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August 2006 - Vital Signs ….. A Circle of Wheat; A Never Ending Mystery…

August 2006 Issue - Vital Signs ….. A Circle of Wheat; A Never Ending Mystery…..

!!! FREE!!! Sourdough Starter

!!! FREE!!! The Skinny on Sourdough Baking

San Francisco Sourdough Bread
Be sure to wear some flour in your hair. The classic sourdough loaf which if you make it in New York becomes New York Sourdough, or Baltimore Sourdough, Macon, Bute, or Montreal Sourdough. Regardless of where your sourdough was born, it will morph into yet another worthy native son or daughter of a sourdough, as you feed it local flour and water. It’s all authentic but SF and the Gold Rush made it famous.

Friendship Starter Crumb Cake
Sourdough starter makes this amazing coffeecake especially moist and lofty. Friendship starters used to be passed around to make more cakes. Just make and share some of this cake (forget sharing the starter) and you will make new friends sure enough.

Sourdough Pancakes With Blueberries
A tangy batter for high rising pancakes and waffles. Crowd-pleasing, these make an occasion of a lazy August breakfast. Anything without sourdough starter in it seems to be disproportionately better with a little sourdough starter in it….which is more than you can say about things with capers in them!

!!! FREE !!! Slow Rise Sourdough Pizza Dough With Molini Pizzuti ’00’
Flour Ready-when-you-are pizza dough that bakes up into a spectacular crust! This rustic pizza dough has the slow rise thing down cold. Use a starter you have on hand or a quick sponge that you whip up 2 hours before. Either way, you will get crisp, holey pizza that a will have the neighborhood pizzeria at your door, begging you for the recipe. Check out the Complete Recipe Archives for tons of pizza ideas and how’to’s. .

Friday Night Sour Dough Challah
Once upon a time, in the ‘Yeast’, even challah relied on a sourdough starter. This is one challah for the ages. Manna indeed.

Gold Rush Sour Dough Biscuits
Cloud-like biscuits, light and homey, made the way they were in the Gold Rush days. Big, Fat, Crusty, Golden, Amazing – you want more incentive? Talk to Tony Robbins. These are the best biscuits Bar None.

Klondike Biscuits Bread Pudding ‘N Southern Comfort Cream
Heavens to Betsy! This is how to get rid of leftover biscuits (do they exist?) and morph them into a bistro dessert. Flaky biscuits bathed in custard and baked into sweet oblivion. Cue the BBQ dinner, surprise them with this dessert. You can make it ahead and serve warm, cold or reheat it gently and offer a stream of warm dulce de leche on the side.

More Mysterious Baking

Crop Circle Monstrous Cookies
These are about the size of a mini crop circle. Huge gobs of this incredible cookie batter, chock full of you-name-in results in showstopper cookies. One cookie feeds a family of four. There is no mystery to why these cookies disappear for they only they taste only as great as they look. Sure, you can make these smaller but why?

Smash Peach Pie
The sleeper recipe of this issue. Peach is the flavor of the month but you can make an apple or almost any other sort of Smash Pie you like. This is ridiculously easy (try the Apple Cranberry Original Smash Pie in the Archives). There are never any leftovers.

Impossible Brownie Pie
Dump in a few ingredients; bake up some chocolate magic. Impossibly decadent fudgey pie in minutes. Cue ice-cream and fudge sauce; expect curtain calls. Impossible pies heralded the arrival of Bisquick © which is a flour, baking powder, salt and shortening mix – a baking convenience product (circa 50 or 60’s) that made for quick biscuits, cakes and pancakes. Impossible referred to the quick and easy method (usually all ingredients were dumped in a blender and whizzed up in seconds), as well as the novelty of pies that went into a pan as a batter and baked into a layered sort of pudding/pie. If you like this, you love Caramel Impossible Pie.

Buried Treasure Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Ah, the mystery of buried treasure in the bakery! These are extra rich muffins which makes them part of the cupcake kingdom but they are muffin-easy. A golden batter hides a dollop or raspberry jam (or apricot) and then it is all topped with a halo of cream cheese batter and anointed with some flour-butter streusel.

Seven Layer Magic Bars
Ain’t ‘7’ good luck or something? Is that magic, Tarot or Poker? These are great bars of sweet, chocolate fudge goodness.

Some More Super Summery Recipes

Black Cherry Biscotti
Dark, glamorous cherries stud this almond scented biscotti batter. It also includes a (optional) mystery spice and a cherry-sugar coating that makes these gourmet quality. If you prefer, substitute sour cherries for sweet ones. It’s all good.

Beach Plum Scones
Chunks of red, tart and sweet plums stand out in a vanilla scented scone base. They puff up into golden scone pillows, nicely topped with spiced sugar. Good with Santa Rosa or Damson Plums.

BB’s Original © Canadian Beaver Tails
Fried dough doesn’t get any better.

Deli Style Brined Pickles
You know you want to make a batch. The real deal and like, pickles are just about calorie free.

Orchard Field Preserves
Just the best jam you will ever make. My secret recipe and the jam that takes the blue ribbon –just name the place, the state or province fair, time and season – I’ll be there with a jar of this.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
The corn is high; the recipe is nigh.

!!!Free!!! Milk Bath Sweet Corn
One of my most requested recipes. A simply great way to serve summery sweet corn.

1960’s Copycat Catalina Dressing
This is the only thing that induces me to eat iceberg lettuce. It’s not as sophisticated as a French vinaigrette – it is rather campy but it is also a fun and easy recipe replica to make it at home. Bright orange, nicely garlic and onion-y, don’t tell Kraft you’ve been crafty!



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