Friday, October 21, 2011

Sesame bread sticks (Mellow Bakers) and winter veggie soup

My second Mellow Bakers bread for October is a rarity in my bread baking books: the kids and I mixed up the dough for sesame bread sticks when we got home (about 3:00), and we ate the bread sticks for dinner at about fast!

The dough is made from bread flour, salt, instant yeast, water, olive oil, and malt syrup, mixed together in the stand mixer for about four minutes. It rises for an hour, and then is scaled into 24 pieces weighing about 3/8 ounce each. These rest for 15 minutes and then comes the fun part; Natashya commented that little kids would love to help roll the "snakes," and she was absolutely right. My kids were thrilled to roll the pieces into long snakes, which I lengthened a bit, rolled on a wet cloth, and then rolled through a plate of sesame seeds. They're baked immediately for 20 - 25 minutes (ours were a little fat, so took a little longer).

These were a huge hit, and a perfect accompaniment to one of our new favorite soups. Next time, I'll probably skip the plain sesame seed topping. The kids made me scrape them off so they could eat the bread sticks plain, and the hubby and I preferred the "everything" version I made when I ran out of sesame seeds (sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and poppy seeds). I kept the sticks in a large zip baggie, and they were still good days later.

And now the soup! Several weeks ago, I was looking for a way to use up some leftover ham and a huge amount of CSA vegetables. I found this recipe, which I doctored based on what we needed to use up. Even if this soup wasn't delicious (which it is!), I would seriously make it just for the gorgeous array of colors in the bowl!

Winter veggie soup
adapted from Cooking Light

2 tsp olive oil
4 oz (125 g) chopped ham or turkey ham
1 large onion (125 g), chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
4 c (520 g) peeled, cubed acorn squash
2 c (315 g) peeled, chopped potatoes
1/2 c (80 g) carrot, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
28 oz tomatoes (I've used cans of stewed, diced, whole, and even fresh), drained (or not)
4 - 5 c chicken broth
4 cups (130 g) chopped greens (my favorite combination is kale, spinach, and red cabbage)
15 oz can small white beans (I've used pinto, great Northern)

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ham and sauté for 3 minutes.
2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes.
3. Add the squash, potatoes, carrot, and spices, and cook for 4 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes, and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the broth and bring soup to a boil. Simmer for 8 minutes.
6. Add greens, and simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Add beans, and cook for 4 minutes.
8. Serve.

makes about 8 servings (2 cups each)


  1. That does look really good, both the soup and the bread sticks. I've done vegetable soup with summer vegetables, but not with winter ones. I'll have to give it a try!

  2. All of it looks so good...I would love to have that for supper! So cute about the kids rolling out the snakes! Soup is the best thing about cool weather!

  3. I like the idea of an everything topping for the breadsticks. Yum!! I can almost hear the giggling and laughter as your kids rolled out the breadstick snakes. I'll bet they were so happy to be able to help. Delicious looking soup! Of course it would have to be modified a bit before I could make it for my hubby:)