Pinto Beans

Lately I've been eating a lot of pinto beans. They're cheap and I've realized they're a lot tastier than I thought, even with relatively little added to them. They also tend to make this nice goopy "gravy" which is pretty tasty and makes a bowl of pinto beans into a more cohesive dish (as opposed to just a bowl of beans.)

I usually cook one 1-pound bag of dried pintos at a time:

Sort and rinse 1 pound of dried pinto beans. Dump them in a large pot. (6 quarts?) Cover generously with water. Put the lid on and bring to a boil, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't overflow. Let it boil with the lid on for a minute or two, then turn off the heat. Let sit for at least an hour. I've been letting it sit for much longer than that.

When you come back and are ready to give the beans your attention again, peel and quarter a medium-large onion and stick that in the pot. Peel and slice 2-3 cloves of garlic and add it in as well. Splash a few drops of oil in the pot to prevent things from boiling up and getting too foamy. (This may or may not help, but I like to think it does.) Turn on the heat again and let it cook on as high a flame as possible without boiling over. I keep the lid on if I can find that magic temperature that's low enough that it won't boil over. Cook forever and ever (probably a bit over an hour?) until the beans are soft, adding a little water from time to time if necessary.

When they're done, add in salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste. I eat them plain, sprinkled with cheese, or in a burrito. Originally I cooked them to mix with salsa, but I discovered they're nice without the salsa too.

whole wheat bread

Recipe from with slight modifications

100% Whole Wheat Bread

1 scant TBS yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used stone-ground because it's what I had)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
2 tablespoons oil
2 eggs

Sprinkle yeast over warm water; stir slightly and allow to proof for 8-10 minutes.
In large bowl, mix 3 cups flour, salt, and sugar. Combine milk, oil, and eggs in measuring cup, mixing them together well.  Pour proofed yeast mixture into flour mixture and stir to combine.  Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir.  Mix with fork/spoon until you have to start kneading.  Knead with well-floured hands, adding in reserved 1/4 cup flour as needed.  Knead for about 2 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl and turn dough over so that all surfaces are greased. Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down. Roll dough on a lightly floured board into a 9x12 inch rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, from the shorter side. Tuck ends under and place in greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise until double. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.

This came out fine. It didn't have a particularly fine crumb--either because of the stone-ground flour or because I didn't knead it long enough (it was tough to knead) or both.  It sliced okay, though, and tastes good toasted.