Making brown rice, not the instant stuff

In my quest to cook with more natural ingredients I have shunned instant rice. I now buy my rice in the bulk section of Whole Foods in the hopes that the grain is a little more nutritious. Making rice that’s not instant felt very daunting. I don’t know why, it seems like such a simple thing to cook, but the second it becomes a raw food to cook it seems much more challenging.

After a short search I cam across this blog of Steve Pavlina‘s. He explains the cooking of this rice in a very simple way. Who knew? I only needed about 30 minutes to make it from start to finish. You may be wondering why I am going through all this effort to make rice, well it’s an ingredient in a soup I wanted to attempt. I decided to wing it a little with this soup and come up with my own measurements…now I have a rice side with some turkey breast and pasta sauce in it. The rice is really thirsty.

Anyway, here is how to cook up some brown rice that is not of the instant variety. (What do they do to it to make it cook so much faster?)

How to cook Brown Rice

1.5 c water for every 1 c of rice
I made 2 c of rice. Simple math time…3 c water…and it worked!

put water and rice together roiling boil

First step: put the water and rice together in a pot, uncovered, heat to rolling boil.

cover the rice

Next: lower heat so water is simmering, cover, let simmer for 20 minutes.

all done

Finally: turn off heat, let sit minimum of 10 minutes. Then either eat or in my case add it to my soup attempt.

There you have it, super simple, just takes that little extra time to be prepared.

Custom Flour for Baking

Whole wheat, spelt, and unbleached flour

Whole wheat, spelt, and unbleached all-purpose flour

Just a quick recipe I would like to share for anyone who would like to start baking with whole wheat flour. From experience don’t switch your baking to 100% whole wheat, it’s just icky. But this is the ratio of flours I have come up with and works pretty well for almost all of my baking. There are some flops here and there, but for the most part it works out pretty well. This also works great for pizza dough. Just don’t tell anyone, they won’t notice the difference until you say something.

Katie’s Custom Flour Mix

.25 c 100% whole wheat stone ground flour (Hodgeson Mill)
.25 c spelt flour, unbleached, sometimes comes in wheat (Whole Foods bulk section)
.5 c all purpose flour, unbleached, unenriched (Trader Joe’s)

For each cup I whisk it together to blend the flours as much as I can. I use one of those medium sized Oxo airtight pop-top containers for mixing and storage. Pretty much an air-tight container is the best storage for flour.

Graham Crackers aka Cheesecake Crust

 
5/24/12: Let me preface this with, I am terrible with dough. Especially when it’s for something that should be a dessert. I have improved with pizza dough (see earlier post) but I have not even attempted pie crust. Anyway this is a recipe from Dining on a Dime again. This time for graham cracker crust. The purpose of making this is so that I can have a super made from scratch cheesecake. Not sure how it will work, since they seem to be a little less than crunchy (I’m thinking not rolled thin enough as some parts are crunchier).
 
So we will find out in the next couple of days how it works as a crust. I will most likely be blending them up instead of the standard meat pounder to break them up. If I remember I will post the cheesecake recipe as well. It’s a hybrid of 2 that I will be trying out for this weekend.
 
5/26/12: Sorry this post has been taking me a few days.. The graham crackers after sitting overnight became crunchier. I would still make them thinner the next time I attempt them. The cheesecakes are made (2 of the same hybrid) will be coming soon. So we’ll find out then how the graham crackers turned out, when I sampled some they were pretty tasty.
 

Graham Crackers from scratch

2.5-3 c flour (recipe calls for whole wheat, I use a blend of whole wheat, spelt and unbleached all purpose)
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
¼
tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c applesauce (home made, or oil (which is what the recipe called for))
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp molasses (or dark corn syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c milk (I used skim)

Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Then combine the wet ingredients into a smaller bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix well. By the end you will need to mix with your hands. If the dough is too sticky add flour, too wet add milk. Preheat your oven to 300°. Divide the dough in half and roll onto 2 large cookie sheets. (My 9*13 was a bit small (not sure what my second tray size was) since rolling thin is good, they do puff up).

You want to cut lines making squares however large you would like. Then prick with a fork, or if you’re using the fancy Pampered Chef double sided roller it has a thing for pricking dough attached. Anyway, bake for 15-25 minutes, mine took more like 30, again roll THIN! Remove from oven once brown on edges (more brown than what it started). Let cool and store in an airtight container, or like me ground up for cheesecake crust. Makes 4-4 ½ cups of crumbs.