Food for Field Botanists


Foccacia/Pizza Dough

(adapted from Mark Bittman)

 

(amounts are approximate)

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour

1-3 teaspoons salt (coarse kosher is best; reserve some for sprinkling)

2 packages active dry yeast

1 cup water

2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil + more for the pan

Optional:

1-2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves

a few generous grinds of black pepper

  1. Put all dry ingredients (including rosemary or pepper if using) in food processor or large mixing bowl and pulse a few times or stir until mixed with large spoon.
  2. Add the wet ingredients (I mix the oil and water together) gradually with the processor running or while stirring constantly, until a coherent ball forms. (If it comes out sticky, add a pinch of flour, if it comes out dry; a spritz of water).
  3. If using a processor, pull out the ball of dough and shape it into a round loaf by rolling the edges under a bit. If mixing by hand, turn on an oiled surface and knead for a minute or two and form a round loaf.
  4. Cover loosely (with a dish towel, foil, plastic wrap, etc.) in an oiled bowl and let rise for a few hours to a day.
  5. The recipe is a double batch...you can cut the dough in half with a sharp knife, and each half will make a 12-14 inch pizza/foccacia.
  6. Brush a pan with oil on a paper towel.
  7. Handle the dough as little as possible, you don't really need to knead it or smooth it out. Stretch it out by turning it over repeated by its edge, like you're steering a boat. Put the dough into the pan and stretch out gently by pressing with your fingertips. Don't worry if it tears or if it's thin in spots, go for the the rustic effect.
  8. You can let the dough rise another hour or more or just long enough to preheat the oven to its highest temperature: 450-500 F.
  9. Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt if desired and bake the dough for 8—12 minutes until it browns lightly.

Black Bean Brownies

(adapted from Heidi Swanson, who adopted this from Ania Catalano)

Note: I have never made this recipe as it is written. I've added the way I change it in red.

 

    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

 

you can substitute cocoa powder and oil for the cocoa; just follow the conversion on your cocoa tin

 

    1 cup unsalted butter

 

I've used a cup of oil (olive; grapeseed, etc.) with decent results)

 

    2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (hs: canned is fine)

 

    1 cup walnuts, chopped

 

(optional)

 

    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

    ¼ cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or instant coffee, for gluten-sensitive) (never used this)

 

    ¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

    4 large eggs

 

(some of these are for a marble topping, so you can probably get away with 2 or 3 eggs, but the brownies do not set up without eggs)

 

    1½ cups light agave nectar

(I've never had agave nectar and used brown sugar or a mix of white and brown instead)

 

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan (hs note: or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.

 

 

 

 

Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely . Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.

 

 

 

 

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

 

 

 

 

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.

 

 

 

 

Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.

 

 

 

 

Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup (I never bothered with this). Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy(I never bothered with this). Drizzle over the brownie batter(I never bothered with this). Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect(I never bothered with this). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)