Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups ground Graham Crackers
1/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Crush graham crackers in a plastic bag or in this modern world, blend them in the food processor.
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Press into a pie plate.
For baked pie: Bake 375F for 7-8 min.
For cold filling: Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling

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Lois’ Banana Cream Pie

A classic from my sister Lois.

1 9″ Graham cracker crust
2 bananas
1 8oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
2 c. milk
1 3 1/2 oz. instant vanilla pudding mix
toasted coconut

1. Slice the bananas into the crust.
2. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk to softened cream cheese, mixing until well blended. This can be done in a mixer on slow speed.
3. Add pudding mix and remaining milk, beat slowly for 1 minute. Pour into crust and chill until firm. Garnish with coconut.

Sourdough Bread

The following “recipes” are a adapted from recipes I found on the websites of Bread Insanely Interested, bread magazine and Breadtopia.com. I recommend both sites for instruction and detailed directions for making sourdough bread and starter.

Prepare the Starter (Biga / sponge)
In a glass bowl or measuring cup mix together:
1 spoonful of sourdough starter
75g flour
75g water

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment at room temperature until bubbly and about double in bulk. I usually allow 8 hours (it tends to be cool in my house). The sponge will grow, and then shrink. For best bread rise try to catch it before it drops, but if not, use it anyway.

Don’t forget to refresh the starter by adding equal parts by weight of flour and water (about 50g)

Basic Sourdough
400g bread flour (if you want straight white bread use 500g bread flour and skip the whole grain flour)
100g whole grain flour (oat, rye, spelt)
350g water
125g Sourdough Starter (biga)
10g salt

Rye Sourdough
250g Bread Flour
250g Rye Flour
350g Water
70g Sourdough Starter (biga)
44g Moasses
1 tsp. Fennel Seed
1 tsp. Anise Seed
1 tsp. Caraway Seed
12g Salt
Zest of 1 Orange

Place the flour(s) and salt a large bowl. Mix the starter and water in a separate bowl (and molasses & spices if making rye). Stir the wet ingredients into the flour. Allow to stand 15 minutes. Mix again, the dough should be softer. Mix again after 15 minutes.

Cover and allow to rise until double. Optimally, stretch the dough at least a few times to strengthen it by pulling a portion and folding it over itself. Work around the ball of dough. Again, I expect it to take 8-14 hours to rise (cool here, remember).

Form the loaf into the shape you desire (round or oval). Please see breadtopia.com for an excellent video on shaping the dough.

Place the shaped loaf into a form. For an oval loaf I use a bread basket lined with parchment paper, for a round loaf I use a souffle dish, also lined with parchment.

Cover loosely and allow to rise again, about 2 hours.

To bake I use a cast iron pot or clay baker to make a crusty loaf. I find this works best for me.

Preheat the oven and pot to 450F. Allow to heat for 30 minutes before baking.

Slit the top of the loaf. Optionally, brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Place the loaf, parchment and all in the pot and cover. Bake 25 minutes, remove lid and bake an additional 20 minutes. Internal temp. should be 200F.

Basic Bread Proportions
85% white flour
15% whole grain flour
70% water
25% starter
2% salt