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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Irish Soda Bread Rounds

Mar 13, 2013 by

After a week of sniffles and being under the weather, I am so glad that it is almost over and I can finally breathe again. I think I really needed some rest and being sick helped me to achieve that a little. It was great to get back into the kitchen and catch up on my cooking and baking. I’m looking forward to a relaxing March break with my family and an awesome Spring! This recipe is a great way to start the season and is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today has got to be one of the best breads I’ve had in a long time. I have baked Irish Soda Bread before, but these little darlings are way better. I couldn’t believe how good they were! I almost kicked myself that I reduced the recipe by half. But then again, I would have had more than I should have. So I suppose it was a good thing. We all enjoyed it very much and both my children raved about how good they were.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 Cup Currants
  • 3/4 Cup Plain Organic Yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 1 Tbsp 2% Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Optional Glaze: 1 Tsp Sugar dissolved in 1 Tsp hot water.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Grease with no-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift in flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in currants
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk egg until frothy
  7. Add yogurt and milk. Whisk to combine
  8. Using a kneading attachment for your mixer, add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture.
  9. Knead for about 5 minutes until fully combined and forms a dough that forms a ball
  10. Remove dough from bowl and add to a well floured surface
  11. Roll into a ball and cut into 4 even quarters
  12. Roll each quarter into a ball and gently press down the centre
  13. Score each ball with an X at the top
  14. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
  15. Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack. Cool for about 15 minutes.
  16. Brush each round with glaze for a sweet crust

Notes

Adapted from Irish Favourites

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/03/irish-soda-bread-rounds/

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds-1

Irish Soda Bread Rounds – Ingredients

 

I made some changes out of necessity. The original recipe called for buttermilk which I did not have. So I substituted with some plain organic yogurt that I had and added a tablespoon of milk to thin it out just a little. Thank goodness I had it ~ I don’t care for plain yogurt very much so this recipe was right on time to use it up. I also used butter  instead of shortening. The dough came together quite well and it was easy to divide it into 4 portions using a sharp knife. I was sure to score the top of each round prior to baking.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds-2

Irish Soda Bread Rounds – Dough, ready for baking

 

I loved that this was a yeast-free bread. The kneading that was required was done by my mixer which truly earns its keep. This was very easy to make and was ready in under an hour.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds_2

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

 

These Irish Soda Bread Rounds are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee. We had ours while it was still warm – it was absolutely delightful with butter. I know my parents would love this. It reminds me a lot of a raisin bread. I chose to brush it with a light sugar/water glaze for a little added sweetness.

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds_3

Irish Soda Bread Rounds – with glaze

 

Irish Soda Bread Rounds_4

Irish Soda Bread Rounds

 

I hope you get to try this recipe. I was so happy with the results. My family enjoyed it and I’d bet yours would too.

~Lyn

 

 

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Roast Chicken With Orange Gremolata #WeekdaySupper

Feb 27, 2013 by

I love being in the kitchen. A while back, cooking used to be a leisurely hobby that I loved to do from the desire to nurture my family. On occasion, I will have the time to prepare wonderful meals that keep me in the kitchen and on my feet for a few hours. Being a stay at home Mother to my children allows me to support my family in a way that only I can, at the moment. As the kids get older and become more active and busy with life outside of the house, my cooking time gets cut down. Soon, I will have to start focusing on how I will prepare meals when I return to the working world. It’s okay if I cook on a Friday night now, but at some point – I’m pretty sure that will become history :-) I will need someone to cook for ME.

#SundaySupper is a movement that encourages families to eat together at least once a week, typically on a Sunday but this could be any day of the week based on a families scheduling. As an extension of #SundaySupper, we are pleased to share with you #WeekdaySupper! We will be sharing quick and easy meals every day of the week. How awesome is that? Today I am sharing with you a #WeekdaySupper that is super easy and flavourful with wonderful fresh ingredients ~ Roast Chicken with Orange Gremolata. I found this lovely recipe in the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. I totally forgot I had it.

What I loved about this recipe the most, is that it used fresh ingredients to season and infuse flavour into the chicken. I didn’t change the ingredients, I just changed how I prepared it. The instructions required me to “grill” and turn each piece every 10 minutes until it was cooked through. Well, this is a mid-week supper. I could be doing something else while the chicken is in the oven. So, I roasted the chicken! Its my favourite way to prepare chicken these days anyhow.

 

Chicken with Orange Gremolata_2

 

WeekdaySupper

Roast Chicken With Orange Gremolata #WeekdaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

This recipe was slightly adapted from Weight Watchers, The New Complete Cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 8 Chicken Thighs, skin on
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Grated zest of an Orange
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil + some to brush over chicken
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • Additional Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375C (Roast)
  2. Prepare Gremolata: In a small bowl, mix parsley, garlic, oil, parsley, cumin, salt and pepper. Reserve 3 tbsp for garnish
  3. Lightly brush chicken with olive oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  4. Place about a teaspoon of the Gremolata under the skin of each chicken thigh.
  5. Roast chicken for about 30-40 minutes or until cooked through
  6. Serve with rice and garnish with fresh gremolata
http://lovelypantry.com/2013/02/roast-chicken-with-orange-gremolata-weekdaysupper/

 

The first question that came to mind when I saw this dish was “What is Gremolata?”. Gremolata is an Italian Condiment that typically consists of Parsley, Lemon Zest, Garlic and Oil. There are many variations, some substituting the parsley for herbs like rosemary, mint, sage or cilantro. Additions may include capers and chopped nuts. Gremolata can be served with pasta, most meats as well as fish. Lots of possibilities with this one. I’m sure I will be trying out some other recipes using Gremolata.

 

Orange Gremolata Ingredients

 

I was surprised how quickly this came together. So fresh and fragrant.

 

Orange Gremolata - ingredients

Orange Gremolata

 

A teaspoon of Gremolata goes a long way. I spread it evenly under the chicken skin.

 

Chicken with Orange Gremolata-3

Roast Chicken with Orange Gremolata

 

Dinner is served in no time. My husband found this meal to be different from what we normally have so I got a nod for choosing this recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

Chicken with Orange Gremolata-4

Roast Chicken With Orange Gremolata

 

Dinner during the week can be easy, flavourful and healthy too. ;-) Enjoy!

 

This Week’s  #WeekdaySupper Recipes:

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Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup for #SundaySupper

Feb 24, 2013 by

Winter is wonderful for many reasons. Sure it is cold, but you get to indulge just a little and have foods that you probably wouldn’t have in warmer weather. I love a good hearty thick soup with texture and things to chew on. But I’m not opposed to a rich flavourful broth filled with goodness. This our Souper #SundaySupper edition. You guessed it ~ its all about soups. We will be sharing soups that can be loved year round. Our lovely host this week is Pam from The Meltaways. Whatever your fancy, we will have a soup for your liking.

I am sharing a soup from a cookbook by Levi Roots called Caribbean Food Made Easy. I adore the soups in this book. The last one I made was Black Bean Soup with Hot Roast Pepper Cream and it was wonderfully delicious. This recipe, Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup, is just as wonderful with a bright colour, rich in beta carotene, fibre and other nutrients. I chose to omit the scotch bonnet pepper this time though. I really wanted the kids to try it :-) A little heat will bring this soup to the next level.

 Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup1

 

Oh, and for those who are unfamiliar with the term “Ital” it is a term mostly used by Rastafarians and means pure and natural (pertaining to food and lifestyle). Ital is a derivative of the word Vital.  Ital Food, is food that is produced from the earth. Ideally, this food is grown without pesticides or as we say in North America, Organic. But aside from that, it is basically a vegetarian way of life. Not all the ingredients in this recipe were organic, but I feel really good about it regardless :-)

 

Ital2

Ital
Image created by Lyn of The Lovely Pantry

 

(I could totally live like this if only I didn’t like a little thing called bacon.)

 

Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup for #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Pure Carrot Juice
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 540ml Can Salt Free Chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cm Chunk of creamed coconut (I used Grace brand Cream of Coconut)
  • 1 Inch Fresh Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, finely minced
  • Leaves from 2 Springs Fresh Thyme (about a tsp)
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach, washed and dried (cut into thin strips just before adding to the soup)
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (optional)
  • A pinch of Black Pepper
  • Fat Free Sour Cream to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, bring carrot juice to a gentle boil. Remove any foam that develops with a spoon and discard.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, chickpeas, creamed coconut, ginger, garlic and thyme.
  3. Cover and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes
  4. Check to see that the sweet potato is soft enough to mash.
  5. Using an immersion blender (or potato masher) blend to your desired consistency
  6. Stir to combine. The soup will be thick. If it is too thick, adjust consistency to your liking by adding more carrot juice
  7. Cover and simmer for about 2 minutes
  8. Shred the spinach
  9. Stir the soup and add the spinach. Cover and simmer for about 5 more minutes.
  10. Add butter and stir before serving
  11. Season with black pepper
  12. Garnish with sour cream (optional)

Notes

Adapted from Caribbean Food Made Easy

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/02/ital-carrot-and-sweet-potato-soup-for-sundaysupper/

 

I used packaged cream of coconut, but if I were in the tropics I would (or perhaps get someone else to) crack open a coconut and get the milk from it!

 

Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup-1

Ingredients to make Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

 

Not often do you hear of a broth being replaced by the juice of a vegetable. I loved that the carrot juice was the base of this soup. Thankfully Organic Carrot Juice is available for purchase. This soup was ready in under an hour. Imagine adding juicing time to that plus clean-up. This way is much better. You may have noticed that salt was not added to this soup. I was tempted to add it but I found that the flavour was great without it! Truly Ital!

 

Ital Carrot & Sweet Potato Prep

Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
Puree using an immersion blender to your desired texture and consistency. Add spinach after blending.

 

I chose to serve this wonderful soup with some homemade bread. I toasted it and added butter while the bread was still hot. Pure bliss! I’ll be sharing the recipe for this very, very special bread soon.

 

Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup-7a

Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

 

Although the sour cream was optional, I enjoyed it so much with this soup!! It was perfect on its own, but the tangy flavour with the natural sweetness of the soup was a great combination. This soup is hubby approved! He loved it and also loved that it was Ital :-)

 

Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup-8a

Ital Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

 

The #SundaySupper team have some amazing soups to share with you. Please take your time and find inspiration from the recipe links below:

Chicken (or other poultry) Soups

 

Beef Soups

 

Pork (or Sausage) Soups

 

Seafood Soups

 

Vegetables Soups

 

Chilled Soups

 

***

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We 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 #SundaySupper hash tag 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.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite healthy recipes with us!

 

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Hawaiian Bread

Jan 31, 2013 by

I did  it!! I got my list of breads that I would like to make, and went for it. I feel so accomplished right now. Making bread has been on my culinary bucket list since forever. I have been quietly saving, comparing, pondering recipes for some time now. Of course, Pinterest is where I store many bread recipes, but I have also been looking in books, magazines and e-books too. You’d be surprised to know how many free Kindle e-books are available on Amazon as a promotion. Either free or cheap. Either way, I’m all over recipe books.

This bread was very different to me. I had no idea how the taste/texture would be but I thought it was pretty cool that pineapple juice was an ingredient. When I took the bread out of the oven, I started taking pictures with my phone. I had to tell my friends and loved ones what I did! This is the kind of news that can’t be kept to myself!

 

Hawaiian Bread

 

Hawaiian Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Cup Flour, Unbleached

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add flour, salt and ginger. Whisk to combine.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla and pineapple juice. Mixing after each addition.
  4. Add proofed yeast and mix in.
  5. Gradually add 2 1/2 Cups of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
  6. Add the remaining flour and mix again.
  7. Transfer to a container and container and cover loosely with saran wrap.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours up to 5 days. (Overnight works well)
  9. Divide your dough in two portions and form into boules by folding the ends underneath and placing on a greased baking sheet - seam side down
  10. Make an "X" at the top of the boule.
  11. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes

Notes

This recipe is from Kindle eBook "Easy, Fabulous Bread Making: A Collection of quick, no-knead, homemade bread recipes" by Barbara Mack

http://lovelypantry.com/2013/01/hawaiian-bread/

 

Ingredients for Hawaiian Bread

Ingredients for Hawaiian Bread

 

Just to clarify, in the photograph above, I have 2 bowls with flour. I split it but realized after that I didn’t need to do two portions.

One of the things I loved about this type of bread, is that it requires no kneading. This is a very important aspect of the recipe for me. Why? Well because kneading wouldn’t be a good thing for me to do. A few months ago, I developed tendonitis in my right thumb joint. So something as simple as writing can be slightly painful. I fully realize that the hours spent on the computer and on my cell phone are wreaking havoc on my hands. My left wrist is showing signs of stress also. I was advised to step away from the computer. Chances of that happening are pretty close to nil, although I have decreased my online activity a little. Less time on the computer doesn’t mean I’m resting though. Because I’m in the kitchen making AWESOME breads like this one!

I was so excited about making this bread that I went ahead and prepped 2 more no-knead breads. That’s another great thing about this recipe. You can prepare from the night before so you can have fresh bread in a jiffy. Also you can store the dough in the freezer for up to 3 months, and take it out as needed. Just allow it to thaw and rise again in the fridge.

I learned something about yeast while making this bread. When using Active Dry Yeast, you have to proof it before you incorporate it into the batter otherwise the dough wont rise. Lesson learned. No more wasting ingredients!

Proofing your yeast

In a small bowl, add 1 package of active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 Tsp). Add 1 Tsp sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes. If the mixture starts to foam and increases in volume, you can use it in your recipe. If it doesn’t foam, discard it. I added the yeast to the wet ingredients just before adding the dry ingredients.

 

 Hawaiian Bread Prep Collage2

 

Is this bread perfect? I’m not sure. It’s my first homemade bread. It tasted much different from the commercially made bread that I have become accustomed to. But I’ve always heard that once you start making bread at home, you may not want to go back to store-bought bread. We’ll see!  I probably don’t have the perfect technique when it comes to bread making yet, but I’m looking forward to learning more and most definitely baking more. I can’t wait to make the second portion of this recipe. And then some other recipes from the eBook.

 

Hawaiian Bread Slice2

 I’m really happy.

No no-knead recipe is safe now that I’ve made my first bread.

I’m sooooo doing the happy dance right now.

 

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