two skinny jenkins

120821 – The Real Dough
120822, 5:14 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Adapted From Cook’s Illustrated

  • 3 cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups ice water (about 10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for work surface
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  1. In food processor fitted with metal blade, process flour, sugar, and yeast until combined, about 2 seconds. With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand 10 minutes.
  2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly oiled and floured countertop until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.  I strongly recommend making the dough 2-3 days in advance of baking.  That way it will give you a nice and bubbly crust (like the photo!).

090811 – Italian Bread | BBA #15
090812, 10:19 am
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DINNER | Tags: ,

Italian Bread_02

BBA Challenge #15:

This, my SECOND attempt at the Italian bread recipe, came out pretty well.   You can find the link to the first attempt here.  I was not able to find the Diastatic Barley Malt Powder in time, so i used a bit of Barley Malt Syrup from a local natural foods store. The final result was nice and soft and yeasty tasting.  I followed the recipe cooking times exactly (usually i stretch the proofing times a bit) and baked it on a semolina dusted baking sheet.  Not my favorite BBA recipe, but one that i will probably make again this winter.  It the dense, yet soft crumb will be PERFECT for eating with soup.  The only change i will make next time is to bake it on a pizza stone.

The first loaf vanished at dinner last night and i think the second won’t last much longer.  I have plans to make bruchetta tonight… or maybe for lunch.

Check out part of the recipe at Google Books (p. 172).

Italian Bread

090809 – Italian Bread | BBA #15
090810, 10:21 am
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags: ,

Italian Bread Attempt #1

Baking Fail:

Woopsie.  We heard a big POP in the oven after the first time i sprayed the oven walls with water and the oven light went out. I think the steam did it, but it could have been my bad aim. We don’t have a spray bottle, so I have been using a water bottle to spray the oven walls all along.  I’ve used the same technique 4-5 times in our apartment (electric) oven with no problem, but my parent’s (gas) oven did not go so well.

Needless to say, we did not taste the bread. There were little shards of glass all over it.  It smelled amazing and I was really tempted to cut the inside out just to taste.  I did cut one loaf in half just to see what the crumb looked like.  After roughly 19 minutes of baking, the inside looked a little under done to me.  I could not find the diastatic barley malt powder that the recipe called for, so i used barley malt syrup instead.  I think that the extra moisture/ stickiness from the syrup might have been why the dough looked so dense.  Now that i have a second chance, i will try calling bakeries around town and see if anyone has some powder that they would sell me.

I will start my biga today and make a loaf of italian bread and probably some breadsticks tomorrow.

090626 – pizza nite!
090626, 7:20 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: ,

Pizza Nite

tomato basil sauce + sun dried tomato + kalamata olive + onion + spinach + sea salt

It has been so easy to do pizza night now that i make the dough ahead of time (still using Peter Rinehart’s dough recipe from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice).  Tonight i used my mother in law’s shaping technique – pressing the dough out into a disc instead of stretching it by hand.  The result was a MUCH more circular shaped, even thickness pizza.  I shaped them directly on parchment paper, slid them onto the pizza stone in a preheated 550 F oven, baked for 2 1/2 minutes, then removed the parchment paper and baked directly on the stone for another 5 minutes.  My personal pizza (photographed above) was from a much smaller ball of dough than joe’s and basically wafer-thin.  I enjoyed it, but it was hard to appreciate the crust when it was the consistancy of a cracker.

090612 – Blue Cheese + Fig Pizza
090612, 6:26 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Fig pizza

Finally! Figs and blue cheese!  I have been dying to make this pizza combo and i seem to have never had these two ingredients on hand at the same time.  I know this sounds pretty silly – if i wanted it that bad, why didn’t i just go out and buy them?  I don’t know.

again, we are using the Napoletana pizza dough recipe from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  When that week of the challenge comes around, i wonder if i’ll have to make it afresh?  I guess, chances are i will be making it that friday, anyway.

090601 – Monday Pizza
090601, 8:56 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

Funky Pizza

we broke our friday pizza tradition last week because we went to a friend’s house for a double dinner date.  We have a wedding rehearsal dinner coming up this friday, and i just couldn’t bear the thought of no pizza for two whole weeks!

Last night i started a new batch of Bread Baker’s Apprentice pizza Napoletana dough [right after i finished the Brioche (our little kitchen never  gets a break)].  The recipe yields 6 personal crusts (i usually have 1/3 left over anyway).  Today, i decided to get a little inventive with the toppings. See the dough recipe at 101 Cookbooks.

Sauteed baby bella mushrooms (with garlic) + chopped dried figs + thinly sliced onion + 1/2 t sea salt

it sounds really sorta strange, but it was REALLY good.  the figs and sea salt were a nice combination.  I sauteed five baby bella mushrooms with a clove of garlic in about 1 t olive oil for 5-7 minutes.

090522 – lasagna(e) nite
090523, 7:22 am
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,


Joe’s family came to visit this weekend, and that makes 5 of us in our little apartment.  so instead of our usual pizza Friday, we opted for lasagna(e).

Joe found a very well rated recipe on and adapted it a bit to meet or taste.  Basically omitted the sausage, added some spinach, and tweaked the spices.  In the end, it is a very similar lasanga to my Uncle Tom’s recipe, but a better sauce.

  • 1 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 C minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1 1/2 t dried basil leaves
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t fennel seeds
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 4 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed (or 4 C fresh spinach)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices, then spinach. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over spinach, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.