Tag Archives: recipe

Bread Challenge–No Recipe Bread


So last week on Sunday I came across a Cook or Die Challenge in the goons with spoons forum of SA. As I had not made a loaf in a while and it seemed like a fun idea, I ran with it. For your pleasure, I happened to also know the general gist of how I made it and the ratios, so you too can eat delicious bread!

The whole idea of the challenge was to make a yeast-risen bread without a recipe. You could do anything you wanted, as long as no recipe and it was yeast risen.

I present the Mushroom Pepperjack Delicious Bread*


  • 1/2 cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese
  • 2-3 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 4-5 large white button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c of flour premixed with wheat gluten, plus some extra for kneading
  • 1 egg for washing


  • clean counter for kneading
  • 1 bread loaf pan
  • bowl for mixing in
  • cup to proof yeast in if needed

Recipe! (which I totally didn’t have at the time, but can give you ๐Ÿ˜› )

  1. Combine yeast, salt, sugar, and water, stir thoroughly to dissolve. Set aside.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour premixed with wheat gluten, pepperjack, mushrooms, and paprika thoroughly.
  3. Add proofed yeast mix into the bowl and stir. If needed, add more flour, until you get a dough blob.
  4. Throw your dough blob on a well flour counter and knead. Knead until you get a pretty thing, like this: Try to add as little flour as possible, mine was a bit tacky still.
  5. Clean your mixing bowl, oil it, and put the dough in. Cover with either plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise for 1-2 hours, till doubled.
  6. Once dough has risen, gently turn out onto counter, and press flat with hand. Shape into a loaf shape and put in a lightly floured bread pan. Slash across the top with a sharp knife 3 times, then cover and let rise for another 1-2 hours Like so.
  7. Preheat your oven to 425F/218 C.
  8. Once everything is ready, if desired, brush the top of the loaf with an egg wash (1 egg + 2 Tbsp water). Put in oven for about 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature should be roughly 200F/93C when it is done, and it will look delicious.
  9. Turn onto cooling rack and allow to cool for about 15-30 minutes before eating.

So delicious! The challenge was really quite good for me, it’s given me a lot of courage in trying to make my own breads. This one is really the perfect crumb for what I like in my bread, so I’m quite happy.



*the name might need some work

Christmas Dinner + Recipes for All


I know I promised this post way ages ago, but I’ve only got around to it. This is going to be a whammy of a post, including all sorts of goodies. This was the first time I’ve ever made a rack of lamb, and I’ve got to say–it’s good. It’s good eats. If you like lamb for the reasons I do (the slightly sweet fat, the tenderness of meat, how juicy it is) you are going to love rack of lamb.

I’ve also included the recipes for what I ate with it, as best I recall them, because everyone likes food.

Have a beauty shot of the lamb though:

(and that’s after it rested for 10 minutes)

That photo came out super yellow, which is a shame, because I didn’t realize it till just now. Should know to take tons more pictures. Alas.

And the whole meal:

No, I can’t wait till green things are in season again. Eating in season is boring on the colour palette, that’s for sure! I really like how I laid the lamb out in this shot though.

Anyway, time for the two recipes you’re here for: one for lamb, one for the distinctly brown onion-mushroom marsala (I assume you know how to make potato sticks fried)

Roast Rack of Lamb


  • 1 rack of lamb
  • ground mustard
  • majoram
  • rosemary
  • salt & black pepper
  • thyme
  • honey


  • 12″ cast iron skillet or similiar oven friendly pan
  • foil
  • tongs
  • oven/stove

Do ahead:

  1. Between 1 – 3 days before you are going to be preparing the lamb, rub it down in the majoram, rosemary, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. Be generous. Wrap in butcher’s paper or wax paper and store in fridge.


  1. Make sure the lamb is room temperature. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. ย Heat pan over medium with some oil in (I use grape seed). Brown the lamb on both sides (roughly 1 -2 mins a side). Set aside on a cutting board/platter.
  3. Wrap the exposed bone in foil.ย  With bones down, cover the ‘top’ of the lamb in honey. Set in skillet bones down.
  4. Put in oven, and roast for 12-18 mins depending on taste. I cook mine to 14 for the slight pink in center.
  5. Rest on a platter or rack for 5-10 mins.
  6. Cut between the bones and arrange for eating.


Super Mushroom & Onion Marsala


  • 1/2 pound of mushrooms
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 medium onion
  • Marsala dessert wine
  • 4 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/2-1 cup chicken, lamb, or veggie stock


  • Nonstick pan, 12″
  • Knife


  1. Slice the onions and mushrooms thinly. Preheat the pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Warm some oil/1 Tbsp of butter in pan. Saute mushrooms and onions till most liquid cooked off.
  3. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of marsala wine, and allow to cook down till most liquid gone again.
  4. Add stock. Stir and bring to simmer.
  5. Add 3Tbps of butter, until melted and mixture creamy. Cook down so it is thicker.
  6. Top with salt and eat!

Voila! Hope at least one of these appeals to you and happy eating.



I got on a wild pasta kick thanks to rereading Heat by Bill Buford again. Thanks to the fact my eggs are local–and very very good eggs–I decided to wing a pasta based off of the ratios that are described from his stint with the nice Italian lady in her kitchen.

As it has made one of the better sheets of pasta, I’m going to share it with you:

1 etto flour (roughly 7/8 cups)

1 good egg

I cannot overstate how important that good egg is–it should be orange, nearly red, in the yolk and not runny at all. If you have a local farmer who lets his chickens free roam, they will probably have exactly the type of egg you are looking for.

You make a well in the flour, and then you beat the egg with a fork in the center, and slowly incorporate the flour until you get a dough like thing. Then you get to knead for a while, until it’s nice and smooth and elastic.

Anyway, then comes the rolling–I roll mine out by hand with my fabulous rolling pin I’ve blogged about previously. It’s how I get my upper body exercise ๐Ÿ˜›

Roll and roll and roll until it’s as thin as you can make it–I can see the light through mine and worry constantly about it tearing. That’s a good thing. The nice thing about this ‘recipe’ is that it doesn’t actually need more flour or water when you’re rolling it out. I did mine on a mostly unfloured counter, and it didn’t stick at all.

Pasta rollers can work too.

Then make your little circles!


Aren’t they pretty? I know a lot look more like pacman than circles, but they took up the stuffing just as well.

I made a filling with goat cheese, shredded young gouda from Frisian farms, balsamic vinegar (to bind the ingredients), hungarian paprika, cilantro, majoram, and red pepper flakes.

Then you start filling up your circles. You put some in the center, fold in half (I did not need to use water to get mine closed). Fold again along the flat edge (a valley fold for you origami people), so the circle part stretches out. Press them.

Voila! Belly button!

Do this until all of your circles are done:

Lots of belly buttons! Whee!! Store in plastic until ready to cook. Boil them in water. I’ll be boiling these for dinner tonight, with leftovers for lunch.



I think I posted my recipe for bread ages ago, but having just made it again, I wanted to share. Like most breads, it’s affected by humidity and heat and all that good stuff, so tweak it if you need to. This version of my bread is less sweet than the other, but still delightfully dense and chewy with a nice crust.

Brooke’s Bread (Not Sweet)


  • 3 cups flour, +some to sprinkle counter
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet (2Tbsp) active dry yeast
  • 5 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • salt

Makes 1 loaf of bread.


  1. Mix sugar into the warm water. Add yeast. Proof for 5 minutes (recommended)
  2. Slowly add the flour in until you have a doughy consistency. Drizzle the oil in around cup 2, and then add more flour till more solid and less liquid again. I usually get about 2.5 cups of flour in total. Flop onto counter and incorporate the last of your flour, or until the dough is doughy.
  3. Knead until soft and springy, and use flour sparingly to keep off counter–don’t try and incorperate anymore unless it’s a really wet day and the dough just won’t behave. This takes roughly 10 minutes.
  4. Put into ball and place in well oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled (roughly 30 minutes in a warm room, more in colder). Preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. Roll onto counter and gently press air out. Shape into a loaf. Place in pan. Let rise for 30 minutes or until 1″ above pan. (Honestly, mine usually just rises for 30 and I don’t bother waiting for the 1″ thing. I thing that’s a remnant from the recipe I base mine off of)
  6. Pop in oven for 30 minutes. Take out of pan and let cool. Try not to eat in one sitting, or double the recipe and eat one now and one later!

Some neat things:

If you slash the top of the dough before the second rise, you get those cute slash marks you see on baguettes and the crust tends not to pop open on one side of the dough since it’s not as stressed.

Gluten flour is the best thing since sliced bread (which I don’t actually use or buy anymore haha!). It basically helps make your all purpose white flour into a bread flour, and more gluten is good for breads. I use it for anything that needs a little more help in the rising–bread, brioche buns, ect. (You really should look into pastry dough, which has LESS gluten, for your croissants though). You mix it in according to the directions your box has to your flour prior to putting it in. It’s an extra minute of prep that I never regret.

Gluten flour is not good for those who go gluten-free, whether by choice or diet. Just saying.

In fact, most of my pastries are terrible for my gf friends. Sorry guys. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ