MyKitchenInHalfCups

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

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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.

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BBB ~ Kouign Amann

BBB logo February 2015

… and the crowd goes wild to celebrate our 7th Anniversary.

Kouign Amann

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So wild, I’ve been threatened with being chained to the oven until I bake them again.  Chained to the oven … no wilder than 7 years of Bread Baking Babes!  Beautiful bread baking Babes, thank you all.

Lien is once again our KOM (Kitchen of the Month).  I am once again blown away by a bread I would never have picked: it looks intimidating (that wow factor is very high with this one) and it’s sweet, something I just almost never volunteer for.  But, I am totally won over by this one and will probably be making it again…like on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Kouign Amann
from Lien by Paul Hollywood – BBC “The Great British Bake Off
Yield: 12 – 16 pastries
300 grams strong plain flour: I used half bread flour & half white whole wheat , plus extra for dusting
5 grams fast-action yeast: I used reg instant
1 teaspoon salt
200 ml warm water
25 grams unsalted butter, melted
250 grams cold unsalted butter, in a block
100 grams caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1.  Put the flour into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Add the water and melted butter and mix on a slow speed for two minutes, then on a medium speed for six minutes.
***Not sure why, but I actually used the kitchen aid for this one.
I’ll probably do it by hand next time. This is a really lovely satiny like dough, easy to knead.  I see no reason this would be difficult without a stand mixer.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
***I figured this is all about butter so took a small pat of butter and rubbed it into my palms and then onto dough ball.
Here I go again. I wanted to get this started but knew I’d have a long wait time before starting the laminating process SO it went into the fridge at this point. Slowly rising about 3 hours before I got back to it.
Next time I will be using salted butter.
3. Sandwich the butter between two sheets of grease proof paper and bash with a rolling pin, then roll out to a 14 cm square. Place in the fridge to keep chilled.***I just used parchment paper.
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4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20 cm square. Place the butter in the centre of the dough diagonally, so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose like an envelope.
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5. Roll the dough into a 45×15 cm rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over. You will now have a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This completes one turn.
***Do not feel you need to be exact at 30 minutes. It’s chilling in the fridge, up to another 30 minutes (an hour total) it’s going to be fine.  If the dough resists rolling, extra time will allow it to relax and making the rolling out easier anyway.
6. Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
***Do allow a full 30 minutes between turns.
I’ll be very tempted to do an extra sprinkling on this third turn, lighter than the next. The limiting factor might be it will cause the butter to break through.  I did not have any difficulty with the butter popping through the dough.  I’m thinking regular brown sugar would be lovely here and may give that a go next bake.IMG_7970

7. Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and  fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40×30 cm rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.

***My math/division skills can be limited some days more than others.  Twelve evaded me. I cut it into 16 pieces. Actually, that was probably idea for how many people were putting these into their mouths. As it turned out, I only got one because I snuck off with it first thing. I’ll do 16 again. I will however try for more square shape than the rectangle I ended up with on most.

I don’t believe I used the measured amount of sugar. I just tried to cover the rectangle and rolled the sugar in so that it stuck in the dough.

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8. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather the dough squares up by their four corners and place in the muffin tins, pulling the four corners towards the centre of the muffin tin, so that it gathers up like a four-leaf clover. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.

***I used butter in the pan.

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9. Preheat oven to 220ºC.
Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Cover with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Be careful not to burn yourself on the caramelised sugar, but don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelised sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin. Serve warm or cold

Mine took 32 minute in regular bake (no convection) oven at 405°F .
Watch these. Almost exactly at the 15 minute mark I covered these with foil or they would have been black. As it was the color came out gorgeous.
I had absolutely no difficulty removing these from the pan.

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10. Serve warm or cold. Warm is best!
***Warm, you really want them warm. You really want that flaky crunch!

11. If you don’t want to eat them all in want go (of just if you want to, but shouldn’t), bag and freeze them. Before you eat them: Defrost them and place them in a warm oven (180ºC) for about 4-6 minutes or until warm, they will crisp up again.
***I didn’t see this the first time I baked them.  Believe me I will be trying this.

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Notes:

2 1/2  hours preparation time (mostly resting in the fridge time)
30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

We have France to thank for these caramelised buttery, sugary parcels. Lien’s been an internet sleuth and has more on how these came about.  The are perfect with a café au lait. Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a 12-cup muffin tin and a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook.  (Personally I don’t think that dough hook is necessary but haven’t done it without yet.)

If you don’t want to eat them all in one go (or just if you want to, but shouldn’t), bag and freeze them. Before you eat them: Defrost them and place them in a warm oven (180ºC) for about 4-6 minutes or until warm, they will crisp up again.
I know the crumb shot is woefully lacking but I was lucky to get even that considering how fast these went.  Lien does have the perfect crumb shot!
You simply must bake these. Chain yourself to the oven door until you do. Bake, write, post and let us know how it worked out. Send your info + picture to the Kitchen of the month (that’s Lein this time, so send it to: notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com, add subject BBBuddy). Deadline 1 March.
Become our Bread Baking Buddy, you’ll get a BBBuddy Badge for your entry (you can add that too your post if you want) and will be added to the Buddy round up later.  Mine may look good but Lien’s are gorgeous!   I mean BAKE these. You’ll be hooked for life!
BBB logo January 2015


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BBB ~ CHAPATIS, AKA ROTIS (INDIAN FLATBREAD)

I guess I really PQ’d Elizabeth’s interest when I said I was slightly embarrassed to say what I put on my Chapatis.   Elizabeth is our Kitchen of the Month (KOM), and she’s done a totally wonderful video of making these chapatis, don’t miss it.  BUT she’s terribly worried that I may have Americanized my Chapatis by submerging them in ketchup with either a hotdog or scrambled eggs. I smiled then laughed when she took a poll for the babes to guess what I might have done to my chapatis.  I kept pretty quiet.  I didn’t put any ketchup or hotdog or egg on any of them.  Promise

Blank Slate: what shall I wear today?

Blank Slate: what shall I wear today?

In the early mists of time when I started cooking, one of my favorite cookbooks was “Diet for a Small Planet” (see told you it was long ago).  In that little book was a recipe for Plaka Paneer.  I made it … but not the chapatis to go with it. If only I’d had this recipe and Elizabeth’s super video, I’d have been authentic!  Even back then when our two boys were fairly little, 4 and 7, they enjoyed the Plaka Paneer and I made it often.  It’s time again but it must wait as we’ll be traveling again and the fridge must be cleaned out and left empty.
These seemed intimidating, hot griddle, sliding them onto a wire rack over a hot burner … and the big question … will they puff!?  Elizabeth’s “After struggling for months trying to make these…Do not get disheartened […] you will improve with practice.”  Yes, I was intimidated.
Let me tell you, these little puppies puffed right up on my dry crepe pan like I actually knew what I was doing and had made these for decades.  I squealed, I did a little jig. I went to town: roll out a disk, drop it on the crepe pan, turn and start the next disk rolling out, flip the one on the medium hot pan, finish the roll out on the one on the counter, turn and … PUFF, wow aren’t you a beauty … This is not hard. This has a lovely rhythm and a beat.
Funny thing was you could pick up a chapatis and it would start deflating, drop it on that wire rack and bingo it would puff all over again. As Aparna calls it “phulka”, all puffed up. Magic.
You will note: I reversed the all purpose and whole wheat amounts to use more whole wheat. I’m just trying to eat less refined flour. Also I used bread flour in place of the all purpose as I was out of AP.  OH, and I was out of flax, so no flax in this batch but next time there will be.
This was easy and they are wonderful. I don’t want to improve with practice, these were just perfect.  I can only hope this wasn’t beginners luck.  Many thanks Elizabeth.  My few comments below in italics.

CHAPATIS, AKA ROTIS  (INDIAN FLATBREAD)

IMG_7869Recipe By: based on “Flat Wholewheat Bread – Roti” in A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey
Yield: 8

157 grams whole wheat flour, 1 cup
77 grams bread flour, 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon salt
up to 1 c. just-boiled water, I had to add about 1 extra teaspoon

1. In a bowl, mix flours and salt. Add hot water gradually, stirring with a fork

Awesome mixing fork!

Awesome mixing fork!

until you have a soft dough. The amount of water will vary drastically depending on air temperature and humidity. You just have to play with it. You are aiming for dough that resembles silly putty.  Silly putty: This is the kind of word(s) that I think are so helpful when trying new recipes making bread! At least for me, silly putty really communicates because I know what it feels like from experience.
Using as little extra flour as possible, knead on a board or in the air for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and silky.
Put the dough back in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plate and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes to one hour.

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2. Put the tava on medium heat. Do not oil it. Put the wire rack on another burner at the highest heat possible.   Tava: I love the special tool, oh you know I do … but I also love multipurpose tools.  I was tickled to find another wonderful use for my cast iron crepe pan.  Now, my crepe pan can do crepes, pancakes, socca, and chapatis!

Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  It seems to me, these could be made smaller and used for little bites/appetizers.   Lightly flour each one and put 7 pieces back in the bowl. Cover the bowl. Form the piece of dough into a ball and flatten it. Roll it out into a round till it is quite thin but not too thin (this is again is one of those infuriating things where you will just have to practice to find out what thinness works best for you) – about 2 mm?? As you roll out the dough, make sure it is not sticking to the board and that there are no holes. Keep the rolling pin lightly dusted with as little flour as possible and the board the same way.

Steam. Oh, och! I'm wrinkled!

Steam. Oh, och! I’m wrinkled!

3. Place the round of dough on the hot tava (griddle). As soon as you see little bubbles form, turn it over using tongs.

Now I'm blemished ... sigh ... what a fate.

Now I’m blemished … sigh … what a fate.

  As soon as there are little bubbles on the reverse side, lift the bread off the tava with the tongs and place it on the wire rack. It should puff up. Turn it over once or twice to ensure that it puffs up completely.

Ah, Cooks that blemish right out!

Ah, Cooks that blemish right out!

  Don’t be worried to see a few dark brown spots on it. (If you are lucky enough to have a gas stove, you can hold the bread directly over the flame.)

I'm a puffer! HooRay for me!!

I’m a puffer!
HooRay for me!!

4. Put the finished bread into a pot and cover it with a lid. Keep it in a warm oven. Roll out the next piece of dough and repeat til you have 8 rotis. As you put a new roti on the stack, turn the finished rotis over to keep the bottom ones from getting wet.
Elizabeth serves this bread with green chili omelettes or Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese).

What to put on them? Palak Paneer would have been ideal.

Oh, no, no. I need more, something fancy ...

Oh, no, no. I need more, something fancy …

I don’t think I Americanized them, I Italianized them with pepperoni and cheese ;-)

Yeah, like a little bit of roasted butternut and onion!

Yeah, like a little bit of roasted butternut and onion!

Oh, my yes, just a touch of cheese!  I'm ready for the party.  And not a blemish in sight.

Oh, my yes, just a touch of cheese! I’m ready for the party. And not a blemish in sight.

Just for a snack don’t you know.

OK, just salted butter for this one.

OK, just salted butter for this one.

One I had plain with just butter; mighty fine indeed.
One I had with just a strip of bacon …

Now, How will you dress your Chapatis?  Get your self belly up to that stove and bake ’em some Chapatis.  Elizabeth our KOM will have one of Lein’s super-dupper badges for you and get you into the round up at the end of this month.  Check out her web site for details.

Walks to the beach can be a challenge these days but totally fun ... if you can remain upright.

Walks to the beach can be a challenge these days but totally fun … if you can remain upright.

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Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

I know it’s hard to believe but this is not for the Babe’s, not an early BBB bread at all.  I hope that’s not too disappointing.  I will tell you I did the Babe bread for this month and did squeal and even jig a little dance – sorry Ilva.  It’s really very good, very fun and even though the thought made me shake in my boots, it was very easy .
I saw this first on David Lebovitz’s blog and was of course over awed by the look and sound. Do you ever buy a cookbook because of one recipe?  How many cookbooks have you bought without at least thumbing through the actually book or looking at a sample as an e-book.  I may have hesitated five minutes before hitting the buy button on Amazon … I may not have.  At any rate, the book is now in my library.
Now that I’ve read it cover to cover, I’m delighted and have considerably more than the one recipe that I’m over joyed with.
The bread is milder than I expected but still has a lovely rye aroma and flavor.  It’s a dense bread and so is perfect to slice thin and serve with appetizers.  I may try it next with a little caraway and when I unpack that special loaf pan to bake cocktail rye in, I’ll be trying that. Until I find that pan, wonderful with just butter and with every cheese we put on it last night.  We’ve planned to have it toasted with an egg some morning before it’s all gone. I’m right with David on the avocado and strangely enough there is one waiting on my counter … it won’t be waiting long.

Below you will find first my measure, second David Lebovitz’s measurement in parenthesis found on his blog, and finally Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement.  You can note that my grams and David’s are fairly different.  In comparing photo’s of each, it seems like the measurements worked about the same in the final bread.  Flour is a dramatically different entity around this globe.   I was baking from the book where Hans uses cups. When I use a recipe written in cups any more, I do the measurement, weight it in grams (and yes I know liquids are measured in ml, I just do it in grams and it works for me) and write in in the book or into my MacGourmet program. Next time I just scale things.

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

Recipe By: Das Cookbook by Hans Röckenwagner
Yield: one loaf


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my measure    David Lebovitz’s measurement,     Hans Rockenwagner’s measurement
400 grams (375ml) lukewarm water, 1 1/2 cups (12 oz)
1/4 cup (80g)  honey, 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon ( I used agava syrup)
2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast (not instant)
450 grams (330g) whole-wheat flour, 2 3/4 cups
45 grams flax meal
1 teaspoon King Arthur Rye Bread Improver
155 grams (110g) rye flour (dark or light), 1 cup
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 cup (125g) lightly toasted sunflower seeds
Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan – I used butter

1. I deviated from the recipe here and simply added the yeast into the flours.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the whole wheat and rye flours with the salt. I used a wooden spoon. Stir the 1/4 cup (80g) honey into the flour mixture. If necessary, add an additional bit of flour if the dough is too wet, or another tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry. It should feel soft and moist, and when you touch it, your finger should just barely stick to it.

3. This is a stiff but fairly smooth dough at this point.  I don’t think I kneaded more than about 5 minutes.  I also moistened my hands fairly often by putting one palm in a bowl of water.  I can’t guess how much water this added.

4. Here I deviated from the recipe and covered the dough and placed it in the refrigerator over night.

5. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead in the sunflower seeds thoroughly, making sure that they are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.  Again I moistened one palm in a bowl of water.
Return the dough to the mixer bowl, I covered the bowel with a moist towel and then a shower cap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, took 2 hours.

6. Punch the dough down with your fist, cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.

7. Lightly grease a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured countertop, shape the dough into a elongated rectangle, and place the dough in the pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour. (Note that it won’t rise much.)

8. About 15 minutes before you plan to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

I preheated my convection oven to 340°, placed the loaf in the well preheated oven, sprayed the top of the loaf well with the water and then gave the oven a good squirt. I turned the oven up to 350°F for 10 minutes and then back down to 340° for the last hour of baking.

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My total baking time was 70 minutes.

9. Storage: The bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. It can be frozen for several months.

Notes:

My experience with dense whole wheat loaves tells me they are best left to cool to room temperature. It requires a great deal of patience.

Out of the oven at 1:51pm  104.4°;  at 2:45pm 141.1°F;  at 4:50pm  90.1°F;   at 7pm  72.6°F;  at 9pm  66.7°F room temperature.

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For the whole wheat flour, I mixed King Arthur whole wheat flour (fairly finely ground) with half Bob’s Red Mill white whole wheat (more coarsely ground).

Of course the flax seed was added by me not the real chefs.

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David Lebovitz:  Please note that this bread requires three risings. Fortunately, there isn’t any work to do between those risings. But allow yourself time when you make the bread. I started it the minute I woke up, and it was ready by lunch!

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I was thinking that next time, I may swap out a bit of the honey – perhaps 2-3 tablespoons – with mild molasses. Do make sure you toast the sunflower seeds. To do so, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and spread the seeds on a baking sheet. Baking them, stirring once or twice, for 6 to 8 minutes. Some people like to toast nuts and seeds in a hot skillet on the stovetop, which you can do instead. I tried my own idea of brushing the bread with water and topping it with seeds before baking and most of them didn’t stick. So I didn’t include that suggestion here.

I found this bread even better toasted. It made a nice lunch with ripe, mashed avocado on top, which I mixed with red onion, red pepper powder, a bit of olive oil, and some flaky sea salt.

Two days and we’ll be up with the BBBs  ;-)

Happy Baking!

BBB logo December 2014


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Nutella Brioche Flower – Bread Baking Babes Bright Star

Nutella Brioche Flower aka in my house as Chocolate Peanut Butter Brioche Snow Flake

Such an easy bread to make. Such a stunning bread to put in the oven. Such a spectacular bread to take out of the oven.
I mean this is gorgeous visual! even not perfect.

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Cathy, Bread Experience, is our Kitchen of the Month and you REALLY want to be a Buddy this month and make yourself a star … or snowflake. Cathy called it a flower. Titled it a flower.  I thought it looked more like a star but then Lien changed my mind when she called it a snow flake.  I say thank you Cathy.

Every month when the Babes bake, Katie rounds the Babes all up. Makes us look great. Many months even though we were given the same recipe, there’s a great variety in the way we look. I’m going to step out on that limb and say I think this month we may have a very similar look to our breads. More alike than usual I think is likely. So far I’ve only seen Cathy’s but I still think we’re going to share in the looks department.
UPDATE: even before I hit publish, an e-mail from flickr just came across my desk, Lien’s is even much more like a star than mine. The limb just broke.
Now, fillings. I’m thinking that’s where we may part ways this months. But, hey, that’s very normal for us. After you and I have checked out all the Babes, we’ll know. You’ll have a great many new ideas for fillings, maybe even come up with one we didn’t.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brioche Snow Flake
Recipe By: Cathy (breadexperience) who
Adapted it from:
Poor Man’s Brioche in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Yield: one round loafFor the sponge:
65 grams bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
134 grams (4 ounces) whole milk, lukewarm (90 to 100 degrees F.)
For the dough:
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
140 grams bread flour, 1 cup
300 grams white whole wheat flour, 2 cups
30 grams flax meal
40 grams sugar – brown
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
116 grams unsalted butter, melted
1-2 teaspoons milk, if necessary to form a smooth dough
For the filling and glaze:
peanut butter
bitter chocolate grated
whole milk
1 tablespoon milk plus 1 tablespoon water for glaze
Icing (confectioner’s) sugar
***** Where ever you see those five stars, that’s me giving you my comments.
I am a real convert to my kitchen scale. When ever I get a recipe written in cups or ounces, I use cups the first time but measure that in grams and write it down. The result is the next time I bake, I’ve got the grams. I don’t usually calculate/convert cups to grams based on any formula. I just do the measure myself then I know if it works or how well it works for me and adjust accordingly.1. To make the dough, add the eggs to the sponge and whisk (or beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment) until smooth.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and stir (or continue mixing with the paddle on low-speed for about 2 minutes) until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to begin to develop the gluten.  Then mix in the melted butter by hand, using a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk or with the mixer on medium speed using the dough hook. Add in a couple of teaspoons of milk if the dough is too dry.Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.  It shouldn’t be too sticky to handle.Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl.  It doesn’t need to be oiled.  The butter should keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.  Let the dough bulk ferment in a warm place (70- 75 degrees F.) for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.IMG_7588****** When I finally did find the morning to get the sponge mixed, it was fully 7 hours later before there was some signs of life so I added a pinch more yeast and mixed and kneaded nicely silken dough.
I covered it and left it to rise. Several hours later, you are adding these hours now aren’t you, I checked the rise. “I can’t deal with this any more tonight.”
I said a sweet goodnight to my dough ball as I tucked him into the cool overnight.
Next day, the dough ball did not raise to my consciousness until 3PM.2. Meanwhile, cut out a circle of baking or grease proof paper about 30 cm (12″) in diameter. Place the paper on a baking sheet.

To shape the snow flake, once risen, turn the dough out onto a surface, knock it back knead for 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each piece into a ball.

Roll a ball of dough out into a circle measuring about 25 cm (10″) in diameter. The dough should be about 3-4 mm (1/8″) thick.

Place the dough onto the baking paper and spread on a layer of Nutella, leaving a small gap at the edge. Don’t make the layer too thick but be sure to evenly cover the dough.

Roll out a second ball of dough, place it on the first layer and spread with Nutella. Repeat with the third and fourth balls of dough but do NOT spread Nutella on the final layer.

***** Don’t you just love that “meanwhile” thing. In the meanwhile, I was working like a dog helping Gorn with paper work, worked out at the gym and spent many many hours making gifts for the four grandchildren. Meanwhile, haha. Actually, somewhere in that meanwhile I did cut out a 12 inch circle of parchment.

So, meanwhile I came to that part about the shape the snow flake !! Yes, I watched the video Cathy put up on the website long ago but remembering what I saw was coming up blank. Tom Terrific HughesNet was down … OK how many cuts Cathy?  Read on.

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3. Cut the brioche into 16 segments but leave a small (3 cm/1½”) area in the centre of the dough uncut.

Take a pair of adjacent segments. Lift and twist them away from each other through 180°. Lift and twist through 180° again, then twist through 90° so that the ends are vertical. Press the edges together firmly. Repeat this process for all pairs of segments.

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***** Fancy that, it says right there in the directions “16 segments”.  Leave an uncut circle area in the middle … I went with the middle size ramekin to act as a guide.

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I do remember the video showing a very even nutella spread just short of the edges and the baker timing the dough to a nice clean circle. My chocolate peanut butter was difficult to spread and had a fair amount of unevenness. I might trip the circle next time just to see if more of my edges would stay closed and look neater. But, I don’t think you have to obsess about this part being perfect. It works.

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4. Place the brioche in a large plastic bag or cover with lightly oiled film. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours to prove.

***** Well, I just covered it with a big bowl.

And I waited 2 and a half hours … finally said phooey, this is coming out of the oven at 10 and I’m going to bed. Be prepared, this is not a fast riser at any stage of the game. It showed most rising in the oven.
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5. Brush with the milk glaze then bake at 160°C/320°F fan oven, 180°C/360°F conventional oven for 20-25 minutes.  I baked it at 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes, then turned it down to 350 and baked it another 5 minutes or so.

***** I baked it at 375° F for 15 minutes then at 350°F for another 15 minutes – thinking that the whole wheat flour would take more baking time.

6. Place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, dust lightly with icing sugar.

***** I wanted to turn the bread around at 15 minutes knowing that my oven is hot in the back but it was just too awkward as I had used my baking stone and things were just too heavy to move it gracefully. So you’ll see it’s darker on one side than the other.

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It was out of the oven by 10PM.

***** Now, my filling. For my birthday last month, I treated myself.

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***** I treated myself to an 11 pound bar of this chocolate. Holy moly!! This is such good bitter chocolate, I love eating it just like it is. Never done that with another bitter chocolate.
Anyway, the filling: I micro-planed grated a lot (you know like your Nona always measured) and then mixed that with peanut butter. It was dry. I added whole milk. It was dry. I added 2 tablespoons of butter. It was dry. I added more peanut butter – yes chunky.  It was dry. I microwaved it for a minute on 10% power and repeated that about 6 times, stirring in-between times. It got soft and oily. I went with it.

I hope it was good because I gave it to a friend.

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So, no crumb shot.

Whether you call it a flower, a star or a snowflake, you really want to make this one. Do it. Pop yourself over to Cathy’s, get the details and tell her what you think. She’ll send you a badge and get you in the round-up at the end of the month. Really it is easy. You can’t get more bang for your kneading than this gorgeous shape. Filling: what can you dream up for us?

I’m thinking Christmas morning and coffee.

Merry Christmas, Be Merry and Bright.

BBB logo October 2014


18 Comments

BBB Caramelized Onion and Asiago Cheese Braid

Is it really mid-October already?

Our Kitchen of the Month is … Katie, in France, at Thyme for Cooking.  She found our bread for October here.

This is a perfectly marvelous bread and I thank you Katie.  I think you’ll find all sorts of variations from the Babes on this filling theme of caramelized onions. When I put all my caramelized onions down the middle of this loaf, it just didn’t look right so I used some of my red and yellow roasted bell peppers as well. The asiago cheese is the perfect taste for the roasted peppers, caramelized onions and Dijon mustard (mine made with horseradish).
Thy name is dilemma: Caramelized onions … without a stove top … there is a grill outside with a side burner … there is the electric panni grill … there is the slow cooker … did you know you can actually burn things in a slow cooker?  Trust me you can but the second attempt to do the caramelized onions in the slow cooker worked like a charm.
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Funny you can also roast sweet bell peppers in a slow cooker; I did a batch of those as well.
Karen told us there are cats that will eat caramelized onions.  Who knew?
So now already you’ve learned two new things: cats will eat caramelized onions and you can burn onions in a slow cooker.
Now, there’s only one more thing you need to learn … just how good this loaf can be.  In order to do that you will need to bake this loaf and then you might as well send Katie a link to your blog write up and become a Bread Baking Buddy so she can send you a badge and you can be part of the crowd eating just lovely devine bread.  Click over to Katie’s web site here and she’ll give you the scoop.Caramelized Onion, Herb and Cheese Bread

Caramelized Onion and Asiago Cheese Braid

Recipe By: Katie (ThymeForCooking) adapted by me Originally from Canadian Living

1 teaspoon sugar, omitted
1/2 cup warm water – used skim milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast, recipe called for 1 tablespoon, that always seems like too much to me
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks, omitted; just seemed rich enough without
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
145 grams unbleached bread flour
131 grams whole wheat flour
170 grams white whole wheat flour
35 grams flax seed meal
1 teaspoon (.05oz/1.5gr) Herbes de Provence
Filling
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups sliced onions ( about 2 large)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, omitted
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, my bad, I forgot it
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard – mine was made with horseradish
1 1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

 

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling ...

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling …

1. Whisk together all the dry ingredients for the dough. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and oil.
Pour the liquid into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make soft dough.Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for several minutes to make a smooth and elastic dough. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  Mine took an hour and a half.

Reducing the tablespoon of yeast here to 2 teaspoons slowed the rise down slightly which I think allows a little more flavor development.  The rise I got was very good and with the temperature in the house at 66°, I think the 2 teaspoons yeast was more than adequate. If I were making this in a warmer time of the year, I’d cut it slightly more.
I have changed this step. I didn’t proof my yeast as the original recipe called for.
2. Filling: Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter with oil over high heat; cook onions, sugar and rosemary, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan, for 10 to 15 minutes or until onions are golden and very soft. Let cool to room temperature. It will work that way unless you, like me don’t have a stove top.
I oiled the inside of my slow cooker, filled it with sliced onions topped with a teaspoon of butter and let it cook on slow for 12 hours (20 hours will burn them). I stirred them twice during that time. I removed the lid and let them simmer on low for another 45 minutes.
The roasted bell peppers: I oiled the inside of the slow cooker and placed the seeded peppers cut into 6 sections into the slow cooker on high for about 8 hours. Once cooled, the skins released easily.
3. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out into 14- x 12-inch (35 x 30 cm) rectangle.
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Spread mustard lengthwise in 3-inch (8 cm) strip down centre of rectangle, leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) border uncovered at short ends; top with onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup (250 mL) of the cheese.
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4. Using sharp knife and starting at 1 corner of dough, make diagonal cuts 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart almost to filling to form strips along 1 long side of dough. Repeat on other side, cutting diagonal strips in opposite direction. Alternating strips from each side, fold strips over filling to resemble braid, overlapping ends by 1 inch (2.5 cm) and brushing with some of the egg to seal.
Transfer to semolina dusted peel.  Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.5. Brush top with egg.
Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden.
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I baked the loaf on a baking stone.
Sprinkle remaining cheese down centre of braid; return to oven for 10 minutes or until melted. Serve warm or let cool completely on rack. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day; rewarm in oven before serving.).
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Notes:What do I think is the ideal filling for this?
I think this might best be filled with a great horseradish, sauerkraut, corned beef and cheese, although I’m sure a strong case could be made for a sausage or bacon with spinach and roasted butternut squash.  You may have other ideas.
... half the mustard roll.

… half the mustard roll.

I had two little corners I trimmed at one end that didn’t fold into the braid right so I rolled that out and just spread mustard on it … That was genius!  So genius that I had eaten most of it before I remembered to photo it.
Next week they start picking the apples here … can you think apple pie filling and cheese … ooowhee.