Sunday, June 22, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

For me, shortcake is an essential summer staple.  You start the season with strawberries, then move on to blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and peaches.  You can leave the rhubarb out if you want (but might need to splash in a little more soy milk), but it does add some nice flavour.  Frozen rhubarb would work well here as well--just let it thaw a bit so you can chop it up.

- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp coconut oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped rhubarb
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, plus more for brushing
- sugar for sprinkling

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in coconut oil with knives or a pastry cutter.  Place bowl in the freezer to cool down the coconut oil.
2. Add the vinegar to a 1 cup measure (the kind that has markings for other measurements as well).  Fill to the 3/4 cup mark with non-dairy milk (almond works very well) and mix.  Place in the freezer as well.
3. Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. When the oven is almost heated, add chopped rhubarb to the dry ingredients, then mix the liquid ingredients in to make a wet dough.  Transfer to a floured surface, lightly flour top of dough, and press into a rectangle with your fingers.  Use a pastry scraper to fold like a letter.  Rotate 90 degrees and repeat.
5. Press/roll into a larger rectangle and cut into squares.  The size of the pieces, and the thickness of the dough, is up to you.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Brush with non-dairy milk and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake for 12-14 mins, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Potato Buns

This is my second staple recipe for the summer (now that you have your roasted tofu): big, soft buns that you can pile whatever comes off the grill onto.  This is a variation on my Everyday Whole Wheat Bread, so watch that video if it helps.  Adding potato makes for nice soft bread, and if you use Yukon Gold or the like, they will add a nice golden colour to the buns.

- 18 fl oz warm soy milk
- 3 oz mashed potato (see note below*)
- 17 oz white bread flour
- 1 tbsp instant yeast

- 13 oz white bread flour
- 2.25 tsp salt
- 4.5 tbsp sugar
- 3 oz oil
- potato flour for dusting

1. Make the soaker: Add the mashed potato to the warm soy milk and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.  Add to flour and yeast in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is hydrated.  Cover the bowl and let rise for 1 hour.
2. Make the dough: Add the rest of the ingredients to the soaker and bring together into a soft, slightly tacky, dough.  Knead until smooth, adjusting flour or liquid as needed.  Shape dough into a ball and place into a oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.
3. Divide the dough into 12 pieces.  Shape in boules, then press down the boules, seam side up, into a hockey puck shape. Place on a surface lightly floured with potato flour, mist with spray oil, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise until almost doubled, about 40 mins.
4.  Flip the buns over and gently press down with your fingertips to shape them back into hockey pucks.  Don't deflate the dough, just gently reshape it.  Mist with spray oil, dust with potato flour.  Slice the tops of the buns with a sharp knife, at least 1/3 of the way into the buns, and cover again.
5. Heat the oven to 400 degrees with one rack in the top third of the oven, once rack in the bottom third.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. When the buns have risen (about 20-30 mins) carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 8 mins, then rotate the pans and switch racks.  Bake for another 8 mins.  Cool on racks and enjoy!

*Note: I prefer to boil whole potatoes with the skin on so that the starch stays in the potato.  Skin and mash the potato when it is done.  If you are pressed for time, peel and cut the potato and boil it, but reduce the soy milk by an ounce.  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Roasted Tofu

This is a fantastic recipe that can be the basis for many a meal this summer.  It is great as an actual roast (you could glaze it if you want), or sliced up cold on a sandwich, or smothered in BBQ sauce.  You could put the tofu in a smoker instead of roasting it.  

- 1 pkg extra firm tofu (pressed, if you want)
- 3 tbsp margarine

- 2 cups cold water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp smoked or seasoned salt

- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom 
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar

- few dashes liquid smoke

1. Mix together brine ingredients.  Submerge the whole block of tofu in the brine and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  
2. Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Heat the margarine in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Brown each side of the tofu then place in the prepared baking dish.  Pour whatever liquid is left in the pan over the tofu.
4. Bake for 40 mins, basting the tofu every 10 mins.
5. Let cool for 10 mins, then slice and serve. 
Sliced roasted tofu, pan-fried, smothered in BBQ sauce, topped with slaw.