Once in a while, we like to have a quiet date night at home. It's a good excuse for me to pull out some more involved, or fancier recipes. This entry is the first of what will be an ongoing segment on date night meals.
I've been making cream of sweet potato and peanut soup for years. Last week I got ambitious, and decided to serve this soup in home-made bread bowls. It turned out very well, and I was very sorry that I hadn't documented any of it. So, I'm making it again. : )
Edit, 11/27/10: So, I was going to make cream of sweet potato. I'll make that another time. We ended up making cream of broccoli soup instead.
It's important to remember that bread bowls must be made at least a day in advance. The reason for this is that you want the crust to dry out a little bit. Fresh out of the oven bread is still a little soft, and adding soup to a soft bread bowl is a recipe for disaster, as it will soak right through the outer layer of bread, and the bowl will fall apart.
The bread I used for the bowls was a loaded up variant of the basic honey-wheat bread I wrote about a few weeks ago. This is one of the great things about bread... it's really easy to successfully improvise. The nutmeg was an inspired touch, and it worked very well with the soup. That said, it did make for an odd-taste when used in sandwiches.
Date night is tomorrow night, so I'm baking these today.
Nutmeg-Multigrain Bread Bowls:
-3 Cups all purpose flour
-2 Cups Whole Wheat flour
-2 Cups Oat Flour
-A handful of oat bran
-A handful of wheat bran
-A handful of quaker oatmeal
-Peel from one lemon, grated
-1 Tsp salt
-1 Tsp Nutmeg
-1/4 Cup or more of honey
-a little bit ( 1Tbsp? I didn't measure) of black strap molasses*
-3 Tbsp melted butter
-around 2.5 cups of warm water.
It's a nice, dense dough, full of all kinds of wholesome stuff. It's a little sticky at first, because there's a lot of water. Oat flour and oatmeal are known for being absorbent, so this does go away.
Follow normal bread-making recipe procedure. But instead of forming two big loaf, form the dough into 4 ball shapes. Then let them rise, and put them into the oven.
To be continued...
*Black strap molasses is not to be confused with regular molasses. The first time I ever heard of black strap molasses, no kidding, was in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. This pretty much guaranteed that I would end up seeking it out. I'm glad I did: Black Strap is really healthy. It's basically the by-product of making sugar, and it's loaded with nutrients and minerals. Only 2 tsp of Black strap provides 13.3% of the recommended daily dose of iron, 12% of calcium, 14% of copper, 18% of manganese, 9.7% of potassium, and 7.3% of magnesium. All of these things are important and good for you. If White sugar is pure calories that's been stripped of anything healthy, Black strap is the dumping ground for sugar's missing nutritional value. And it tastes great in morning coffee.