Late yesterday afternoon I was looking at Facebook and a post came up for making a braided bread. It sounded so easy that I decided to try it. All the ingredients are placed in a zip lock bag and kneaded through the bag, leaving your hands and counter clean. This was the recipe for me! After you had the ingredients all mixed together you placed the bag in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes you add 1/4 cup more flour and knead that into the mixture, place that on the counter for 1 more hour of rise time, still inside the zip lock bag. Then cut the dough into three same sized pieces and with your hands on a flour covered counter, roll them out into long ropes, braid, coat with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds – bake for 40 minutes and it was done. Easiest recipe I have ever used and no clean up…right up my alley. And it looked very pretty when it was ready. I am attempting to bake with other flours besides wheat, so 1/3 of the flour in this recipe was sorghum called sorgo in Uruguay. It added a nutty flavor and both Joe and I enjoyed it. I made french toast from it this morning with cinnamon and honey. Would I make it again? Yes. Next time I would use a different non-wheat flour just to see how it worked out.
Almost every morning early around 6:30 am Jimmy comes by on his bike carrying this mornings fresh-from-the-oven rolls. 10 cents apiece for a great start to your morning.
Then some afternoons he comes by, today it was around 3:30 pm, with that same basket filled this time with sweet treats. These are 15 cents.
Some of today’s choices were chocolate sweet rolls, a lovely sandwich cookie with a dulce de leche filling, a corn type muffin, a filled sweet roll with what I think is guayaba (guava) filling. We have our favorites but honestly any one of them will pacify the sweet tooth in all of us.
Another great recipe to use with the Pita Bread recipe from a few days ago are kofta kabobs with tzatziki sauce. Most recipes for the kabobs I have seen and my original recipe were made with lamb. Because we cannot find lamb very easily here I have modified my original recipe to use part ground pork and part ground beef. It worked well and tastes great.
2/3 pounds ground pork (needs a good bit of fat)
1 1/3 pounds of ground beef
4 stems of parsley or cilantro *
1 small onion, finely chopped *
3 cloves garlic, roasted, peeled and chopped *
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Small pinch of clove
Small bunch of mint leaves, very finely chopped
Salt to taste
dash of chili flakes to taste
*Note: if you are grinding your own pork and beef add the onion, garlic and cilantro to the grinder, it just makes it so much faster and then it will be blended completely into the meats.
Roast the cumin, coriander and clove in a frying pan until they release their aroma, about 1 minute. Cool slightly and grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. Add all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl mixing well and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Shape the meat into a 6 inch tube shape like a sausage. Gently cook for 3 minutes on a side, the meat will flatten out a bit but continue to cook until all sides have taken on a nice brown color and are a bit crispy.
1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded and grated – then squeeze out excess liquid
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup thick yogurt or Kefir
2 cloves garlic, grated fine
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
for garnish, chopped dill or cilantro and a dash of cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle with garnish and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make your pita bread (or use rolls) and place one kabob in the center of the pita and liberally cover with tzatziki sauce. You can also use hummus or hummus and tzatziki together for yet another taste sensation… Beyond Yummy!!!!
It is called Budin which is a Puerto Rican Bread pudding. Unbelievable. It is excellent, I made a few changes, like I always do, adding 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, cut the amount of sugar in the recipe to 3/4 instead of 1 1/2 and it is still very sweet – next time I would only use 1/2 cup – also I did not cut off the crusts, I would be here all day cutting the crusts off rolls.
It is nice enough for company and if you really want to be even more decadent pour a bit of cream over it before you serve…oh my goodness!!!
In an earlier post I talked about starting to make kefir. Now that I have, I am interested in learing about using my kefir in other recipes. I have made batidos (smoothies) and pancakes. It was time to try something different and that is sourdough starter. This will be a first for me but I really am tired of just white rolls and white bread so making a homemade loaf with that sourdough flavor and part of the flour being whole grain wheat flour would make for a more interesting loaf.
To make the started you need 1 cup of kefir and 1 cup of regular white flour. Mix together and allow to sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
This is what it looked like after three days. Now find a sourdough recipe like this one and get started:
I like this step by step recipe with pictures showing each phase of your sourdough process. It makes it easy to follow along.
This is what the dough looks like before the last rise.
here the dough is ready for baking.
And here is the finished product. It has a crusty crust, great texture and a beautiful sourdough taste: an excellent bread for sandwiches and I even used it last evening for brochetta and it worked out great.
You only need to make sourdough started once. I read that families pass it down from generation to generation. I added 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of white flour to the remaining starter and kept it at room temperature until it was ready to overflow the container. It is now in the refrigerator waiting for the next use. I will let you know how it does. This bread is going fast!!
We have visited the Consulate here in Guayaquil a few years ago about Joe’s social security. Today was my turn. The Embassy in Quito handles the submission of the paperwork to Social Security but you can turn in your paperwork in the Guayaquil office. It was the most painless process that I have had with any government agency in many many years. They only accept Social Security paperwork between 8am and 11am Monday thru Thursday in the Guayaquil office. So we were on the road by 8am this morning and at the checkpoint outside the building before 8:30am. After having our belongings searched, removal of the battery from our cell phone and being wanded we were searched a second time inside the building and had to go through a metal detector. We had most of our belongings put in storage and were on our way to the second floor to submit the paperwork.
The entire process took less than 10 minutes.
We walked across the street to the Hotel Oro Verde to their exquisite bakery for a breakfast of cappuccino and almond croissants.
Honestly the best experience with a government office in my memory and the most beautiful pastries I have had in all of Ecuador, it was a great morning. Sorry I did not take my camera as we were going to the consulate – the above photos are from the internet but give you an idea. This place is a must try as the baked goods are just so darned good.
This is the young man who has started to deliver pan in the mornings and again comes back around 4pm with beautiful dessert rolls and cookies. Yesterdays selection of sweets was coconut covered, jelly topped and some that even looked like cinnamon or chocolate rolls.
I am not sure what is going to happen when school starts next month because this young man should be on his way to school at the exact time he is delivering to our neighborhood.
He is a very hard-working young person. And we so much appreciate him and his family doing this for San Clemente.