Or so its said, anyway.
Well folks, I’m in the lower-carb groove. Notice I did not say no-carb or strictly low-carb… I just said lower carb.
For the most part, its going really well! I’ve learned some good substitutes for some common carbohydrate-laden dishes, I’ve learned some new recipes, and, most of all, I don’t feel like I’m on a “diet” or like I’m depriving myself of anything. So, this brings me to the subject of todays post: bread.
As I’ve stated before, I am a complete carb-aholic, and I am *not* about to cut bread out of my diet. I can, however, choose to eat less of it, and when I do, choose a healthier whole wheat version.
I made a nice loaf of homemade whole wheat the other day, keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldnt turn out dry and tasting like cardboard.
I was quite pleasantly surprised that it turned out fairly light (for whole wheat) and is pretty moist with a nice crumb. (thats foodie talk for the inside of the bread, not the crust :P)
I find the key to making any bread nice and light and delicious is experience and PATIENCE. Bread really is easy to make, but you need to spend some time getting the feel of it first. I cant tell you how many countless loaves of bread I made were complete and total disasters before I finally got the hang of how the dough should feel, how long it should rise, etc etc.
Find a tried and true recipe and start with that. When I started making bread, I tried making it like my mom, which was basically without any recipe at all- she didnt NEED a recipe, she knew what quantities to use, and how the dough should feel… I think its a little too hard to start off trying to wing it.
After you’ve gotten the hang of a basic recipe, THEN branch out and try different methods.
When I make basic bread now, I never use a recipe. Like my mother, I just get out a bowl, throw in a packet of yeast, a tablespoon of sugar, some warm water and then just add flour until its “right.”
I have learned over the years that kneading takes time. Dont assume you can knead the bread for 2 or 3 minutes and thats enough. Be prepared to stand and knead your dough for a good 15 minutes before its ready. You’ll notice the longer you knead the dough the more elastic and smooth it becomes- you’re developing the gluten in the flour which is necessary to bind the dough together for a light, fluffy bread. For more on why you need to knead, read this article on Wise Geek.
Anyway, so if you’re new to bread baking, dont be discouraged… just be willing to take the time to obtain experience and the patience to kneeeeeeeeaaaaad!
Oh and that, by the way, is whats called “Kaviar” here in Norway. Its a smoked and salted cod roe that is used as a sandwhich spread. It has a very salty, fishy taste which I find is one of those tastes you either love or hate. Seems like EVERYONE here eats it, and they start them early on the stuff:
This one is funnier:
While I do like the kaviar, I thought my bread would be nice toasted and would be especially yummy with some wonderful chicken salad piled on top.
But… upon gathering the ingredients for my chicken salad, I realized I had no mayonnaise. Well, that isnt really much of a surprise as I dont really LIKE mayonnaise. Unless its used lightly in something like a chicken salad (or chicken mayonnaise as its called in the UK) or applied very sparingly to a sandwhich of some kind I really dont want it. I dont know why I never could get into the eggy condiment, it just never really appealed to me. I remember HATING it as a child, and still do to a certain extent. I do not like cole slaw or potato salad or any pasta salad with a mayonnaise dressing. Dont even get me started on crap like Waldorf salad. Bleh.
Anyway, back to the mayo. I didnt have any, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy a jar or container of the stuff just to make chicken salad once a year. It just takes up space in my fridge, and more than likely will go bad before I’ll ever use it all.
Soooooooo I made my own.
and I will never
buy mayonnaise again.
While homemade mayonnaise hasnt made a mayo lover of me, the flavor of homemade versus storebought is SO much better, I will NEVER buy it again.
It was surprisingly easy to make, though a bit tedious. I almost didnt try it at first because so many of the websites I looked at claimed it was so hard- bordering on impossible- or that you absolutely HAD to use a certain ratio of ingredients or it wouldnt work.
I say bollocks to that.
I didnt use a recipe at all, and mine turned out just fine.
To make about a cup of mayonnaise, all you need is a couple egg yolks, maybe a cup and a half of a flavorless oil, a little bit of mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
I didnt really measure anything, I just whisked together my egg yolks and mustard, then added the oil- drop by drop (thats really the key- maybe the first half a cup should be added only a couple drops at a time) then slowly added the rest of the oil, then seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Easy peasy. I also added some whole grain mustard at the end, because I wanted a little more “zing” to my mayonnaise.
I used a bowl and a hand mixer to make mine, but apparently you can make it in the food processor as well.
If you’re in the States trying to make homemade mayo, try to use pastureized eggs or get some fresh from someone you know who has healthy chickens. Luckily, salmonella isnt a problem in Norway so I dont feel weird making my own mayonnaise from raw eggs.
Anyway, I made some nice chicken salad with my homemade mayo and I am having it for lunch as I type this blog post!
I think thats is for today.
check out the new page on my blog. *gasp.*
Yngve and I are getting married!
I’ve added a wedding page to my blog since I am crazily choosing a (mostly) homemade wedding and thought you might want to join in the crazy ride with me.