Paul Hollywood’s Baguettes

Paul Hollywood’s Baguettes

While I am lucky to have an outstanding French boulangerie, Le Bec Sucré, near me run by an amazing couple, I’m never up in time get there in time before they sellout of their baguettes in the morning. And I could pick some up from Aldi to bake, it just isn’t as good. The other alternative is to make my own. Now they will never complete with Belinda’s baguette of perfection, but they will beat anything purchased at the grocery store.

I am trying out baguettes recipes currently. As an avid watcher of The Great British Bake Off program, I thought I would try out Paul Hollywood’s Baguettes recipe. The ingredients are simple: bread flour, salt, yeast, and water. The proofing is essential as well as the technique. I am still working on it both the proofing and technique. That will come with practice. As the feature photo is a baguette stunt double as mine are not Instagram worthy, but they have a good crumb and good taste so I guess that’s all that matters in the end. My new French Baguette Pan improved the shape as shown below.

 

When making this recipe (and most baking), I use a scale to measure ingredients. For baking, measuring by weight is idea as it is very precise and that matters. I recommend using good quality bread flour like King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill which are readily available at most grocery stores. The recipe mentions a linen couche which is a thick linen cloth used to help baguette dough keep its shape while it is rising, in the second proofing. Another item, I use is a Bread Lame that slashes the tops of the baguette. A very sharp knife would work well, too.

If you are interested in another recipe from The Great British Bake Off that is so easy and a total show stopper, then try Mary Berry’s Christmas Pavlova.

Paul Hollywood’s Baguettes

Ingredients

  • olive oil for greasing
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g salt
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 370ml cool water

Preparation

  • 1. Lightly oil a 2.4-litre square plastic container with olive oil. (It’s important to use a square tub as it helps shape the dough.)
  • 2. Put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast). Add three-quarters of the water and begin mixing on a slow speed. As the dough starts to come together, slowly add the remaining water, then continue to mix on a medium speed for 5–7 minutes, until you have a glossy, elastic dough.
  • 3. Tip the dough into the prepared tub. Cover and leave for 1 hour until at least doubled in size.
  • 4. Dredge a linen couche with flour and lightly dust the work surface with flour.
  • 5. Carefully tip the dough onto the work surface. Rather than knocking it back, handle it gently so you can keep as much air in the dough as possible. This helps to create the irregular, airy texture of a really good baguette. The dough will be wet to the touch but still lively.
  • 6. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong by flattening the dough out slightly and folding the sides into the middle. Then roll each up into a sausage – the top should be smooth with the join running along the length of the base. Now, beginning in the middle, roll each sausage with your hands. Don’t force it out by pressing heavily; concentrate on the backwards and forwards movement and gently use the weight of your arms to roll out the dough to 30cm long.
  • 7. Lay a baguette along the edge of the linen couche and pleat the couche up against the edge of the baguette. Place another baguette next to the pleat. Repeat the process until all 4 baguettes are lined up against each other with pleated couche in between each. Cover the baguettes with a clean tea towel and leave for 1 hour, until the dough has at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger.
  • 8. Preheat the oven to 475°F and put a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven to heat up.
  • 9. When the baguettes are risen, dust them lightly with flour, then slash each one 4 times along its length on the diagonal, using a razor blade or a very sharp knife.
  • 10. Fill the roasting tray with hot water to create steam and put the bread into the oven. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the baguettes are golden brown and have a slight sheen. Cool on a wire rack.
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Southwest Chicken Soup

Southwest Chicken Soup

Leftover turkey? And need more recipes to use it up? Southwest Chicken Soup is the answer. So easy swap to out chicken for turkey in this simple easy and quick soup. Perfect for the weekend after Thanksgiving or anytime really that you are in a rush for a dinner that doesn’t involved calling for pizza.

This is a seriously easy and quick meal. All you need is a box of broth, jar of salsa verde (or homemade), rotisserie chicken, cumin, cannellini beans, and green onions. Yup that’s it. The hardest work is pulling the rotisserie chicken; everything else just dumping it into the pot. I came across this recipe at Real Simple while I was looking for another one. Glad I found this one. I used roasted salsa verde from Aldi and used 4 cups of broth making this a real soupy soup. If it is too spicy, then add a dollop sour  cream. Also you can some tortilla chips if you want some crunch. But it doesn’t need it.

While this isn’t plant-based in its present form, it can be fairly quickly. You can swap out the children booth with veggie broth and add another can of beans omitting the chicken.

Southwest Chicken Soup is on the table in less than 30 minutes. A winner.

Looking for other soup recipes? Visit here.

 

Southwest Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce jar salsa verde
  • 3 cups cooked chicken pieces (1 small deli-counter rotisserie chicken or leftovers)
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup sour cream

Preparation

  • 1. Combine all ingredients except for sour cream into a pan and heat it over medium-high heat until boiling then turn down to low cooking for another 15 minutes.
  • 2. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of onions, a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips (if desired).
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Vegan Baked Chocolate Donuts

Vegan Baked Chocolate Donuts

There are things you miss when you are moving towards a plant-based lifestyle. Donuts are one of them as most baked good are made with animal-based products. That’s where Vegan Baked Chocolate Donuts comes into the picture.

This is a super easy recipe for baked donuts. Now while these are baked and plant-based, it doesn’t mean this is low calorie. There is sugar and oil so it is a treat not an every day food as though it is super tasty and I could eat it daily.  My son who is a diehard Dunkn’ guy gave a big thumbs up. He said these were as good as their glazed chocolate donuts.

It is great that there are many substitutions you can use to bake plant-based now. You could use a flax egg for this recipe; however, I like using unsweetened applesauce. For one egg, use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce. Plant milk such as oat milk can be used instead of milk. I recommend using good quality natural cocoa powder which helps the batter to rise.

For more plant-based dessert recipes like Vegan baked chocolate donuts, check these recipes out.

 

 

Vegan Baked Chocolate Donuts

Ingredients

  • For the donuts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or (1 large egg)
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • For the glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

  • Donuts
  • 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • 2. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • 3. In a small bowl, beat together the vanilla, apple sauce, plant-based sour cream, plant-based milk, and oil.
  • 4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
  • 5. Spoon in a greased donut pan.
  • 6. Bake for 8 minutes.
  • 7. Let the donuts cool in the pan before glazing.
  • Glaze
  • 1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, plant-based milk, and vanilla until smooth.
  • 2. Dunk the donuts in the glaze to fully coat and place on a wire rack with parchment paper underneath to set, about 5 minutes.
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Mexican Taco Pickles

Mexican Taco Pickles

I like to add picked red onions to tacos and veggie burgers. I decided to expand and try to make Mexican Taco Pickles to add to Taco Tuesday. These taste great on Vegan Tacos. I have to give you a warning as this pickle will knock your socks off as it is very spicy due to the two jalapeños sliced. It does give your tacos a bang, tang, and crunch. Mexican Taco Pickles has super simple ingredients. Just jalapeños, carrots, radishes, cilantro, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and white distilled vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. That’s it. And it is ready to eat in an hour.

This is a great substitute if you don’t have salsa on hand. I mean you can have both as the more veg the better in my need. Thought it maybe too many flavors. If you love salsa, I’ve got three recipes for you, but I ask you to give this pickle a chance as I am a die-hard salsa fan on my tacos.

 

Exploring Pickles

 

As I’ve aged, my pallet has evolved. I never was a fan of anything pickled outside of sauerkraut and maybe a Kosher dill pickle from a huge barrel at a deli. I think what has made the change my mind is I started making my own. Picked Red Onions was my first foray into pickling and it was a success. I next tried Dill Pickles and it worked, but I need to tweak the recipe as it was too salty. There is something that I just don’t like about mass produced store brought pickles. Maybe it is texture or the artificial flavoring. I really want to explore more recipes and even try fermentation. As in the past, I’ve recycled jars and I still plan to continue to do that, but I purchased some new jars from IKEA.

 

Mexican Taco Pickles

Ingredients

  • 3 radishes sliced thinly
  • 3 carrots sliced thinly
  • 2 medium jalapeños, sliced thinly
  • 1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or sugar
  • salt to taste

Preparation

  • 1. Place veg in jar.
  • 2. Cook maple syrup and vinegars in sauce pan over high heat until comes to a boil.
  • 3. Cool brine to room temperature then pour over the veg.
  • 4. Seal jar and put in fridge. In an hour, it is ready to eat.
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Quick Vegan Tacos

Quick Vegan Tacos

Want tacos in under 15 minutes? Quick Vegan Tacos fits the bill. Good plant-based food doesn’t have to take hours to prepare. You can have a freshly made tacos on your plate in 15 minutes. Perfect for a busy Taco Tuesday or other busy nights that you fancy something tasty without doing delivery. Or frankly when you crave some tacos and you want them now.

While I love my salsa, this vegan taco recipe doesn’t include it. And that’s OK. You can get your crunch and tang from the pickled red onions as the topper on these black bean tomato tacos.

My pantry always has black beans, both taco and burrito-sized tortillas, cilantro, picked onions, an and regrown green onions. I usually have to purchase oyster mushrooms and cherry/grape tomatoes though I do try to have them handy as they are great in many different recipes. Oyster mushrooms are really meaty making it a great substitute for meat in a lot of recipes. When I get cherry/grape tomatoes, I like the multi-colored ones as they add a bit of contrast.

 

Regrown Green Onions

Speaking for regrown green onions, it is a great way to have a supply of green onions. I rarely use the white parts of the onions and even store brought has some roots left. Use the green parts of the onions keeping the white parts. Fill a glass up of water and put the white part of the onion with the roots. Keep the water changed regularly and a couple of weeks, you have more onion to sip for recipes.

 

Mexican Taco Pickles

While pickled onions are yummy, I thought how would Mexican Taco pickles would taste. Stay tuned as I’ll share a recipe for Mexican Taco Pickles which will knock your socks off if you like it spicy as it is made with jalapeños, carrots, and radishes.

I have adapted the recipe from the Irish The Happy Pear lads and feel free to check out their yummy recipes.

Quick Vegan Tacos

Ingredients

  • 8 flour or wheat tortillas fajita-sized
  • Filling:
  • 150 g Oyster mushrooms, finely sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can, Black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 Cherry/grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 2 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1.5 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • Crema:
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 1 cup plant-based sour cream or unflavored yogurt
  • Handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • Quick Pickled Red Onion:
  • Small Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 50 ml apple cider vinegar

Preparation

  • 1. If you don’t have pickled red onions in your fridge, then you can make a quick pickled red onion. Sliced the red onions thinly placing them in a glass jar. Add the vinegar and water if needed to cover all the onion. Let that sit as you make everything else.
  • 2. Mix the sour cream/soy yoghurt with half the diced cilantro and the juice of 1/2 lime and mix well.
  • 3. Heat a nonstick pan on high heat. Add a little olive oil if you want.
  • 4. Add the green onions, black beans, and tomatoes with a pinch of salt flying for a couple of minutes.
  • 5. Add garlic to the pan.
  • 6. Continue to fry to another 2-3 mins stirring regularly.
  • 7. Add the spices and tamari and mix well and turn off the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • 8. Use a muffin tray to hold the tacos while you fill them.
  • 9. Add the crema and a generous spoonful of the mushroom black bean mixture.
  • 10. Top with some pickled red onion and some chopped coriander.
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Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

It is a tradition in New Orleans that Mondays were wash days. And red beans and rice would simmer on the stove all day for dinner. Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice is an easy way to prepare  this traditional dish.

When we visited New Orleans a few years ago, my son and I went to the National WWII Museum. At the time they had a full-service restaurant, but it doesn’t seem to be open anymore. We had lunch there and that’s where I had my very first Red Beans and Rice done the New Orleans way. It was amazing. We went back for a second time to have more Red Beans and Rice, but it is only served on Mondays. You can find it in most restaurants on Mondays so if you are in New Orleans on a Monday then it is a must to grab a bowl. And from that day on, I have been in search of a good easy recipe and one that’s done in the slow cooker. I’m all about good food, but not about complex recipes. I think I finally have it.

It is simple, hearty ingredients. I usually use canned beans for my recipes, but I decided to go old school using dried red beans. I’ve never had much luck using dried beans until now. It worked. All you need is the red beans, celery, peppers, onion, garlic, Cajun seasoning, salt, smoked sausage, and rice. For the peppers, I use red and yellow peppers as I’m not a fan of green pepper, but if you have a green pepper, you can use it. Use what you have on hand. For the sausage, you can make this with smoked sausage or plant-based. I used Field Roast Italian Garlic and Fennel. I make my rice in the rice cooker so this meal is truly press buttons and not worry about it until dinner time. Something I can get behind when I have busy work days that start early and end late.

When doing research for this post and in my search for basic recipes that I could learn from to make Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice, I realized that tomatoes in any form were not part of the traditional recipe. And New Orleanians are very passionate about the fact that it doesn’t have tomatoes. So don’t think about putting any tomato products in it. In fact, I’m nervous about how this recipe will e received.

Looking for other vegetarian slow cooker recipes? Find them here.

 

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried red beans
  • 1 package of vegan sausage or smoked pork or beef sausage
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped roughly
  • 2 peppers (red or yellow), chopped roughly
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 7 cups water
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Hot sauce, optional

Preparation

  • 1. Combine the first eight ingredients in the slow cooker setting it on HIGH for 8 hours stirring halfway through.
  • 2. Serve with rice.
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