I just want to get something out of the way first before I tell you about these two recipes.
I ABSOLUTELY SUCK AT MAKING YEAST DOUGHS. There, I said it.
I have no idea why I can’t get the hang of throwing yeast in a bowl and making it bloom. Perhaps it’s my incapable ability to make anything bloom in my home and that includes foliage.
There are many tips on the correct way to activate yeast and that’s what we are going to talk about today before we even get started on this stunningly gorgeous bowl of hummus I made. There are only two things you can do to yeast: 1. Make it bloom or 2. Kill it (Like I always do).
So now you’re wondering how do you not kill your yeast? Should be quite simple but I’m still on the fence with this. Here’s a few things I have learned:
- There are different types of yeast. Yes, this is to confuse you even more but I’m going to explain. When you head down the baking aisle at the market you are going to see two choices: ACTIVE DRY YEAST AND INSTANT (OR RAPID) DRY YEAST. What’s the difference? ACTIVE DRY has a larger granule and needs to be dissolved in water before using, while instant yeast has a more fine texture and can be mixed right into dry ingredients. Most recipes call for active dry yeast to be used, so that’s what I always buy.
- How to active your yeast (and this is where I usually eff up the recipe). Yeast needs warm water in order to activate. How warm? Again, where I usually screw this up. Most baking experts say about 110 degrees fahrenheit. I finally checked the temperature of my water with a thermometer and I think that could be why this particular recipe worked out. No thermometer handy? No problem. Here’s what you need to do. Run some tap water until it’s warm. but NOT HOT. Just warm. Get it? Now you need to bump that faucet until you can feel your finger saying “hmmmm, that’s definitely hotter than warm. That’s the exact temperature you want. Now fill your cup with the amount of water called for in the recipe and sprinkle your yeast over the top of the water.
- Once you get the yeast on the water, add about a teaspoon of granulated sugar (or whatever the recipe says to add). Here’s the scoop. Yeast is fed by sugar and this will help it multiply, activate and speed up the process. Now give it a stir. After a couple of minutes it will start to look cloudy and have a little bit of foam on top. Be patient (which I’m not). I always stand there and THINK it’s NOT BLOOMING but it usually takes a good 5 -15 minutes to do so depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- Once you see the mixture foam, you’re ready to use your yeast in any recipe it calls for. What happens if you DO NOT SEE THE FOAM and it’s been over 15 minutes? You have an issue (which has happened to me as well and I know why). Circle back to point #2. Your water temperature may have been too hot or too cold. Just like the Three Little Bears Syndrome. You need to get it “JUST RIGHT” so throw out your first attempt and bust open your yeast again to start over.
I think my fear of yeast dough has now been conquered and I feel confident that I can do this. In fact, I can’t wait to do it again just to prove (or proof) myself wrong that I’m 100% capable of accomplishing a real bread or pastry recipe.
Let’s move on to this pretty in pink hummus recipe. I love making my own hummus. It totally beats buying the store bought one. You can also choose the texture you like when you’re processing it. A little bit of chunkiness makes this hummus more rustic and perfect to scoop up with the freshly baked naan bread. I used a shortcut for the beets in this recipe by using pickled ones instead of roasting my own. You can do one or the other and I have given you that option in the recipe.
Um. Please say hello to your new favourite gorgeous snacks.
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup plain yogurt - I used plain greek yogurt
- 1 extra large egg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 - 2/12 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- chopped parsley for garnish
- Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl than it let sit for 5 - 10 minutes or until foamy. Add , yogurt, egg, salt and 2 cups of of the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Add extra flour to make a soft dough. Knead a few times on a lightly floured board until the dough becomes nice and smooth.
- Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. I have a proof setting in my oven so I just popped it in there for one hour.
- Preheat a skillet to medium high heat (I used a non-stick cast iron 10 inch skillet)
- Cut the dough into eight pieces then roll out each piece on a floured surface into a 6 inch circle or oval shape.
- Brush each side of the dough with oil or melted butter then place into skillet to cook for 2 minutes on each side or until bubbly and golden brown.
- Brush the top of each naan with additional melted butter and sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. You can also make garlic naan by adding minced garlic to the butter and then brush it on for flavour.
- 14 oz (400g) can of Chickpeas, drained (reserving ¼ cup liquid from the can)
- 1 fresh beet (or 1 pickled beet from the jar)
- ½ cup (70g) feta cheese, crumbled (save some for garnish)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive, avocado or grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- juice from 1 lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp fresh black pepper
- Garnishes: Freshly chopped parsley, feta cheese and olive oil (or oil of your choice)
- If you are roasting your beet (preheat oven to 350F), trim off the stems, leaving about ½ inch attached, lightly coat with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Let the beet cool a bit so you don't burn your hands. Unwrap the beet, cut off the stem and peel off the skin with paper towels. Slice the beet into quarters.
- In a blender, add chickpeas, ¼ cup chickpea brine, oil, cumin,tahini, garlic cloves, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend until the desired consistency is reached. I like mine with a little texture.
- Now add in your beet and feta cheese. Blend again to incorporate.
- Garnish with additional feta cheese, chopped fresh parsley and a nice swirl of oil.
- Can be stored up to 3 days in the fridge.