Feed The Man Healthy

My week started off with breakfast for my hubby; two slices of toasted homemade oregano bread topped with cream cheese, alongside a bowl of homemade muesli and yogurt. {PERFECTION!}

Then after he was off to work, I set to my task list. Have you ever had a list and you do other things not on the list, but you add them to the bottom of the list, just so you can cross something off?
..well……
I made cheese!
DSCN7786 The other thing besides these two important ingredients, is a rennet tablet. I only used one quarter of one tablet to one gallon of milk, and one and a half teaspoons of citric acid. DSCN7787 Lovely instructions–to keep me from straying the path too much.
I came up with a clever way to multi-task and blog while paying attention to the temperature of the milk.DSCN7788Once the milk and citric acid reached 90 degrees, I added the rennet tablet that was dissolved in water.
DSCN7789So the cheese started to form… the curds separated from the whey! I thought it was the coolest thing; I got all “OH YEAH BABY!” and “GOOD JOB, SARAH!”…haha it was an important moment in my kitchen experience. DSCN7790 There was also so much, that I strained it in the cheese cloth in little increments before I overloaded the bowl with the crazy amounts of whey. So, once I got it all strained–for the most part…I microwaved it for 30 seconds to get the temperature up to 130 degrees. Now, since it took me so long to strain all the whey, the cheese temp went down and I had to microwave it three times for 30 seconds each…which actually deplete the ability for it to be stretched and form a smooth ‘mozzarella-like’ ball. DSCN7791

Periodically in between microwaves, I would strain the whey that seeped out.DSCN7794

Then behold! Some herbs were folded in and now my cheese is in our fridge, waiting for guests and salads and oiled bread. The picture doesn’t show, but it truly is a mozzarella strength texture. Like, its a bit of a string cheese, pull-it-apart, fool-your-eyes, texture.

And since I had all that whey, I jarred it to put in the fridge for soups and BREAD–so of course I MADE time to do a whole wheat loaf….free form–which was fun.

DSCN7795

Prep time: 2 hours 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 2 hours 50 min
Yields: 1 round loaf (approximately 12 slices)–I doubled the recipe to make one LARGE loaf

What You’ll Need

  • 2 cups whey, warmed
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour

Make It

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar into the whey. Add the teaspoon of salt and the yeast. You do not need to wait until the yeast activates; just add the 3 cups of whole wheat flour to this mixture.
  2. Gently mix your ingredients with a wooden spoon until just combined. The flour will be wet and sticky. Do not knead the dough at this point. Simply cover the bowl with a dampened dish towel and let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
  3. When the dough has just about doubled, rearrange the racks in your oven so that one rack is at the very bottom of the oven, and the other is in the center. Then pre-heat the oven to 450. Place a pizza stone on the center rack (if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a baking pan or cookie sheet). Allow the stone to heat up while the oven is pre-heating; I like to give the stone an extra 15–20 minutes in the oven so that it can get nice and hot.
  4. Meanwhile, turn your dough onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and knead the dough into a ball by constantly turning the sides under. Don’t over-knead the dough and don’t worry about making a perfect dough ball. You only need to knead the dough lightly for a minute or two. Place it back in the bowl while your oven and stone are heating up.
  5. Once your oven is heated, fill a baking pan with 1 cup of water and carefully place it on the bottom rack of your oven. The water will turn into steam which helps your bread retain moisture as it cooks while giving it a crisp, crunchy crust.
  6. Then, with a sharp knife, make a cross in the center of the top of the dough ball and place the dough on the pizza stone. Bake for about 20 minutes***. Your bread is done when the outside is brown and crusty; if you knock on the top it should sound hollow.

EAT UP, BUTTERCUPS! I used some of my leftover herbal-vinegar salad dressing  to flavor it up when it was still warm!! DELISH!

{another good day before a second-shift of work…now if only Mi Amor could be in the studio doing art, then we’d both be sharing our space, being in our element…one day, it’ll happen}

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