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Archive for the ‘processed sugar free’ Category

Well. A lot of life has been lived since I last popped in here! 

A sugar shack has been built. 

We’ve been collecting sap. 

And look! Syrup! And sugar. And sugar bears!

Last spring my brother tapped a tree up at our cabin and just for fun boiled down a cup or so and made a thin syrup. That was all that was needed to get my dad’s wheels spinning and around Christmas, he and Brad and some of my brothers started a sugar shack. Mid February they purchased an evaporator and we’ve been learning the syrup details ever since. 

What hard work! I’ll never again complain about the price of real syrup. It’s worth every penny. 

I’ve been learning so much about trees, sap, and syrup the last few weeks. This week we made maple sugar and today I baked with it. 

Whoa. So wonderful!! I never purchased maple sugar before so I don’t know if ours is the same but it made some fabulous muffins. 

We also made some maple sugar candy and the leftover wet sugar I ground up and used in these muffins. I’m guessing these would be just as yummy using regular maple sugar but for now I’m writing the recipe exactly as I made it. 


Maple Streusel Muffins 

Topping:

1/3 cup moist maple sugar

1/4 cup fine maple sugar

3 T all-purpose flour

1/4 t cinnamon

2 T melted butter

Mix all together and set aside.

Muffins:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 T moist maple sugar

1 T baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter 

1/4 t salt

Mix floors, sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. 

In small bowl mix egg, milk, butter, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and divide between twelve greased muffin tins. Sprinkle topping on evenly. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15-18 minutes or til toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 

Remove from tins and place in a cloth lined basket. Eat immediately with a smear of butter. Swoon and repeat. 

Yield: 12 regular muffins 

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I realize I should probably be starting out with a how-to on feeding a sourdough starter but for now I’ll leave that to the pros like Peter Reinhart and Nancy Silverton


Once you have that figured out, waffles are easy!


I have never come close to matching my mom’s waffles but these are the ones that turn out best for me :: light and airy with just a hint of sourness. 


Sourdough Waffles

2 cups milk 

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup white starter, 100% hydration

2 T honey

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 t salt 

1 t baking soda

Mix milk, flour, and starter. Cover and let sit on counter overnight, 8-12 hours. 

Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Cool in preheated waffle iron until browned and lightly crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Eat immediately with favorite toppings or store at room temp for a few days. I’ve never frozen them but I’m sure it would work. We heat the leftover ones in the toaster. 

Yield : about 4 large waffles (serves 4)

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I’ve always wanted to make hand pies but had a fear of there being too much crust and not enough fruit.

Turns out that if the crust recipe is good enough, I won’t care if there isn’t much fruit. 

Another fear I had was baking with sweet cherries. I made a pie using them about 8 years ago and it was awful. But they worked for these hand pies. Maybe it’s precisely because there is a high crust to fruit ratio?

Check out that crust flake. Mmmm. 
Update: I made these again this evening and used all whole wheat flour. Just as tasty, tho they don’t stay as crispy as the half white version. 

Sweet Cherry Hand Pies

Dough:

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat bread flour)

1/4 t salt

4 T cold butter

1/3 cup sour cream

1 T milk

Mix flours and salt. Using a small grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork, gently coating the butter strands with flour, and then smash around to evenly distribute the butter. Stir in the sour cream and enough milk to make a smooth but not wet dough. 

Roll out on well floured surface until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut 4 inch circles. Reroll scraps and cut again. I got 12 circles. 

Filling:

1 – 1 1/2 cups sweet cherry halves

Honey

Cream 

Place 3-4 cherry pieces on one side of each circle. Dot with a smidge of honey and fold circle in half, being careful not to tear dough. Crimp edges with a fork and brush tops with cream. 

Bake at 425 on parchment lined cookie sheet until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. 

Freeze any pies that don’t get eaten within a day. 

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I should have been an Italian Grandmother. 

I’m not sure how those bow ties will cook up but Jada is beside herself with excitement over the prospect of taking them to school in her picnic lunch tomorrow. This week I tried using brown rice flour in my noodles and loved it. Previously when I made 100% whole wheat noodles they were gritty. We ate them but I can’t say we loved them unless they were loaded with sauce. These I enjoy, though. Much smoother!And made with sprouted flour they benefit you, too, unlike boxed pasta products. Now I must return to the kitchen and clean up my mess. And figure out what to go with my noodles for supper. Whole Grain Noodles

2 2/3 cups  sprouted whole wheat bread flour

1 cup sprouted brown rice flour

3 eggs

1 t salt

3/4 cup whey or water

Mix everything and knead for five minutes to make a smooth dough. Cover and let rest for at least 20 minutes. This helps the gluten to relax. 

Divide into two balls and roll each one out to about a 24 inch circle, using flour as needed to prevent sticking. Size will depend on how thick you want your noodles. Let rest again and then cut into desired shape. I use a pizza cutter. 

Cook in boiling salted water and serve immediately. 

If you want to dry the noodles, generously flour and lay out on a cookie sheet to air dry for a few days. If it will be a while til we eat them, I freeze them and then drop straight from the freezer into boiling water. 

Yield: 1 3/4 pounds fresh pasta

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 There aren’t many meals that everyone in the family goes crazy for but ravioli is one of them. Last week I shredded a crockpot beef roast and mixed it with ricotta. This week a cheesy version went over just as well.   

When making pasta, I try to work with as dry of a dough as possible if I’m rolling it out by machine. This is just so the machine doesn’t get gummed up. If I’m doing it by hand, a little wetter dough is necessary otherwise I find it impossible to roll out.   

I found I was overfilling my ravioli and it would stretch the dough and sometimes break. Less is more for this job.   

 A fancy mixer attachment is certainly not needed for this job but it sure does look neat!

 
Three Cheese Ravioli

1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 t black pepper

2 T fresh chives

2 onions, diced and slowly sautéed (almost caramelized)

1 recipe pasta dough, below

Mix all filling ingredients together well. Fill pasta according to machine instructions or by hand, being careful not to roll the dough to thin. Crimp edges well if doing by hand. 

Cook immediately for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Serve immediately, or pack into your children’s lunch boxes. (They loved it cold!)

Yield: about 120 ravioli (1 1/4 inch)

Pasta Dough

1 cup white bread flour

1 cup whole spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat bread flour 

1 t salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

Mix all together, using more water if necessary. Knead well and roll out to the thickness of a dime. Fill immediately if using for ravioli. 

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This idea is not new but is a little different than this casserole. Mostly it’s just simpler and doesn’t require me to remember to thaw some beef.  Today it also happened to use up rice and spaghetti sauce that needed eaten. 

Gotta love an easy lunch that empties the fridge of food threatening to spoil! 

Simple Rice Pizza

3-4 cups leftover rice

1/2 up cottage cheese

2 eggs

1/2 t oregano

Salt/pepper to taste

3/4 cup spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup sautéed onion

1 cup grated melty cheese

Mix rice, cottage cheese, eggs, oregano and seasonings. Press into the bottom of a greased 8″ baking dish. Spread sauce on top and sprinkle with onions and cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Uncover last 5 minutes. Serve warm or room temp. 

Serves: 4-6

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Succulent, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. It’s my favorite way to eat a beef roast.  

Sometimes I start with a frozen roast and just cook it for longer. I use whatever cut I happen to pull out of the freezer. Obviously, the fattier the cut, the more flavorful but you may wish to remove some of the fat before serving.  

 Tender Beef Roast

1 roast

1 t salt

1 t pepper

1 onion, diced

1/2 – 1 cup water 

Place everything in the crockpot. Cook on low or high for 6-8 hours or until falling apart. Add water if it looks dry on the bottom. Serve immediately or chill, remove some of the fat, and reheat to serve. 

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