Monday, February 15, 2010

Breakfast Sausage

Homemade Breakfast Sausage (serves 8)

Avoid lean or extra-lean ground pork; it makes the sausage dry, crumbly and less flavorful.

2 lbs ground pork
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I didn't actually use this...)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Mix Sausage
Combine pork, garlic, syrup, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl. Gently mix with hands until well combined. Form mixture into 2.5-inch patties, about 1/2 inch thick. (You should have about 16 patties)

2. Brown Sausage
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook half of patties until well browned and cooked through, 3-5 min per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and tent with foil. Wipe out skillet. Repeat with remaining butter and patties. Serve.

Make ahead: The raw sausage patties can be refrigerated, covered, for 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month. To cook frozen patties, proceed with step 2, cooking patties for 7-9 min per side.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Knead To Keep Busy Bread

My Grandpa was the only dentist in his small Iowa town of 2000 people. So everyone called him Doc. This is Grandpa Doc's famous bread recipe that he picked up as a hobby after retiring. He made a ton of it and would give it out to everyone in town. It is very wholesome, hearty and delicious. There are a lot of cool wheat ingredients. I suggest finding a bulk foods store to pick up most of these. Please note the key to this bread is giving it a lot of time to rise.

In large bowl mix:

2 ½ C white flour

1 C of the following:
2 T soy flour
2 T wheat germ
2 T nonfat dry powdered milk
1 T wheat bran
(Use additional white flour to fill up cup if necessary)

1 tsp salt
2 packages yeast

In second bowl:

2 C stone ground whole wheat flour
1 C cracked wheat
Mix and set aside

In third bowl:

2 C white flour
Set aside

In sauce pan:

½ C packed dark brown sugar
½ stick soft margarine
2 ¾ C water

Heat contents in sauce pan to 100 degrees or test warm mixture on wrist. Pour ingredients into large bowl. Mix with wooden spoon. Add whole wheat flour (second bowl) and then white flour (third bowl) about a third at a time. Scrape sides of bowl and continue stirring until the ingredients are thoroughly blended and tend to form a ball that breaks away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is very stiff, add a tiny bit of water.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough (about 10 min) no longer feels sticky and has a smooth, satiny, elastic texture, adding more flour if necessary. Lightly grease large bowl, place dough in bowl and roll around so all sides are coated. Cover with cloth and set aside in warm place. The yeast must be pampered with constant warmth to keep it active. You can use a cool oven. Let dough rise until it has doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hrs), punch down dough and replace in cloth covered bowl for 20 min. Remove dough and cut into 3 equal parts. Place in 3 greased bowls for 10 more min. Remove, shape into 3 loaves and place in bread pans. Let rise an hour (at least). Place in preheated 350 degree oven. Bake 20-25 min. Remove from pans and place on rack to cool. Brush margarine on top.