Craig and Marty Luetkemyer came to visit and we did a little Halloween baking. Since Halloween means chocolate, we made chocolate chunk bread from More Breaking Bread with Father Dominic, the cookbook from season three. I didn't have any block chocolate, but I'm trying to use up a FIFTY pound bag of semi-sweet mini-chips someone gave me, so we used those. I'm guessing that the change won't matter to the monks at breakfast! Want to try it yourself? Click here for the link to the recipe.
Finally got back to baking after a couple of weeks of work on the Homecoming Variety Show. I decided to renew my sourdough starters and then make some multigrain waffles to put into the freezer for those mornings when the selection on the breakfast cart looks a little thin. I generally warm these in halves using the wide- slot toaster rather than the microwave, because I like a little crunch on the edges. There was some Cream of Wheat leftover from breakfast a few days ago, so I whisked it into the batter along with wheat germ, wheat bran, cornmeal and quick cooking oatmeal. If you want to know more about care and feeding of sourdough starters and how to use them on waffles, pancakes and biscuits, you can get my sourdough workshop notes and recipes by clicking here.
I also made some honey oatmeal bread this afternoon, for no other reason than because it's a monastery favorite. In fact, it's the recipe that people most often tell me is their family's favorite as well. Try it for yourself by downloading the recipe here, and let me know what your family thinks. Remember that fully cooked bread is usually 190 to 195 degrees F., but a multigrain bread--especially this one--needs to be baked to 200 to 205 degrees F. or you'll find it a bit doughy and/or yeasty in the middle.
A few days ago a friend contacted me on Facebook to ask if I had ever made pretzel bread. I had made lots of pretzels, but pretzel bread was at that time still on the bucket list. But as of Sunday evening, it's been checked off. Here's a link to the recipe I used:
The inside of the bread is incredibly soft, but the outside was not as crusty as I hoped. Next timeI think I'll turn the oven off once they reach the appropriate interior temperature (190 to 195 degrees F.) but leave them in the oven for another 10 minutes or so to make the crust a little chewier.
Special thanks to Lynn for the photos!
We tested the bread with butter, as well as cheddar cheese, but I think it cries out for a garlic beef and smoked provolone sandwich, or maybe mortadella, genoa salami. and deli ham with sweet hot mustard, or maybe roast turkey with cream cheese and chutney or maybe . . .
This is the Spinach Pesto Pizza we made for the monks.
I had three freshmen out to the abbey kitchen last night for their first experience of home made pizza. The photos pretty much tell the whole story.
Want the recipe for Spinach Pesto?
Wow, did we ever have a great time at this event! About 160 people attended, and the luncheon they serve was excellent. Many of the Knights dressed up in tuxes to serve, and the whole event was marvelously well organized. I didn't take any pictures myself, since I was too busy with the demo and talking to guests, but I sure enjoyed myself--and by all accounts, so did everyone else!
Fr. Dominic Garramone AKA