Monday, July 15, 2019

Bread Can Be the Highlight of the Menu

Our summer picnics all are fun, meeting the meal criteria for environment, menu and service. The environment-a beautiful state park on a shady table and a summer day is hard to beat. The service-between a loving couple is a bright and cheer setting. The platter, with cold salsas, roasted vegetables and chicken, garnished with aged cheddar cheese was good. The bread was the highlight.

Tomato Baguette with Olives, Pepper & Onions

(2 large baquettes-16 servings)

Saute onions and peppers in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced

Add tomato paste, cayenne, olives and tomatoes.  Set aside to cool.
2 tablespoon tomato paste
Dash Cayenne
1/3 cup Kalamata Olives, diced
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced

In bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place, mix flours, yeast, salt and pepper.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon 3/4 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Slowly add warm water to bowl.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes, stirring bowl down.
1 3/4 cup water (125 F)

Add flour and oil.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, stirring bowl down mid-way.
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon olive oil

Add tomato-olive mixture with semolina flour and knead at low speed.  Then slowly add remaining whole wheat flour, kneading at low speed for about 6 minutes until dough leaves sides of the bowl.
Tomato olive mixture
3/4 cup semolina flour
1 cup whole wheat flour 

Turn dough into a bowl greased with olive oil spray.  Turn and cover.  Let rise for about 45 minutes.

Divide dough into half and place each piece in large baguette pan greased with olive oil spread.  Smooth and round edges of dough to within 2 inches from edges.  Bake at 450 F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

The roasted vegetables on the platter were assorted squashes, coated in olive oil and this seasoning:
Za'atar Seasoning
3 Tbsp. Dry Thyme
1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seed
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
2 Tbsp. Lemon Peel

The small roasted chicken was first spatchcocked (I removed the backbone) and soaked refrigerated in apple juice, peppercorns and thyme before roasting. We made several meals out of the vegetables and chicken. I threw in some cooked black beans, fresh sliced cucumbers and homemade salsa. (tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, green onion and garlic).

Our picnic today was at Cedar Creek, a West Virginia State Park near Glenville.  This was a  2 hour drive, some of it on country roads.

When leaving the park, Bob spotted a blue heron.

It was a great adventure!


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