Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gregg’s Premium Lemonade

Most people know how to make lemonade. It’s not really all that difficult to do. Just squeeze some lemons, add a little sugar and some water and you have lemonade. How simple is that. Well, you know there is a better way to really make that lemonade flavor “pop.” Try my method to make perfect lemonade each and every time.
Simply remember these measurements - 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
(I promise this will make a perfectly sweet lemonade every time. Just reduce the amount of sugar if you want your lemonade less sweet. I like using Meyer Lemons occasionally for lemonade, however, remember that they are naturally sweeter than regular lemons so reduce the sugar by ¼ cup or to taste.)
My secret to making great tasting lemonade is by making a "simple syrup" first, then adding the lemon juice and additional cold water. Dissolving the sugar in boiling water and making a simple syrup will effectively distribute the sugar without it just sinking and settling in the bottom of the pitcher. Believe me, this works so much better than mixing and trying to dissolve the sugar in just cold water. So give this recipe a try. I guarantee you will love it!!!


Gregg’s Premium Lemonade
Gregg Fry


Ingredients:

· 1 cup sugar
· 1 cup water
· 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
· 3 or 4 cups chilled water



Direction:

1. Make a simple syrup by mixing the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Squeeze the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, or enough to make one cup of juice.
3. Add the fresh lemon juice and the sugar water “Simple Syrup” to a pitcher.
4. Add 3 or 4 cups of cold water, or enough to reach desired strength. Start with 3 then taste, continue by adding a ½ cup until it satisfies your taste.
5. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes before serving.
6. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Another little secret I employ is to make a ½ batch and freeze in ice cube trays. Then add these as your ice to the glass of lemonade to maintain the strength of the flavor and avoid diluting it as regular ice cubes do as they melt.
I have also frozen it as a block of ice then shave it into glasses for a more creative look.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons and mint sprig to garnish.
Serves about 6.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Here is an Easy Artisan Bread Recipe

Five-Minute Artisan Bread

As most of you know, I really enjoy making breads, all types of breads. I make breads weekly, from white bread, to french bread loaves, soft pretzels, rolls, biscuits to sour dough, you name it. So, I am always looking for new recipes to try. Then I came across this recipe for a 5 minute Artisan Bread and thought I would try it. I watched the video and then gave it a whirl. It was great, so I thought I would share it with you.

Below is the neat little video I found that shows you how to quickly mix bread dough without all the kneading and beating that goes into bread making. The recipe is below the video.

I used it for small bread bowls for the Potato Soup recipe posted here in the blog. The bread bowls held up well and was a great vessel for the soup. Now, that being said, bread bowls really only work with cream soups. Soups like Chicken Noodle or French Onion don't work well at all as they make the bread bowl extremely soggy and the liquid will leak out easily. Cream soups aren't as "wet" as broth soups and are best suited for bread bowls. But if you eat fast, broth soup can work, I just recommend maybe using a bowl to put the bread loaf in just in case it leaks. A bowl isn't necessary for cream soups.

I made this twice. They second time I refrigerated the dough for a couple of days and it did enhance the flavor. It also gave the bread a lighter and slightly softer texture. However, if you are making it the day you want to use it, it will still be just as good.

The "five minutes" in the recipe name isn't how long it totally takes to make the bread of course. It refers only to the mixing of the ingredients. Rise time and bake time have to be added to the overall total time. But at least the rise and bake times are easy since no work is involved. Slicing and eating also increases the time. LOL Enjoy!!!

video

Five-Minute Artisan Bread
Makes 4 Round Loaves

· 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
· 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
· 6-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough
· Cornmeal

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large plastic resealable container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm (about 100 degrees) water.
2. Using a large spoon, stir in flour, mixing until mixture is uniformly moist with no dry patches.
3. Do not knead.
4. Dough will be wet and loose enough to conform to shape of plastic container.
5. Cover, but not with an airtight lid.
6. Let dough rise at room temperature, until dough begins to flatten on top or collapse, at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks; refrigerated dough is easier to work with than room-temperature dough, so the authors recommend that first-time bakers refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours.)
7. When ready to bake, sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel.
8. Place a broiler pan on bottom rack of oven.
9. Place baking stone on middle rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees, preheating baking stone for at least 20 minutes.
10. Place broiler pan on bottom rack and preheat pan for 5 – 10 minutes to help create instant steam when cup of water is added
11. Sprinkle a little flour on dough and on your hands.
12. Pull dough up and, using a serrated knife, cut off a grapefruit-size piece (about 1 pound). Working for 30 to 60 seconds (and adding flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands; most dusting flour will fall off, it's not intended to be incorporated into dough),
13. Turn dough in hands, gently stretching surface of dough, rotating ball a quarter-turn as you go, creating a rounded top and a bunched bottom.
14. Place shaped dough on prepared pizza peel and let rest, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
15. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it in lidded container. (Even one day's storage improves flavor and texture of bread.
16. Dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in airtight containers and defrosted overnight in refrigerator prior to baking day.)
17. Dust dough with flour.
18. Using a serrated knife, slash top of dough in three parallel, 1/4-inch deep cuts (or in a tic-tac-toe pattern).
19. Slide dough onto preheated baking stone.
20. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into heated broiler pan and quickly close oven door to trap steam.
21. Bake until crust is well-browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.
22. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool completely.

Monday, April 6, 2009

APRIL COOKING CLASS CANCELLED

Due to the fact this week is Spring Break for everyone and a lot of us are on trips, plus, with Youth Conference and some of our class members are host families, we have to cancel April's class. Sorry for the inconvenience. - Gregg