Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kraut Burgers

Rick's mom made these often for him when he was growing up. I keep forgetting to get her actual recipe (I'm sure I've gotten it numerous times and have lost it), and since we were craving them today, and she was at BYU all day, I had to just go off of memory. They turned out great and the boys devoured them!

Don't let the dough scare you off, as it's so simple to make and only rests for an hour, which is plenty of time to cut everything up and get the mixture cooked thoroughly. This recipe makes 24 large rolls and would be easy to cut in half. I ate two, the boys each ate two, and Rick had four + one later tonight! Hopefully that gives you a good idea of how many to plan on. If you end up with extras, you can easily freeze them, either after they're cooked or uncooked.

Whenever Jane makes these, she will also make extra dough and make "pigs-in-a-blanket" for the kids. They bake the same amount of time, so it's a fun addition when you have younger kids or are feeding a crowd.


1/2 c. warm water
4 t. active dry yeast
4 T. sugar
1 3/4 c. warm milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. butter softened
2 t. salt
7-8 c. flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water (make sure it isn't hot or it will kill the yeast). Once it starts to activate, add all the other ingredients and knead for 8 minutes (either with a mixer or by hand). Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth; let it rise until double (about an hour). Punch down and divide in half. Roll dough out on a floured surface, into a rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 12 squares. Fill each square generously with the hamburger filling. Fold in two opposite corners, then the other two corners and pinch into a little "purse" so all the ends are secure (making sure to not stretch the top of the bun too thin). Spray cooking spray onto a cookie sheet and place the rolls seam side down. Continue with the second batch of dough, so you end up with 24 rolls total. Let the rolls sit for about 20 minutes to rise (this step isn't completely necessary if you're in a hurry). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until nice and golden brown. Once they are out of the oven, rub tops with a little butter. Serve with mustard and ketchup.


1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. sauerkraut (optional)
olive oil

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan, and cook onion until translucent. Add garlic and stir a few times. Add hamburger meat and stir, breaking up the chunks into small pieces. Add cabbage and sauerkraut and cook for at least 15 minutes, until all cabbage is soft and looses it's color. Drain any excess liquid off and it's ready to be used.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mom's Artisan Bread

My mom has made this artisan bread for years and I've always loved it. This last trip to Moab, I wrote down my mom's recipe and directions and we decided to make it today, on conference weekend. I showed Harrison how to make it, so he can whip up a batch for our family now and then. It takes no time or preparation at all and is delicious!

Artisan Bread

3 C. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. yeast
1 7/8 c. lukewarm water

In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together with a spatula, until all the flour is gone. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it overnight.

In the morning, put about 1/2 cup more flour in the dough (which is now full of bubbles) and stir with a spatula, until it’s not so sticky. Use a little more flour, as needed and you can use your hands to knead it a bit until most of the flour is combined. It will still be a little lumpy. Form into a ball.

Dump a little flour on a flour sack cloth and put  the ball of dough in the middle and fold the cloth over the dough. Leave for 2 hours.

After the dough has sat for 2 hours, heat oven to 430 degrees, putting a dutch oven or other pan (that has a lid) in the oven while it preheats. (I just use my biggest stock-pot that is oven safe and has a lid.) Once preheated, remove the pan form oven, spray with cooking spray, place the dough in it, and put the lid on top. Bake for 30 minutes and then take lid off and bake 5-10 minutes longer until the top is brown.

Harrison's first loaf of artisan bread!

Créme Brûléed Chocolate Bundt Cake

Harrison wanted me to make créme brûlée for his birthday, instead of cake. However, we ended up having about 40 people over for dinner, so I was trying to convince him to choose something that would be a better dessert to feed a crowd. We looked in my new cookbook that Rick got me for my birthday, "Baking with Julia," and found this dreamy recipe and we just couldn't resist trying it!

I doubled the creme brûlée part of the recipe, but I think next time I will actually triple it so that each piece has a little more (I've tripled it here in this recipe). The recipe says to top the cake with the créme brûlée, and then torch it, but next time I make it, I will wait until the cake is sliced and on individual plates before topping with the créme brûlée and torch each individual serving. After slicing the cake, a lot of the pieces didn't have any of the caramelized sugar on their serving. I would also serve the raspberries on the side of each individual serving--the original recipe calls for them to be added to the middle of the cake.

If you choose to just make the chocolate bundt cake, and not worry about the créme brûlée topping, it is still a fantastic recipe. It's a type of chiffon cake and was one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever tasted!

Créme Brûlée Topping (tripled from original recipe)

1 1/2 c. heavy cream
3 vanilla beans
15 egg yolks, at room temperature
9 T. sugar

Pour the cream into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pan, toss in the pod, and stir to mix. Bring just to a boil over low heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together just to blend. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk, continuously and energetically, until the mixture is very pale and hot to the touch. Remove the yolks form the heat. Gradually, but steadily, whisk the cream into the yolks, pod and all.

Put the bowl back over the hot water and let it sit there, with the heat turned off, whisking occasionally, from 5-10 minutes, until the cream thickens. Set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and allow the mixture to cool, whisking now and then. When the custard is cool to the torch, retrieve and discard the vanilla bean and push the mixture through a strainer into a clean bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (can be made a day ahead).

The Cake

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
4 eggs, separated
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. water
1 t. vanilla extract
2 egg whites

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-cup bundt pan and dust the inside, including the center tube, with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.

Sift together 1 cup of the sugar, the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda into a small bowl and then add the salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, oil, water, and vanilla until blended. Whisk the dry ingredients gradually into the yolk mixture; set aside.

Beat the 6 egg whites in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or work with a hand-held mixer. At low speed, beat the whites until they're foamy and form very soft peaks. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining 1/2 c. sugar, beating until the whites are thick and shiny and hold peaks. Fold about one third of the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then turn the yolk mixture into the whites and fold it in gently but thoroughly.

Pour and scrape the batter into the pan. Place the pan on a jelly-roll pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. (My cake was done in 30 minutes, so watch oven closely.) The top of the cake may show some cracks and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for at least 25 minutes before unmolding it onto a rack and allowing it to cool completely.

Finishing the Cake

2 pints raspberries
1/4 c. + 1/2 c. sugar

Toss the raspberries in some sugar and let sit while prepping the cake. Right before serving, cut cake into pieces and put on serving plates. Put a dollop of créme brûlée topping on each piece of cake and put a few raspberries on the side. Sprinkle each dollop of créme brûlée with a little sugar and work with a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar.