Today is the first day of September! YEAH! This means that cooler weather is right around the corner and I even baked yesterday since I thought the hot oven wouldn’t be too overwhelming. I am so glad to say goodbye to summer weather! Joe had been asking for Shepherd’s Pie so we made it for dinner last night to go along with the artisan bread I had baked for the first time in weeks. Both recipes just seem to say “back to school.”
Artisan Whole Wheat Bread
This is my version with inspiration from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It makes 3 loaves and, trust me, they will all be gone as soon as you slice and butter them! Note: for perfect loaves, buy King Arthur flours. It is totally worth the few extra pennies per loaf that you will spend. This is a no-knead recipe so if you are used to kneading bread, resist the urge. These will be perfect loaves!
4 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour
1 ½ TBS. granulated yeast
1 TBS. coarse salt
¼ cup vital wheat gluten
3 ½ cup warm water
½ cup honey (try a variety of types of honey because each kind adds its own flavor to the bread)
½ cup flax seeds
1 well-beaten egg
In large bowl combine all ingredients, being sure to measure flour as accurately as possible by leveling each cup with a butter knife. Mix well either by hand or in mixer. Cover with damp cloth and allow to sit undisturbed for 2 hours. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Lightly flour hands and pull up three equal chunks of dough, shaping each into grapefruit-sized balls. Place on cookie sheet and preheat oven to 450 degrees. When oven is hot, slash tops of loaves with a sharp knife. Lightly brush each one with egg wash and sprinkle with flax seeds. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on rack. Enjoy! This bread makes great sandwiches and is extra delicious toasted.
Shepherd’s Pie ~ serves 12
2 lbs. ground beef, browned with 2 TBS. minced dried onion and 1 TBS. minced garlic then drained
Add the next 3 ingredients and mix well
1 lb. bag each frozen corn, frozen green beans, frozen peas and carrots, thawed or canned or fresh equivalents
1 large can or 2 small cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated cheese
10 large white potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed with 1 stick butter, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup milk, coarse salt and pepper to taste, 2 TBS. chives, and 1 TBS. minced garlic
1 TBS. Chives, garlic, paprika, parsley flakes
In large casserole pan, pour in meat mixture, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Spread mashed potatoes over all and sprinkle with paprika and dried parsley flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and everything is heated through.