Jamaican Hard Dough Bread & Gratitude

Sep 5, 2013 by

It has been a few weeks since I’ve been in this space. It took a few inquiries to realize how long it has really been since my last post. Funny how time flies when you’re having fun! I’m truly happy to get back to some sort of “normal” as my life is falling into a new routine. In life’s many twists and turns, there is never a dull moment. Through it all, one thing for sure that I have learned is to always live in gratitude. I’m grateful to be able to share a post with you today.

Upon realization that I would have to spend my summer in Canada, I decided that this summer had to be special. A summer filled with firsts – my favourite kind of experience. There’s no use dwelling on how things used to be. Things are changing, so its time to embrace what is coming and smile while you’re at it. Earlier this year, I was suffering with a bout of chronic pain and I vowed to feel better before my birthday. I spent weeks in physiotherapy and made some major changes to my diet. No joke – I even gave up baking for a few months. I also limited my consumption of grains/legumes and reduced my wheat intake drastically. I started to feel different and also look different. Which was perfect considering one of my favourite experiences this summer was participating in Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival – Caribana. Yes, I did it. I put on a costume and walked (and sometimes danced) for hours, all the while praying that I would not suffer too much when it was all over. I’m grateful that I had an awesome, pain-free experience.

I have more things to be grateful for. I have a houseful of students! My husband has been on a course for quite some time now. My son just started First Grade and my daughter is officially in Kindergarten. Oh, and there’s more. I also returned to school. Can you believe it? I’m officially a University student! So many changes are happening all in one go. If I thought I was busy before, well I guess life just got busier. We all have to run with it and try not to get overwhelmed. We are doing exactly what needs to be done. This is indeed a September like no other!

Now that the summer is over, I can reminisce on food from home and maybe even steal some time to whip up a few things. I could not wait to try this Jamaican Hard Dough Bread recipe by Enid Donaldson. There is no bread that compares with authentic Jamaican Hard Dough Bread. I am fully aware that I’m biased, but I need you to understand. Jamaican Hard Dough Bread is the TRUTH! You just can’t go wrong! Although I don’t eat as much bread as I used to, I will still bake from time to time and share my experience. The occasional slice will be just enough for me.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_0

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread – The Lovely Pantry

 

For those who are not familiar with Hard Dough (or “Hardo Bread” as we call it) please allow me to provide a sort description. Hard Dough bread may be considered a true staple in Jamaican fare. It is a basic white bread. There are whole wheat versions available too as a healthier alternative. Hard Dough Bread is a rich, dense, chewy textured bread that can be eaten at any time of the day. It can be enjoyed with the following meals: Ackee & Saltfish, Steamed Callalloo (similar to spinach), Corned Beef (in a sandwich, if you like), Cheese, Jerked Chicken, Jerked Pork, Fried Fish, Avocado, Fried Eggs, your favourite porridge, Jamaican Hot Chocolate, your favourite fruit preserve (I LOVED Guava Jelly on my Hardo Bread), French Toast, or even just a slice with butter – you name it, it works well. Just trust me on this one. You can’t go wrong.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 Loaves

Ingredients

  • 2lbs All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Tsp Instant Dry Yeast
  • 4 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cups Water

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt
  2. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers) incorporate the butter into the flour mixture
  3. Gradually add water and knead for about 15 minutes using the kneading attachment of your mixer
  4. Remove from the mixing bowl and form into a boule
  5. Place dough into a well greased bowl and cover with a towel for at least 40 minutes
  6. Preheat oven to 375F
  7. Remove the risen dough to a floured surface. Divide into two equal parts then shape dough to fit into 2 well greased loaf pans
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Notes

Adapted from The Real Taste Of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/09/jamaican-hard-dough-bread-gratitude/

 

I saw the ingredients and loved how easy it was to prepare. However, I thought the suggested quantity of butter was not enough for 2 loaves, in my opinion. Being the rebel that I am, I added more butter. Yes. Yes I did.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_2

Ingredients for Jamaican Hard Dough Bread (water not shown)

 

I loved that I didn’t have to get too physical with this dough. Cutting in the butter was the step that used the most energy.

 Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_3

 

My handy-dandy dough kneading attachment did the hard work for me.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_4

 

The dough did not rise too much, but you could definitely see a change in volume.

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_5a

The dough is placed in a bowl, generously greased with butter

 

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_6

The dough is divided evenly and placed in 2 loaf pans

 

Both loaves turned out perfectly. I have no complaints whatsoever. We all enjoyed this bread very much. The next time I make it, I will have to give a loaf away. It’s too good not to share!

 

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_8

Jamaican Hard Dough Bread – The Lovely Pantry

 

As much as I love Hard Dough Bread, I haven’t found any in local stores that taste great to me. Usually the bread is just too hard or has a weird texture. Although this bread isn’t as dense as the “Hardo Bread” I know and love, it is a great alternative. I will wait until I am in Jamaica to fully enjoy my Hard Dough Bread. But until my next visit, I will gladly use this recipe and have freshly baked Hard Dough Bread whenever I’m in the mood.

 

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Financiers with a Summer Berry Salad for #SundaySupper

Jun 2, 2013 by

I’m so excited to be joining #SundaySupper again after what seems to be a very long time. I have missed you all, and all the interaction that comes along with blogging! Life has a funny way of forcing you to slow down, so I did the  best thing for me – I slowed all the way down. I’m getting stronger and well enough to get back into the blogging spirit and share some wonderful recipes with you. Today’s recipe is a good one. So simple and light, you’ll love it. The theme for today’s #SundaySupper is Summer Berries and well, lets just say that we haven’t been short on berries around here recently. Whether fresh or frozen, we have berries for either a quick snack or for smoothies. Our host today is Nicole from Daily Dish Recipes!

One  thing that I would love to accomplish this summer, is taking my children berry picking. I don’t have a preference of what berry…I just really want to pick! I am getting excited at the thought of picking strawberries and freezing them for smoothies, or baking with them. I know my kids will absolutely love that experience. I’m also looking forward to my first trip for the season to my local Farmer’s Market! I went the year before last and had a blast! I’ll let you all know when I get to go, because no doubt, I will have my camera with me to capture all the beautiful Ontario produce.

So back to todays recipe, Financiers with a Summer Berry Salad. The salad is so easy to make and such a wonderful way to enjoy your berries.  Financiers are French in origin and are basically mini cakes made with almond flour. They are very light, moist and every time I make them, they always seem to be finished too soon. The berries are the perfect accompaniment to the sweet, almond infused mini-muffins.

 Financiers with Summer Berry Salad_1

 

Financiers with a Summer Berry Salad for #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • For the Financiers:
  • 4 Tbsp Egg whites (or the whites from 2 eggs)
  • 60g Confectioners Sugar
  • 25g Ground Almonds
  • 25g All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
  • For the Summer Berry Salad:
  • 1 Cup Raspberries
  • 2/3 Cup Blueberries
  • 1 Cup Strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Confectioners Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed
  3. Fold in the sugar, ground almonds, flour and butter
  4. Divide evenly in silicone mini-muffin cups (about 2 tbsp batter in each cup)
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes
  6. Allow muffins to cool completely before removing from silicone cups
  7. In a small bowl, place strawberries, blueberries and most of the raspberries. Reserve about a third cup.
  8. Using a very fine sieve, press the reserved raspberries through in order to extract the juice and add to the bowl.
  9. Sift confectioners sugar into the bowl and then gently fold to combine.
  10. Serve with the Financiers. Fruits can either be chilled first or left at room temperature.
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/06/financiers-with-a-summer-berry-salad-for-sundaysupper/

 

I truly adore summer berries. I have such an appreciation for them because growing up in Jamaica, these berries are imported and are quite expensive. I only enjoyed and indulged in these fruits when I travelled to the U.S. for summer holidays. I personally prefer baking with blueberries. I like raspberries as prepared in this recipe. But I will eat strawberries all day long. This season, I will get my heart’s desire!

 

BerriesCollage_1

Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries

 

I prefer to make my fruit salad in advance and have it chilled so it can be served once the financiers are cool.

 

Summer Berry Salad Collage_1

 

I recommend using silicone mini-muffin cups for this recipe. I tried making it directly in the muffin pan twice, and got poor results each time. The edges were slightly overdone and became rather hard once cooled. I got the best results using the silicone cups.

 

Financiers with Summer Berry Salad-40

Financiers – just out of the oven

 

These financiers are excellent on their own, but they go so nicely with fruit. We have also had financiers with raspberry jam, and it is just as nice.

 

Financiers with Summer Berry Salad-12-2_1

Financiers

 

 

Financiers with Summer Berry Salad-19_1

Financiers with Summer Berry Salad

 

 

Financiers with Summer Berry Salad-20_1

Financiers with Summer Berry Salad

 

Find inspiration for summer berries from the #SundaySupper members in the links below. Pin the ones you know for sure are keepers. Share your favourites on Facebook! Lets get into the summer spirit!

I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe. It’s a favourite in my home and I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

 

***

Breakfast & Brunch

Sweet & Savory Berry Recipes

Jams, Jelly, Sauces & More

Desserts

Cocktails, Drinks & Smoothies

Party Planning

***

sunday supper Sneak Peek: 45+ Fabulous Summer Berry Recipes for #SundaySupper

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday, April 14th to talk all about movies that have inspired us to head into the kitchen – and the food that comes from that inspiration (7pm EST)!  We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.   Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag, and include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

 ** Look what we’re sponsoring! Come join us in sunny Orlando, this July! **

Learn more at www.foodandwineconference.com

FINALFW date Sneak Peek: 45+ Fabulous Summer Berry Recipes for #SundaySupper

 You really DON’T want to miss it!

 

 

 

 

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Portuguese Sweet Bread {No Knead}

Feb 13, 2013 by

I think I’ve been converted. As I told both my Brother and my Best Friend…we will never go hungry – Lyn knows how to make BREAD! Why is it that I did not take the plunge sooner? Every bread recipe that I see now, I take a second glance to see if its one that I can do. My husband has even started to request bread with specific ingredients. Well, ‘scuse me Mister! When did I become the bread lady? Ok fine…*taking notes* He knows I’ll try :-)

I am a true lover of bread. Give me bread and butter and I’ll be okay. I grew up in a bread household. If there was anything that we always had – it was bread. And for that, I’m thankful. I’m also thankful for the Kindle book that I got from Amazon with all these wonderful bread recipes. Its called Easy Fabulous Bread Making. A Collection of quick, no knead, homemade bread recipes. I feel that it has helped me jump right into bread making, giving me the confidence as a beginner to make fresh bread at home! I like the technique, so when I’m good with this, I can move on providing that my wrists can take the pressure. Bring on the BREAD!

Today I’m sharing a bread that we fell in love with. The texture, the flavour – it was lovely. I forgive myself for the really thick slice that I cut for a late night snack. Portuguese Sweet Bread – I heart you!

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread

 

 

Portugese Sweet Bread {No Knead}

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 1 Tsp Yeast (Active Dry)

Instructions

  1. Proof your yeast
  2. In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar and eggs until combined.
  3. Add milk, then mix.
  4. Add activated yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
  5. Gradually combine flour and salt until fully incorporated
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and cover loosely with saran wrap
  7. Store in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours up to 5 days
  8. When ready to bake
  9. Preheat oven to 375
  10. Remove from fridge and place on a well floured surface. The dough will be sticky.
  11. With well floured hands, stretch ends underneath a few times to create a boule. Place the boule seam side down on a well oiled baking sheet. Cover for about 30 minutes.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes
  13. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
  14. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/02/portuguese-sweet-bread-no-knead/

 

This bread seemed easy enough to just mix by spoon. But it was a breeze using my standing mixer. This dough takes no time to come together.

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread Collage

 

The exterior is crusty but not hard. The bread itself – soft, chewy, slightly sweet and an absolute delight to the palate. Perfect with butter or cream cheese.

 

Portuguese Sweet Bread Sliced

 

I love that I just popped a slice in the toaster and topped it with cheesy scrambled eggs. Breakfast has never been so satisfying. One centre slice goes a long way!

 

Toasted Portuguese Sweet Bread, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Bacon

Toasted Portuguese Sweet Bread, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Bacon

 

Funny how bacon seems to be making an appearance quite often these days…

 

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Stamp and Go! {Jamaican Codfish Fritters} for #SundaySupper

Feb 3, 2013 by

Today is a BIG #SundaySupper. Its Superbowl Sunday and we have so many good dishes for this spectacular occasion. It’s spectacular for a few reasons. If you love American Football, then you’ve probably been eagerly anticipating this day. If you love food, well there will certainly no shortage of food today. If you’re like me, you’ll be looking forward to the Superbowl commercials and the half-time performance. Yes, that really is all that I’m looking forward to. Well that and these Jamaican Codfish Fritters! It’s a wonderful snack or side dish/appetizer and is one of my favourite Jamaican treats. My Grandmother used to make these fritters for me. I just loved them. The saltiness of the Codfish will always win me over. I made them for the first time and now I’m in fritter heaven!

 

Stamp & Go_Codfish Fritters_1

 

My recipe today was taken from my very special Jamaican cookbook by Enid Donaldson, “The Real Taste Of Jamaica”. This book has not failed me yet! I’m comforted knowing that it keeps me close to home for so many occasions including game time!

 

Stamp and Go! {Jamaican Codfish Fritters}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Salted (deboned) Codfish
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Onions, Finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Stalks Escallion, finely sliced
  • 2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, finely chopped (I omitted this ingredient)
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil + more for frying
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Soak codfish overnight in water or bring to a boil twice (for 12-15 minutes), draining and adding fresh water after each boil.
  2. Drain and rinse the codfish under running cold water
  3. Using a fork or your fingers, flake the codfish into small pieces, taking care to remove any remaining bones
  4. To a small skillet, add oil and allow to get hot. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes and escallions. Sautee until soft about 5 minutes. Add black pepper then combine. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  5. Add codfish to the seasonings. Stir to combine
  6. In a medium bowl, add flour and baking powder. Stir to incorporate
  7. add codfish mixture to the flour and stir to combine.
  8. Add water gradually, mixing by hand until a firm but loose batter is achieved
  9. Add by about 3 tbsp at a time and fry in oil at medium heat on both sides (about 3-5 mins) until golden brown and cooked through
  10. Transfer to absorbent paper towels to get rid of any excess oil.
  11. Transfer to a platter and serve warm
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/02/stamp-and-go-jamaican-codfish-fritters-for-sundaysupper/

 

For those who are not familiar with Salted Cod/Cod Fish/Salt Fish – this is what it looks like straight out of the package. This looks pretty nice compared to what I grew up seeing. This is from an 11oz package. I used half of it to make this recipe. I got mine from the local West Indian Market but I have seen it in the regular supermarket also.

 

Stamp_and_Go_Salted Codfish

Salted Cod Fish direct from packaging

 

I remember having to flake codfish on a Saturday night in preparation for Ackee & Salt Fish on Sunday morning before church. The fish we had then wasn’t as refined and certainly was not de-boned. I had to use my fingers and flake while removing bones from the fish. Not a glamorous task at all. But I love Saltfish so it had to be done. I would flake the fish while my Mom would prepare the dumpling dough.

Once the fish has been boiled twice, taste the fish to see if it is to your liking. You don’t want to boil out all the salt. It should in fact still be salty. Keep in mind that it is going to be placed in a batter that will likely reduce the saltiness. Here is what the codfish looks like once cooled and flaked.

 

Stamp_and_Go_Codfish_Fritters-3

Flaked Cod Fish

 

 

Stamp_and_Go_Codfish_Fritters_ingredients

Lets make Stamp & Go!

 

While sautéing the seasoning, you will notice the wonderful fragrance as they combine. I decided not to add Scotch Bonnet pepper this time but I’m sure I will the next time. I added black pepper instead.

 

Stamp & Go_ Seasoning + Fish

Sautee the onion, garlic, tomatoes and escallions. Combine with codfish.

 

Creating the batter was interesting. The recipe did not state how much water to use. I added 1/4 Cup of water at a time until I arrived at a nice consistency. I tested out a fritter to see how it came out after adding a cup of water to the batter. I only needed half a cup more to get it right. Fry these fritters at medium heat. And do not leave the skillet unattended while browning these fritters.

 

Stamp & Go_Prep

 

Wouldn’t you like to see these on your Superbowl party platter?  These are a definite crowd pleaser.

 

Stamp_and_Go_Codfish_Fritters_platter

Codfish Fritter Platter

Grab yourself a plate and dig in!

 

Stamp_and_Go_Codfish_Fritters_plate

Jamaican Cod Fish Fritters, also known as Stamp & Go

 

Be sure to visit the rest of the #SundaySupper team to see the amazing game day buffet items.

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Appetizers & Snacks:

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Main Dishes:

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Desserts:

 

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Tablescape:  10 Tips For A Winning Superbowl Buffet Table from An Appealing Plan

***

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, February 3rd to talk all about our Super Bowl Recipes!

We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.

Follow the #SundaySupperhashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos!

 

 

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Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

Jan 29, 2013 by

You have no idea how excited I get when I find a good recipe. I mean a really good recipe. One that I wouldn’t mind having in weekly rotation. A recipe that is surprisingly pleasant to the palate. A recipe that is easy to make and works well when you really don’t know what on earth you are going to make for dinner tonight. I’ve had a few nights like that recently.

My friends, as simple as this recipe is, I think its lovely. I even managed to get my son to eat it. He questioned the mushrooms for a moment (I didn’t put a lot in his plate) but he finished his serving quite happily. I LIVE for moments like that!! I can’t wait for my daughter to follow suit and actually enjoy food. My husband enjoyed it immensely and  I will say, it is hard to impress him if there is no meat on his plate!

 

Mushroom & Bacon Pasta_1

 

Mushroom & Bacon Pasta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 12oz Rigatoni
  • 4 Slices Bacon
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8oz Porcini Mushrooms
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 3 Tbsp Mascarpone
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions
  2. In a large hot skillet, add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel to absorb oil. Chop bacon into bits
  3. In the same skillet, add olive oil
  4. Add onion, thyme and garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes on medium high heat.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes
  6. Add broth and bring to a gentle boil. Add mascarpone and stir to combine
  7. Drain pasta and add to skillet
  8. Toss until combined and coated in the creamy sauce
  9. Transfer to serving plates and sprinkle generously with parmesan

Notes

Adapted from Prevention.com

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/01/mushroom-bacon-pasta/

 

I guess I cheated and added bacon to this dish. Bacon is the magical ingredient that seems to give (almost) any dish the upper hand. I had a vision and I ran with it. I adapted a Mushroom Pasta recipe and decided to add bacon because I thought it would pair nicely with the mushrooms. I also substituted white wine for chicken broth.

 

Mushrooms in skillet with chicken broth and mascarpone

Mushrooms in skillet with chicken broth and mascarpone

 

I’ll be honest, mushrooms are not my favourite food. But in a recipe like this? I will have it and I will enjoy it. I love a good pasta dish. This certainly satisfied any carb cravings I had. I also loved how the mascarpone just melted into the broth and gave it such a creamy sauce-like texture…without the cream! Brilliant!

 

Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

 

I’m always looking for easy meals that can nourish and satisfy. I believe this is definitely one of them.

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