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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

VANILLA ICE CREAM: AT HOME, WITHOUT MACHINE, CREAMY AND FLUFFY.





I LOVE ICE CREAM! Did I already tell you? I love Ice Cream!
 
Every day I count my carbs and fats, so I can have my ice cream as a desert! Mango ice cream is my passion and in general, more fruity…., less sugary….it is all I dream of!

I am looking to find an ice cream that is low in fat/carb, but I have to like it! As I discover (in Italy!!!) GELATTA is a perfect fit for me: not so much sugar, fluffy and soft and many, many flavors. 

I am looking to make my own WONDERFUL ICE CREAM that I can make it at home, and know what the ingredients are!
I discovered this recipe, in “Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet” blog; the pictures were astonishing, but even more: no machine, only milk and sugar…. Should I believe it? Is it even good? Is it soft? Is it hard?, full of crystals?  as are all the ice creams that you make home from yogurt, milk, fruit????

Well!! NONE OF THESE!
It is a perfect, creamy, fluffy, ice cream:  is maintaining the same consistency and same taste even days after was stored in freezer!
 AMAZING!



 
Here is the recipe:
Ingredients: 

1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk, with Vitamin D added
1 cup powder sugar
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 


Directions:

1. Chill the milk in the fridge overnight. This is a very important step for this recipe.




2. Poor the evaporated milk in a bowl of a stand up mixer. Using the wire whip mix the milk for a short time (40 sec).



3. Add sugar and vanilla and whip until combined. The mixer becomes very foamy and fluffy.




4 Put the bowl in freezer for 1h.




5. Using the wire whip mix the frozen mixer for about one minute and put it back in freezer, for another hour.





6. Repeat this for 4 times: whip using wire whip, and freeze  for an hour.


This is when is ready to store in the freezer:



7. Poor in a container with a lid: one can evaporated milk, will give enough ice cream to fill 1qt of ice cream box.




8. Store it in freezer until you use it.

My surprise was that next day I found in freezer, a very fluffy ice cream, soft and pleasant, with a strong vanilla taste.



 For you: vanilla ice cream, bone appetite!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

THE SOURDOUGH "STARTER": LOVING, MAINTAINING AND CARRYING.



“Sourdough starter” it is a frightening, confusing, amazing word for a POOR BEGINNER BAKER…..This is why, my friend and I we went to this class “sourdough bread” to go step by step over the procedure. If you look around in internet, there are many, many posts, tips, advices, personal experiences and so on. This confused us even more.

We went to this class in Vermont, KING ARTHUR FLOUR CENTER and it was a great teacher. We understood what’s all about sourdough. We kneaded, baked and ate a lot of bread and butter, it was a lot of fun, that day!!!
We came home with a small amount of their starter: 4oz., she gave it to us.  

MY NOTE:
THERE ARE MANY METHODS TO START “THE STARTER” http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/sourdough-primer.html
YOU CAN BUY IT OR YOU CAN RECEIVE IT AS A GIFT FROM A FRIEND!


Once we get it home, we have to maintain this “sourdough starter”: it is a small task, and you chose: keep on kitchen counter and feed every day, or refrigerate and maintain=feed, twice a week.

Sourdough is yeast dough: to keep the yeast alive and potent, you have to feed, or maintain. Room temp is the preferable environment for the starter: you can keep it refrigerated, but you have to feed twice a week.  Deep freezing is not a method of choice: as the teacher said, what you prefer: to have a heart attack and be saved or NOT TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK! 

The feeding process is adding equal amount of white, all purpose, unbleached flour and warm water:  4oz. flour (= a cup of flour, very loose, not leveled, and not pressed)  + 4 oz. of warm water (= half of cup)



 This way you have 2 cups of "starter", that you can maintain at room temp, or covered with plastic wrap, refrigerated.

 
Next feeding time you discard one cup (or use it in a recipe) and add (=feed) the remaining starter, with 4oz. flour + 4 oz. warm water.




 











  










Daily maintaining "the starter", at room temp:

If you want to bake bread every day, feed the starter, once a day, as follow:
       Stir the starter well, removing all, but 4 oz. Add 4 ounces of water and 4 ounces of flour, stir well until smooth, and cover with a cloth.

Maintaining your" starter" in the fridge:

If you feel, feeding and baking everyday is too much, you can  feed the refrigerated "starter" twice a week, as  above:
       Stir the starter well, removing all, but 4 oz. Add 4 ounces of water and 4 ounces of flour, stir well until smooth, and cover with a cloth.
        Allow the starter to work at room temp, at list one hour, before putting back to refrigerator, for another 3-4 days.





Now the notion of "fed" or "unfed" starter that you find in some recipes,  become clearer: 

"unfed starter" is the  discarded starter, or the starter just before is the time to feed;

"fed starter" is the starter that you feed and keep  at room temp at list  6 hours, to have   enough time for yeast to feed and divide, multiply.






All this process is a step to make a SOURDOUGH BREAD. If you understand the process you can manipulate the starter to your desire, to get a sour or not so sour bread.....

That means that is up to you, to bake a bread as sour as you like it... If you use this method that I described it here, the bread is almost not sour at all, but it became fluffy, crunchy and  chewer because of presence of sourdough starter added to the dough.





A starter left on a counter in a very hot kitchen ( around 85F and up) will ferment like crazy and you can use it as a sour starter at a certain point, or you have to feed very frequently to prevent to became overripe: very bubbling, sharp smell.


 History:
 
http://www.angelfire.com/ab/bethsbread/WhatisSourdough.html

"While sourdough starters and bread made from starters has been around for thousands of years, the term "sourdough" has a pretty short history. It is an American term that came into use during the California Gold Rush days of the late 1800's.
Before the advent of commercial bakers' yeast, the folks who traveled and settled the Western U.S. in the 19th century carried starters with them for making bread.  Over time, it was discovered that starters from St Francisco area produced bread with a unique and particularly sour tang. Thus the starters and bread from that area because known as "sourdough". "
  

 
Understanding the microbiology of the “STARTER”:
The wild yeast, which grows on top of grains, fruits and vegetable, is present into the flour and this process of "STARTER" is a benefactor of co-existence of the wild yeast and Lactobacilli in the "Sourdough starter".
In a healthy sourdough starter, they both are feeding on the sugars (the starch) from the flour, with a different end result that is beneficiary to each other.
The  lactobacilli create an acidic media from lactic and acetic acid end product that is very beneficiary for the wild yeast to grow and act as "an antibiotic" for other organisms. For instance the commercial BAKER YEAST can't live in such an acidic content.

The wild yeast end products are a bit of ethanol (alcohol) and some carbon dioxide (which is what causes the bread to rise).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

WHOLE WHEAT AND RYE SOURDOUGH BREAD



 Whole Wheat and Rye Sourdough Bread
This is a recipe that I found into "KING ARTHUR FLOUR" website because I was looking for a rye /wheat flour bread recipe, to use my sourdough starter.
I went to a GREAT CLASS  about sourdough at “King Arthur Flour” class center in Vermont  and the recipe I have for white flour and sourdough starter (fed or unfed) is a wonderful bread, well raised, tasty, the crumbs are perfect, the crust ... divine!
But as I ADORE the rye bread, I was looking for a variation of the white flour recipe. The tip that I learned in class is that we have to increase the quantity of water in order to have a perfect RYE SOURDOUGH BREAD. The recipe ask for a mixer of rye/or wheat flour  with unbleached white flour.
This is a perfect recipe and if you have this bread, right from the oven (after the necessary time to cool) it is perfect bread for a great sandwich... or just with butter, as I would like it!



Ingredients:
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) lukewarm milk
2 cups (16 1/2 ounces) sourdough starter, fed or unfed*
      NOTE: *If you feed your starter first, the dough will rise a bit more quickly.
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) white rye flour
1 cup (4 ounces)  Whole Wheat Flour
3 1/2 to 4 cups (14 3/4 to 17 ounces)  All-Purpose Flour




 Directions:
Combine the yeast, milk, the sourdough starter, sugar, salt, cardamom, and seeds. Stir in the rye flour and beat until the batter is smooth. Add the whole wheat flour, then the unbleached all-purpose flour, a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has formed a shaggy mass, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter.

Knead the dough and add just as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. The dough should be a little tacky, but not sticky.
MY NOTE: I used the bread machine, 2h for a dough cycle.

 Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough and place it on a lightly floured counter. Shape as desired; you can make one huge loaf, three normal loaves, four mini loaves, or about 24 rolls. You can also reserve a small amount of dough and roll it into long, thin strips that can be snipped with scissors to form a stalk of wheat to decorate the top of each loaf.

Cover the loaves and let them rise for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until they're puffy.
 Bake them in a preheated 400°F oven for about 25 minutes, or until the bread is nicely browned and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.
Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.


This recipe comes to   "KING ARTHUR FLOUR" website  from Marilyn Mulgrew of Rochester, New York.