Dough hook Doh!

dough hooks

For those of you who don’t bake, a dough hook is a mixer attachment for kneading dough. As I don’t make bread, mine sat idle for decades until I had this thought, which I present as a recipe on the thin premise of dough hooks as today’s Object at Hand.

I began making meatloaf when I was a college student. I lived in apartments and didn’t have a meal plan or a budget to support eating out, so perforce learned to cook. Every month or so, I’d mix up a meatloaf and eat it for a couple of dinners and several lunches.

Anyway, I recently began cooking again and decided to re-think how I made a meatloaf. The part I disliked was getting my hands cold and slimy by kneading everything together. So in my fifties, I finally thought to try doing the mixing with the dough hooks on my little Krups consumer grade mixer. The title “Doh!” is about it taking me so many decades to figure this out.

  • I begin by tearing up a couple of bread heels (from Ezekiel bread, but that isn’t important) and throwing the pieces into the mixing bowl.
  • I break in a couple of eggs, and let the mixer run on medium to soften the heels while I
    mince a medium onion  and a
    couple of cloves of garlic and add those to the mixing.
  • Those flavors meld as I chop up a can of mushroom stems and pieces and then add those, followed by
    about a cup of rolled oats (not steel cut nor quick).
  • I pulled the leafy core from a bunch of celery and chopped that to add in, more for a flavor note than vegetable value.
  • I finally add a pound of ground beef (85% lean from Trader Joe’s). By now I had to turn the mixer up to high to massage the tough, fibrous blend.
  • I have always felt that a meatloaf should stand alone as a meal, so I added about a half cup (3/4c?) of frozen peas (not actually measured) on impulse and let those get well distributed. These could have been
  • Then I turned off my electrical slave and scooped the mixture into a large bread pan, pushing down the center and leaving a raised lip  around the edges, because we like the crispy bits.
  • Another innovation is that I then add a handful of shredded whole wheat and bran cereal as an insulating layer on the recessed portion, and
    cover that with crosswise half-overlapped bacon. The cereal allows the bacon to get good and crispy while absorbing some of the yummy fats.
  • So I place the pan in 350°F for an hour, then boost to 400 for another quarter or so to brown the bacon.
  • Finally, I take it out and set it on an metal pan spanning plates below the ceiling fan (much like the heat sink on your CPU) to cool it more evenly, an allow it to firm up.
Topping the Meatloaf

Toppings

Meatloaf done

Out of the oven

Cooling from the bottom, too

Cooling from the bottom, too

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