sesame seeds

Toasted Sesame Tahini Pictorial

Toasted Sesame TahiniWay better than the store bought stuff

Anyone else tired of paying nearly $10 a jar for Tahini? I stopped buying tahini at the store months ago. If you buy sesame seeds in bulk at your natural foods store, you can make your own way more awesome organic version for around $2 bucks.

Measure OutMeasure out 3 cups organic sesame seeds into a skillet

ToastToast on stove-top over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until seeds are golden brown.

In Food ProcessorDump into food processor, add a teaspoon of sea salt if desired.

Halfway ThroughProcess for 7-10 minutes, scraping down sides every couple minutes. It will look dry and crumbly, but don’t worry it’ll come together.

FinishedTahini is ready when completely smooth.

DSC_0168Store in your old Tahini Jar, if it’s a 16 oz jar, it’ll fit perfectly. For ultimate freshness, keep in the fridge.

 

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Bread Secrets and Rustic Multi-Grain Seeded Loaf

I have a dirty little secret.

Even though I make bread nearly every day, I’m not really a bread maker extraordinaire.

I just don’t have the time for endless kneading, rising and baking. On top of that, store-bought vegan bread is hard to come by and pricey when you do find it.  So I make vegan bread for pennies on the dollar and use some tricky shortcuts on the way…

Plus I have a little slave who helps me in the kitchen.

My bread slave, the Sunbeam Bread Maker. I bought it used at a thrift shop for $15

Rustic Multi-Grain Seeded Loaf

  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 C. warm water (add the lower amount and if too dry add more, a tablespoon at a time)
  • 3 C. organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 C. rolled oats
  • 1/4 C.  cracked kamut (you could sub any cracked grain here, even coarse corn meal would do)
  • 1/4 C. millet
  • 1/3 C. sunflower seeds
  • 2 T. sesame seeds
  • 2 T. flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 1 1/2 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 T. active dry yeast (slightly more than you would normally use for a faster rise time)

Add ingredients in order to your bread maker, bosch or large bowl. I just plop in all the ingredients and press any bread cycle to knead the dough and walk away. If you don’t have a kneading apparatus, don’t walk away, the dough needs you to knead it by hand for 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic.

okay, I really need to wipe this baby down. It’s looking rough from daily abuse!

After my slave bread maker kneads the dough for about 10 minutes, I simply unplug the machine and let the dough rise in there for 45-60 minutes. If making by hand, put dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and put in a warm place.

While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

When 45-60 minutes is up, pull the dough out, shape it into a round and roll it in whole wheat flour.

Put the dough on a baking sheet dusted with a bit more flour to prevent sticking. TURN OFF your oven and set the baking sheet on the middle rack. Set your oven timer for 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off, pull out dough and quickly slash (1/4 to 1/2 inch deep slashes) with a sharp knife, get creative with your slashy marks, it can make bread look professional, but don’t get too carried away because you might end up with mutant bread.

 Put dough back in the oven and set the oven to 350 degrees (no need to preheat). Bake this particular loaf for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden. This is bread is lovely when toasted and served with Cozy Roasted Butternut Soup

When I’m really in a hurry I do sometimes let my bread maker cook the bread for me too, because my machine has an express function, I can have a whole wheat loaf ready from start to finish in less than an hour, but I’ll tell you more about that another day.

If you’re in the market for a bread maker, do try to purchase a used model, it will cost you less and used bread makers are everywhere. Make sure the model you choose still has the dough hook (like an idiot, I didn’t check and mine didn’t have the hook, so I had to order it online) and the recipe manual. You might not need the recipes, but bread makers come in all sizes so you need to know the approximate measurements for loaves that will work in your machine (if you choose to bake in it). An express function is also especially handy for harried cooks.

Whole Grain Pretzel Buns or Rolls

After all the ogling over that veggie burger yesterday, are you ready to check out these pretzel buns?

They are super simple to make and are oh-so-worth the time.

Whole Grain Pretzel Buns or Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 C. organic unbleached flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 C. warm water
  • 1 T. active dry yeast
  • 2 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 t. raw agave
  • 1 t. soy lecithin or extra virgin olive oil (softens the bread a bit)
  • sesame seeds or kosher salt for sprinkling.

Method: In a bread maker or other kneading apparatus (possibly your hands) knead all of the above ingredients for 10 minutes. Let rise for 30 minutes. Punch dough down, divide into 8 hamburger buns or 12 rolls. If making hamburger buns, smash each piece of dough down firmly with your hands, making 3 or 4 inch rounds.

 Let dough rise for 15 more minutes. In the meantime, bring to a boil: 2 quarts (8 cups) water with 1 T. kosher salt and 4 T. baking soda.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, Poach 2 buns at a time for one minute, turning over halfway through.

Remove buns with a slotted spoon. Slash each roll 3 times across the top with a sharp knife. Quickly Sprinkle with a bit of sesame seeds or kosher salt. 

Repeat until all buns are poached. Let rest while oven preheats to 400 degrees.

Bake for 20-25 minutes for hamburger buns or 15-20 minutes for rolls. Please use parchment paper to bake on, otherwise you will need a chisel and a hammer and quite possibly ruin your favorite baking sheet.

Pretzel Buns/Rolls are best eaten the day they are made.

This recipe is shared at VVP6 here