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Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

New meaning for the word CLING!


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Float Your Boat … ok, Float Your Dough (BBB – Water-Proofed Bread)

This month’s BBB Bread Kitchen of the Month, Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms, is a monthly reminder of why I don’t seem to be able to tire of baking bread.  You think you’ve seen and done it all? HaHaHa, Oh no you have not.  Grandchildren are now another reason I won’t be tiring of baking bread.

Cinnamon rolls are always nice but with brioche dough they pass into heavenly!

Cinnamon rolls are always nice but with brioche dough they pass into heavenly!

Our Kitchen of the Month found this recipe in Beard on Bread; published in 1973.  I believe I bought my copy in 1975.  It was my first and only bread book for several years.  I think I’ve added several bread books to my collection recently … and how classic an understatement is that.

Water-Proofed Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

2 packages active dry yeast, used scant tablespoon not the 2 tablespoons in a package
1/2 cup warm water (100 – 115 degrees F), used 1/2 cup skim milk instead of water; would use potato water if available
1/8 cup brown sugar, cut the 1/4 cup in half
1/2 cup warm skim milk
1 stick butter
2 teaspoons salt, used 1/2 teaspoon and salted butter
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup more kneading, used: 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup spelt, 1 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup white whole wheat.
More flour for the tea towel

1. Rinse a 4-quart mixing bowl with warm water. Dry thoroughly. Put in the yeast, the 1/2 cup warm water(skim milk or potato water), and teaspoon brown sugar, and stir until the yeast dissolves. Allow to proof for 5 minutes.
Heat the milk with the butter and 1/4 cup sugar until lukewarm, then add to the yeast mixture. Add the salt and stir to blend well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and again blend thoroughly.

How to stir it up.

How to stir it up.

Then stir in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, to make what will probably be a very wet and sticky dough. Stir quite vigorously. Spread out the dough on a working surface – a table, a piece of marble, or a board – sprinkled with the additional 1/2 cup flour.

CONFESSION:  I did not dissolve the yeast. I dry mixed it into the flour and proceeded.
Use a baker’s scraper or large spatula to work in this last portion of flour and make the dough firmer. Scrape under the flour and the dough, lifting and folding inward. Repeat until the flour is well incorporated.
Lots of help with stirring.

Lots of help with stirring.

2. When the dough is easy to handle, begin kneading by hand. Continue until the dough can be shaped. (The process of kneading first with the scraper and then by hand if very effective for delicate dough. In this case the dough will remain rather sticky, but don’t worry about it.)3. Lift the dough, pat with flour, and place on a clean kitchen towel also sprinkled with flour. Wrap it and tie it in the towel, just as you would a package, but very loosely.  I tied the towel with a rubber band.

Yep, it sank.

Yep, it sank.

4. Submerge this packet in a large bowl  filled with warm water (about 100 – 115 degrees F, approximately). It will sink.  Submerge: you don’t really have to do anything it just sinks.

5. Let sit for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until it rises sufficiently to float on top of the water. … and it does float to the top.

Floats to the top.

Floats to the top.

6. Lift the dough from the water and let the excess water drip off. Un-wrap and turn out on a lightly floured surface. A rubber/plastic/soft bench scrapper is very helpful peeling it off the towel.

New meaning for the word CLING!

New meaning for the word CLING!

You will have good results getting the towel clean IF you immediately put it to soak in COLD water.
Again it will be quite sticky, so scrape off any dough that adheres to the towel. Knead and shape into two loaves, using both dough scraper and your hands.

7. Thoroughly butter two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and place one loaf in each pan. Cover, put in a warm, draft-free place, and let the dough rise slightly above the tops of the pans, or until almost doubled in bulk.

2nd rise.

2nd rise.

8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the dough with cold water, and, if you like, make a slash in each loaf with a sharp knife. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when rapped with the knuckles, top and bottom. When done, place the loaves directly on the oven rack, without their pans, to brown the bottom a little more and crisp the crusts. Cool on racks.

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Notes:

You should have good results getting the towel clean IF you immediately put it to soak in COLD water.  By the time you’ve shaped the dough for the final rise, the towel should be ready to rinse out a couple of time, be dough free and ready for the wash.

This is a beautiful bread; made fabulous French toast and regular toast. Thanks Pat for a great bread and a totally new and unique technique in bread making.

The Slice & Crumb!

The Slice & Crumb!

Want to be a Bread Baking Buddy and bake along with us.  Pop on over to Feeding My Enthusiasms To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make water-proofed bread (dredge yur tea towel!!) in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 March 2014. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up and put Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line.

My Comments on BEARD ON BREAD:  Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This was my very first bread book purchased in 1975 the year after our second son was born and our move to Dallas.  At the time, I had no idea who James Beard was but I do remember my mother saying he had a place in our family tree.

This maybe considered out dated by some but I think more would consider it a classic as I do.  Most of the recipes are simple perhaps but they give you great bread and an excellent feel for good bread.  The recipes are varied and have helpful illustrations.  I’ve never missed that there are no photos in this book.  Recipe directions are clear and concise, giving simple but good descriptions of what the dough should feel like during the kneading and shaping.  I can recommend this book to beginner and experienced alike.

About the only thing I do differently & consistently is reduce the amount of yeast called for in these recipes.  For whatever reason, most all recipes I find written in books from the 1950s through the 1970s call for much more yeast than they need and it can leave a stronger yeast flavor than I’m looking for in bread. Too much yeast also results in an overly fast rise that prevents the flour flavor to develop.

Breads Baked

Buttermilk White Bread – made excellent hamburger buns

Jane Grigson’s Walnut Bread from Southern Burgundy – baked 34 loaves of this GREAT bread for my Greenhill Parent’s Association Board in 1991

Cornmeal Bread – baked with Jason’s 4th grade class for Thanksgiving Feast & Play

Cheese Bread – great sandwich bread

Pizza Caccia Nanza – wonderful

Italian Feather Bread

Norwegian Whole-Wheat Bread – great bread, usually make 1/2 recipe

Whole-Meal Bread with Potatoes – potatoes, it’s great

Cracked-Wheat Bread – excellent

Marnetta’s Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal Bread with Cooked Oatmeal – this is the basis for my oatmeal breads today, almost cake like depending on the sugar used, makes excellent cinnamon rolls & bread

Monkey Bread – amazing

Challah

Irish Whole-Wheat Soda Bread – tradition with us for St Patty’s Day

Helen Evans Brown’s Corn Chili Bread – adapted over the years

Clay’s Cornsticks – oh the crunch and joy

Carl Gohs’ Zucchini Bread

Armenian Thin Bread became Gorn’s Flat Bread

Every recipe from this book I’ve ever tried has been wonderful.

Updated  17 May 2010:  I was unsuccessful with the Salt-Rising Bread recipe.

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8 Comments

BBB Modern Lardy Cake Bread – can cake be bread?

Lien at Notitie Van Lien our lovely Kitchen of the Month has brought Babes and Buddies just a wonderful new but old bread: Modern Lardy Cake … not don’t get up in arms, this is really not cake, it is bread. I will tell you it is a delight as a sweet dessert like bread (or cake if you like) after dinner and it is equally delightful at breakfast! Call it bread or call it cake or call it cake bread but I can tell you it’s so good. The bonus is it is Christmas Holiday perfect.

Thank you Lien in so many ways.

Thank you Lien in so many ways.

Among the Babes, we talked wildly and I think radically about lard, butter, goose fat, duck fat: as possibilities for use in this recipe. If I’d been in a full kitchen and been able to find fresh lard (not hydrogenated like the grocer tried to sell me) and duck fat, I’d be baking this with each. As things worked out all I could come up with for the fat was salted butter from my local dairy. I used all the salt called for in the recipe and the salted butter as Lien and several others thought it needed more. And I’d seek out a special dried cherry mix that Gorn really enjoys. Pick a dried fruit or dried fruit combo that you enjoy and this bread will be spectacular. I might even go really crazy and put in a few walnuts. You know I really enjoy savory but this is just the right sweet. We loved it.

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Check out all the Babes, you’ll find all sorts of variety but I think you’ll find we all enjoyed this bread and you’ll want to get in the kitchen and bake!

Lien found this recipe in “Warm Bread and Honey Cake” by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra. I have the book and it is everything you want in a warm baking kitchen.

Lardy Cake: Modern

Recipe By: Lien from “Warm Bread and Honey Cake” by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
Yield: 9 inch round springform

Lardy Bread Cake

Dough
375 grams strong white flour – bread flour, I used half white whole wheat/whole grain
20 grams flax seed meal
1 ½  teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
35 grams butter, melted and cooled
200 milliliters milk, warmed

I love this container. It's so easy to tell when a dough has doubled in volume.

I love this container. It’s so easy to tell when a dough has doubled in volume.

Filling
100 grams butter, softened
75 grams soft dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, I used 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
50-75 gram currants or raisins (or a mix), I’ll try closer to 100 grams next time
beaten egg, to glaze

 

1. Put all the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead  (preferably with a dough hook in a heavy duty mixer) until smooth and supple. Bring the dough together in a ball and return to the bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  That heavy duty mixer … oops it’s still in it’s box. So I’m here to tell you “Don’t give a worry, you can do this without a mixer.” I did need to add a little more water than recipe called for. Toward the end of kneading I would dip my hands in a little water until I got a supple dough.

2. To make the filling, mix butter, sugar and spices together until creamy.

An easy mix when the butter is room temp.

An easy mix when the butter is room temp.

3. Knock the risen dough back and re-knead it briefly. Roll it out to a rectangle  about 50 x 25 cm (20 x 10 in). Spread the filling evenly over two-thirds of the dough sheet, leaving one outer third empty and about 4 cm (1 ½ inch) on all sides. If using, sprinkle the dried fruit over this and press down to embed. Fold the empty third over the middle third and the remaining third over this. Pinch all the edges well to seal the filling in. Cover with a sheet of clingfilm and leave to rest for about 5 minutes to relax.

4. Give the parcel a quarter turn and roll it into a rectangle about 30 x 15 cm (12 x 6 in). Fold into thirds again and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Repet this procedure three more times, turning the dough by a quarter turn and rolling and folding. If you find you are losing too much filling, omit the final turn.

5. This is a delicate, difficult and messy work as the filling oozes out in weak spots. You might want to read that again: This is a delicate, difficult and messy work as the filling oozes out in weak spots. Don’t get too caught up in leaks, just go with it.

Patch them up as good as you can and continue to work. All the oozing bits will caramelize nicely as the cake bakes. Oh my did we ever get some smart remarks on our bottoms! But you don’t want to lose too much filling as the laminating effect. Grease the tin and put the dough packet in it, then flatten it with your hand to fit it in as well as possible. Cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise until almost doubled.

6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

Who knows where the springform was, into the oven it goes.

Who knows where the springform was, into the oven it goes.

7. Brush the dough with beaten egg, then lightly score a cross-hatched pattern onto the surface. Don’t cut into the filling. Bake for 25-30 minutesj or until brown. Remove from the oven, but leave in the tin for about 5 minutes. Carefully release the clip and turn the cake upside down on a wire rack. Remove the bottom of the tin, which will probably still be attached to it, and leave to cool further. Eat lukewarm or cold, cut into wedges or slices.

Bottoms up and out of the oven.

Bottoms up and out of the oven.

Don’t be shy … I know your busy but really this was very friendly dough and would make a treat for anyone special on your list at any time but probably most especially now.  Tell us what your experiences were with this bread and send Lien (notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)come) your details so she can include you in a round up. Deadline 29th of December.

Does it make good toast? Oh my heavens yes! Good for breakfast, afternoon snack and dinner treat! Now BAKE!

Does it make good toast? Oh my heavens yes! Good for breakfast, afternoon snack and dinner treat! Now BAKE!

 

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7 Comments

Pecan Pie Cake … now please sit down!

Right I am being WILD!!

So sit down and don’t let this unbalance you.

This is not about bread or yeast or the BBB. No this is an honest to goodness … and trust me there is goodness here … an honest to goodness post about CAKE that was once a pie and has some idea of still being sort of pie on your taste buds.  If your favorite pie like mine is pecan pie, then this might just make your heart sing in harmony with mine.

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I saw a post for pecan pie muffins. Since I really think the only pie worth eating … ok along with mince meat pie … is pecan that sounded really fun to me.  So I googled pecan pie cake/muffins and discovered a multitude of recipes for the same.  Most were very similar. I took what I liked that sounded good to me and put together the following.  I was really pleased and my man was pleased as well.

In my present make shift kitchen with no cabinet space, the odd tables used for counters, any thing that I really need/use everyday sits out  with a randomness that defies every cell in my body. I’m not really an excessively organized person and not normally anal either … except in my kitchen. I’ve invested too much money in my tools to not take care of them properly and I’ve learned through the hard knocks that kitchen disasters are much more frequent when you don’t have what you need at hand.  So yes, over time I have brought a fair amount of order to things in my kitchen. Now however order is relative and general chaos prevails. It’s the kind of chaos of clutter that would normally render me senseless and immobilize me. I make do as best I can. It takes a real meditation exercise for me to tackle anything of any account especially a new recipe. Like the new recipe for the BBB’s for December; this recipe is giving me the shakes. There’s no room for my lovely KitchenAid mixer on any of this faux counter surfaces, the mixer sits out on the porch in it’s box awaiting the day when a carpenter has designed and installed the cabinets that float in my dreams for the time being. All that is to say: I’m not about to unpack the KitchenAid for ANYTHING not even Thanksgiving.
Still it was going to be Thanksgiving and I really can not imagine not doing something a little holiday like for the table. I did these with my trusty wooden spoon and my own arm muscles. Don’t feel like you must have a mixer for these; you do not.

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Pecan Pie Cake/Muffins

Yield: 8 regular muffins or 24 mini muffins or4 4-inch springform rounds

150 grams butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar + 1 or 2 tablespoons
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
60 grams all-purpose flour – I used white whole wheat
20 grams flax seed meal
1 cup chopped pecans, upto 1 3/4 cups before chopping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. To a medium bowl, add the softened butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
If your butter is soft, doing it by hand is easy.

3. Add beaten eggs, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined.

4. Mix flour and chopped pecans then mix with wet ingredients until combined.

5. Spoon batter into 8 lined muffin cups about 2/3 full. With no baking powder or baking soda, these do not have much rise.
One whole pecan could be placed in middle and push in part way. Actually I think one on the bottom and one left on the top gives the closest look and feel to pecan pie.

6. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes in muffin pan and serve warm or room temp.

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My first try with these used 1 cup whole pecans measured before chopping. The flavor certainly brought pecan pie to mind. My guess is the more pecans used will get closer to pecan pie but I’m sure there’s a point that too much would alter not just the taste but the texture/dry/moist aspect and it wouldn’t get better then. I will try increasing the amount of pecans to find the best flavor and moistness. More pecans, I will try upping the butter and sugar by a little each time.

With all the molds for muffins and little cakes, this can be an incredibly versatile little bite … and then there’s that scoop of ice cream.

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With no baking powder or baking soda, these do not rise much in the oven.
And because there is no baking powder or baking soda, when I started to bake these, I thought I would try refrigerating half the dough and bake the second half the next day. WOW, worked like a charm!

Now, is it pecan pie? No, there’s none of that custard lovely goo that I truly love. Is it pie? No again, there’s no crust. Do your taste buds get happy? Oh yeah! Do you think pecan pie? A little bit. There is a gorgeously heavy pecan flavor and a little crisp around the edges not really crust but all together it’s just very divine!

Now take a deep breath and stand up, head to the kitchen and bake some Pecan Pie Cake and don’t ponder to hard on the oddity of the cake here. My next post will be back to regular BBB ;-)


6 Comments

BBB Aloo Partha

Let me tell you, satellite internet is not wonderful. Well, at least the one we have here in the north woods isn’t.  When the wind blows, it rains, it snows, and sometimes it’s just  beautiful outside … our satellite doesn’t really care … it just randomly takes a rest. That’s what is’s done for the last three days and that’s my excuse for being so late. The only thing I miss about the big city is the high speed internet.

Karen is our Kitchen of the Month. Thank You Karen for the BBB’s very first bread recipe without yeast!  Aloo Paratha has long been on my list for baking and we loved these. Shamelessly easy to make.  Filling them is only limited by your imagination. Serve as a little bite with wine. Serve as a light lunch.  Serve with the evening soup. Be traditional, serve with a warming curry.

BBB Aloo Paratha

Recipe By: Karen of BakeMyDay from how to cook everything by Mark Bittman”

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
salt
1 teaspoon ajwain* dried thyme, or ground cumin
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for brushing the breads
1.1/2 lb. starchy potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 jalapeño or other fresh hot chile, seeded and minced or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 clove garlic pressed
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
melted butter
*ajwain comes from carom seeds which look like celery but taste like very strong, slightly coarse thyme

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

They look like the real Aloo Paratha! done in a skillet.

1. Combine the flours with 1 teaspoon salt and the thyme in a food processor.  OK, let’s stop right there. I have a food processor, yes I do. I even gave in and went to the friend’s hanger where he’s kindly allowing us to store a lot of boxes while we try to put in a kitchen and get a storage shed built. Gorn even located said food processor and I unpacked it … or most of it. It seems the critical piece that makes the electrical contact was left out … hopefully packed in another box that will one day be unpacked … but that was not yesterday nor today. I’m reasoning that even today there are a huge number of cooks in India making paratha and even today a huge number are making paratha without the aid of a food processor … SOOOOOOOO like a good Daring Baker (thank you Lisa) and good Bread Baking Babe that I am I forged ahead mixing the dough by hand and even though it took slightly longer than 30-45 seconds (5 minutes actually) I did end up with a dough slightly sticky to the touch and continued on.

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Turn the machine on and add the oil and 3/4 cup water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and, using flour as necessary, shape into a ball; wrap in plastic and let rest while you make the potato mixture. (At this point, you may wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to a week; bring back to room temperature before proceeding.)
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2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a large pinch of salt.  Sorry, we have to stop right here again … I don’t have a stove top upstairs in our “kitchen” yet and I just wasn’t willing to run outside in the rain to use the stove downstairs … so I baked the potato, I suppose I could have steamed them in the microwave but I baked them. Oh, and all that green … I added a nice handful of spinach.  Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily; cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Mash the potatoes along with half (all) the chile, the coriander, a large pinch of salt, some pepper, and the lemon juice; taste and adjust the seasoning (you may prefer more chile; sometimes aloo paratha are quite hot).

Divide

Divide

3. When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of oil, with a spoon or brush, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Toss it in the bowl of flour and then roll it in your hands to make a ball. Flatten it into a 2-inch disk, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a thin round, about 5 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary.
Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

Pull up the sides to make a purse and then flatten, roll thin.

4. Mound about 2 tablespoons (that was too much for the size I made, adjust accordingly)  of the filling into the center of one of the rounds of dough. Bring the edges of the round up over the top of the filling and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the “neck” of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour and roll it out again into a round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Pat it between your hands to brush off the excess flour. Put the paratha on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas and stack them on the plate with a sheet of plastic wrap between them. You can keep the paratha stacked like this for an hour or two in the refrigerator before cooking them if necessary.
Keep them stacked for two hours … perfect! The rain had stopped and I used the stove top downstairs to cook two of them.
5. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two, then put on a paratha (or two, if they’ll fit) and cook until it darkens slightly, usually less than a minute. Flip the paratha with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip and coat the other side with oil. Continue cooking the paratha until the bottom of the bread has browned, flip, and repeat.
Panni Aloo Paratha India + Italy

Panni Aloo Paratha
India + Italy

I did do two in this traditional stove top manner but … on two occasions I used the panni grill. While that doesn’t give the traditional look to the paratha, it produces a nice paratha.
Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes total for each paratha. As the paratha finish, remove them from the pan and brush with melted butter if you’re going to serve hot; otherwise wait until you’ve reheated them.6.  variations: cauliflower, sweet potato …
Yep, we enjoyed these immensely with our wine in the evening. These are shamelessly easy to make. The dough can be held over in the fridge a day or two so it’s a delight when there is just the two of us to make these for several days in a row. They make wonderful little bites for a light lunch or a little bite with a glass of wine in the evening.
Now the only question remaining here is: Are you going to join in and become a Bread Baking Buddy?If you’d like to join in, simply bake this Aloo Paratha (yes, you may adapt) – and then send Karen a link to your post via email (bake my day at gmail dot com).  Submissions are due by November 29th.  Once you’ve posted, Karen will send you a fabulous Buddy Badge designed by our own Babe Lien for baking along and you’ll appear in the Buddy post.  I hope you’ll join us this month!
BBBuddies september 2013


7 Comments

Our Buddies are Crackers! Great Crackers! Oh yeah …

Buddies … I can’t fully explain what bread baking means to me/us.  I know it’s all mixed together with the feelings of touching the physical dough, connecting with a long history of bread bakers through the centuries, befriending those around my kitchen table and that strange creative process of relaxing kneading.  It’s always fascinating to me that bread is such simple ingredients and is always different, glorious but always different.

Buddies … I can’t fully explain what our Bread Baking Buddies mean to me/Babes.  I know it’s partly all the above of baking bread but it’s something above that and extraordinarily special.  Strangers come into my kitchen, take a recipe, are willing to put time, effort and good ingredients into that recipe, make it their own and bake with us.

This time around I especially enjoyed Louise Persson’s words:

I’m pleased to have been able to bake this unusual recipe with the BBBs. I saw it posted at KAF sometime ago and thought I would never attempt crackers. Yet baking as a Buddy, I’ve stretched myself and added some new experiences, and happily, this was one of them.

I really can’t remember how I found the BBB while browsing through blogs one day, but I’m very glad I did! I look forward to each new bread, sometimes, like this month, thinking, “Oh, I can’t. I don’t have the time or skill.” But it’s amazing what we can accomplish, isn’t it?

Louise’s experience is typical of so many of us.  Perhaps I should be less emphatic, I do know Louise expresses what I experienced when I started blogging and it continues to this day even though I do recognize I have more confidence when I approach a new recipe.  Yes Louise it is amazing what we can accomplish when we give it a go.

On top of that empathy, what perhaps thrills me/Babes even more is to think that we have somehow influenced a few others to take up this BreadHead Cause and enjoy, experience, learn and share these experiences.

Bread Baking makes my heart happy.  Bread Baking Buddies make my heart happier.  I am so glad that you each give of yourselves and take time to bake with us.  You are truly very special people.  Thank you. Each one of you.

Our Cracker Buddies are (in no particular order):

Louise BreadHead without blog

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Corrine at Yogi Latte

Corrine

Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories

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Claartje at Claire’s Baking

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Cathy at Bread Experience

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Carola at Sweet and That’s It

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Renee at Kudos Kitchen

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Kelly at A Messy Kitchen

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Anita (Soepkipje) at Ipernity   

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Aparna at MyDiverseKitchen

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Now do you see what I mean when I say these are are really special bunch of bakers!

Hope you can excuse me being late (but it did allow some extra Buddies to sneak in!) between company and that great mystery of the internet gobbling up my post requiring it to be redone … I was late.

If you baked as a Buddy and I missed you please send me an e-mail with your link and a photo so that I may include you!

You’ll excuse me now while I go bake these crackers again AND see if I can get baking on the Babes October bread.

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20 Comments

BBB ~ Crunchy Crackers

When you find a trusted source, you kept going back don’t you?  Shoes you like, you’re likely to look for the brand again?  A food blog you try a recipe from, you like, you’ll look to try another?  For me there’s at least one site whose products I love and even order repeatedly from and use their recipes.  For a bread lover, who do you think that might be?  King Arthur Flour has proven itself over and over for me and these crackers are just another proof.  This is a beautifully easy recipe to mix and bake but for me at least it’s glory lies in the topping possibilities and yes the use of a variety of flours.

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Probably the most often spread we enjoy with these crackers is my spinach and artichoke, made with double spinach and given it’s own crunch with water chestnuts.

Crunchy Crackers

Recipe By: KAF
Yield: 2 cookie sheets

Summary from KAF:

This recipe mimics an extra-crunchy, seed-topped whole-gain cracker you may find at your supermarket. These are great for spreads and dips of all kinds.

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198 to 227g lukewarm water
170 g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
120 g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder or sugar – I used agave
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
14 g whole milled flax or whole flax seed ground
14 g sesame seeds or whole flax seeds
*Substitute 28g golden flax seeds for the flax and sesame, if desired.
topping
71 g sunflower seeds, midget preferred*
28 g sesame seeds*
28 g whole flax seeds

sea salt or your favorite flavored salt, if desired
*Substitute 3/4 cup artisan bread topping + 1/4 cup whole flax seeds for the sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds, if desired.

 

1.  Mix and knead together all of the cracker ingredients (except the seeds) to a smooth, fairly stiff dough. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of water if the dough is dry.

I used the larger 227 ml of water and regardless of the flour type used, I have found this to be a sticky wet dough.  I’ve played very loose with the white whole wheat flour called for in the recipe: on different occasions I’ve replaced part of it with barley flour, buckwheat flour, spelt and rye flours.  Perhaps we enjoyed the buckwheat flour the most but all were terrific.  Each time I’ve baked these I’ve added chopped walnuts but my Babes have show me I must expand my nut choices ~ think pecans, pine nuts …

2.  Knead in the seeds.

You may do as I’ve done at this point and refrigerate the dough: if you do that, allow the dough 90 to 120 minutes to re-warm to room temp and expand slightly as in step 3 below.

3. Let the dough rise, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s expanded a bit.

Don’t expect a large rise here.  “Expand a bit” did not translate into doubling as you often expect with doughs.

4. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a rectangle approximately 14″ x 9″, a generous 1/8″ thick. This will probably require you to roll the dough until it fights back; give it a 10-minute rest, then come back and roll some more. It may need two rest periods to allow you to roll it thin enough.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve always played around using different flours or maybe it’s because I’ve always had that rest period in the refrigerator but I’ve never had this dough fight back, it’s always been easy to roll out.

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I also use special rubber bands on my rolling pin to take the guess work out of how thick the dough rolls out.  I’ve used the yellow bands in the past for the 1/8 inch but this time I went with the red 1/16.  It worked just fine and gave me very thin crackers, crunchy!

5. For easiest handling, turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Spritz the dough with water. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the topping seeds, lay a piece of parchment on top, and press the seeds in with a rolling pin. Turn the dough over, peel off the parchment, and repeat. Set the seeded crackers on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining piece of dough.

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Play: these seeds are suggestions, what’s in your pantry, what do you like, what wildness can you come up with?  Seeds are great but consider using your favorite nut here.  I chopped seeds and nuts.  Because there are only two of us on most occasions, I generally divide this dough into half or thirds and bake over several days.
6. If you don’t have parchment, roll on a rolling mat or on a very lightly floured or lightly greased work surface; and transfer the seeded crackers to a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each sheet of crackers with some sea salt or flavored salt, if desired. Crush the sea salt between your fingers or grind it in a salt mill if it’s very coarse.
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7. Prick the dough over with a fork or one of these.  I ruined many a cookie sheet using forks to prick cracker dough until I found one of these rollers …

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and cut it into rectangles, whatever size you like.  This seemed like an insane gadget to buy at the time but after using it repeatedly for crackers and biscuits, I’ve really come to wonder why I put off paying the $20 for so long.  It expands to cut any width you like and locks in place.  Initially I thought this would be a bugger to wash but I just open it up wide and give each roller blade a wipe, close it up and swish it in the water: clean!

Pull the crackers apart just a bit; you don’t need to separate them completely. Let the crackers rise for 30 to 45 minutes. while you preheat your oven to 350°F; they’ll get just a bit puffy.

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8. Bake for 20 minutes, until the crackers are a medium brown. Turn off the heat, wait 15 minutes, then open the oven door a couple of inches and let the crackers cool completely in the turned-off oven. When they’re completely cool, break apart, if necessary, and store airtight.

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Once again I am KOM … Kitchen of the Month!  The Babes have really gone crackers with this one so be sure to check them all out.  They’re on the side bar there.  If you’d like to be a buddy with us this month, I will be delighted to have you in the Cracker round up to be posed on the 29th September.  To be a Bread Baking Buddy, just make the crackers, take some photos, write up your post – tell us your experience with the dough – and send an email to ~ comments my kitchen at mac dot com ~ you know to take out all those spaces ~ PLEASE PUT “Cracker Buddy” as your subject line and get those mails to me by no later than the 28th.  I’ll send you the buddy badge and get you in the round up.

BBB logo september 13

See those fire crackers in our badge, thank you Lien!  Now get cracken and BAKE!

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13 Comments

BBB ~ Jamie’s Nut Roll

This is the story of how I had to open a can of green beans in order to bake Jamie’s Nut Roll.  Yes,  Life’s A Feast, Jamie is our delightful Kitchen Of the Month.  And, yes, thank you for this one!

Start to finish, this one does take some time in total.  Hands on time however is actually fairly limited.  I very often have to chuckle when I remember thinking that bread takes so long to make … that was before I actually made bread and I know just about anyone who’s contemplated baking bread has had the thought “It takes so long, I just don’t have that time.”  That would be true if you had to actually be doing something to the dough not just leaving it alone.

How simple can it get when the night before you put yeast in warm water. Add the butter, milk, eggs yolks, sugar, salt and flour.  Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  I will tell you that after I mixed with the wooden spoon and it was smooth, I really didn’t believe this would be much more than the glop it appeared to be.  Just go with it.

Nut Roll Coffee Cake

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Recipe By: Jamie from Taste of Home Cookbook (Taste of Home Bakeshop Favorites)
Yield: one loaf in tube pan

For the dough:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
70 ml warm water (110°F to 115°F)
225 grams unsalted butter, melted
125 ml warm skim milk (110°F to 115°F)
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar, I used brown
3/4 teaspoon salt
350 grams flour I used a combo: 100 spelt and 250 white whole wheat, more as needed
35 grams ground flax seed
For the filling:
3 egg whites ~ but there were 4 yolks in the dough?
1 cup + 3 Tbs sugar again I used brown, divided
2 cups ground walnuts & pecans
2 tablespoons 2% fat/lowfat milk, ! forgot it, which was lucky because I used that fourth egg white
2 tsps ground cinnamon ~ or whatever looks/smells right to you; I used 2 tablespoons

Directions:

1. The day before, prepare the dough:

2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the butter, milk, eggs yolks, sugar, salt and flour. Beat until smooth – the mixture will be sticky. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

At this point I thought “this isn’t going to make bread”. It’s goop.

3. The day of baking, prepare the filling:  ***** even though the directions left this step out, consider this dough is cold coming from the fridge: I took mine out and allowed to warm for the time it took to make the meringue below.

4. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, on high speed until the sugar is incorporated and dissolved.

5. In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, milk, cinnamon and remaining sugar; fold in the meringue.  For a little extra, toast the nuts!  That was a good touch.  I toasted the walnuts … then I chopped them … then I went for pecans.  I didn’t toast the pecans but I did add 3/4 a cup to the already full measure of walnuts.

6. Prepare the Coffee Cake:

7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease a 10-inch tube pan.   !#@$###!!! A what … hahahahahaha all my tube pans have been packed for weeks … tube pan … what is a tube pan … well the le creuset dutch oven is a pan and it’s on the shelf … but it has no tube … so you make a tube … and that is when I had to open the can of green beans … wrapped in foil a green bean can becomes a fabulous tube and the dutch oven becomes a tube pan!

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8. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured work surface, roll each portion into an 18 x 12 –inch (45 x 30 cm) rectangle. Spread half of the filling evenly over each rectangle within 1/2 –inch (1 cm) of the edges. Roll each up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side; pinch seam to seal.

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9. Place one filled roll, seam side up, in the greased tube pan. Place the second roll, seam side down. Neither one of my rolls were long enough to make it all the way around my make shift tube pan; I just laid the middle of the second roll on top of the first one where it didn’t meet and it all evened out.

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******Again missing from the directions but just from the “routine of having baked so many loaves, I gave this a 40 minute rise on the counter before popping it into the oven.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
What I should have done: take the bread temp. I think this loaf could have baked several minutes longer but maybe not 5. If I’d taken the temp I know better when it would be done next time.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing the coffee cake from the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. Removing from the pan prevents bread from becoming soggy.

10. Eat as is or drizzle with glaze or dust with powdered sugar.

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You can see how my top roll didn’t quite come together perfectly but I more than happy with it’s charm.  And yes I used all four of those egg whites and had way more meringue than I should have and it squished out … but it just shows you the goodness inside so I’m happy with that as well.

Just the butter called for in the recipe, extra nuts, extra cinnamon … Oh my goodness, all you need now is to get crack’n and bake this … well then you might want coffee although after dinner with wine this was good too.

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Didn’t I warn you?  It’s August, it’s HOT and you will want to turn on your oven for this one!  If you want to make this bread with us … like really how could you not … then you really want to be a  Bread Baking Buddy, then bake it, blog it and send Jamie a link by August 26th.  Please use Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line and Jamie will add you to the roundup. But before you do that, check out if and how the other Babes managed their nut roll, on my side bar.

Thank You Jamie!

The blank slate!
Glorious crumb and holey holes!


6 Comments

BBB ~ Nan e Barbari (Persian flatbread)

Flat, I’m flat, I’m flat as a pancake.  Flat as a pancake, busy as a bee and happy as can be with Nan E Barbari!

Since I am so very late posting this month because the universe has chosen to bless me with a hail storm of crisis events – always loved that Morton salt girl with the huge umbrella in the downpour – when it rains it pours.  I will do this very short with just a few notes of mine.

Notes:  You really want to bake this: It’s drop dead easy and fast for yeasties.

My original goal was to have a lovely Persian dinner with this like lamb meatballs … but I never got that past the idea stage and instead we used half of a loaf for toast and the rest for glorious sandwiches!  When we get to Michigan, this is going to be high on my list for a BBQ nite.

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Recipe from our Kitchen of the Month Elizabeth

and

based on Lida’s recipe for Barbari Bread at 1001recipe.com

Nan e Barbari (Persian flatbread)

dough
5 gm (~1.5 tsp) active dry yeast
360 gm (1.5 c) water, at 90F (32C) ¹
60 gm (~0.5 c) 100% whole wheat flour
360 gm (~2.75 c) unbleached all purpose flour (100 grams of this was spelt)
2 gm (~0.5 tsp) baking powder
6 gm (1 tsp) salt

30 gm ground flax seed
nigella seeds (or black sesame, poppy, sesame seeds)
sauce
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
160 gm (2/3 c) water

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, yeast and salt and whisk together. with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  (Doesn’t that give you pause … baking powder, yeast.  Well, it did me but I blindly followed along.)   Add water and mix with wooden spoon or your hands until it clears the sides of the bowl.

This resulted in flatter loaf.

This resulted in flatter loaf.

2.  Kneading: Turn the dough out onto an UNfloured board. Now Elizabeth has a fetish about washing and drying her bowl … I don’t.  Please do not be tempted to skip this step. I did … ship it.  Using both hands on either side of the dough and thumbs resting on the top in the center, lift it up and flip it over in the air before plopping it back down on the board.  Considering all that hail storm, my plopping was more like whack and bam but boy that was just terrific.   Fold the dough in half away from you as you plop the dough down. Keep repeating until the dough is smooth. Every so often, use the dough scraper to clean the board. Stretching the dough is desired on the turns. But this won’t start happening right away.  When the dough is smooth, place it in the clean mixing bowl (there is no need to oil the bowl).

3. I placed the dough ball in my rising bucket and put the lid on.  Allowed to double.

4. Prepare the sauce: Whisk flour, baking soda and water in a small pot. Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

5. Pre-shaping: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scatter a light dusting of flour on the board and gently remove the risen dough onto it. Don’t worry that the dough is quite slack. Cut the dough in half. Form each piece into a ball and place well apart on the cookie sheet.

Loaf came out with most loft using this method.

Loaf came out with most loft using this method.

6. I covered this with a large plastic box and allow to rise to double in a draft-free area. (about an hour)

Final rise after shaping.

Final rise after shaping.

7. Final Shaping: Brush each round with the sauce. Dip your fingers in the sauce and dimple the rounds down to form two ovals with lengthwise furrows.  Brush ovals with the sauce once more and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Allow the ovals to stand for about 30 min.  Elizabeth has terrific links for videos, very worth while, I just don’t have time to include today.

8. Baking:  Baking: If you do not have a barbecue, this bread can be baked in a conventional oven. Lida suggests baking it in a preheated 375F (190C) oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Grand color!

Grand color!

Serve the bread warm.  And if cools completely all is not lost because …

Can you have better at a picnic!?

Can you have better at a picnic!?

You can still have glory!

Are you drooling now ... Get thee to the kitchen and BAKE!

Are you drooling now … Get thee to the kitchen and BAKE!

Thank You Elizabeth for a great bread, please for give the speed post.  Some times life just throws such incredible curves.

See our  Kitchen of the Month Elizabeth blog to be a Bread Baking Buddy!

Basil as rose


18 Comments

Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco

I must apologize to Natashya.  Living In The Kitchen With Puppies (Natashya ) our most wonderful Kitchen of the Month, gave us a glorious recipe … for white bread and I used almost half white whole wheat and added ground flax seed.  Sigh, then when it came time for the kneading … I reached for the whole wheat, really I did.  Still, I really like the look, the crumb and for sure the taste.  Then when the recipe called for 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder, well, I haven’t had any of that in my house for maybe 30 years.  Since, I had just bought a long stocking of fresh garlic, there was just no way I was going to the store for 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder.  So, I’m really sorry Natashya, I really played with the recipe … oh and oops, I had a really bad senior moment and forgot to add the cheese to the tomato, garlic filling but hey what’s cheese for if not to put between two slices of a loaf and grill it!  Oh yes it is a glorious bread.  Thank you Natashya for inviting me to play.  And thank you King Arthur.

5 Garlic Heads

There are those of us who obsess about somethings.  Like measurements.  I’m not one of those.  Especially I’m not one of those when life tries to keep me in sleepless chaos.  Amazing how you can be totally exhausted, even falling asleep sitting up but as soon as you get horizontal, the brain leaps into high gear and starts reviewing every thing that’s got you tied to the worry wart and your eyes are wide open all night.  So while I can’t be bothered to obsess about measurements, Elizabeth takes care of all that obsessing for me.  (Not being one to name names.)  This is the kind of recipe I would look at and think “WAY to much yeast.”  No slow rise with flavor develop with this one.  BUT I’m getting a different picture lately.  Ordinarily I’d have been inclined to make it a tablespoon.  Since Elizabeth raved about the oven rise and I was using some whole wheat, I went with the 4 teaspoons.  I did put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes and let it rise then about an hour and a half.

As to the sugar … I’m at the end of a bag of brown sugar that’s gotten a little dry … so I used a clot (sort of like a big pinch).  See how carefully I measure.
Gosh, I’m beginning to feel rather heretical.  Normally, I go with the metric measures.  I really like just pouring flour from the bag into the bowl on the scale.  For some reason known only to the cosmos, I used the cup measures.  Go figure.

Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco

Roasted Garlic
Recipe from: King Arthur Flour’s website adapted by Natashya
Yield: 2 loaves

Filling

Ingredients by volume:
* 1/2 cup warm water
* 1/4 cup sugar ~ sigh, couldn’t do it, just a pinch
* 4 teaspoons instant yeast
* 1 cup warm skim milk
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons salt ~ didn’t really measure
* 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
* 1 (8 1/2-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
* 5 heads garlic, roasted, yes really
* 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese, forgotten but topped with parmesan
* 2/3 cup chopped fresh basil ~ not quite

S shape

1) Combine the water, sugar (I used just a pinch), yeast, milk, olive oil, eggs, salt, and flour, and mixed and kneaded by hand, until you’ve made a cohesive, soft dough. By hand, the dough formed a smooth ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes.  To roast my garlic and let it cool, I wanted a slightly slower rise.  A twenty minute rest in the fridge followed by an hour and a half rise on the counter worked very well.

2) Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the sun-dried tomatoes; lay them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Using kitchen shears, finely chop the tomatoes.

3) Line two baking sheets with parchment. Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Roll one piece into a 22″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle. Sprinkle on half the garlic, cheese, basil, and tomatoes.

4. 4) Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal.

5) Place the log seam-side down on a baking sheet. Using kitchen shears, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1″ deep, to within 1/2″ of the other end.

6) Keeping the cut side up, form an “S” shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the “S” to form a “figure 8″; pinch the ends together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes.

Playing around

7) For the second loaf, I played with a different shape.  Filled and rolled the same way but cut the ends became the center buds and the log cut into triangles.

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8) While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.9) Bake the first loaf for 35 to 40 minutes. Tent the loaf with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Bake the remaining loaf.IMG_323910) Remove loaves from their pans; cook on racks. Store any leftovers well-wrapped, at room temperature.The cheese sandwichBecause I forgot the cheese in the filling, I tried several slices on the grill … OH MY OH MY what a glorious cheese sandwich.BBB logo april 2013Want to try this bread with us?  You know you do!  If you wanna give this one a bake too, you’re all very welcome to bake along as our Bread Baking Buddy. Bake, tell us what your thoughts are about it, blog and send it all to Living In The Kitchen With Puppies (Natashya ).  Here’s the scoop from Natashya:  I invited the Bread Baking Babes to have fun with this bread, and all Buddies and home bakers are welcome to join in. If you would like to bake this delicious bread – bake it up, blog it, and let us know how you liked the experience. Send me a link by April 26th, and a medium-sized photo if I can’t get one from your site, to kitchenpuppies AT gmail DOT com – I’ll put up a round-up on the 27th.  Send an e-mail with Buddy for Tomato Basil & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco.  Really, you’ll enjoy this even if you don’t use five heads of garlic.
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15 Comments

BBB ~ Dessert or Breakfast ~ Gâteau À La Crème ~ It’s Bread

First, Kitchen of the Month: Lien from Notitie van Lien (Lien’s Notes).

You want perfection, she’s got it.

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You want to learn from mistakes, I’ve got that or at least some of them, I’m sure I could mess this up and will when I bake it the next time but I will be baking this again.  The above was my freeform attempt at this gateau, not what I’d call success.

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Before she baked this bread, Lien was curious about all those eggs and butter in the recipe, saying “I tend to have a lot of problems with doughs like that, which have a hard time rising. So lots of eggs, really lots of eggs, lots of butter, crème fraîche….I think the amount of servings should be 6 to 8 instead 4-6.”   Trust me friends, Lien did not have trouble with this one, her gateau is a work of art!  You can have it as a dessert, which we did once but it goes great with coffee as breakfast which I did twice.  Yes I know life is so hard when you have to eat brioche.

Gâteau À La Crème

Recipe By: Lien: adapted from Raymond Blanc “From Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets”

Serving Size: 4 (6-8)
Yield: 1 gateau and 1 loaf or in my case however you like to swing it

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For the BRIOCHE DOUGH (enough dough for 4 small, 3 larger gateau or use the left over dough to make a loaf or brioche rolls)

500 grams  untreated strong plain flour, (1lb 1½oz)preferably organi

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{I admit I used 200 grams white whole wheat (with 300 grams bread flour to total the 500 grams) and 20 grams of ground flax and will do both again}
7 grams sea salt
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
7 free-range eggs, preferable organic
300 grams (10½oz) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
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For the crème FILLING  (makes 1/2 liter, enough for 2 small gateaux / double the recipe if you want to use all the dough for gateaux)
6 free-range egg yolks, preferably organic
50 grams caster sugar
75 grams lemon juice, juice and zest (1 1/2 lemons made the juice)
250 ml (8¾fl oz) crème fraîche
GLAZE – Admit: I totally skipped this
2 free-range egg yolks, preferably organic (1 eggyolk or 1/2 whisked egg is more than plenty)
1 TBsp caster sugar (optional)
20 g (¾ oz) butter, cut into cubes (optional)
1 TBsp nibbed sugar, to decorate

Directions:1.  For the brioche dough, place the flour, salt (actually I held the salt out until I mixed in the eggs), sugar and yeast (keeping the yeast away from the salt as it will attack it and damage its ability to ferment), in an electric mixer bowl. Add the eggs and mix with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes on low power until the eggs are completely incorporated (alternatively, place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together for 5 minutes).  I did use the old KitchenAid in this case and it has lived to tell the tale.2.  Increase the speed of the machine or your stirring and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl. Then add the cubes of butter and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes until completely incorporated.3.  Remove the bowl from the machine, if using, then cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to prove, then chill the dough for a further hour (it will be easier to work with).  I believe next time I’ll divide the dough at this point and refrigerate half immediately for a day; making this two days for baking.4.  Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6. (make that 180ºC or the rim gets too dark) – I baked mine at 400° F and only my escapee got to dark.5.  Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Take 300 g of the brioche dough and bring it together with the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place it on a baking tray and flatten it slightly. Starting from the middle of the dough, gently press the dough flat and spread it out to form a circle to approx 20 cm (8 in) in diameter, but leave a 2 cm (1 in) gap from the edge as this will create the rim of the tart. Be careful not to stretch the dough and try to keep the base even in thickness.

6. Cover with a clean tea towel and place the dough in the warm area for 25 minutes or until puffed up.

7. For the crème filling, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice together in a large mixing bowl and gradually mix in the crème fraîche. Set aside.

8. For the glaze, brush the rim of the gateau with the egg yolk and prick the base of the dough evenly with a fork to help the even cooking and rising of the dough,sprinkle with the nibbed sugar . Pour part of the crème mixture in the middle of the dough, sprinkle with the caster sugar and dot with the butter, the rest of the filling should be poured in when the baking sheet is already in the oven, so it won’t spill and

9. bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the brioche has risen and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then serve.

Because I’m the savory girl that I am, yes I had to bake this with a savory filling.  Because my affair with spinach knows no bounds, the savory filling uses spinach.  Because when I went to the market for the crème fraîche, there was quark sitting right next to it – I went into such a frenzied happy dance in the store they almost had be removed – the spinach filling has quark in it!  I’ve never found quark in an American market until now.
IMG_3142These I did in tart pans.  Like the way the dough fell into the filling here and will try for more of that next time.
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Will try for less dough on the bottom and more up the sides next time.
SPINACH FILLING
8 ounces quark
1 large egg
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt & pepper
spinach, chopped

next time bacon! with the spinach! oo la la YES!
touch herb: rosemary, thyme, what’s your favorite

Lien’s original recipe is delicious lemony and rich and perfect for easter breakfast or coffee with all that butter and eggs. Don’t forget to check out the other Bread Baking Babes (links in the side bar).  And we really really enjoyed the lemon!  But for me, I would pick the spinach filling and good grief quark is just heavenly!  I went right back to the store and got three more containers!  Gorgeous!

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But regardless of what you fill it with, brioche is still bread elevated to an all time high.  It reheats so wonderfully crisp!

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You just want MORE!

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If you wanna give this one a bake too, you’re all very welcome to bake along as our Bread Baking Buddy. Bake, tell us what your thoughts are about it, blog and send it all to me (notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com), so I can return the favour by sending a Buddy Badge back ánd include you all in a round up of the Buddies. Deadline 29th of this month as usual. Have a great time baking and Happy Easter!
Why can’t I figure out how to get my e-mail on here …  comments my kitchen at mac dot com … you know no spaces in there.