MyKitchenInHalfCups

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

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Acharuli/Adjaruli Khachapuri ~ BBB

Our Kitchen of the Month, Aparna, has given us a recipe that’s been on my want to bake list for a very long time.  In fact it was going to be my pick for our anniversary bread next month … until Aparna came up with it for January.  There are many recipes for this bread out there but Aparna & I both picked the same one that appeared in Saveur.

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First time bake for the grandkids with Taco cheese.

I can’t say enough good about this recipe: it’s very simple, easy to put together and since Aparna said that the Georgian police were being kept busy in Georgia and wouldn’t be watching to see if we followed every step of tradition, I think this makes for a wonderful opportunity to fill this with whatever floats you boat.  I mean you’re going to be shaping it like a boat anyway.

I give this 5 stars because it’s easy, tastes good and because I found it to be a great fun factor for the grandkids.  I baked this for the second time today just for adults.  No more of that wimpy taco cheese for me.  No way.  My second bake used a beautiful goat cheese and a little beautiful pepperoni.  Gorn & I both enjoyed these.  You should feel free to shape them as big or small as you like.  I still want to bake them with more tradition i.e. the egg in the middle, I do love me a runny egg yolk.  To that end I will be mixing this again soon and doing a delayed rise in the refrigerator so that I can have these for breakfast.

Of course I added ground flax.  The first time I baked this, I used all white whole wheat.  The second bake, I used 1 cup bread flour and 1/2 cup white whole wheat.  The all white whole wheat was a little denser but really the difference was minor and we liked them both.

I think this is a first rate recipe that opens all kinds of opportunities and fillings are endless.

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Yes there is always drama. I turned around …

Acharuli/ Adjaruli Khachapuri ~ BBB

Recipe By: Aprana:  Adapted from Saveur –
Serving Size: 6

For the Dough:
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar, omitted
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg (optional)*, omitted
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
1 1/2 cups grated/ shredded Mozzarella
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
2 eggs (or any other topping of choice  – I used  sliced tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and herbs)
For topping after baking:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

1. I mixed all the dry ingredients … plus 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds and then added the milk and oil.

Kneaded into a sticky dough ball.

Transfer the ball of dough to a well-oiled bowl, turning it so it is coated all over. Loosely cover and let it rise till double in volume – about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Place a pizza stone, or a baking sheet on a rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 250C (500F).

2. Combine the cheeses in a bowl and set aside. Deflate the dough and divide it into two halves … or any number of your choice.  I wanted small portions that the kids would eat without great waste the first time.  My second bake I went for a little bigger because I was aiming for adult tastes and using goat cheese and I wanted to try baking with an egg.   Working with one piece at a time,  roll it out to a rectangle or oval about 10” and 1/8” thick on a piece of lightly floured parchment.  This makes it easier to transfer the dough onto the baking stone.

Roll the long sides in a bit curving them inwards at the ends and seal well (with a little water) or the edges will open up during baking. Then bring the edges close and pinch together on both ends to form a “boat” like shape.
Again, make sure the ends are sealed well. Transfer the “boats” to the baking sheet, but if you’re going to bake them directly on the pizza stone just omit this step.

Dock the centre “well” area and fill with half of the cheese mixture so it is a little higher than the edges of the dough “boat”. Repeat with the other half of dough and  bake them for about 12 to 15 minutes until the Khachapuri are golden brown.

3. Take the breads out of the oven and gently crack an egg on each bread without breaking the yolk (or add the sliced tomatoes, pickled jalapeños and herbs like I did) and return them to the oven. Bake for another 3 to 4 minutes till the egg is set.

Take the Adjaruli Khachapuri out, and place a couple of cubes (2tbsp) butter on each. Serve them hot. It helps to wait for about 10 minutes before eating them so you don’t burn your mouth!

I will leave all the history for you to find on Aparna’s site.

Really I can’t imagine you not wanting to bake this one.Bake this Acharuli/ Adjaruli Khachapuri  according to the above recipe and post it on your blog before the 28th of this month. Please make sure you mention the Bread Baking Babes and link to Aprana’s post in your own blog post.

Then e-mail Aparna at aparna[AT]mydiversekitchen[DOT]com with your name, a 500px wide image of your bread and the link to your BBB post. I will then send you a BBB badge for this bread that you can then add to your post on your blog, and will also include your bread in a Buddy round-up at the end of this month.

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BBB ~ Anadama Bread

Ah, the holidays.  I hope yours were grand and you’ve welcomed in a fabulous new year.  I have … but boy of boy did I ever swamp myself out.  Now, with a grand heavy chest cold, I maybe getting my head out.

Visiting grand children is absolutely the best.  We’ve gotten to spend time with all four of ours now.  But, trust me travel and baking BBB breads is always problematic … Then throw in “Mom, could you make Gingerbread Houses with the kids this year.”

Well, I did get the Anadama Bread baked, the gingerbread houses baked and decorated … I got it all done … except for the posting.

I’ve posted our lovely kitchen of the month Pat’s recipe pretty much as she put it up.  I used flour that was on hand which was whole wheat and AP.  Using the whole wheat gave me an even denser loaf that everybody else got BUT it gave me a wonderful loaf we all enjoyed tremendously.  I didn’t have all the seeds Pat shows in the recipe but I’ve left them as she had them as I think they will be excellent when I bake this again and have those seeds.  That being said, I think if you just use the seeds you have on hand (probably those are the ones you like) you’ll be very happy with the results.

There was no molasses so I used honey.  I’ll use molasses next time as Gorn & I are both fans.

Perhaps I’m an odd ball but I found this to be an excellent bread through the holidays…well, at least while it lasted.

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BBB ~ Anadama Bread

Recipe From: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms” who found it in Bon Appetit magazine, March, 2015
Yield: 1 loaf

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 – 1/4 oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 cup stone ground medium cornmeal
1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses
2 tablespoons help seeds or white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons golden flaxseed
2 teaspoons brown flaxseed
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour – white whole wheat, plus more for kneading, etc.
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Salted butter, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang. (I skipped the parchment and baked the bread in a narrower and longer pan with no sticking.)

And in the middle of it all was Gingerbread House Baking.  This recipe was from a very old Time-Life series of cookbooks (about 1970’s).  One house took baking the recipe 3 times; that was three sheet pans.  You do the math.  How many times did we bake for three houses?

2. I am a rebel: guilty.  If it was wet, I put it in the large measuring cup.  If it was dry, I put it in the mixing bowl.  Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough was too stiff and then kneaded.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 10-15 minutes OR mix in stand mixer on medium speed 8-10 minutes.

4. Lightly butter a medium bowl. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat. (Elizabeth might skip the butter part.) Cover with plastic wrap or shower cap and let rise in warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Punch down dough to deflate; cover. Let rise again until about doubled in size, about 1 hour.

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6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into and 8′ x 4′ rectangle. Starting at the short side furthest from you, roll up dough, pinching the seam as you go to create a tight roll. Pinch seam to close and tuck ends under, pinching to seal. Place seam side down in the prepared loaf pan. Cover with plastic and let dough rise. Uncover before it crests the top of the pan and wait for it to spring back slightly when pressed, about 1 hour.

7. Brush top of dough with egg. Bake, rotating halfway through, until bread is baked through and the top is a deep golden brown, 45-50 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack before turning out. Let cool on the rack before slicing (if you can wait that long). Serve with salted butter.

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8. Bread can be made 5 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
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And for a final word before I post this month’s bread … yikes in just 2 days …  I least I have a fair chance of posting on time this month.  My final suggestion is you don’t miss Pat’s post where she shows off where each one of our breads she baked this year!  It’s a very fun trip.  We look really good.

BBB logo November 2015


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RUSSIAN CHRYSANTHEMUM BREAD ~ BBB

This month’s bread is visually stunning, looks fancy and like it could be fussy.  But it’s not … fussy that is.

Lien, our Kitchen of the Month for November, introduced this bread as savory.  I changed around Lien’s suggested filling slightly but the lamb sounded good and I’m always in for savory.  We really really enjoyed this over several days, for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  I would absolutely bake this again just as I’ve written it below.  I would absolutely recommend you get in the kitchen and bake it too.

Russian Chrysanthemum Bread

Recipe By: Lien:  adapted from: http://www.stranamam.ru/post/8536219/
Yield: one large round loaf; or two smaller

DOUGH
350 grams bread flour
100 grams sprouted wheat flour
50 grams white whole wheat flour
7 grams dry instant yeast
20 grams ground flax seed
20 grams chia seeds
125 ml milk, lukewarm
125 yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
90 ml olive oil
GLAZE, I omitted this
1 TBsp milk
1 egg yolk
Equipment Needed
1 round cookie cutter 2 1/2 inches in diameter
large shallow pie dish 28 cm in diameter
My FILLING
450 grams lamb ground, sauted
½ red pepper, seeds removed, chopped fine
1 poblano chile, chopped fine
3 garlic clove, chopped
1 red onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
80 grams grated smoked gruyere cheese, grated for topping/garnish
water, to give moisture or tomato sauce

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1. DOUGH I omitted sugar called for in Lein’s recipe and mixed yeast and salt with the flours, flax and chia seeds.  I mixed yogurt, egg and oil together.  Then I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet.  Knead into a supple dough.

2. Shape into a ball and let rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered with plastic foil. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until doubled.

3. FILLING I made this several days before baking.
Glaze the chopped onion and garlic in a frying pan. Leave to cool.
Mix the ingredients except the cheese for the filling well. Set aside.

4. SHAPE & FINAL RISE Lightly grease your pie dish.
Work with about ⅓ of the dough at the time.  I didn’t read this and divided the dough in half; really divide in 3 parts would work much better.

Roll it out to a thickness of about 3 mm. Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter.
Place 1 tablespoon of filling on each round and sprinkle with some cheese. Fold the circle in half, and fold the two point together. It now looks like a petal.

Place in the pie dish, starting around the border with the point of the petal facing to the center. Repeat until there is just  a little space left in the middle. Make three slightly smaller circles, fill and fold as the others and place them in the middle. Cover with lightly greased plastic  or foil and leave to rest and rise for about 45 minutes.

5. BAKE Preheat the oven to 180ºC  (356°F)

Whisk egg yolk and milk for the glaze and brush the bread with it. I sprayed mine with water.
Place the bread in the oven on a rack and bake for 25 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 170ºC (340°F) and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden.
When the loaf is done, take it out of the oven and the tin, place on a wire rack and brush with some melted butter. Let cool or eat warm.

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Notes:

Divide dough into three parts for easier handling.

Recipe makes enough dough for more than one 8 inch pie plate or perhaps I rolled my dough too thin.

Place small round baking dish in center if a dip is desired.

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Sometimes stunning can seem like a limit.  By that I mean, at least for me, when Lien introduced this as savory for some reason all I could think of was a meat filling (even though she suggested a bean filling as a meat substitute idea).  Now, that I’ve baked this I’m struck with how fabulous these little pull apart bites are and how incredibly versatile this bread could be.  Perhaps it started when Karen put up her Pizza Chrysanthemum Bread.

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Now, I have a constant running loop of “fillings” for this bread and they are not all savory: Peanut Butter & Jelly;  Garlic Butter;  Pepperoni Pizza;  Chicken Enchilada;  Refried Black Bean & Salsa;  Cinnamon Sugar;  Chocolate Chip with Peanut Butter;  …  and with the holidays coming up how about some traditionals like Mince Meat;  Pumpkin Pie; … well let’s just go with Pie as in Apple Pie …  Are you catching my drift?  This is a stunning shape for a bread.  The small bite size makes it perfect for so many different meals and snacks, it’s absolutely a natural for a party of any sort.

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Yes, we really did have it for breakfast.  Much better than an egg mcmuffin.

Go BAKE, Be a BUDDY.  Tell me you love me … well, just tell me you love BREAD will be good.

As Lien says it:  Become our Bread Baking Buddy, bake, blog, post, tell us about it and you’ll be added to the round up post on my blog (begin of December) ánd you’ll receive the Bread Baking Buddy Badge that you can add to your post if you want. So get baking and sent you details to notitievanlien (at) gmail (dot) com. Subject: BBBuddy. Deadline is the 29th of November. Have fun baking!

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BBB ~ Whole Wheat Tangzhong Bread

Bread … just flour, water, yeast … then maybe salt, butter, an egg … maybe nothing more, maybe just a tiny more … but good grief how as much as we love it and crave it; the variety using the same basics is overwhelming and awe inspiring.

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This month Karen K (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) in her debut as a BBB is bringing us a most interesting bread.  Tangzhong Bread (aka Japanese Milk Bread, aka Hokkaido Milk Toast).  The recipe is based on the book 65 degrees C by Yvonne Chen, and adapted by Christine Ho.  You will find several versions of this bread on Karen’s site but with this BBB bake she went with a whole wheat version and that of course really warms my soul.  The bread uses a Tangzhong, a concoction of cooked flour and water that is cooked to 65 degrees C or 149 degrees F.  Sounds pretty much like a roux if you ask me.  If  you don’t have an instant read thermometer cook, don’t even pretend you can make do without it, you need one.

After I’d made the Tangzhong and it was cooling, I started thinking I should really try this baked in my Pullman loaf pan but too bad it wasn’t going to make enough dough to fill my long pan.

READ, I’ll never learn.
It says clearly “makes enough for two loaves”.

I had the final dough ingredients all measured. Luckily for some strange reason I had left the bowl on the scale and tared it out because when I poured the Tangzhong into the bowl it measured 200 grams.  The recipe only called for 100 grams.  Woops.  I was setting up for a mis-measure disaster or total genius.  200 grams of Tangzhong = 2 loaves: That should be enough dough to fill the Pullman pan.  So, I quick like measured all ingredients for another loaf … well except no more sugar, no more butter and no more than the 30 grams of flax seed that I had already added.  I am overjoyed with this bread in a Pullman loaf pan both with and without the lid.

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I know one bread baker who says that even bad bread makes good toast and thinks very poorly of toast.  I on the other hand have a very high opinion of toast.  I’ll agree that many times less than great bread makes pretty good toast BUT I find there is a toast continuum as there is with almost anything.  While this bread is marvelous for sandwiches of all sorts, this bread maybe the ultimate toast.  This bread maybe the very definition of toast!

And now if you’re up for my dirty little secret:  While I do finally begin to see that Gorn has really begun to appreciate, taste and even differentiate really good bread from the factory stuff (see how polite I’m being not labeling it “library paste”), he still craves his childhood baloney on white bread.  In his childhood it was WonderBread; today in Michigan it’s there’s … drum roll please … Hillbilly Bread.  I kid you not, it is labeled Hillbilly Bread.  He got one of his cravings the week before I baked this bread.  His Hillbilly was gone when I baked this but there was still baloney.  This bread is the only bread I’ve ever baked that fit’s his craving.  Light and fluffy, awesome.  With that in mind, I think this might be the first bread I bake that my 7 y/o grandson will like.

WHOLE WHEAT TANGZHONG BREAD

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TANGZHONG MIX: ENOUGH FOR 2 LOAVES
50 grams bread flour
240 water
FINAL DOUGH: ONE LOAF
110 grams milk
45 grams whisked eggs (about one large egg)
100 grams Tangzhong (half of above) unless of course like me you have that large pullman pan
40 grams sugar (optional: I left out)
5 grams salt
200 grams bread flour
150 grams whole wheat flour
6 grams instant yeast
40 grams unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

Tangzhong mixture (makes enough for two loaves)
Mix the flour and water together until there aren’t any lumps.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and registers 149 degrees F or 65 degrees C. If you don’t have a thermometer, then yes, you really need to get one. Llook for lines in the mixture made by your spoon as your stir. Remove from the heat immediately when it reaches 149°.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the tangzhong.  Covering the mixture surface eliminates evaporation.  Let it cool, and then refrigerate it for several hours.  I did not refrigerate either time I baked this.

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Bring it back to room temperature when you are ready to use it. Or just let it cool to room temp before using it as I did.
This will last a couple of days. If it starts to turn gray, toss it.

MIXING THE FINAL DOUGH:
Makes one loaf, and is easily doubled Add all of the ingredients except the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. You can also mix by hand or bread machine.

Mix the ingredients until they form a dough. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Knead until the dough becomes very elastic. More is better.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. I’m sure it could cold ferment overnight, but haven’t done it.

SHAPING:

Divide the dough into 3 or four equal pieces and form each piece into a ball.
IMG_9798With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 10 inch long oval. Fold the oval into thirds, widthwise, like an envelope. Turn the envelope so that the short side is facing you, and roll it into a 10 to 12 inch length.
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Roll that piece like a cinnamon roll, with the folded sides on the inside, and place the piece in an oiled bread pan, seam side down.
IMG_9801Repeat with the other pieces, placing them next to each other. IMG_9802Those words “Roll that piece like a cinnamon roll” should tell you this is just begging for a filling!  I had elaborate plans for my second bake (brown sugar butter, cinnamon brown sugar + dried blue berries, etc.) but things consipired against me.  But just think about it.  If you do one loaf, you can have 3 or 4 rollings going into one loaf.  Each one of those rollings gives you the opportunity to leave it as is – just beautifully light fluffy bread – OR put in a filling.  I leave it to your imagination.
Cover and let rise for about 40 minutes, until about 4/5  the height of the bread pan.

Baked in Pullman pan lid off

Baked in Pullman pan lid off

Bake in a 175 degree C/ 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the loaf from the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Pullman pan with & without lid took 40 minutes.

Baked in Pullman Pan lid on, this is the side. I love those snails swirling.

Baked in Pullman Pan lid on, this is the side. I love those snails swirling.

I baked it with the lid on first and we loved the bread.

Served it one night with  a French Cassoulet.  Delightfully tight but light and fluffy crumb.

Served it one night with a French Cassoulet. Delightfully tight but light and fluffy crumb.

But it made me wonder what the crumb would be like if I baked without the lid.

Maybe the crumb was slightly more open baked with the lid off but it wasn't a great difference.

Maybe the crumb was slightly more open baked with the lid off but it wasn’t a great difference.

What did you say?  Well, of course you want a slice … oh well, yes a loaf would be better.  That’s a great idea.  Just get in that kitchen and bake it!  Then pop over to Karen’s Kitchen and get the details on how to be a Bread Baking Buddy this month.

This is lovely bread.  You’ll want to check out all the Babes baking this month, we are a most creative bunch.

BBB logo July 2015


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BBB ~ Power Bread

Is “I’m on the road, over the water and now in Paris” a reason for posting late when I baked the bread two weeks ago for being late? No you say! Well, it’s the only one I’ve got. As much as we enjoyed this bread Judy (Gross Eats) I must make this short and sweet as tomorrow morning we are off onto a new adventure.
BBB logo July 2015
Judy, our new Babe, jumped right in an took the first available open slot for Kitchen of the Month. A bread book that had gotten my attention and Judy’s.  I’ve baked the Brioche, all whole wheat healthy … well butter is healthy too, yes.   Judy looked at several breads before settling on POWER BREAD. It is packed with goodness, health and flavor. Great flavor and an “oh, it’s it ready to come out of the oven YET!” aroma. Then. “NO, you can’t cut it until it’s cooled.” wait.

Let us be clear here. This takes 3 (ok 4 if you don’t read well). BUT, day one and two take a total of maybe 20 minutes. Why did it take me four days, because realized the third day when I went to mix the biga, I should/could have made it the second day with the soaker in seperate bowls, it didn’t need separate days. Reading, yes, that would be a good thing to do. When I worked in the hospital and went into child’s room to give a pill, even an aspirin, there was a check list to go through ~ right name, right medicine, right dose, right time ~ I should do that with each ingredient in a recipe list … I added yeast in the honey amount in grams … yes I did. But, in the hospital it really mattered that I follow that check list … this bread, ha, not so much. Maybe it needed that extra boost in my kitchen.

No, I didn’t add extra flax seed. The recipe supplied all I needed in this one.

Power Bread

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Judy(Gross Eats) from Peter Reinhart’s “Whole Grain Breads”

Pre-soaker
71 g raisins
14 g flaxseeds
170 g water
Soaker
All of pre-soaker
170 g whole wheat
14 g oat bran
4 g salt
Biga
170 g  white whole wheat flour
1 g instant yeast
142 g buttermilk, at room temp
Final dough
All of soaker (at room temp)
All of biga (at room temp)
56.5 g sunflower seeds, ground into a flour
56.5 g white whole wheat flour
28.5 g sesame seeds, whole
4 g salt
7 g instant yeast  plus in my case
21 g agave syrup

The pumpkin seeds were beautiful on top.

The pumpkin seeds were beautiful on top.

:

Day One: Pre-soaker
Mix all pre-soaker ingredients together in a small bowl, cover, and let sit at room temp for 8-24 hours.

Day Two: Soaker
Puree the pre-soaker in a blender, and mix with the remaining soaker ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir for about a minute, until everything is thoroughly combined and it forms a ball. Cover the bowl and leave at room temp for 12-24 hours (or, refrigerate it for up to 3 days, but let sit at room temp for 2 hours before mixing the final dough). Go ahead and make the biga now.

Day Two: Biga
Mix all of the biga ingredients together in a large bowl. Wet your hands, and knead for 2 min. Then let it rest for 5 min and knead again for 1 min. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 8 hours to 3 days. Two hours before you’re ready to mix the final dough, let the biga sit at room temp for 2 hours.

Day Three: Final dough
Cut the soaker and the biga into 12 pieces each. Grind the sunflower seeds into flour in a blender, food processor, or spice grinder (gently pulse or it will turn into sunflower seed butter, not flour).
Mix ground seeds with remaining ingredients, including the soaker and biga pieces.
Knead the mixture with wet hands for 2 min, or until everything is thoroughly mixed. Dough should be slightly sticky; if it’s very tacky, add more flour; if it’s very dry and not sticky, add more water.

(If using a stand mixer, put the pre-dough pieces and all of the other ingredients except the extra flour into the mixer with the paddle attachment or dough hook. Mix on slow speed for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together into a ball. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, occasionally scraping down the bowl, for 2-3 minutes, until the pre-doughs become cohesive and combined. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.)

Dust your counter (or whatever you’re using) with flour, and roll the dough around in it.
Knead it for 3-4 min. Let the dough rest for 5 min, and then knead for another minute. At this point your dough should pass the windowpane test. If not, knead more until it can pass the test.

Then form your dough into a ball, place it into a lightly oiled bowl, roll it around in the oil, and let it sit covered at room temp for 45-60 min (until it’s about 1.5 times its original size).

Lightly flour your counter again, and form your dough into either a loaf shape or rolls. Put the loaf-shaped dough into a lightly oiled 8.5″ x 4″ loaf pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temp for 45-60 min (until it’s 1.5 times its original size). Or, if making rolls, place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. I want to make this as rolls

Preheat the oven and a steam pan (an empty metal pan on the bottom oven rack) to 425°. Put bread in the oven, pour 1 cup hot water into steam pan, and reduce oven temp to 350°. Bake for 20 min. Then remove steam pan, rotate bread 180°, and bake for another 20-30 min, or until loaf or rolls are brown, have an internal temp of at least 195°, and have a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely (at least 1 hour) before serving.

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Want to be a Bread Baking Buddy and bake along with us! Oh please do, I think you’ll be pleased.  Check Judy’s post for all the details and go for it.

All the Babe’s posting this Bread:

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BBB ~ Flaxseed and Plum Ciabatti-Style Loaves

Well, not exactly … no plums or prunes here but there were gorgeous dried black olives.  Perfect for wine and cheese!  Really this was astronomically wonderful.

Maybe not the world's most beautiful to look at but fabulous in the mouth!

Maybe not the world’s most beautiful to look at but fabulous in the mouth!

Cathy posting at Bread Experience is our hosting Kitchen of the Month with a recipe from the San Francisco Baking Institute.   I love this flaxseed soaker.  The whole flax seeds come through in the baked bread soft enough to give the bread a slight crunch between the teeth.  I believe the softening of the flax seeds would make them as digestible as ground flax meal.   While I’m in love with this bread made with the dried olives, I know there are innumerable combinations of fruits, nuts and olives that would create fabulous combinations.  Next time we have company, I’m making this with apricots and walnuts or with figs and walnuts.

Flaxseed and Plum Ciabatti-Style Loaves

Flaxseed soaker:

48 grams flax seeds

72 grams water

Mix all ingredients until well incorporated, cover and set aside. Let it sit for at least one hour.

Poolish:

125 grams bread flour

125 grams water

pinch of instant yeast

Mix all ingredients until well incorporated with D.D.T. of 70°F. Allow to ferment 12 – 14 hours at room temperature (65 -70°F)

Final Dough:

300 grams unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2 white whole wheat

50 grams coarsely milled whole wheat flour

25 grams coarsely milled whole rye flour

278 grams water

10 grams salt

84 grams prunes, used dried black olives

2 grams instant yeast, 1/2 teaspoon

Directions: Hand Mix Mix together all the ingredients except the flax seeds, and plums. Once everything is thoroughly incorporated, mix in flax soaker and dried plums. Transfer the dough into an oiled container. Dough Temperature: 76-78°F First Fermentation: a total of 3 hours with 3 folds 45 minutes at room temperature; fold 45 minutes at room temperature; fold 45 minutes at room temperature; fold Divide: I made two loaves.  I placed the shaped dough on ovals of parchment paper.

Parchment paper on the right is darker because I'd used it for baking biscuits earlier.

Parchment paper on the right is darker because I’d used it for baking biscuits earlier.

Rest : 20 minutes at room temperature

Bake:  450°F with 2 seconds of steam. Bake for 20 minutes. Vent an additional 10 minutes. (directions for a deck oven ~ my dream).
Bake:  Preheated 450° oven with baking stone.
Slide ovals of parchment paper onto a preheated baking stone.  I used a preheated cast iron casserole pan and poured ice water into it when the bread went into the oven.  I baked for 15 minutes at 450°; turned the loaves and continued baking another 15 minutes at 430° convection.
So tempting to slice but the amount of whole grains told me I needed to allow this to really cool.

So tempting to slice but the amount of whole grains told me I needed to allow this to really cool.

We almost had gone through both these loaves before I caught the all important crumb shot.
Oh my it just occurs to me that figs would be wonderful in this bread.

Oh my it just occurs to me that figs would be wonderful in this bread.

I really encourage you bake this one.  Go fruit or olive or something none of use has thought of but bake it you should. As always, Cathy will have the round-up of Buddies at the end of the month.  Don’t know how to be a buddy and earn a buddy badge (more important have a great loaf)?  Check out her post.  Check out all the other Babes baking this month, list is on the right side bar.

Thank you immensely for this one Cathy. This is going to often be on our evening cheese plate with wine.

"Almost an Easter Egg"


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BBB Romanian Easter Bread ~ Babes go with Braids!

Our kitchen of the month is Pat from Feeding My Enthusiasms.  I never get excited about sweet but being a Babe, I do have to bake and for sure I try my best to bake the monthly Babe bread.

I measured all the ingredients well before Easter … melted butter and milk went back into the fridge as life started coming at me like the steam engine it is and it was fully 10 days later before I got back to this.  Talk about quilt looking at your kitchen counter.  Sweet just isn’t a big motivator for me. I love chocolate but go for the really good dark stuff.  Sweet is nice from time to time but it’s usually salt I crave.
Once I started the mixing of this dough, it was like the heavens were welcoming me in: the dough was silky and easy; the kneading soothing and relaxing; the aroma of cinnamon baking from the oven … all was right with the world.
After his first slice, Gorn’s comment was: I’d really like another slice but I’m not sure I can manage it … he did.  The bread is that good.  Even for me, it is that good.  So good I enjoyed it for toast two breakfasts in a row.

Romanian Easter Braid

"Almost an Easter Egg"

“Almost an Easter Egg”

Recipe By: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms” adaptation from The Festive Bread Book, by Kathy Cutler
Yield: 1 large braid loaf

Dough
3 1/2 – 4 cup flour, divided: 1/2 King Arthur white whole wheat and 1/2 King Arthur sprouted wheat
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
30  grams yellow ground flax meal
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (or use orange zest), used zest of one lemon
2/3 cup milk, used half & half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar, used brown
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Filling:, I doubled the filling.
1/3 cup water, used lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds (or walnuts, poppy seeds, etc)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (or use orange zest), used zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Glaze:
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk

1. Combine 2 cups flour , the yeast, and lemon zest in mixing bowl.

Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt until butter melts; remove from heat and let cool until it reaches 105 – 115 degrees F.

Add milk mixture and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.   I used about 3 1/2 cups total.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth – about 10 minutes.  This became a very soft and smooth easy dough in about 5 minutes.

2. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 1 hour. My kitchen was very cool (62°) and took 3 hours.

3. Punch down dough. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a 7 x 16-inch rectangle.

I did double the nuts and sugar! Forgot an extra touch of cinnamon ~ my bad. Absolutely DO DOUBLE the filling.

I did double the nuts and sugar! Forgot an extra touch of cinnamon ~ my bad.
Absolutely DO DOUBLE the filling.

Use 1/3 of filling one each rectangle, spreading filling, but leaving a margin around edges; roll up jelly-roll style. Seal seam and ends. You will have three filled and sealed ropes.

Braid ropes; place on greased baking sheet.

Before rising.

Before rising.

Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 30 minutes.

4. Make glaze and brush on loaf.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes or until done.  NOW, a word of caution.  Pat’s directions say to bake this on a baking sheet I believe.  As you can see from above I put mine on parchment and slid it onto the hot baking stone in the oven.  I got a wonderful oven spring … but I also got a great out pouring of brown sugar melt.  I have a small Breville Convection table oven.  I really is a marvel BUT it really is small.  One normal rise sandwich loaf is the capacity and only then on the lower rack.  This braid fit in the middle but it did melt sugar all over the stone and a little onto the bottom of the oven.  I was astonished that just running hot water over the stone and the slide out oven bottom easily rinsed away the sugar.

Cool on wire rack.  Do let it cool.  Melted sugar is too hot for the tongue.

"The Crumb"

“The Crumb”

It is so good.  Don’t wait for next Easter.  This is just great for a special Brunch or nice breakfast any day.  Become a Bread Baking Buddy ~ don’t you know the drill by now?  ;-)  Bake the bread, send your e-mail to Pat with BBB Buddy Easter Bread in the subject line along with link to your web site or FaceBook link and you’ll get a buddy badge and be in the month’s round up post!

Easter colors.

Easter colors.

I think I can guarantee you are going to love this one.

And now for something completely different … a rant … why am I late.  For whatever reason my IP blocked my posting to WordPress on my laptop.  No idea.  So we drove into town (30miles) to the library where everything works like greased lightening.  Enjoy all those cliches.