Sunday, July 10, 2011

From Wilderness to Bread

I typically don't blog on weekends. I find that spending time with my family and doing things outside of the house are more beneficial to my happiness then a little blog post. This weekend was a great weekend, just like all the rest. The family spent the day together today, which is wonderful because we hardly get to do such things anymore. My sister and I decided to go out on a hike this morning to a local nature center that is just a wee distance from our house. It was really nice! It was also eerily quiet, something that I just could not get over. I have never been surrounded by such...nature. If you call undisturbed palm trees and brush as nature. We did spot a tortoise though, well my sister spotted it, she's the nature one. I was the one who was pretty sure that we were going to get attacked by a wild boar. Thankfully, the noise that I was sure was the snort of a vicious wild pig was just a bullfrog, oh my imagination.

I did manage to snap some decent pictures. I also managed to remember that poison ivy is such a thing and that is why the park rangers want you to stay on the path.

Trail markers

If a tree falls in the forest...

Pretty purple berries (may be poisonous...)

Wild mushroom

The clouds look so strange, like coffee with old coffee creamer in it.

Coolest grasshopper ever!

Long winding trails


Another tortoise. The other tortoise we saw was just chilling in the bushes. Hey, it was ninety degrees! 

It was brutally hot, but so worth it! It was great time spent with the sister and getting in touch with nature. 


My mom does not ever really get excited about food. She poo poos cake and serves herself one measly spoonful of ice cream. It is funny to think that we are even related since I love food, whether it is cooking it, baking it, eating it, planning it, or talking about it. I guess we are just different in that regard. There is one thing, however, that my mom loves that I make. Naan bread. I remember the first time that I ever made the bread. We were outside grilling it and because I am grill-challenged she was assisting me. Curious about the taste of such a foreign food entity, my mom sneakily took a piece of the hot bread and ripped off a piece for her to try. Her eyes lit up and she held the piece out for me to try, still oohing and ahhing over her first bite. I tried the bread and could not believe how flavorful and light the bread was. We shared our little foodie moment, our first and last, that night. Ever since that moment she has requested that I make the bread. Today I decided to surprise her with just whipping it up without her asking. She was more than delighted.

Naan Bread

1 cup warm water
1 package (.25 oz) of active yeast
3 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
4.5 cups bread flour

2 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp butter, melted

To kick it off, take 1 cup warm water and add 1 package of yeast to the water. Stir a little and let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should get frothy, like this:

After 10 minutes, pour the yeast/water mixture into a large bowl. Add in sugar, milk, salt, and egg (beaten), give the mixture a quick stir. Add in one cup of the flour at a time until a soft dough has been formed. 

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, add dough into the bowl and turn to cover all sides. Cover and let rise one hour.

After one hour, punch dough down. Add in 2 cloves of garlic, well chopped or with the help of a garlic press. Knead until garlic has been well distributed. 

Separate dough into 12 balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat grill to medium high heat and grease.  Melt 4 Tbsp of butter. 

After dough has finished the final rising, spread into flat discs. Place dough on heated grill, spread a little melted butter on top, and cook for about 4 minutes, when the dough bubbles (like a pancake) it is ready to flip. Repeat with other pieces of dough. Place in a bread basket to keep warm, serve immediately.

Voila! Delicious, garlicky, and did I say delicious already?

 It is the perfect summer bread!

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