Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Sourdough focaccia

I'm finally taking part in a Fantastical Food Fight again.   This time round it's Sourdough and I thought I had a slam dunk.   I made some Sourdough Focaccia.
Sourdough Focaccia
Let me tell you a little about this event first.  We meet once a month, get an assignment, and then either choose to accept it or not. You can go here to find out more info if you like. 

I had every intention of getting this up last night but got distracted, sigh.  

I wanted to make some Schlotzky style sourdough buns, but it turns out they're not really sourdough, at least the kind with a starter and everything.

So I got my starter going, and since I'm cheap, when it came time to divide the starter in two, and discard half, I could not do it.
Just could not do it.
I mean, this poor little guy had been struggling, sorta, in my oven (constant temperature, no air conditioning for this one) for several days.
I could not throw it away.
So I used it and baked a loaf of bread.
It was going to be rolls, but I kinda got sidetracked by my novel, that I'm writing and lost track of time, and they not only over-proofed, they tried to take over the oven.  At any rate, I wrestled the dough back into submission, sorta, formed it into a boule and scored it.  I wanted to serve it with dinner so did not let it rise as much as it could have, but it still tasted good.
I had kept the other half of the starter in the fridge and decided to make it into a Focaccia.
And then that little sucker decided to be shy and it would not bubble merrily along, so I fed it again, and again, and finally... It decided to wake up.  But by that time it was late Tuesday and I wanted to get it baked, photographed written about so I could post it for Wednesday.
Sourdough Starter

Here it is, Wednesday and my dough has been sitting in the oven, slowly proofing all day long, and I finally got it baked, sampled and photographed.

Before baking...
Sourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Focaccia
 After baking...
Sourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Focaccia
And then I ate some alongside my 'Rustic Pot Roast'.

I used mishmash of several recipes, did some research, calculations and this is what I came up with.

I looked at King Arthur's site, and this place and then played, a lot with the starter.

I used 1 cup of starter and 4 cups of flour, oiled the pans for the focaccia and then I finished them off with a grind of fresh salt, which in retrospect was a mistake.
They were too salty for my taste.  But I have the leftovers frozen, and will use them up somewhere. 

While I've used sourdough starter before, I wasn't aware that if you dollop a spoonful of starter into a glass of water, that if it floats the starter is ready to go.  Mine floated.

Sourdough Focaccia

Yield: 16 + Servings
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking adapted from several recipes
prep time: 12 hourcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 12 H & 30 M
This recipe made two full 1/4 sheet pans.


  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups flour + 1 cup for kneading.
  • Olive oil for the pans and topping
  • toppings


How to cook Sourdough Focaccia

  1. Mix the starter with the water and olive oil.  Add one cup of flour and mix in.  Add the salt and an additional cup of flour until you've added almost all the flour.  Your dough may need all four cups, depending on humidity or not.  Dump the dough out onto a board covered with the final cup of flour.   Knead together until you get a nice soft dough that is still slightly sticky.  I used the stretch and fold method to knead it.
  2. Place in oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let sit at room temp or in the oven, for at least 4-6 hours.  The dough will have done a slow rise. 
  3. Take the dough out, divide into two, and plop down onto two 1/4 sheet pans (9x12) or just one pan if you want a really thick focaccia.  Which have have been drizzled with olive oil.  Stretch the dough out to the sides of the pan.  Don't worry if you get more olive oil on top, that's a good thing.  Cover and let rise for another 4-6 hours. By the end of the rise time, the dough will have almost doubled in size again.  Dribble a little olive oil over the top, and then dimple it with your fingers.  Just poke them down into the dough at random areas.  The olive oil will catch into the little holes and that's a good thing. 
  4. I cut some fresh green onions and a tomato into very thin slices and spread them over the top of one of them, then just sprinkled some Italian seasoning over both pans, and a grind of salt.  ( The salt was too much for my palate, I'm not a big salt person).  Bake at 425 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until the tops are just browned a little. 
  5. Serve immediately.
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Monday, June 17, 2019

Flour tortillas from scratch

I make a lot of Mexican food, but had never made flour tortilla's from scratch.  I used to buy a mix by Quaker but can no longer get it, and in fact the only place I seem to find it is online, in rather large quantities.
So, I'm been making flour tortillas from scratch for a few weeks now, I've experimented and played with several recipes and I now have one that I think is as close to the mix as possible.
And this time round I had a happy accident.

Actually I think it was rather fortuitous.  

I grabbed the bread flour and measured out a cup first, realized it, but then decided to go ahead and use it anyway, and then added the AP flour. 

Flour tortillas from scratch
And it worked very well.  
So well in fact, that I figured the recipe was ready to share here.  
The dough.
Flour tortillas from scratch
 It should be fairly soft, but still hold together.
Flour tortillas from scratch
 After the first roll out, I cover them and let them rest, this lets the gluten relax. 
Flour tortillas from scratch
 If you don't do it, the tortilla will go "OOOOOH" and shrink up a little when it's placed in the pan.
Flour tortillas from scratch
 That little piece to the side, is for the cook for tasting purposes.
Flour tortillas from scratch

And this one was rolled out very thin, and not allowed to rest, so it shrunk into itself a little.
Still tasted good though.
Flour tortillas from scratch

Flour Tortilla
Flour tortillas from scratch

Yield: 6-12 tortillas, depending on size and thickness
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking adapted from several recipes
prep time: 45 Mcook time: total time: 45 M
We like a thicker tortilla and these cook up very nicely. Leftovers can be frozen if desired, but we usually eat most of them.


  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour (plus more if needed)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon  vegetable oil (generic brand works great)
  • 3/4 cup + 1-2 tablespoons warm water


How to cook Flour Tortilla

  1. Using a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients. If the dough looks a little dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If it looks a little wet, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Honestly, you sometimes need more of one or the other, depending on the humidity level, and age of the flour.
  2. Using the dough hook, mix all the ingredients for about 5 minutes. The dough will be soft, but will not cling to the sides of the bowl. Take out of the bowl and wrap tightly with cling wrap or place into a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Let it rest on the counter for at least 45 minutes. 
  3. When ready to make the tortillas, divide the dough into equal amounts. I get at least 6-8 tortillas out of each batch. Roll them into a ball and then flatten out into a round using your fingers. Set aside, to rest a few minutes. 
  4. Preheat a well seasoned cast iron pan ( or other heavy bottomed pan) over medium heat. You can also add a spritz or a little teeny bit of oil to the pan if desired.  I do, but then end up having to scrub it afterwards, but it helps with the cooking.
  5. Roll each round of dough into a circle and set aside.  It needs a minute to itself here and recover from its exertions. 
  6. Place the first tortilla into the pan, and let cook for about 1 -11/2 minutes then turn over. It will bubble up a little.  The bottom should have some light brown spots. Flip over, and  let the second side cook for an additional 15-30 seconds, depending on the thickness of the tortilla. As soon as it is cooked, take off of the heat, and either wrap in a flour sack towel or place into a sealed container and smear with butter. This softens the tortilla as it cools. We like them with a touch of butter on each one. Continue to cook each tortilla until all are cooked. Serve immediately.
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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Chicken Cheezy Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers

The theme this month, should you choose to accept it, for Soup Saturday Swappers that is, is a soup using Cheese. We're celebrating Dairy Month and Ashley of Cheese Curd in Paradise is our hostess.
I was conflicted, torn, beside myself.

It's hot outside so I needed something that could be made fast, and of course it had to taste good as well.
Chicken Cheezy Soup

I wavered between my beloved Mexican style soups, and the dim, faint memory I had of a used to be famous beer cheese soup from the now defunct Baby Doe's Matchless Mine in Dallas. Which apparently was based on Cheese Whiz.

And then my attention went to a soup my niece made for us about ten years ago, which was basically a potato cheese soup.

I tell you my mind was confused looking at all my options, so I went sorta mexican, sorta beer cheese soup and kinda potato cheese.

Not when you taste this you won't.  I'm just calling it Chicken Cheezy Soup.
It's also a sippable soup.  I know, but having a soup I can sip while working at my computer, is a good thing.
Chicken Cheezy Soup

Chicken Cheezy Soup

I think this one hits most of the right notes as well. 

To start with, I used some of my home made stock.  You can use packaged stock as well. I did amp up the flavor using some Herb Ox chicken seasoning as well. It's salt free, but adds a nice note.
Chicken Cheezy Soup
   And there is plenty of salt in the cheese sauce. Yes, I said cheese sauce, I used some Velveeta Cheese sauce in here. I don't use a lot of prepackaged stuff, but DH likes his mashed taters with the addition of instant garlic potato flakes and you can't beat the meltability (is that a word?) of Velveeta.  I chose to use the cheese sauce in this recipe.

Cheezy Chicken Soup
Chicken Cheezy Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 25 M
Full of cheese flavor, it's perfect with a slice of home made bread.


Cheezy Chicken Soup
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 packet Herb Ox chicken base (no salt)
  • 2- 4 oz. Pouches Velveeta Cheese Sauce
  • 1 cup beer- I used Corona
  • ½ cup instant garlic potato flakes
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic- minced
  • Chives for garnish
  • Sliced Radish for garnish if desired
  • Leftover cooked chicken, minced if desired.


How to cook Cheezy Chicken Soup

  1. Simmer the soup stock, roasted garlic and beer together for 5 minutes. Whisk in the instant potato flakes and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese sauce and heat through. Serve with some chopped chives on top and some leftover chicken. This also goes well with toasted sourdough buns.
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