Posts Tagged ‘Bread’

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and we practically live outdoors now, especially since the temperatures are wonderful, around 65 degrees!  Perfect!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has invited us to all kinds of great outdoor activities, including a BBQ.  But until then, hungry warriors are storming Jung Suwon, and something has got to be done about that!

It can’t take too much time to make food either, so here is a very healthy and very fast sandwich idea to keep Jung Suwon warriors going!  This can be made with regular bread, or, like I do, with your favorite gluten free bread.

Asparagus sandwich:

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Wash, and thinly slice lengthwise a handful of asparagus spears (about 6 or so spears per 2 sandwiches).  Sautee in one tablespoon of oil, with freshly crushed garlic, and add a tablespoon of chopped cashew nuts.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Saute until the asparagus is crip/tender.

While you saute the asparagus, toast 2 slices (per serving) of your favorite (gluten free) bread, and spread thinly with mustard.  Put on a layer of thinly slices avocadoes.  Heap the asparagus mixture on top of the avocado slices, and top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  Broil for a few minutes until cheese is melty.

If you have really ravenous Jung Suwon warriors knocking at your door (or anyone else for that matter), you could also add a basted egg on top.  Either way, it’s delicious!

Happy Memorial Day to all, and please take a minute or two and think of all our service members and the great sacrifices they make to make the world a better place to live in!

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Ok.  Last time I promised you a bread recipe.  Oh oh! 

The thing is, I don’t use any recipes for bread.  I throw things in a bowl, mix it all up, let it rise, and bake it!  But, I am a woman of honor and I keep my word.  So here is my most basic bread recipe:
One piece of advice: don’t bother with fast rising yeast.  If you can get it, use fresh yeast, you know, the cake kind that crumbles…but any regular dried yeast will do.  The problem with fast rising yeast is that the dough might get too dry, or the fast rising will make it smell like booze. 

Like my Jung SuWon Grandmaster always, says, anything worthwhile in life, you have to work for and you have to be patient with.  One of Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s favorite sayings is “a pregnant woman – no matter how morning sick – can’t have a baby after just 3 months.  She has to wait for 9 months, until the baby is ready.”

You need to apply the same principle with bread.  Back to the recipe.  Here is my very basic recipe:

  • 1 cake fresh yeast, or 1 envelope dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 or so cups of lukewarm water (depending on how much bread you want to make)
  • as much flour as it takes to make a plieable, smooth dough

Dissolve the honey in the water.  Crumble in or sprinkle on the yeast, depending on what kind you are using.  Wait a couple of minutes.  Most cook books tell you that you must put this mixture in a draft free, warm place, and that is right.  Just don’t fret if you don’t find such a place.  Yeast dough is pretty indestructible, so relax and enjoy the process. 

Once there are bubbles in the mixture, and you smell an intense yeast smell, add the flour and some salt.  Keep adding flour as you are kneading the dough – when the dough hold together and forms a smooth, pliable ball, knead some more.  Then cover it with saran wrap and let it rise.  You could cover it with anything that prevents it from drying out, I prefer the saran since then I can watch the progress.  The dough needs to rise until you have twice as much dough as when you started.  (cook books will tell you “until double in bulk, but to me that sounds just too boring)

Now punch the dough down – and yes, you really want to punch it at this point.  Knead it a little bit more – add a bit of flour if the dough is too soft, and then shape the dough into whatever you want – loaves, rolls, you can braid it….or put it in pans.   Cover again with the saran wrap, and let rise again, about an hour or until almost doubled. 

Of course you thought about pre-heating the oven, so now that it’s at about 350 degrees F, you put in your little miracles, and sit back and wait.  Depending on how big the loaves are or the rolls, you’ll bake your creations from 10 minutes (small rolls) to an hour (loaves), but do test frequently.

From here on, it only gets more fun.  The above was only a very basic homey recipe.  You can use whole wheat flour, either all whole wheat, or partially, and you can mix in nuts, seeds, other flour, cooked oatmeal, and so forth.  Instead of water, you can use milk, soy milk, water in which you have cooked potatoes, and…and….

If you are new at this, I would recommend sticking to the very basic at first, then go from there.

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All right, so I wasn’t going to write about bread.  I mean, come on, there are already so many things written about bread and even more recipes than anyone can ever read! 

But I couldn’t resist.  After I pulled out the last couple of home made loaves of whole wheat bread from the oven…..the aroma, the soft crumb, the butter melting into it, and then the first bite….oh, excuse me, where was I now…..

Bread of course.  It’s gotten a really bad reputation and people think it’s evil.  My my those carbs are gonna kill you.  If that’s the case, then why did Jesus break bread with the disciples.  Notice he didn’t break a salad, or some soup.  No, it was bread! 

We also say, “bread of life” – ever heard of the veggies of life?  Anyhow, pardon the digression.  Just couldn’t resist.

Well, the carbs in bread won’t kill you.  In fact, if you make your bread right, it’s a health blessing for all those that manage to get a piece.  See, I make breads different for different people.  For example, a good friend of mine has diabetes, so I make whole wheat bread, with added bran, some flax seeds, and cooked oatmeal.  Sometimes I add some nuts, or olives, for variety.  To give the yeast a jump start, I add some honey to the starter dough.

For another friend who is on a high protein diet, but loves bread, I proof the yeast in either milk or soy  milk, and add blended cottage cheese or tofu, or chunks of cheese to the dough. 

You get the idea.  Bread is not the enemy.  It is the staff of life.  And, if you make it yourself (and why bother eating bread if it comes from a store!) it is what you want it to be.

One more thing:  don’t worry about all these measurements, and fuss about the yeast.  I have yet to make a batch of bread that didn’t get gobbled up the minute it came out of the oven.  Oh, and those breadmaker gadgets….all right so some people like them – I am not among those.  I mean, why bother?  If I want homemade bread, I don’t want some machine to make it.  I might as well buy the bread in the store. 

So, now that you know how I feel about bread – you are pobably wondering – ok, so she has a bread fetish – but what does THAT have to do with Jung SuWon?  What does bread have to do with Martial Arts?  Or, with Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim? 

More than you might think. 

On a physical level, you develop a lot of strength in your hand and arm muscles in the kneading process.  And believe me, if you have ever made a large amount of whole wheat, or sour dough, or rye bread, you know what I am talking about.  You’ll end up looking like Arnold after a few batches.  Well, maybe not quite….

Most doughs also benefit from being punched a bit, so go ahead and practice some punches.  Your dough will be grateful! 

Then on the Ki energy level, think about putting all your good thoughts into the bread, visualize how people will just love it, think how you are going to make them happy, and keep them healthy….

And!  Ever learned how to do CPR?  Well, practice the heart compression on your bread dough…..

So, there you have it!  And next time I’ll put down some basic recipes…..pull out your aprons!

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