Johnny Cake

When my sister and I were growing up our father worked out of town a lot. We only got to see him a couple times a year usually but when we did it was always a special treat. One of my fondest memories growing up was one morning waking up to the smell of some kind of corn bread wafting through the house. I came downstairs and my dad had made something called Johnny Cake for breakfast. What? Cake for breakfast? I was sold.

Now on some of those rare mornings I have time I throw together this simple recipe and then smother it with butter and maple syrup for an amazing breakfast treat.

If you ever feel like something other than pancakes and waffles definitely try this recipe out, eat it warm, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup oil

Sift all the dry ingredients together, make a well in the centre. Blend all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add to the dry ingredients. Fold together only until clear. Put into greased 13×9 inch pan and bake for about 25 minutes at 425F. You could also add cheese, sweet corn, or even sausage if you so please.

Serve warm with pure maple syrup and some butter and you have cake for breakfast!

johnnnny

 

Preserving Bananas in the Freezer: Which is the Best Way?

I’m a huge fan of banana bread. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, but I hated having to wait for bananas to get ripe. Recently, I learned that freezing bananas makes them ripen to the perfect level of mushiness for banana bread– after they’re thawed, of course.

However, that begs the question: what is the best way to freeze bananas? I did a little experiment to find out the perfect way to store whole, fresh bananas in the freezer. I took three bananas, and put one in a bag in the peel, one in the freezer in only its peel, and one out of its peel in a bag.

After leaving them in the freezer for a few weeks, I took them out and let them thaw. Due to not being in the peel, the flesh of the peeled banana was darker than the flesh of the bananas still in peel.

Once thawed, they all seemed to have the same give when touched. I began trying to peel the first one, out of bag and in peel. And, well…

It wasn’t easy. I had to resort to cutting it open, and the same thing happened with the one in peel in bag. The bag caused no difference in the two bananas.

The peeled banana was the easiest to deal with, simply sliding out of the baggie. All three bananas squished the same, and the only difference between them was the colour after they were all peeled and placed in the bowl.

The verdict? Peeling bananas before freezing them is beneficial, if only for the ease of use afterwards. The peel really makes no difference, other than level of difficulty getting it out. So if you’re going to freeze bananas, peel them beforehand. Then simply mash them up, and use!

Now go make something delicious!

Cheese Pizza

Made a Cheese pizza using a recipe/formula using the Nait (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) baking formula book. Super easy to make. amazing flavor and great texture.

This cheese pizza is a bit different though on how its made. it has a overnight Biga preferment in it, to find out more on what a preferment is, go too http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/preferments.html

Here is the formula in weight

  • -All purpose flour 175g
  • -Water 122g  -salt 4g
  • -fresh yeast is 3g (if you do not have it. multiply 3x 0.4. that will give you fresh yeast too dry yeast sumstitute. so it will be 1.2g dry yeast
  • -Olive oil 11g
  • biga preferment 70g
  • Preferment
  • All purpose flour 44g
  • h20 26g
  • fresh yeast 1g

This gives you a total weight of 385g.

Steps on how to make this greatness

  1.  gather ingredients
  2. To make preferment mix ingrediants place into a container that is sealed tight in a room temperature area for minimum 12 hours. not over 16 hours.
  3. Next day ready to make pizza, get the h20 that is 122g, mix it with the preferment to release it from the container too the mixer
  4. after the Preferment biga is in the mixer. Dump all other ingredients in mixer
  5. Mix on first speed for 2-3 minutes. then 4 minutes on 2nd speed or till gluten window

http://www.thekitchn.com/bakers-techniques-how-to-do-th-70784

  • After the dough is mixed, take out and round the dough too a ball.
  • Put in a container, covered in plastic wrap for 1 1/2 hours in room temperature to rest.
  • After done resting, take out container, lightly flatten the dough (degass) and then cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes to rest
  • after rest, roll to proper circle size, place any type of sauce you want with any topping. (I did tomato/suracha sauce with cheese)

Bake in oven on 150c or 300F for 20-30 minutes.

 

 

 

History of Choux Paste

Choux Paste is a cooked Paste made mainly with water, butter, flour and eggs. It is also to base for desserts such as eclairs and profiteroles. The Paste has had a lot of modifications  over time to get where it is today.

choux-pastry-step5The paste was first invented in 1540, seven years after Catherine de Medici left Italy to marry Henry II in France. When Catherine left Italy she brought along her entire court including her chefs. A chef she brought with her, named Pantanelli, invented a cooked paste that dried to make a gateaux (cake). Seeing as it was Pantanelli that created the paste, it was first named pâté à Pantanelli.

Of course over time the recipe changed and so did the name, the next notable change was made by Pantanelli’s successor Popelini. Popelini played with the recipe and change the name to pâte à Popelin, with his version of the paste he used it to make a cake from the called a Popelin.

During the 18th century , the paste started to become similar to the paste we use today when a Pâtissier named Avice modified the recipe and made choux buns. As his buns had a cabbage-like resemblance he named his recipe Pâte à Choux, which is the name still currently used for the paste.

Following avice, the recipe changed once again when Antonin Carême perfected the recipe in the 19th Century. Antonin used it to create some of his famous Pièces Montées, which are elaborate centerpieces.

Because of all of the modifications choux paste went through, the verstile paste became what it is today. It is widely used today in our modern world and is responsible for some of our most beloved desserts!

choux-pastry-cream-puffs

Sources:

http://www.victoriahansenfood.com/history-of-choux-pastry-pate-a-choux/

http://www.chronopatiss.blogspot.ca/2011/05/la-pate-choux.html

https://fr.wikipeida.org/Pâte_à_choux

Teff: Traditional Uses

If you have never gone for Ethiopian or Eritrean food, I would highly recommend treating yourself to this immensely rich and flavourful combination of spices and textures. The national food of Ethiopia and Eritrea consists of round platter lined with Injera, a sourdough flatbread with a spongy texture, and a variety of stews (meat and veggie) and sometimes salads placed on top. 17554972_1245104535539172_637301226_n

Using one hand, traditionally your right hand, one tears a piece of injera and uses it to scoop the varying stews and salads. Essentially the injera is your plate and eating utensil. It makes for a rather fun dining experience — much more fun to eat with your hands. 🙂

Because of the way Ethiopian food is eaten, the meal is always a very close, lively event. With each person leaning in and using their hands, there’s no choice but to chat, make conversation, and laugh!

I’ve tried many different places that serve Ethiopian food but I’ve never had the opportunity to make it. But with my newfound interest in teff flour, I thought what better time to learn. I knew I could always search online on how to make injera. There’s nothing you can’t find on the internet anymore. But I really wanted to learn from someone who knows how to make injera authentically. So I set out to find somewhere or someone who could teach me.

It just so happens that on 86st and 118 Avenue, Edmonton, there is a small shop that wholesales their injera to local Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurants. It’s called Family Injera and Spices owned by an Ethiopian couple, Saadi & Mohammed. I called and set up a meeting so I could learn how they typically make injera.

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Every morning around 5 or 6 a.m., 3-4 women start their morning by turning on their round electric stoves, letting them heat up for a few minutes. Large buckets of injera mix are brought out, mixed the night before allowing it to ferment overnight. The mix includes teff, millet, wheat, barley, yeast and water. According to Saadi, depending on the weather here, she adjusts the amount of water and the temperature of water to make the mix more or less viscous. As well, you can see the addition of other flours take away the gluten free element but injera can be made with only teff flour, making it safe for celiacs.

Once the stoves are warmed and ready, the women take about 1.5 cups of mix and pour it in a circle, starting from the outside and working in a clockwise manner. I was told to pour the batter from up high, moving quickly and making sure to fill in any empty spots on the stove. The batter is left to bake for about 1-1.5 minutes, until bubbles appear, and then covered to complete baking. After about another 45 secs – 1 minute, the lid is removed, and injera is slid off the grill to table where it’s left to cool. Very similar to making pancakes or crepes. Now each woman is working 4 stoves at a time. So after 2 rounds of baking, or 8 injera rounds, and once cooled, the injera is packaged and ready to be sold. 17622570_1245100418872917_1400500887_o

So after watching Saadi making a couple, it was my turn to try. The first few, worked out fairly well but I kept running out of batter before completely filling in the circle. After a few more tries, I figured out the speed and motion and they turned out quite well. I mean, I’m not exactly a pro but practice makes perfect right? 🙂

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With a package of my own injera that I made and tummy full of chai tea, I went home thankful for the one of a kind experience. Saadi and the women that worked there were awesome teachers and I’m so very happy that I went to learn.

If you’re looking to try Ethiopian food, there are a couple of locations in Edmonton that I would recommend.

Langano Skies – (780) 432-3334

9920 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 1Y9

Blue Nile Restaurant – 780) 428-5139

11019 107 Avenue Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5H 3G2

Sources

https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/recipe-injera.html

https://ethiopianfood.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/culinary-milestones-an-appetizing-history/

http://www.ancientgrains.com/teff-history-and-origin/