How are you today? I’m great, thanks. :)
The weather here has been less than beautiful – and I keep reading reports about people in heat waves, sweltering, hydrating, hiding – and I think to myself… maybe this mildly muggy grey rainy weather isn’t so bad! I’ll keep it. It’s especially conducive to getting practicing done, which, with a tour just around the corner, is a must!
The other thing is, it’s cool enough that baking is NOT an issue. I have no fear that the oven is going to make me too hot. No indeed. Up until a couple weeks ago, I was wearing a hoodie to bed. I am going to guess that sounds AWFULLY appealing to you heat-wavers?
Know what else is appealing? BREAD. I LOVE making bread. I love experimenting with different flavours and shapes and textures of bread, from flatbreads, to loaves, to bagels and beyond!!!!! (I just saw the new Toy Story movie – hehehe)
My parents bought me a Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas – let’s just say, it’s getting a good workout. BEST PRESENT EVER!!! I couldn’t even believe it when I unwrapped it – it was like winning the lottery. The lottery of mixers. The lottery of happiness. The lottery of BREAD!! CAKES!!!! ETC!!!! Also, I am SERIOUSLY considering getting the ice cream attachment, for when the sun shows up. If you have some to spare, please send it my way. (either ice cream or sun – or BOTH!)
Okay, on to the recipe at hand.
Recently, I began a love affair with quinoa. We hadn’t met before, and I saw it online and decided to meet up with it at a Bulk Barn. Cheap, I know. (I mean – I could have met it at the expensive organic food section of the grocery store – but I wasn’t ready for commitment) But SO worth it. With salmon, with chicken, even just on it’s own without gilding the lily, it’s a beautiful thing. I saw a recipe for quinoa BREAD at the blog Dishing Up Delights and I knew I had to have it. (original recipe(s) is credited there) :) (also, they make a BEAUTIFUL looking BLT using the bread… yum!)
The cool thing about this recipe is that the liquid is actually mostly tomato juice (or vegetable cocktail in my case – I got some from Zellers for a dollar – don’t judge me – it’s actually really tasty – and comes in a convenient re-sealable container! woo hoo!) It’s cooling right now as we speak, and tomorrow, I plan on making a delicious sandwich with it. Stay tuned – then you can see it’s inner beauty! (I am thinking something with nice fresh veggies – some avocado.. some tomato.. mmm)
I just had a slice with a bit of butter – and it is AWESOME! Nice crispy outside, beautiful soft and fluffy inside – with a very savory flavor – and only the slightest hint of tomato.
Tomato Quinoa Bread
(From Vegetable Harvest: Vegetables at the Center of the Plate
as found on Kitchen Confit and Cooking Books)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 cup seasoned vegetable juice
- 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 3 3/4 cups (1 pound) all-purpose flour
Mix the yeast, sugar and water together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy (note from me: like in the picture on the left! EETS ALLIVE!!) then stir in the oil, salt, juice and quinoa.
Fit your stand mixer with the dough hook, set it on medium-low speed and add the flour in a little at a time. Mix until most of the flour is incorporated and the dough comes together in a ball. Continue to mix for 4-5 minutes more, until the dough becomes soft and shiny, but still firm. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. (note from me: I actually had about a tablespoon more of tomato juice – it probably depends on the weather maybe?! i have no idea.)
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough has doubled or tripled in size, this should take 8 to 12 hours. (note from me: I actually left it out on the counter, covered, and it doubled in about 3 hours – whatever floats your boat!) The dough may also be left in the refrigerator for up to two days, but you may need to punch it down a few times as it doubles.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and punch it down. Form the dough into a ball, return to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to double once again, this should take about an hour.
Punch the dough down one more time, then form it into a tight rectangle. Place the dough into a rectangular bread pan, cover with a cloth and let rise until double in size. One more hour. (note from me: for this effect, i actually separated the dough in to 3 pieces, and let them do their final rise together – and baked them as such!)
Oven preheated to 450, slash the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife so that it can expand properly and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped. Turn the loaf out on a wrack to cool and wait at least 1 hour before slicing (it will continue to cook while cooling). (note from me: THEN EAT IT!!! IT’S DELICIOUS!!)
Take care and keep cool,