Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Little Racin' and a Little Bakin'

After a wild week at school during Homecoming week, it was nice to get back to our usual route. On Saturday Ellie raced at the Valmont Bike Park in Boulder. The kids had a wonderful time at the park when it was still just rural land. It was something to see how it has has been developed. It is a fine place for a ride, whether you ride cyclocross, mountain or BMX.
I hope that these photos show the beauty of the day.
Ellie had hoped to find mud since we had a lot of rain of late. She also hoped for rain last night, but it did not come. Instead we were greeted by the mountains lit up like they were on a stage.
Ellie was her entire category today. She had fun and set in for a good run with the boys. I love the brief fall weather we have here. It put me in the mood to do a bit of baking on Friday night. Here's what I made: Pumpkin-Walnut Focaccia with Gruyère 3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°) 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) 3 1/2 cups bread flour, divided 3 tablespoons butter, melted 1 cup canned pumpkin 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, divided 1 teaspoon cornmeal 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds Directions: In a large bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast; let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 cup flour and butter to yeast mixture; stir just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes. Add pumpkin, salt, and nutmeg to flour mixture; stir until combined. Add 2 1/4 cups flour and half of cheese; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape each half into an 8-inch circle. Place dough circles on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle remaining cheese, nuts and pumpkin seeds evenly over dough circles; press lightly to adhere. Lightly coat dough circles with cooking spray; cover and let rise 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°. Uncover dough; bake at 400° for 28-30 minutes or until loaves are browned on the bottom and cheese melts. Cool on a wire rack. Yields: 2-8inch rounds, 8 servings per round Source: Cooking Light, October 2005

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