See? They *are* longer now!
Spiral olive and cheese-filled bread.
A caveat: I'm not a very precise cook, so my instructions should be
taken with a grain of salt (no pun intended).
For the bread:
4 cups flour
1-1 1/4 cups room temp. water (I had to use more, but I'm also in really dry Winnipeg)
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons salt (I'm thinking he must mean *teaspoons*... that's what I used here)
For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounce shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup of Parmesan, grated
1/2 lb kalamata olives (pitted)
1 tablespoon oregano (given the previous typo, I used less oregano and basil too, but this amount may be okay)
1 tablespoon basil
Put 1/2 of the water in a large bowl, add yeast.
Stir until mixed, let sit for a few minutes.
Add 1/2 the flour and all of the salt an mix until smooth (should be thick but not done).
Add the rest of the flour and mix/knead until smooth, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so. (Keep in mind that these ratios are off the top of my head; I'm constantly adding a little more flour and a little more water. Rely on intuition to get the right consistency).
It's best to let the dough sit for several hours - the more times you let it rise, the better it tastes. Put it in the fridge if you're going to leave it overnight, and cover it no matter what you do. When the dough has risen to the point where it doesn't spring back out when you poke it, it's risen as much as possible and you should "punch" it back down. For bread, I recommend you let it rise at least once prior to shaping the dough.
When you're ready to put it all together:
With room temperature dough, clear several feet of counter space and flour (or oil) it. Hand-roll the dough between your hands to make a long, thin snake (diameter of 1-2 inches). Lay the dough along your counter and with a rolling pin, roll it out so it's very thin (probably no more than 1/4 inch). You should have something that's 3 or 4 feet long, 3-4 inches wide, and 1/4 or so thick.
Let the dough sit while you make the filling:
Mix the mozzarella, the olive oil, the Parmesan, and the spices together in a bowl. Chop up the olives really small and add them too.
Spread the filling out evenly over the dough, leaving a little room on the long edges. Now, with a little cup of water at hand, wet your finger and moisten the long edges of the dough. You should be able to fold the dough over the filling and pinch it shut on the other side.
You have some options now: you can make it a spiral, or a doughnut, or you can come up with something even cooler. I usually make a spiral because I get carried away and have too much for anything else.
Pinch the ends shut (if you have any left), put it on a baking sheet (or a wooden paddle, like I use), cover, and let it rise for 1-2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 350 and bake for around an hour. It may take more or less time depending on how thick a spiral you make (doughnut shapes take less time). I use a pizza stone, but cornmeal on the baking sheet should work too.
Chances are, there are places where the dough's a little thin and you'll get a little leak. Some cheese will leak out a little and burn a little.
I usually serve it with tomato sauce (if you make a ring, you can put it in a bowl in the middle)
This morning after mixing up the gingerbread dough, I went along with dad to Tin Town. Tin Town doesn't excite me, but dad seems to enjoy having me come. I'm not entirely sure why. Anyway, the above photo shows dad's shack at Tin Town. He's been fixing it up, so it's less shack-like on the inside... unrecognizable from the shack he bought.
At this point, you may be wondering what exactly Tin Town is. Tin Town is a collection of shacks on the edge of Delta Marsh, which is at the south end of Lake Manitoba. It's about an hour drive from my end of Winnipeg. Tin Town is named such because many of the shacks are made from corrugated metal. This is not a real town... it is a collection of shacks that adult boys tinker with, and sleep in during duck hunting season. Basically a big boys playground.
Some of the shacks are getting quite fancy. It seems that the Americans rich enough to own a hunting shack in Canada don't really go for the whole "shack" thing. (I can't really blame them... even though it seems foolish to have a hunting shack where you're worried about tracking mud on the floor.)
Anyway, I started off my afternoon with a walk around Tin Town. The walk was kind of limited, because the town is only one block big, and there were large snowdrifts blocking half the roads. After my walk, I returned to the truck to continue my nap I had started on the drive out. Dad occupied himself by playing with some of the other boys, who were replacing a heater in one of the shacks.
That reminds me... Tin Town has no electricity or plumbing. Luckily the temperature was only around freezing, and there actually was some TP left in the outhouse. (Boys have bigger bladders, and less interest in keeping the TP stocked. I must remember to bring my own stash the next time I'm dragged out.)
After napping for a bit, dad came by and invited me along for a walk on the ice. After checking the thickness, I agreed.
Here's a view of all of Tin Town from Delta Marsh:
Here's dad checking out a location for a duck nest:
(Despite popular belief, hunters are generally quite interested in conservation... after all, they want to continue hunting, and you can't hunt if there are no animals left.)
Here's dad walking across the ice:
(I fell behind a bit when I took the picture of Tin Town. You'll notice how aware dad is that I'm there.)
The flat light made it rather difficult to see the rises and dips in the snow drifts, which made walking even harder work. (The ice portion was no more or less hard than usual.) I am glad that I got some exercise.
I worked on my cardigan in the car. The first sleeve is now done, and the second one started. Given that I'll be baking tomorrow, I rather doubt I'll get the second sleeve done before the party. However, I will post photos of a finished product soon. ;)
Well, I should go to bed. I've been having really weird dreams the last few nights, and since the temperature is low, the only other two things I can think of that has been different is (a) I've been staying up much later than when I first arrived, and (b) I've been snacking on some of my Christmas candy before bed. I'm trying to fix both tonight, to see if I sleep better. Of course, given that it's already 11:30, I'm not doing so well with (a). Oops!
For Christmas, I got:
• sock yarn
• Boye Needlemaster
• "Sliver Gripper" Tweezers
• Keyspan presentation remote
• Marc Tetro t-shirt (they've been discontinued!)
• bath sheet towel
• three calendars (Monet, plus two free ones)
• clip-on strobe light
• Buddha Board
• mini camera tripod
• camera lens cleaning kit
• dark chocolate orange
• Jelly Belly jelly beans and gummies
• spice drops (gave back to dad)
• watercolour painting by mom:
which isn't your standard northern lights painting, but I think is fun. (She made the sky too light, and then tried darkening it.)
I love all the stuff I got (well, except the spice drops, and dad's not complaining that he gets extra), and I'm really glad that everyone loves what I gave them. :))
Mom says it's lopsided. It started out a bit lopsided this morning, and has gotten more lopsided as the day's gone on. Tomorrow it will get even more lopsided, and then hopefully start to even out after a while. ;) My new (soft) goal is to wear it to the Christmas party Wednesday night.
Here's a close-up of the buttons:
...with two mini ornaments that need some finishing. The mini-cardigan ended up a bit lopsided... one side of the front is one stitch wider than the other. I'm trying to decide whether to bother redoing it again. (The first time I had two mistakes, and only managed to fix one on the redo, even though I meant to fix both.) I think it looks kind of cute sleeveless, and since I've used all of that scrap sock yarn that I have here, I think I'll leave it that way. I'll make a long-sleeved version back in Chapel Hill.
Schedule for the next few days:
• Tuesday: mix up gingerbread dough, visit dad's shack.
• Wednesday: design and bake gingerbread, bake cheese-olive bread for party, party with friends.
• Thursday: day with Helen (Ram Wools...), dinner with relatives.
• Friday: movie... probably Narnia. Assemble gingerbread house too? (I've had at least three people saying they want to see it when it's done. It'll be so hard to top last year.)
Nothing scheduled yet for Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. These Christmas trips home are always so jam-packed.
H and I exchanged Christmas presents today... and I got Shelridge Farm Soft Touch Heather sock yarn in Opal! (And it came with a "dime bag" of Crystal Palace Kid Merino!)
I gave H Rosebud:
to use as an insulated lunch bag. (I just realized... I didn't take a photo after I put the buttons on. Oh well. I used the cute little dragonfly buttons.)
Wow... I managed 7 repeats today! It's actually starting to look like a scarf, and I'm getting better at working on it with distractions.
I'm not perfect, however... I left out a pattern row (and it's corresponding purl row), but it doesn't look too bad, so I'm leaving it the way it is. Especially since the messed up repeat is below the current repeat, and with the lifeline placement, I'd have to rip out three repeats. That would almost halve today's progress.
It's my first lace scarf... it's not supposed to be perfect, right? ;)
I didn't work on my cardigan at all today, so it's still in the same state it was yesterday.
I did work on H's socks some more. We went out to my uncle's church to see him sing in the choir. It was a Christmas carol service. The pre-service comedy (also called a dress rehersal) was also quite entertaining. ;)
The service went a bit long... I had less than an inch left on my candle by the time it was over.
The church pretended to be a normal Christian church, but I think the pastor (or whatever he's called) is secretly a believer in the flying spaghetti monster. He wore a large hoop earring, and looked very pirate-like.
The potluck afterwards was good. Good food, and visiting with friends and family. (There are some friends of the family that also attend that church and are in the choir.)
Dang... I just remembered I meant to phone my dad back. It's a bit late now. Since I don't have to be at school early, I'll call him in the morning.
Tomorrow I want to see if I can find some buttons downtown... and some wire for a mini hanger. I want to make a mini-weasley for a gift exchange with friends. (I don't know who'll be receiving it, so I'll add the initial on at the party.)
Well, time for bed. Good night!