Monday, March 03, 2008

weekend food!

Saturday night's dinner:
Yes . . . more sushi! BUT . . . more exciting this time, because I used brown rice. I found loose directions for turning short-grain brown rice into sushi rice in my most recent issue of Eating Well magazine, which I slightly edited: rinse 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons short-grain brown rice. Bring 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, lower the heat, and simmer the rice for 50 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to sit, covered, to steam for an additional 10 minutes. Toss the rice with 1/3 cup sushi vinegar, allow the rice to cool, then get rollin'!
(I found the rice really didn't seem to stick together all that well until it really cooled most of the way. Different from white sushi rice, in my opinion, but it still worked!)

Mango and Black Bean Salad:
I had planned this salad for lunch yesterday, but we ended up going out for brunch instead. Oh well -- now I have the salad leftover for lunches this week!

Homemade bread:
I have had, ahem, mixed results (i.e., dense and inedible) with homemade bread-baking in the past, mostly because I think it's just really difficult to get good gluten development when kneading with your hands. :) However, this loaf was an exception! This bread turned out to be light and tender, chewy, and delicious! I loosely based this loaf of bread on Mollie Katzen's "Basic Bread Recipe" from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, with a few modifications of my own. Recipe:

5 cups whole-wheat bread flour (or white-whole-wheat flour)
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
2/3 cup ground flaxseeds
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/3 cup molasses, divided
1/4 cup melted Earth Balance
1 teaspoon salt

1. Combine the flour, wheat gluten, and flax, stirring well with a whisk. Reserve this mixture.
2. Combine the yeast, water, and a teaspoon of molasses. Let this mixture sit until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes. Stir in two cups of the flour mixture, cover, and allow this (the "sponge") to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Combine the melted butter, remaining molasses, and salt. Stir this mixture into the sponge. Continue stirring for 100 strokes, or until everything is very well combined.
4. Stir in the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is too difficult to stir with a spoon. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and continue adding the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a smooth, slightly tacky (but not sticky) dough. (You may not use all of the flour mixture -- I had over 1 cup left, so I just stuck it in a container in the freezer, and will use it next time.)
5. Knead the dough for 15 to 20 minutes. (Who needs to lift weights at the gym, anyway?) ;-)
6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, flip the dough over to coat it with the oil, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place, about 1 hour.
7. Punch the dough down and knead for 15 more minutes.
8. Shape the dough and place in your desired pan (make sure the pan is greased and floured well.) (I used a large, 9X5X3-inch loaf pan. You could also make two smaller loaves, a baguette, a boule, whatever.) Cover and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
9. Bake the dough at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes. Immediately remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.
10. Dig in!

I may be baking my own bread in the future, now that I know how to make an edible loaf! Wahoo!


Anonymous said...

Vegan sushi has to be one of the best inventions, ever!

MeloMeals said...

I love brown rice sushi.. I always make it with the sort grained rice... also, I'll bet millet would be a great grain as it can get so sticky..

your bread looks awesome! Adding vital wheat gluten to white whole wheat flour has made all the difference in my loaves.

Anonymous said...

Your sushi always looks so beautiful and impressive!

I love the bread instructions/recipes in the Enchanted Broccoli Forrest--that was what first got me interested in baking bread years ago...I am glad to hear you found a bread recipe that you like and that works!


gc said...

wow all of that looks delicious!!! esp. the sushi : )

Judy said...

I really need to learn how to make my own sushi, I have been craving it so much lately. I will experiment with brown rice too.

The bread however, I am not yet brave enough to attempt.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

wow, the bread, sushi... EVERYTHING looks spectacular - I always love viewing your latest cooking creations! :0)