Thursday, May 28, 2015

Australian Jack (Oatmeal Bars)

Traditional Australian oatmeal 'cake'/cookie bar...

2 tsp water
1½ cups oatmeal
1 tsp ground ginger
½ C unsalted butter
1/3 C dark brown sugar
¼ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 300˚.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Dissolve baking soda in water, combine thoroughly with creamed butter & sugar.

Stir in oatmeal and ginger. Mixture should be fairly firm; if necessary add a little additional oatmeal. Knead briefly on lightly floured surface; press in a greased 9x9 baking pan or similar (dough should be about ½" thick).

Bake 35 minutes or until browned on top. Cut into wedges while still hot.

Australian Damper

Traditional bread made by Australian drovers in the outback - traditionally cooked in the coals of a campfire. (The photo isn't mine...we baked ours in round cake pans in the oven.  ...though we did serve it with vegemite!)

2½ C flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
1 tsp sugar
1 C freshly mixed powdered milk - or use water
     (I used fresh milk, not powdered.)

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter. Stir in milk to form a dough; knead briefly. Shape into flattened ball.

To cook in campfire coals, wrap in a double layer of well greased foil and place in coals of a campfire - OR - place in a cast iron skillet and 'nestle' in the the coals of a campfire.

To cook in the oven...  Preheat to 350˚; place dough in a greased round cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Eat in thick slices while warm, with butter, jam or vegemite. :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fluffy Pancakes

It felt like a pancakes morning, and I remembered that just last month there were four different basic pancake recipes in Food Network magazine (fluffy, diner-style, thin and lacy, and multigrain). I made the "fluffy" pancake version. Flavor was nothing out of the ordinary (maybe I'd try buttermilk next time), but they were very thick, light and fluffy, a wonderfully tender texture.

1½ C flour
3 T confectioner's sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1¼ C milk
1 egg yolk
3 egg whites
4 T unsalted butter, melted & cooled
½ tsp vanilla extract 

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg yolk, melted butter and vanilla. In another bowl, beat egg whites into stiff peaks.

Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined (a few lumps are okay). Stir in a third of the egg whites; then gently fold in the rest until just combined - do not overmix.

Pour batter onto non-stick griddle lightly coated with butter. Cook until bubble form on top and the bottom i slightly browned (about 3 minutes). Flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side (about 1 minute more).