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the haas machine: April 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread

My neighbor gave me this recipe & I have been slightly altering it every time I make it, just because we have a really funky oven, & it hasn't been all that great when I've made it in the past. I'll be honest... I'm not exactly the most scientific person, so when "I" (actually, John) researched that the water should be exactly a certain temp or that you should make sure you mix the yeast in & then the flour & salt (in that order) or else the salt will "kill" the yeast... it just made me want to go to the store & buy some bread! But I was bound & determined to be able to make good bread at home-- not just the thick & hearty soup bread, but the light & fluffy sandwich stuff. Thanks to John, Ruby & Hartley for putting up with many weeks (months?) of not so great bread. I love you guys. And I (now) love this bread.

Original recipe from my neighbor:
3 cups warm water
1 tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
6 1/2 cups gold'n white flour (found in the bulk section at our co-op)

Mix water & yeast & let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix in salt & flour & let it rise for 2 hours (make sure it's warm in your house!) Punch it down & knead 5 or 6 times (dough will be very sticky). Place the dough in 2 well-oiled loaf pans. Let it rise again. Bake at 450 for 33 minutes.

My altered recipe
3 cups warm water
1 tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour (I like the King Arthur brand)
3 cups white whole wheat flour (I've tried to do all whole wheat & it just comes out too dense for our liking)

*I've also tried adding 1/2 cup of ground flax (& then using 1/2 cup less of the bread flour) &/or sprinkling the top with oatmeal, just to give it a bit of a different flavor)

Mix water & yeast & let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix in salt & flour & let it rise for 2 hours (make sure it's warm in your house!). Punch it down & knead 5 or 6 times (dough will be very sticky). Place the dough in 2 well-oiled loaf pans. Let it rise again. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes (I know that temp & time is way less that the previous directions, but that's what works for us... experiment with your oven). I also have found that the dough freezes very well, so if you don't want to eat 2 loaves of bread (you should) you can freeze one in a bag & then let it thaw/rise overnight in a well-oiled pan.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Coconut Chicken Nuggets

We are (real) chicken nugget junkies around here. Nuggets that don't have real chicken kind of freak me out. The truth is, they should really freak me out.... but they are good, right? Well, forget about those fast food nasties, because once you take the 15 minutes to make your own, there's no going back! We made these for dinner last night & I'm still thinking about them
Coconut Chicken Nuggets
1 chicken breast per serving
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 whisked egg
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup crispix
1/2 cup (unsweetened) coconut (next time I'd use 3/4 cup)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, & dust with whole wheat flour (you don't want the chicken to have any moisture), then dip them in the egg. Food process bread crumbs, crispix, coconut, & salt & pepper. Put all these dry ingredients into a gallon-sized bag & throw the floured-chicken pieces into it to coat. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. I like to dip mine in a bit of local honey!

Recipe created by John Haas

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin, Walnut, & Chocolate Chip Muffins

I may or may not have eaten 2 or 3 of these immediately after baking them. I've been on the near-constant hunt for healthier alternatives to heavy muffins, & I'm not sure these are really "them" but they are quite a treat & don't contain any processed sugar (yah!)
Whole Wheat Pumpkin, Walnut, & Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup demerera
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin pans or line them with liners. In a large bowl or mixer, mix the flour, demerara, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. Make a well in the center & put in the  eggs, pumpkin, apple sauce, & honey. Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Mix in nuts & chips. Spoon into muffin pan until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a tooth pic comes out clean.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com


Creamy Asparagus Soup

I love a good creamy soup to comfort (aka put a warm blanket on) my stomach when it's drizzly or cold outside. The other day, I got adventurous & tried this creamy soup... the only catch is that there is NO cream, but I bet you wouldn't be able to tell. It's thick, rich, & hearty, but oh-so healthy! There's only about 200 calories a serving & nearly 10 grams of fiber... & best of all, it actually tastes good. I've got both my mom's & husband's approval on this one!
Creamy Asparagus Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 small potatoes, peeled & chopped (I didn't peel mine)
2 tbsp filtered water (unless you live in Duluth & the water is mighty fine, then use tap)
2 pounds asparagus, chopped
3 leeks, cleaned & chopped
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (unsweetened, plain) almond milk (found in the natural/organic section)

In a stockpot over medium heat, saute the olive oil, garlic, & potatoes for about 10-15 minutes, adding water as needed to prevent sticking & promote steaming. Add asparagus, leeks, & pepper to the potatoes, & saute until tender. Add the almond milk to the pot & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low & simmer for 10-15 minutes. With an immersion blender (or a regular blender if you don't have one), emulsify the ingredients until thick & creamy. Voila!

Recipe taken from The Everything Eating Clean Cookbook by Britt Brandon, CFNS, CPT

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