Women, Wheat, & What to do when your oven doesn’t start!

My hands are in the air
There are two basic truths that I have found hold pretty firm: #1- Kansas grows a LOT of wheat. People don’t call us “The Wheat State” for nothing! and #2- Women are pretty resourceful! That’s why in my adventures in cooking I couldn’t miss a beat when my oven wouldn’t turn on right before this segment…because I was baking BREAD! That might also explain why Marsha Boswell, with Kansas Wheat, came to enjoy that bread and tell us about an upcoming conference JUST FOR WOMEN called “Women Managing the Farm!”

You see, women have always played a roll on the farm- sometimes it’s cooking good food for the farmer they love and sometimes it’s managing the whole dern thing! That’s why Women Managing the Farm has created this great opportunity to aid women who are helping to grow the nation’s food supply whether by design, marriage or inheritance. The Women Managing the Farm Conference is slated for February 4-5, 2016, in Manhattan, Kansas at the Hilton Garden Inn. You can learn more and get registered right here.

Rosemary Cardamom TwistersAs for my kitchen crusades, I had the privilege of trying out some FABULOUS bread recipes from the National Festival of Breads cookbook (get yours free) and here’s your chance to try them, too. But take it from me… you’ll want your oven to be in good working order. Because Smokehouse Cranberry Cheese Bread and Rosemary Cardamom Twisters won’t bake themselves!

SMOKEHOUSE CRANBERRY CHEESE BREAD
smokehouse-cranberryIngredients

2 (¼ ounce) packages RED STAR® Quick·Rise™ Yeast
3 tablespoons (1 ounce) warm water (110°-115°F)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) maple syrup
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (4 ounces) silken tofu
4 large eggs
2 cups (6 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda or smoked Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ½ to 5 cups (19 to 22 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, divided
1 cup (5 ounces) sweetened dried cranberries

Directions

1. In small bowl, whisk together yeast, water, and maple syrup. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for mixture to foam (proof).
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, blend together butter and tofu until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in cheese, salt, pepper, yeast mixture, and 4 cups of flour; blend well. Exchange paddle for dough hook.
4. Mix in cranberries and gradually add enough remaining flour until a soft dough forms. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes on low to medium speed. Place dough in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
5. Deflate dough and divide in half. Shape into 6” to 7”round loaves, and place into two buttered 9”round cake pans. Cover; let dough rise until doubled, 40 to 45 minutes. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 400°F. Uncover and with a sharp knife or lame, make a ¼”deep “X” slash across the top of each loaf.
6. Bake 25 – 27 minutes until golden brown, tenting with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf should register about 200°F. Remove from oven, and after a few minutes turn loaves out onto a rack to cool.

This recipe was the National Festival of Breads 2015 Grand Champion by Lisa Keys, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

ROSEMARY CARDAMOM TWISTERS
rosemary-cardamomIngredients

Dough
3 ½ cups (14 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 to 1 1/3 cups (4 ¼ to 5 ¾ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) warm milk (110°-115°F)
1 (¼ ounce) package RED STAR® Active Dry Yeast
1/3 cup (3 ounces) warm buttermilk (110°-115°F)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

Filling
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary; 1 to 2 sprigs
½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup (1 7/8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar

Glaze
½ cup (4 ounces) water
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) granulated sugar

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, combine white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, combine warm milk and yeast. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for mixture to foam (proof). Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla; stir to combine.
3. Pour yeast mixture into the flour mixture; mix 2 minutes. Beat in the butter. Switch to dough hook, and if needed, gradually add enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to form a slightly sticky dough. Knead 10 to 12 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise 1 ½ hours.
4. While dough rises, make the filling. Remove rosemary leaves from the stems and chop leaves until very fine. Combine the filling ingredients and reserve.
5. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Roll out one piece into a square, 14” x 14”. Spread half of the filling completely over the dough then fold into thirds.
6. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 12 short strips. To shape, work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered. Gently stretch each piece of dough while twisting each end 2 to 3 times, then coil the strip together and tuck the end underneath the coil.  Place on parchment-lined 18” x 13” baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
7. Cover rolls with plastic wrap, and let dough rise until doubled, 30 to 40 minutes. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 375°F. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, until golden brown.
8. While rolls are baking, combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove rolls from oven; immediately brush with glaze and cool on a rack.

This recipe was a National Festival of Breads 2015 Finalist by Amy Meiers, Santa Rosa, California.

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

**This recipe was featured as part of Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen on  WIBW 13 News, November 2015. Special thanks to the farmers and ranchers of the Kansas Farm Bureau for making this segment possible

5 thoughts on “Women, Wheat, & What to do when your oven doesn’t start!

  1. Pingback: 2015: This Year in Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen! | Chef Alli's Farm Fresh Kitchen

  2. Pingback: Two Kansas Bread Recipes: Happy Birthday, Kansas!!! | Chef Alli's Farm Fresh Kitchen

  3. Pingback: Celebrate Kansas with a Bakery-Quality Sunflower Cake! | Chef Alli's Farm Fresh Kitchen

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