Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


Traveling: Lamb and Tomato Breads w Lentil Salad

When it comes to a suggestion to eat out, especially to our little local-walk-to-it Tex-Mex Cafe, I am a push over. I’ll over through a meal I’ve fixed (not throw out just put on hold) and I’m ready to go. It’s not fancy but there’s one dish Gorn is assured to enjoy (Chicken Enchilada Verde) and I go wild for their Chicken Spinach Chili Relleno – grilled not fried. So we really enjoy the meal but it’s the walking there and back that somehow is the real beauty of the thing. One night we got caught in a thunderstorm and stood under the porch of the junior high. Some nights we’ve stopped to watch baseball practice at the middle school. We most always walk by a church community garden to see how things are growing. The bonus is we get four meals out of the deal as we always go home with half our dinner that becomes lunch the next day.  Perhaps the real bonus is actually the calories burned walking there and back.

Big Bubble

Big Bubble

The night I was going to serve these Lamb Breads and Lentil Salad, we went out to dinner. I baked two of the breads with no topping to serve with our glass of wine before dinner. We loved the flatbreads just plain.
Several nights later, I finally served everything as suggested in the book. The lamb was good, nothing spectacular just good. If I do it again: I’ll serve it as an appetizer and so make the breads much smaller. Instead of shallots, I might use Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions.
UPDATE: I stand corrected. I can’t really account for it but when I mixed up a fresh batch of this dough and served these leftovers, we thought the meal was excellent. Was it the fresher dough? I’m not sure but I lean more to: I made the breads smaller and I added several large shavings of cheese to the lamb. I wish I’d thought to add the mint when they came out of the oven.

Lamb & Tomato Breads ~ lachmunjau, lachma bi ujun

Recipe Adapted from: FLatBreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid


1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon yeast
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sprouted wheat whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons flax seed meal
7 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil, for sauteing
1/2 cup shallot, use caramelized onions
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound lamb, ground (another fine example of not being able to read or maybe I can blame it on my cataracts)
10 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, use more
1/8 teaspoon allspice, use more
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper



2. Whisk together bread flour, yeast and salt.
Mix together honey, water and oil.
Mix the above together and then begin adding in the sprouted whole wheat until the dough is to thick to stir with the wooden spoon.

3. Turn the dough onto the counter, and knead in the remaining flour until a smooth elastic dough forms. Took less than 10 minutes and used about a cup and a quarter of the sprouted wheat flour.

4. Cover and let rise until double in size.
Took about 90 minutes.

5. Divide the into at least 12 balls.
Allow to rest 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°

6. Flatten the dough balls with your hand and then roll them to about 4 inch rounds.
Place on baking sheet or semolina dusted bread peel if baking on a stone.

7. Top each disk with lamb or another topping, plain is good too.
Don’t go to the edge with topping.

8. Slide into oven onto pre-heated baking stone.
Bake at the 450° between 7 and 8 minutes.


10. Saute shallots or use caramelized onions.
Saute the lamb.
Add tomatoes and cook until most of liquid has evaporated.

11. Add cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper.
Set aside. I made this the day before and refrigerateed it.


Mint with the lamb would be good.
Grilled chicken instead of lamb would be good.

Lentil & Sweet Pepper Salad

Recipe By: FLatBreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid

1 cup Le Puy Lentils
3 cups water or broth
3 cloves garlic, cut in 1/2
1 red bell (capsicum) pepper, large dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, dry roast then finely ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground with coriander & salt
1/4 cup cilantro
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 carrot, julienne cut

1. Cook lentils. Took about 45 minutes.

2. Whisk together the spices, oil and lemon juice.
When ready to serve mix lentils, carrot and red pepper with dressing.
Serve at room temp.


I really enjoyed this even more by topping it with roasted beet salad.

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One of the great mysteries of life: sometimes things just fall apart, no known reason.  My little Canon just went blank, not exactly blank, it now shows sort of a test pattern of lines with a little leaf on it.  So … all these were taken with my phone ;(

How many dips does a ring knead?


Savory Sesame Bread Rings with extras ~ Baking Through Flatbreads and Flavors

How many dips does a ring knead?

How many dips does a ring knead?

Ring o’round the rosie
Rope, rope ... make me a ring ...

Rope, rope ... make me a ring ...

A pocket o’full of posies

Ring, ring, ring around ...

Atishoo, Atishoo we have ka’kat
Seedy Ring

Seedy Ring

The globe spins in rings and we find our mad Baking Through Flatbreads & Flavors friends in the Middle East!  Oh, this is the Flavors referenced in the title.  Yes, indeedy.  Once again, I’m amazed at how the simple combination of yeast, water and flour comes together as “bread” and again is absolutely new, absolutely different and oh so absolutely fabulous.

Ring: before going seedy

Ring: before going seedy

Bread … This bread is a Ring of Magic!  It is my magic and this bread is a ring or loop if you want to be technical.  Define: Ring of Magic Please another ring please.  I took a loaf to one couple who’d been cooking

Dip me, dip me ...

Dip me, dip me ...

 chicken tetrazzini for two hours – wow their house smelled amazing.  About an hour later, he returned the spice blend bowls saying:  That was evil, really evil.  We ruined our dinner.  Just ate your bread.

Share with friends ...

Share with friends ...

This is just so simple to put together and so stunningly wonderful.  Kneading is easy and fast; it’s the perfect size dough ball for a beginner.

Savory Sesame Bread Rings ~ ka’kat ~ Israel

Join us ...

Join us ...

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 340 grams water, warm
  • 3-4 cups bread and www flours
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, whisked for egg wash
  • 4-5 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • accompaniments
  • Ground thyme & sesame Blend, p 208
  • Hazelnut Spice Blend, p 211
  • olive oil for dipping
1.  Whisk together 1 cup flour, salt and yeast.
Stir in warm water.
2.  Stir in flour a cup at a time.  I used a mix of flours: 1 cup bread, 1 cup white whole wheat, 1 cup sprouted wheat flour.  Extra bread flour for kneading.
3.  Knead for 8 minutes more or less: dough should finally feel smooth and elastic.
4.  Oil container to rise dough in and cover.
Allow to rise to double in volume: should take close to an hour.
5.  Deflate the dough and divide into four pieces.
6.  Roll each dough ball into a rope. The aim is to make the rope into a loop that will then fit the length of the sheet pan used to bake the bread.
7.  Place the ka’kat rings on the lightly oiled baking sheets.
Aim for a long oval shape with each loop and two loops should fit on one sheet pan.
Let rise for 20 to 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400°
8.  After the rise/rest, brush each loop with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake 15 to 17 minutes.
Loaves should be nicely browned when done.
9.  Cool slightly before serving with olive oil and spice blends.
Which one ... each one!

Which one ... each one!

Servings/Yield: Servings: 4 large rings; 1 large ring will serve 2 hungry people or 4-6 as appetizers.

Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker's Atlas by J Alford and N Duguid

Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker's Atlas by J Alford and N Duguid

Source: FLatBreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid

I LOVED the hazelnut blend – used 30 hazelnuts, lots more than the recipe called for 😉   Everybody very much enjoyed the thyme & sesame blend!  But the bread was excellent with just olive oil and that tiny pinch of salt.

Will update this with all my Baking Through Flatbreads & Flavors friends







Lacy Coconut Milk-Pancakes & Coconut Chicken Curry ~ Baking Through Flatbreads & Flavors

For this leg of our travel through the baker’s atlas, we find ourselves mixing Chinese and Malaysia cooking.  The cultural mix is called Nyonyas/Baba.


Stew, soup, chowder, chili … do they make you tear your hair out and want to trash your camera.  I love them all.  I have multiple books on each.  I have hundreds of recipes for them that we’re wild for.  I make them through every season.  Certainly the flavor and pedigree for many of the recipes is very blog worthy.  But, really now how can you wax eloquent on something that looks like dog food straight out of the can?

Soaked chiles

I absolutely loved cooking this chicken curry.  I started by soaking 4 dried red chiles and then pureeing them with shallots, ginger, garlic and a few macadamia nuts.

Chile paste fries with spices

Soaked Chilies and the puree … they make don’t make exciting photos, at least not with the camera in my hands.  Toasting the spices for the curry was heaven.  Toasted cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds all get ground up in a mortar with pestle and finally turmeric is mixed in with the ground spices.  The Chilie puree is fried in a small amount of olive oil for several minutes and then the toasted ground spices added to that.

Swirl in the coconut milk

Finally the  chicken and part of the coconut milk are added to the rich sauce and allowed to simmer.  This is where the photos start to transform into less than appetizing enticing visuals.

Now the “bread” for this recipe is pancakes.  Not just ordinary pancakes although the ingredient list is simple and not to unlike ordinary pancakes or crepes:  white whole wheat flour, salt, coconut milk, a touch of oil and an egg.  What sets these apart and creates the challenge is that word “lacy”.  My first batch of lacy pancakes were created in ignorance – you know that old saying of a picture is worth a thousand words.

Not lacy, lacy pancakes.

Yes, ignorance.  I thought these were lacy.  Then Elizabeth put up this link and I was sunk.  Not only were the pictures of the prepared dish of the chicken and pancakes “pee-uck” (the unmentionable dog food) my “lacy” was not lacy. So try again I simply had to.  The dinner was very fine, we were both happy taste wise but I wanted lacy!  How nice to have just a little of the chicken left over!  Lacy, you will be mine …

Several days later, thinking bigger holes, thinner batter I tried again with the lacy.  I tried the tin can with bigger holes … lost half my batter through those bigger holes and got one large and I do mean large SOLID pancake.  Next I tried with a pancake gadget again only with thinner batter – I just added more coconut milk until I thought it would work better.

Now that's LACY! I'm happy with that

With just a little practice I got something much closer to LACY!  So I had a lacy pancake, now could I get something that might make you interested?  Remember I said I had leftover chicken curry.

Add Chicken Curry

Start with the pancake

Color, a veggie, interest, needs something more …

Tapas of Coconut Milk Chicken Curry on Lacy Lacy Pancake

Leftovers become an elegant appetizer for a little bites dinner!  Holy Moly now that seems like a little bit of genius.  As is so often the case with stews and soups, the next day this was even better!  Now, I just have to let my hair grow back.

My fellow bloggers cooking/baking their way through Flatbreads and Flavors:

Baking Soda
Elizabeth Astrid
Gretchen Noelle Heather @girlichef
Natashya Natashya


Pueblo Carne Adobado – Pueblo Chile-Bathed Pork ~ Southwest United States

Yes, I’m traveling with a blogging bunch using “Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas” as our Travel Guide.  This trip took everybody to the American Southwest.  I joined this group just in time to get in on the first recipe and believe me I could gush and totally bore you out of your mind telling you how way fabulous this meal was and will be again.  I know that for a fact, except that I’ve never found my husband boring especially when he’s repeating things like “I can’t remember when I’ve eaten a better dinner.”  “That was really excellent.”  “You out did your self with that one.”  I could bore you but he never bores me.

I’d like to keep this simple but I don’t think I can.  Couple of things you should know.

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  • This is not Tex-Mex, it is not Mexican.  This is Southwestern.
  • Southwester Cuisine:  Best characterized as fusion of rustic cooking from native people from New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, California and Mexico with a Spanish influence.  In Texas, we have Tex-Mex but it seems very far removed from the freshness and complexity of Southwestern Cuisine.
  • The Pepper details:  Chili refers to a thick stew.  Chile refers to the Peppers.
  • Even super hot peppers can be rendered cool.  A Pepper’s heat/spiciness is measured in Scoville Units.
  • “Dried red New Mexico chiles are not particularly hot, but they are full of flavor and give the sauce depth as well as a beautiful color.”  ~ “Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas”

That last is really key to the success and taste of the Pork dish on this trip to the Southwest.

Pueblo Chile-Bathed Pork
Carne Adobado (marinated meat)
Adapted from: FLatBreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid
Serving Size: 8

11 red New Mexico chiles (dried guajillos), stems removed

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, dried
3 tablespoons oil
additional: 1 cup chicken broth & 1/2 cup red wine

Cut pork into cubes, place in shallow casserole.

Chile Sauce: In blender combine chiles with seeds, water, salt, garlic and oregano & blend to a smooth paste.

Pour sauce over pork cubes/bites mixing to coat.
Marinate in fridge 12 to 24 hours.

Reserve marinade.  I had to add 1/2 cup wine (oh the shame-red was open) and 1 cup chicken broth to give it some liquid character.  You really want more of this sauce!

Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat.
Brown meat in small batches.  As red as this sauce is, I could not really see that the meat brown.  It browned for about 7 minutes a batch.
Pour reserved marinade over meat and simmer an hour.

Serve with

Blue Corn Tortillas

Recipe By: FLatBreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid
Yield: 12 tortillas – 5-6 inch diameter


200 grams blue cornmeal
1 1/2  cups water, boiling
3/4  cup AP flour –  part white whole wheat


Pour boiling water over blue corn meal, stirring well.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes thus hydrating the corn meal.

Stir in 1/2 cup AP flour to the corn meal and then turn all out onto counter.  Using remaining 1/4 cup of flour, knead the dough several minutes.

Dough will be soft but not strong.
Return the dough to bowl covering it – shower cap – and allow to rest.  I mixed these early in the morning and place disks flattened in covered casserole.

Divide dough into 8, 10 or 12 rounds depending upon how big you want your tortillas to be.
Flatten each round with well floured hands.

Heat a heavy – cast iron is ideal – skillet over medium high heat until hot.  No oil in the skillet.

The dough will be sticky so flour hands and counter when handling the dough and now pat between hands, finally using a rolling pin to even the thickness.

Cook each tortilla one minute on a side until brown flecks appear on both sides.

Remove from skillet and wrap in towel to keep moist and soft until all tortillas are cooked.


recipe calls for no salt, Hopi Indians say salt covers up the flavor of the corn.  These were easy to do and they were good BUT the pork way outshines them.

 In the photo gallery above in addition to the pork and the tortilla you’ll see a wonderful pico de gallo salad topping avocado, a smoking’ chipotle slaw and a chipotle orange chocolate cake that completed  the meal.

Baking Through Flatbreads and Flavors:  Heather: GirlChef, Karen: BakeMyDay, Natashya: LivingInTheKitchenWithPuppies, Astrid: Paulchen’sFoodBlog, Gretchen: Provecho Peru, Soepkipje.