup.” – Ludwig van Beethoven

“The sweetest, juiciest part of an asparagus is in its stalk; the thicker the stalk the more of that sweet, pale green flesh there is.” says Marcella Hazan in her book, Ingredients.

How to buy asparagus:

  • Purchase thin asparagus for pasta sauces, such as an asparagus, cream and prosciutto sauce, frittatas or risotto. For this use, discard half of the stalk.
  • Purchase thick asparagus for use on its own, such as roasted asparagus or steamed asparagus. Be sure to peel the stalks!

How to store asparagus:

  • In a jar large enough to hold the bunch of asparagus, place a crumbled piece of paper towel in it, pour in enough water to cover it by 1″, place the asparagus in it and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • It will keep for up to a week this way.

How to prepare asparagus:

  1. Before peeling, slice off the bottom of the thick stalk.
  2. If the bottom of the stalk is dry, cut off 1″ more from the bottom of the stalk.
  3. Using a swivel blade vegetable peeler, carefully hold the top of a piece of asparagus, remove the top layer of the dark skin, rotating the stalk of asparagus until the entire stalk’s pale core is exposed.
  4. Repeat with the remaining stalks of asparagus.

As Ludwig van Beethoven said, “Only the pure of heart can make good soup.” . . .  make some Cream of Asparagus Soup and show your pure heart!

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Delicious asparagus soup, homemade chicken stock is the secret ingredient!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Asparagus, peeled; tips reserved and blanched for about a minute in boiling salted water
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 1/2 quarts Homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy cream
  • 1 T. Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings: blanched asparagus tips and creme fraiche.

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter, when it sizzles, add the onion, saute without browning.

  2. Add the chicken stock.

  3. Once the chicken stock is simmering, add the asparagus.

  4. Simmer until the asparagus is tender (if it cooks too long the asparagus will change color).

  5. Add the cream, bring to a simmer without boiling.

  6. Puree the soup with a hand held immersion blender.

  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add lemon juice.

  8. Serve with blanched asparagus tips and creme fraiche.

Feed The Soul: Bake Some Bread

Feed The Soul: Bake Some Bread

Feed the soul . . . bake some bread. Since it’s National Sourdough Bread Day, let’s bake some Sourdough French Bread! We’ll start with a Preferment, poolish. It is a bit of a short cut to sourdough french bread. It’s perfect for a home baker! Every bit as delicious without the challenges of developing and maintaining a true sourdough starter.

“Pre-ferments are the secret to great tasting bread!” – Thomas Keller of The French Laundry

The night before, make the poolish.Pre-ferment - poolishJust before baking, brush the loaf with water.Sourdough Bread- 1st riseMake diagonal slashes across the top with a sharp knife.Sourdough Bread - diagonal slicesBake in preheated 400ºF. oven for 35 – 45 minutes.

Slice and serve! Sourdough Bread

So here’s the scoop on pre-ferments are simply a yeast preparation that has been actively growing for a few hours or more before blending into a dough. Simple!!

Two preferment types:

  • A poolish is mixture of flour, water, and yeast.
  • A levain is made by combining equal parts of flour and water; set aside for 24 hours. Next, it must be fed because the natural yeast and bacteria in the mixture are living organisms that need food to multiply. If the levain isn’t fed it will die.

As much as I love baking and the thought of producing Sourdough French Bread that rivals San Francisco bakeries, I am happy to take a simple, short cut and achieve a beautiful loaf of bread!

Feed the soul: bake some bread!

Poolish

This type of pre-ferment is known as a poolish because it contains flour, water, and instant yeast. It is easy to make. Simply mix the yeast, warm water and flour together; cover; let stand in a warm place overnight. The following day, it's ready to mix into the dough.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 cups warm water(approximately 110ºF.)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together and beat the ingredients until smooth. Cover with a clean dishtowel; let stand in a warm, draft-free place overnight.

  2. Measure out the amount needed for the recipe and use as directed.

Sourdough French Bread

When added to the dough, the poolish's complex fermented flavors enrich the french bread's flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water(about 110ºF.)
  • 1 cup poolish
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddles attachment, add the yeast, water, sourdough starter; blend together.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together 4 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add to the sourdough starter mixture; blend for about 3 minutes.

  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a large bowl, turn dough into the bowl and coat all sides with the oil; cover with a clean dish towel; set aside in a warm, draft-free place for

    1 1/2 - 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

  4. In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour with the baking soda.

  5. Return the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook; gradually add the flour/baking soda mixture until the dough cannot absorb any more flour; knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 - 7 minutes.

  6. Separate the dough into two pieces. On a lightly floured silicone baking mat, roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle; starting at one long end, roll up into a cylinder, place on a silicone baking mat sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Cover and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until nearly doubled in volume.

  7. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. when the loaves have about 30 minutes left to rise. Just before baking, brush the loaves with water. Make diagonal slits in the loaves.

  8. Place a shallow pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Bake for 45 or 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake . . . how are they the same and how are the different? Angel Food Cake Pans

Chiffon Cakes are Angel Foods are the same:

  • They belong to the basic family, the foam cake. Sponge cakes are included in this family too.
  • They’re aerated by beating air into the egg whites and folding the egg foam into the other ingredients.
  • They require a special technique, folding.
  • They are baked in the same type of cake pan.
  • It isn’t necessary to grease the pan because the cakes need to cling to the sides of the pan while cooling.
  • Bake in a 10″ ungreased Angel Food cake pan.
  • Cool the cakes upside down over a standing wine bottle or large funnel. Gravity will keep the cake’s full volume until it sets.

Chiffon Cakes and Angel Food cakes are different:

  • Chiffon Cakes contain egg yolks and oil.

Secrets to perfectly beaten egg whites every time:

  • Always, use a clean, dry bowl for separating and beating egg whites.
  • Separate eggs whites and egg yolks one at a time into a cup. Place egg white in a liquid measuring cup and the yolk in another cup. Continue until the desired amount of egg whites is achieved.
  • If one speck of the yoke gets in an egg white, throw it out. Put the cup aside and get a clean, dry cup and continue separating the eggs.
  • Beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar, continue beating until soft peaks form, begin adding sugar 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form – like these!Perfectly Beaten Egg WhitesBeing careful not to over beat! When the egg whites begin to clump, you know they have been beaten to long – like these!Over Beaten Egg Whites

Why Cake Flour:

Swans Down Cake-Flour is made with the finest American soft winter wheat and repeatedly sifted so that it’s 27 times finer than all-purpose flour.

Orange Chiffon Cakes are delicious too!

For years, Orange Chiffon cakes have been a tradition in the Graass family. In 1948 at the age of 23, Betty Graass, my beautiful mother-in-law baked an Orange Chiffon cake for her son, Jeff’s 1st birthday. This was the year when Better Homes and Gardens featured the cake as the “first new cake in over 100 years!” It was a national sensation. The family loved the Orange Chiffon Cake so much that it became a family tradition for birthdays.  I continued the tradition. For Jim’s birthday as well as our children’s birthdays and bake an Orange Chiffon Cake for every celebration!

Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake . . . which cake wins today??!! The chiffon cake wins today because today is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day!

Bake a Lemon Chiffon Cake for your family and celebrate tonight!

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Light and airy, moist and delicious . . . this is the cake we bake for birthday celebrations!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 t. Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 1/4 Cups Cake Flour, sifted
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 7 Large Egg yolks
  • 3/4 Cup Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325º.

  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, add the egg whites, beat until frothy add cream of starter, continue beating until soft peaks form. Begin adding 2 tablespoons of sugar until 1/2 cup of sugar is added and the whites standing stiff, glossy peaks. Being careful not to beat until dry.

  3. Sift together dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt); set aside.

  4. In another bowl of an electric mixer, add the oil, egg yolks, and lemon juice; beat well.

  5. Add the dry ingredients, and blend together.

  6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the mixture into the beaten whites.

  7. Pour the combined mixture all at once into tube pan.

  8. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Invert the pan onto a funnel to cool.

  9. When cake is cool, run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove the cake from the pan.

Lemon glaze: In the bowl of an electric mixer blend together powdered sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice until the desired consistency is reached. Pourable but not to thin!

 

Pickling The State Pepper of Texas

Pickling The State Pepper of Texas

Pickling the state pepper of Texas, Jalapenos. If you prefer pickled jalapenos to store in the pantry, it will require more time and work. However, if you are more interested in delicious flavor and an easy preparation, then this recipe is the one for you!

These are refrigerator pickled jalapenos. They are easier to make and just as tasty!

Jalapenos

Equipment:

Five easy steps:

  1. Wash in soapy water, the canning jars and lids; set aside to dry.
  2. Wash and slice the jalapenos.
  3. Make the brine – In a heavy-bottomed pan set over medium heat, add 2 cups white distilled vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, 1 t. salt; stir to combine and heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the sliced jalapenos.
  4. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until they turn a deeper green, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Ladle into jars. Refrigerate overnight. Serve!

*Refrigerator pickles may be kept in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 weeks.