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


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BBB ~ English Muffins

Holidays … a full house … chaos … something special … make ahead … fun … hassle free … simple but brilliant … food … wait did you say food, as in feed this full house with chaos full strength and make it special.  And you expect to make it ahead, have it be fun, hassle free and brilliant. 
You are living in an alternate universe and not in this one.
No, truly, our Kitchen of the Month, Pat – Feeding My Enthusiasms, at least has a part of breakfast for us.  Even if you don’t have a crowd you can so two small batches over 2 days and have fresh homemade English muffins to be extravagant with honey, butter, maple syrup and jam … maybe even a peanut butter and cream cheese in the afternoon.
You may ask, why corn meal?  Over the years I’ve seen English muffins with corn meal on the bottoms and I’ve seen semolina.  Is one better than the other or more authentic?  A quick internet search I did this morning, didn’t turn up a consensus.  The function of either is to prevent sticking to the pan, griddle or spatula and lend a crispness to the crust and bottom.  I can’t help thinking it may also be to pull some moisture out of the dough while they rise, seems logical that would result.  In different locations corn meal may be more readily available and cheaper than semolina and would so be more likely to be used.  Either will serve the same function and work well.
The only tricky part of these is getting them reasonably done without burning the bottom.  Elizabeth solved that for me because my copy of Rose Levy Beranbaum, Quick Breads, Little Quick Breads, Little Yeast Breads, and Batter Breads, The Bread Bible, p170 is still packed away and I wasn’t bright enough on my own to consider sticking my thermometer  into the center of one of these to see were it was.  Try for 190°.  Elizabeth finished her’s in the oven which I think I’ll try when I finish my remaining six this afternoon but it maybe just turning the griddle down and cooking longer would work as well.

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Recipe from: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms”  From:  SeriousEats

English Muffins
Yield: 12 – I got 11

245 grams bread flour
40 grams rye flour (originally this 40 grams was bread flour)
140 grams whole wheat flour
11  grams table salt or (11 grams kosher or 2 3/4 teaspoons)
4 grams instant dry yeast 1 1/4 teaspoons
340 grams ounces cold milk
100 grams honey, I used only 55 grams
1 large egg white, cold
fine cornmeal to cover muffins on two sheet pans with space around them – Elle), don’t skip this
bacon or butter or oil, for griddling

Make the Dough and Let Rise: 
In a large bowl, mix bread flour, whole wheat flour, kosher salt, and yeast together until well combined.
Add milk, honey, and egg white, stirring until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Cover with plastic and set aside until spongy, light, and more than doubled, 4 to 5 hours at 70°F.

For the Second Rise:  Thickly cover a rimmed aluminum baking sheet with an even layer of cornmeal.
With a large spoon, dollop out twelve 2 2/3-ounce (75g) portions of dough I only got 11 muffins none weighed more than 78 grams or less than 72 grams; it’s perfectly fine to do this by eye.
If you’d like, pinch the irregular blobs here and there to tidy their shape.  My dough was to sticky to do much shaping, I went with what fell on the pan.  They all came out looking like … English muffins
Sprinkle with additional cornmeal, cover with plastic, and refrigerate at least 12 and up to 42 hours.

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Rising on the griddle! Oolala!

To Griddle and Serve:  Preheat an electric griddle to 325°F or warm a 12-inch cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. When sizzling-hot, add half the butter and melt; griddle muffins until their bottoms are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip with a square-end spatula and griddle as before. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then split the muffins by working your thumbs around the edges to pull them open a little at a time. Toast before serving and store leftovers in an airtight container up to 1 week at room temperature (or 1 month in the fridge).

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Special Equipment:  Flexible spatula,  rimmed baking sheet, griddle (electric or cast iron) or 12-inch cast iron skillet, square-end spatula, wire rack

Seriously easy.  Oh and that photo reminds me: homemade slow cooker apple butter is an absolute winner on these too!

Go for it why don’t you. Bake with us. Check out Pat, FeedingMyEnthusiasms for all the scoop and be a Bread Baking Buddy.  Don’t forget all the other Babes, we all had different experiences.

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BBB ~ Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread

Judy from Gross Eats is our Kitchen of the Month for October.  This was a most interesting bake!

I was excited to try this one because 1.) I have baked many of Beth Hensperger’s recipes from this book and her other books and always enjoyed them, 2.) the seasonal timing appealed and 3.) because of the ingredient combo.
I was delighted to try something pumpkin right now and I really liked the rye and cornmeal combo.
Of course I added that little bit of flax. I also had a large bag of pepitas on the counter and they seemed super appropriate. Of course pumpkin just pretty much begged for cinnamon in my book. I used a combo of flours replacing the original bread or all purpose flour.

The dough was silky and lovely to knead.
If I weren’t already in the process of perfecting another recipe (for a rye) bread, I would take this one on because it has so much promise but ultimately both Gorn & I were slightly disappointed with this bake.  We enjoyed the texture and the crust on this loaf but even using terrific flavor ingredients (strong molasses, great flour, cinnamon, pumpkin) we both of us failed to get much flavor from a slice.  We both agreed a slice has a lovely pumpkin aroma.  We just didn’t get it on the tongue.
I would recommend using more pumpkin (reduce or even entirely replace the water) and going with more cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice.

I did half the recipe and baked in a smaller pullman pan without the lid.

Recipe From  Judy(Gross Eats)  adapted from Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger

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Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread

HALF RECIPE what I baked
1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
123 grams warm water (105˚ to 115˚)
124 grams warm buttermilk (105˚ to 115˚)
40 grams melted butter or oil
50 grams light molasses
1/4 cup pumpkin purée (either canned or homemade)
1 teaspoon salt
100 grams fine- or medium-grind yellow cornmeal
130 grams medium rye flour
124 grams Hovis flour, because I had it
130 grams sprouted wheat flour
140 grams white whole wheat flour
20 grams flax meal

1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, ground flax, salt, cornmeal, and rye flour.   Whisk to mix well.

Add warm water, buttermilk, melted butter/oil, molasses, and pumpkin purée. Beat until smooth (1 to 2 minutes) using either a whisk or the paddle attachment on a mixer.

Add the unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until it becomes a soft dough. Knead until smooth and slightly tacky, either by hand or with a dough hook.

2. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until double, about 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on how warm it is.

3. Turn onto work surface and divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal round portions. Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

4. To make dinner rolls, divide the dough into 24 equal portions and shape as desired.

Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 20 minutes, or place in refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.

Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 375˚, using a baking stone, if you wish. While the oven is heating, brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown: 40-45 minutes for loaves or 15 to 18 minutes for rolls. Remove from oven, let cool on rack until completely cool.

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Since this was all whole grain, I baked this at 370° F (convection) for 50 minutes at which point it registered 199°F internal temperature.  It was baked through and not raw as can easily happen with all whole grains when I don’t check temperature of the bread.

Here’s hoping you’re all in the mood for some fall baking, and you give this delicious bread a try.  If you do decide to be a Buddy, please send your baking story and photos to Judy at jahunt22 dot gmail dot com by October 29th, and they will be included in the Buddy Roundup.

PS: Well now we’ve enjoyed this as our afternoon treat with apple butter!  Somehow that brings out the pumpkin in the bread for me.

 


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BBB ~ Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread, the Babes will Swirl with this one!

Sing Praises here to Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms”, who went on a year end cookbook clean out of her book cases and found our bread this month in Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe by Br Peter Reinhart.  Somehow bread just doesn’t go out of date.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread, you think you’ve enjoyed cinnamon raisin bread but this recipe has now taken top honors in our house.  I’ve baked hundreds of cinnamon raisin bread loaves.  When we sailed the Atlantic, I baked two loaves every other day.  Two loaves of Oatmeal Bread from James Beard on Bread.   One was a plain loaf and one was Cinnamon Raisin loaf.  It was terrific bread but this recipe is terrific bread and is filled with whole grain health goodness.  

In the past I’ve always made my Cinnamon Raisin Bread with the raisins in the swirl.  Gorn and I both like this with the raisins mixed into the dough much better.

This makes three full sized loaves. You may think you shouldn’t make the full recipe … you’d be wrong if you think you wouldn’t be able to use all the bread … I don’t think you’ll be able to stop eating this bread.  When I make this again I will try using 4 cups white whole wheat and 3 cups bread flour.

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Rising …

Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread

4 cups high-gluten bread flour

3 cups whole wheat bread flour

1/2 cup uncooked polenta (coarse ground cornmeal)

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup wheat bran, used wheat germ

4 teaspoons salt

40 grams ground flax seed

3 tablespoons yeast

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup buttermilk

3 cups water, should have stopped at 2 cups 2/3 had to use extra flour

3 cups raisins

SWIRL

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 2 parts brown sugar)

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the salt and yeast (unless you are using active dry yeast, which should be activated in warm water and added with the wet ingredients.)

2. Add the cooked rice, honey, and buttermilk and mix together. Then add 1 cup of water, reserving the rest to add as needed. With your hands, squeeze the ingredient together until they make a ball. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and turn the ball out of the bowl and begin kneading. Add small quantities of water as needed. *****Adding the full 1 1/2 cup of water was no where near enough. I added another full cup … and then another half.  See 5.

3. Because Struan has so many whole grains, it takes longer to knead than most breads. Allow at least 15 minutes, but be prepared to knead for 20. The dough will change before your eyes, lightening in color, becoming gradually more elastic and evenly grained. The finished dough should be tacky, not sticky, lightly golden, stretchy and elastic, rather than porridge-like. When you push the heels of your hands into the dough it should give way but not tear. If it flakes or crumbles, add a little more water.

4. When the dough seems ready, add the raisins and knead for 2 more minutes, until the raisins are evenly distributed.

5. **** I added too much water too fast and had a VERY wet dough, too heavy and wet to kneed.  So, after trying to kneed adding extra flour, I either pretended to be an expert bread maker or made an executive decision – I’ll let you decide – I switched to a lift and fold technique.  I did a lift and fold  four times.

6. Wash out the mixing bowl and dry it thoroughly. Put in the dough and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, or place the bowl inside a plastic bag. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has roughly doubled in size.

7. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces (or more if you want to make smaller loaves). With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a rectangle. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar over the surface, spreading it evenly. ******I used about 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. I have used brown sugar to make cinnamon sugar for forever now because we both just like the extra caramel flavor.

From the bottom of the long side, roll up the dough into tight loaves, tucking and pinching the seams into one line on the bottom. Put the loaves, seam side down, in greased bread pans (for full-sized loaves your pan should be around 9 x 4 1/3 x 3 inches). Cover and allow the loaves to rise until doubled in size.

8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the loaves have risen, cresting over the tops of the pans, place on the center shelf and bake for about 45 minutes. The loaves should be nicely domed and dark gold. The bottom and sides should be a uniform light gold and there should be an audible, hollow  thwack when you tap the bottom of the loaf. If the loaves are not ready, remove them from the pans and place them back in the oven until done. They will bake quickly when removed from the pans.

9. When done, brush a little butter over the tops, then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, coating each loaf with a layer of cinnamon crust.

***** I forgot the cinnamon sugar topping but would like to have done that.

Allow the breads to cool on wire racks for at least 40 minutes before slicing. This bread makes exceptional breakfast toast and French toast!

Bake.  Bake Cinnamon Raisin Straun Bread.  Tell the Kitchen of the Month, Pat at FeedingMyEnthusiasms!  You’ll be thanking her for years to come.  You know you want to Swirl.


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.