Monday, April 30, 2012

A great recipe shared

Thanks to Polly, who left the following recipe in a comment under my last bread recipe--I was afraid that due to the fact that it took me so long to get back to blogging ( among, other things, after a computer breakdown--twice--and subsequent needed repair) that few people would see it. It looks wonderful, and I am looking forward to trying it. Thanks again, and without further ado, her comment in its entirety:         

My Aunt used to make soda bread along with corn bread in her wood stove. For the Irish Soda Bread -

3.5 cups of stone ground whole wheat flour,
0.5 cup of whole oats,
2 cups of unbleached flour,
1.5 teas. salt & soda, and
2 cups of real buttermilk.

Mix all dry ingredients well with your hands, slowly stir in buttermilk with a wooden spoon. Roll into a round ball and put a dish towel over it for about 45 minutes. This lets the soda & buttermilk mix together.

Take a cast iron pot with a lid and dust it with flour. After the 45 minutes put the dough into the pot and press it down to about 2 inches thick with your fingers. Cut an X all the way through the top of the dough. Put the lid on it and put into a hot oven (45 degrees) for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and turn the oven down to 350 and bake another 15 minutes.

As soon as you take it out of the oven, take it out of the pan. Or else it will stick. Cool the bread and don't eat it yet. Wrap it in foil for at least 6 hours. It needs this time to season. It really makes the difference in the taste. After at least 6 hours unwrap the bread and cut it into the 4 pieces from the x cut. Now slice your bread and put real butter on it. Nothing is better.

No eggs, no suger, no yeast... Just real simple, great tasting and very filling bread. Really one piece with soup or stew and you are full for at least four hours!!! :) "

End of recipe

I love that this is made with basic ingredients, and also that there are specific instructions on how to make it with a cast iron pot. Thanks again, Polly!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sometimes it takes more than ingredients... make a successful recipe. For a project one of my children was doing, we tried to make Swedish pancakes, an example of which is seen above. The recipe we used is found here.  Pretty straight forward in terms of ingredients--not very many, and while it calls for eggs, milk, and butter,  if you have them in powdered form, it can be food-storage friendly. (I don't recall having tried any other form of butter than actual butter, so those of you who have it in powdered form are ahead of me...)

At any rate, I share this particular recipe not necessarily for the ingredients involved, but because of how difficult it turned out to be to make these enough to get the picture above, which we wanted for the aforementioned project. There are only two steps in terms of directions, so how hard could it be?

Turns out: pretty hard, actually.

When the recipe directions say to pour it out in a thin layer, the easy part is over--at least it was for me. These are very, very thin pancakes, and I had one mangled pancake after another leaving the pan. Hard to remember now, but what looks (if one is being extremely kind about it) like a divided pancake above, was actually a conglomeration of, if not two pancakes, more than two pancakes, which makes it mostly look like one of my pancakes actually worked out in its entirety. Not so. While we got a piece here and there that looked kinda sorta like the pancakes pictured in the original recipe, it was, as memory served, only the occasional piece that worked out that way...

This is not to say that this is not a good recipe--my husband really liked them, actually. This is to say that if I want a pancake recipe that has few ingredients and that makes wonderfully thin pancakes, thus hopefully making more pancakes to go around,  I will have to practice a lot more than once to be able to make my ingredients stretch. It's hard not to imagine, when I am making a recipe that I think may be food storage friendly, how frustrated I would be if I had limited resources, little to no way to replace said resources, and hungry mouths to feed, and my recipe turned out the way this one did.

Bottom line--variety is good when collecting recipes that use basic ingredients, but make sure that you have the skill to successfully make those recipes before adding them to your emergency notebook. This one has not yet made it there, because sometimes you need more than ingredients to have a successful recipe experience...

Hope you have more luck with these than I did, if you try them...I actually hope to have more luck with them next time I try them myself... :)