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Four basic recipes

I love basics. And I have totally no problem with anyone calling me a "basic bitch". I've also been called "annoyingly particular", which I'm fine with too. But that's a story for another day.

Learning how to make basic food is empowering. Which is ironic cos if you were really powerful, you could afford to pay someone to make it for you. But I'm not going to argue with my feels here. The closer I get to the source of the food I eat, the more I feel I could enjoy some quality of life after the zombie apocalypse.

Today, I'm going to share four of my favourite recipes for making basic foods. I hope these websites stay online forever, but I plan to copy these to my kitchen notebook at some point, just in case.

Bread

no-knead sourdough bread

Debbie Drake's Easy No Knead Sourdough bread

I tried this for the first time last week, and it turned out beautiful. Way less work than the Herman sourdough bread. I left my dough to ferment for 36 hours (by accident), but Mum says she does it for 12. Play around with it, see how you go.

Pizza Dough

simple pizza dough

David Tanis' Pizza Dough

Very easy pizza dough. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour but we use Tippo '00' pasta flour to make the dough, and use the cheaper all-purpose for surface work and patting down the outside. I'm not experienced enough with food words to know how to describe the difference, so let's say it's just nicer. :)

Pasta

a buffet of pasta

This recipe we got from a class. Just two ingredients and a little elbow grease, and it makes wonderful pasta every time.

100g Tippo '00' flour
1 large egg
(just double/treble/etc. the ingredients as needed)

Mix and make a dough. Cling wrap and leave in fridge for half an hour. Then put it through the pasta machine, and boil to cook.

Tortilla

homemade tortillas

Taste of Home - Homemade Tortillas Recipe

The recipe says to cook on MED for a minute per side, but I looked on MED-LOW for a bit longer. If you've ever eaten a tortilla before, you can pretty much guess when these are done by the way they look and feel.

Happy eating, everyone!

Chamomile + ginger hot toddy

I'm sick and yes, if you must know, I will tell the world about it.

I'm having a hot toddy right now, and you know what? I'll tell the world about that too.

I try not to have caffeine in the evening - don't need anything else keeping me up - so it's a chamomile one tonight. Here tis:

Chamomile + ginger hot toddy

1 chamomile tea bag
½ tsp grated ginger
½ tbsp honey
1 thick slice of lemon, cut in half
1 shot of scotch

  1. Steep tea in ¾ mug of hot water (boiled to 100°C) for 5 minutes.
  2. Pop ginger in a strainer and steep that for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in honey until dissolved.
  4. Add the juice of one half of the lemon slice.
  5. Add the scotch.
  6. Drop in the other half of the lemon slice.

If you have a cinnamon stick, cloves, orange peel, or whatever else, they can go in the strainer with the ginger. The result is a tasty, warm treat that's soothing on the throat.

hot toddy, oops I dropped some lemon pith in there too

You don't see this often on bar and pub menus, but some places will make it for you if they're not busy, and if you ask nicely. The Village Bar and The Bird come to mind. The first time I ordered one at Village, they brought it to me in a little teapot. I almost cried with joy while my friends laughed at my daggy old drink.

Mulled wine and hot cider are nice, but the hot toddy gets me right in the feels. Once, a bartender made one for me using his family recipe. That was a few years ago, and still makes me smile when I think about it.

Drink well and be merry, friends!

Super Simple Herman Bread

cross section, showing crumb

For the last three months, we've been making our own bread. It's gotten to the point where 1kg bags no longer cut it; we bought our first 12kg sack of flour today. Yeah, we're turning into those people.

Without my own science lab, I can't say whether homemade bread is objectively better than bakery stuff or carefully formulated factory bread. But I am loving the process of doing this myself, and making time to think about what goes into an oft-overlooked staple. So, as far as I'm concerned, there's something special about homemade buns and loaves.

We use Herman the German sourdough starter. It's meant for cakes, but we're not big on sweets in our household. Using it for bread is perfect because we are big eaters. The dense and filling end product suits us just fine.

Fancy a super simple sourdough bread recipe?

Feeds 2 people.

500g plain flour  
240ml lukewarm water  
1 tsp salt  
1 cup of Herman

Mix ingredients.

Knead for 10mins.

Leave to rise for at least 2 hours.

Bake @ 230°C for approx. 20 min.

Tap bottom with a spoon. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready.  

That's it. So easy, huh? :)

My best results come from kneading for 10 minutes, leaving for 10 minutes, then kneading again for another 5. The crumb turns out nice and smooth.

This recipe makes a nice loaf, but in my opinion, eats best as 6 little buns.

golden brown outer crust

my loaves always split in the oven

score the dough before you bake it to get cool little patterns

Simple shakshouka in the oven

baked shakshouka

We usually make shakshouka in a fry pan, then eat with a greasy forehead. This time, since it's #baketober, we made it in the oven.

Cooking patterns here again - similar to the egg bakies, except instead of a solid tart, you eat this like a stew.

Bake at: 180°C

Bake in: Ceramic oven dish - or whatever you don't mind eating out of.

Bake how: Add bite-sized pieces of green capsicum and chorizo. Cover with enough tomato puree to just cover. Dust a layer of cumin and stir through. Crack eggs on top.

Bake for: 15 - 25 mins, depending on your oven and how you like your eggs.

With the chorizo, pick the dry-cured type that doesn't need to be cooked for ages. Feel free to add salty, sour cheese (white cheese, feta, etc.) before the egg, or at the end, once baking is done. We added shredded tasty cheese - not very authentic but it's the best we had.

The awesome flavour comes from the tomato and cumin, but you can add other spices for variety - paprika, mustard and the like. I'd consider coriander and lemon for a lighter flavour over summer, if we bake much at all with the summers here.

This was yummy. Between @niaalist and me, we ate one and a half chorizos, a whole capsicum, most of a bottle of passata and 5 eggs. While dessert was tea and a nibble of brownie. :D This is a well-fed month!

Egg bakies

baked egg with broccoli and white cheese, topped with tomato slice

Bake an egg - 12-15mins @ 180°C

I'm trying to commit this to memory. It seems cooking is pretty much simple patterns applied to different ingredients, and if you memorise just a few, you can off the cuff create so many things.

Like these egg bakies we had for dinner last night.

Bake at: 180°C

Bake in: Snack-sized ramekins (baking paper optional)

Bake how: Filling goes in first. Crack an egg on top. Put in oven. Add toppings when done.

Bake for: 12 - 15 mins, depending on your oven and how you like your eggs.

egg bakie

Lots of ingredients work with egg bakies - chopped chorizo, bacon, veggies and cheese, potato, pasta, leftover stew, bolognese, chilli con carne. Though with runny bases, you're better off going directly in the ramekin without baking paper.

For this one, we used broccoli + white cheese (beyaz penir) filling, topped with a slice of fresh tomato, salt + black pepper.

Tell me, what do you use when you make these? I must know all the yummy things. :)

two egg bakies, wrapped in baking paper

I'm joining the #baketober fun this month. You're supposed to bake something you've never baked before, but I'd like to use this opportunity to also get better at recipes I'm familiar with, and get used to our ruddy oven.

Yes, it is legitimate kitchen baking, though if enough of us do it, maybe we can amass 420 recipes. XD

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