Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cheesy Broccoli Soup with Basic Bread

Food Challenge- Soup and Chili Cookoff
Cheesy Broccoli Soup

3-4 potatoes, peeled and diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
3-4 cups fresh broccoli (can replace with zucchini, celery, peppers, etc.)
water to cover
1-2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt and pepper
4 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar is good)

Place vegetables in large pot and just cover with water. Stir in bouillon. Simmer until veggies are soft (30 min to an hour). When veggies are cooked through, mash with potato masher (do not drain).
In saucepan, melt 1 stick butter. Add flour, salt and pepper, and cook into a paste (medium heat). Slowly whisk in milk. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until thick and creamy. Do not boil. Stir in cheese until well blended.
Add cheese mixture to the mashed vegetable stock. Stir and heat through.

Basic Bread

2 1/2 cups HOT water
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar/honey
1 TBSP salt
1/2 cup flour
1 and a 1/2 TBSP yeast
4-6 cup flour

•In mixing bowl, combine HOT water, oil, honey and salt. Add 1/2 cup flour and quickly mix, add yeast and mix. Slowly add 4 to 6 cups flour until dough is soft but not too sticky. I usually replace a cup or two of white flour with wheat flour. This may decrease the total amount of flour you need. Knead dough for 5-8 minutes. I use the dough hook on my mixer (5 or so minutes).
•Turn dough out into large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or clean towel. Allow to rise until doubled. Usually 30 minutes.
•Turn on oven to 175 degrees. Grease counter or table with spray oil. Flour rolling pin and table. Divide dough into thirds (for average size bread pans). Take each piece and roll out with rolling pin into oblong shape about 7-8 inches wide. Be sure all the air bubbles are popped. Roll into tight cylinder (width-wise, so cylinder is about 7-8 inches wide) and place in greased bread pan with ends tucked under. Repeat with other pieces and put all bread pans in warmed oven.
•Let rise again until doubled (about 1/2 hour).
•Turn up heat on oven to 350 and bake about 30 minutes (until loaf sounds hollow when thumped). If the tops are getting too dark before the center is done, cover with tin foil.
•Remove bread from oven and cool completely on wire rack. Slice and enjoy.
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