Jan 31, 2013

Friday Cocktail | Elderflower Martini





Elderflower martini

The first time I tried elderflower liqueur was in a restaurant in Toronto. I wish I could remember the restaurant but I have not been very good at documenting vacations unfortunately. I really need to keep a travelogue just so that I can remember the details of the trip. I do know that we had a great time there and ate really great food. And the people were incredible.

We also hit the University of Toronto. One of the things we like to do while on vacation is, if possible, find the local university, find the bookstore, and buy t-shirts for our grandsons (we have picked up some pretty cool stuff... better than the touristy shirts, right?).  It's also fun for me because I work for a university.

We also made the day trip to Niagara Falls. Very touristy. Very fun.

St. Germain martini


But back to the liqueur. It's hard to describe. It's flowery, sort of like lavender, but not. It's sort of sweet, sort of tart, sort of citrusy, and very flowery. Unlike a lot of liqueurs, it's not too sweet. It's actually lovely straight up as a digestif.

I finally picked up a bottle of it and decided to experiment. This cocktail is very refreshing, not too girlie. If you try it, it might just become part of your Friday night cocktail rotation.

Elderflower Martini

Makes one cocktail

Ingredients

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce elderberry flower liqueur (I used St. Germain)
1 T lime juice
Sprig of mint

Instructions

Chill a martini glass in the freezer
Fill a martini shaker or large glass with ice
Add the vodka, liqueur, and lime juice
Shake and strain into the martini glass
Top with the mint sprig

Enjoy!


Norwich Sourdough

Norwich sourdough

If you saw my post about sourdough with walnuts and raisins, you know that I am "coping" with an oven that suddenly went haywire. While the problem has been diagnosed, we have to wait for a (very expensive) part. Five days and counting. This raises a few questions. To wit:

  1. Will I have to eat (gasp!!) store bough bread? 
  2. Will a cake bake in the convection roast mode?
  3. Will I finally learn how to use my convection microwave?
  4. Can I bake bread in my toaster oven?
  5. Will I need medication? 
Desperate times, people. Desperate times. 

Thank goodness I have some baking adventure photographs saved up for times like these. Like this Norwich sourdough bread. It was given this name by Susan of Wild Yeast to honor the Vermont hometown of King Arthur Flour. Susan adapted this recipe from Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.  This bread is the perfect hearty everyday sourdough.

Vermont sourdough

Norwich Sourdough

Yields two two-pound loaves, or several smaller loaves.

Ingredients

900 grams unbleached all purpose flour
120 grams dark rye or pumpernickel flour
600 grams of room temperature water
360 grams fed 100% hydration sourdough starter
23 grams salt

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients except the salt to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low for about a minute.
  • Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • Add the salt and mix with the dough hook for 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Place the dough into a large oiled shallow bowl and allow to rise for 2 1/2 hours, doing two stretch-and-folds at 1/3 and 2/3 the way through (50 and 100 minutes), keeping the dough in the bowl. 
  • On a floured surface, gently divide the dough into two parts, and shape into balls. Allow the dough to rest, covered loosely in plastic wrap, for 15 minutes. 
  • Shape the dough into boules or batards, place them in floured bannetons or linen lined bowls, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 
  • Preheat the oven with a baking stone on the second lowest rung and a broiler pan one rung lower to 475 degrees F. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet or pizza peel and slash the dough. 
  • Drag the parchment onto the stone, add one cup of boiling water to the broiler pan, shut the oven door, and turn the temperature to 450 degrees F. 
  • Bake for approximately 40 to 50 minutes (use your instant read thermometer to test the dough), until it reaches an internal temperature of about 200 degrees F. 
  • Remove the loaves from the oven and cool them completely on a wire rack. 

Sharing with Susan of Yeastspotting. Head over there to see amazing breads shared from around the world. 

Jan 28, 2013

Appetizer Ideas for the Big Game

If you are hosting a game-watching party, or if you have to bring a little dish to a party, here is a round up of some ideas...

You can make these little mini twice-baked potatoes in advance and bake them the day of the party.

Mini twice baked potatoes

Another make ahead idea... this roasted jalapeño salsa is hot and spicy, and would be perfect with nachos.

Roasted jalapeño salsa

More make ahead appetizers are these mini caprese salad skewers. They are super light and perfect for your "no carb" guests.

mini caprese salad skewers

Another Italian themed appetizer is this tomato bruschetta.

tomato bruschetta

These homemade potato chips with parmesan are amazing.

homemade potato chips with parmesan

And what would the big game be without guacamole?

guacamole

These little mini cheddar crackers are totally tasty and cute.

Mini cheddar crackers

And to continue with the "mini" theme, mini quiche lorraine. These are good, people.

mini quiche lorraine

You could also serve these Bloody Marys.

Bloody Mary

This focaccia is also also pretty impressive.

focaccia

And great ideas from around the web...

This queso blanco dip looks amazing.

I love this deviled egg recipe.

How about whole wheat cheddar pigs in a blanket?

These mini corn dogs are super cute.

I definitely want to try these parmesan garlic straws.

As well as this caramelized onion, gruyere, and bacon spread. OMG.

I need some of this baked crab dip right now.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop.  And I'll try not to be one of these. =)

Enjoy the game. Enjoy the food. Win the pool.

Jan 27, 2013

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts & Raisins

Sourdough bread with walnuts and raisins

This is great bread. I'm just saying. And, yay, I had all of the ingredients!

I was a little worried about the medium rye for a while. I have a written inventory of all of the different flours I've got in the house. Pretty organized, right? Except I couldn't find the book in which I wrote the inventory....

Sourdough bread with walnuts and raisins


I found the dark rye, the white rye, the pumpernickel. Where is the medium rye? (first world problems!). I was getting ready to combine some dark and white rye (although I'm pretty sure that's not exactly a substitute, I'm not a rye expert) but then, eureka, I found it at the bottom of the garage refrigerator, a refrigerator that was purchased specifically to support my ingredient habit. If I had more room in my garage, I'm not ashamed to say that I would add a freezer.  Fortunately, reason prevails. So far. We still use the garage for the purpose for which it was intended. Cars. Imagine that.

Sourdough bread with walnuts and raisins


There was also some additional drama. As I dumped the loaves out of the bannetons onto the baking stone, my oven began to go a little bit crazy. It suddenly insisted on baking on "convection roast" at the wrong temperature. I got it to bake (actually convection roast) at the correct temperature, but every time I opened the oven door, it would revert to 375 degrees F. I was going to spray the oven interior to add additional steam, but I was so freaked by the turn of events, that I skipped that. I did, however, fill a steam pan with boiling water.

A baker with a wacko oven? This is just not going to work. I definitely regret having just one oven (first world problems again).

Sourdough bread with walnuts and raisins


Fortunately, the loaves came out beautifully. They baked a lot faster that the recipe described. Thank goodness for the instant read thermometer. The bread was getting really brown so I decided to take its temperature. This bread was ready way before it was supposed to be. The bread actually took about 15 minutes less time to finish baking.

Interesting. While I'm not happy with the turn of events, I might actually experiment with the convection bake and roast modes once we get this beast repaired.  Now, how will we get a technician out to the house to get this thing fixed in time for some baking projects I have urgently planned (more first world problems)?

Sourdough bread with walnuts and raisins


This bread is "mixed method," which means it involves both natural yeast and commercial yeast. It takes two days to make. On the first day, I made the levain, which is made from a sourdough starter. On the second day, I mixed the levain into the rest of the ingredients. If your sourdough starter has not been fed for quite a while, feed it the day before you make the levain.

Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

Ingredients

Levain

82 grams unbleached all purpose flour
41 grams water
66 grams sourdough starter

Dough

308 grams unbleached bread flour
119 grams whole wheat flour
47 grams medium rye flour
3/4 tsp instant yeast
13 grams salt
All of the levain
341 grams water
95 grams coarsely chopped walnuts
95 grams raisins

Instructions

To make the levain:

Add the ingredients to a one or two quart bowl and mix until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. 

To make the bread:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk all of the dry ingredients except the raisins and walnuts. Add the levain and the water. Mix in the levain and the water with a large spoon or dough whisk. Mix with the dough hook on low or "stir" for one minute. Increase the speed to the next level and mix for 15 minutes. Lower the mixer speed to the lowest level and add in the walnuts and raisins. Mix for one minute, remove the dough, and knead by hand until fully incorporated. 

Place the dough into an oiled container and allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until almost doubled. 

Gently deflate the dough and divide into two even pieces. Shape into boules.



Allow to ferment for about 60 to 90 minutes, until doubled. 

Bake the loaves in a 450 degree oven on a baking stone with a steam pan for 40 to 50 minutes. 

Or maybe convection roast for 30 minutes?  



This recipe is the January bread of the month (the BOM) for the Facebook Artisan Bread Baker's group is Sourdough Bread with Walnut and Raisins. Darlene posted a photo of her bread and I asked her if she was willing to share the recipe with the group for the BOM. Thank you Darlene for a wonderful contribution.

Sharing with Yeastspotting.
Posted on Bake your own Bread.

Jan 26, 2013

Ciabatta with Cold Fermented Dough


This is, in my opinion, a perfect ciabatta recipe. Look at all of that air. The dough ingredients are combined the day before (up to four days in advance) and refrigerated. The dough is about 45% water, about the wettest dough I've worked with. The gluten in this bread is developed through a stretch and fold method rather than through kneading. Here is a short video of Peter Reinhart demonstrating the method with this dough:


This dough is much easier to work with if you have a little plastic dough scraper like the one Peter is using. I got mine from King Arthur Flour (I have several, sheepish grin). It is also very helpful to use a scale to measure the flour.

ciabatta

Ciabatta

Ingredients

4 1/2 C / 20 oz / 567 g unbleached bread flour
1 3/4 tsp salt, or 2 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 C chilled water (about 55 degrees F)
1 T olive oil

Day One

  • Combine everything except the olive oil in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for about one minute with the paddle attachment, or mix with a large spoon until the ingredients are well blended, about a minute.
  • Let the dough rest for five minutes.
  • Add the olive oil, and mix for one minute more. 
  • Using a wet scraper, scrape the dough into a new lightly oiled bowl. Rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Scrape the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and stretch and fold it from all four "sides" as demonstrated in the video. Turn the dough over and shape it into a ball. 
  • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Repeat three more times, every ten minutes, for a total of four "stretch-and-folds."
  • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it with plastic, and refrigerate the dough.

Day Two (or within four days)

  • Three hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator. It should have risen to about 1 1/2 times its size or more. 
  • After one hour, very gently transfer the dough to a floured work surface. 
  • Dust the dough and your hands with flour, and gently coax the dough into a 9 inch square. 
  • Using the dough scraper or a serrated knife, cut the dough into two even pieces. 
  • Fold the pieces in thirds, like folding a letter. Gently place the two loaves, seam side down, on a parchment lined and floured baking sheet. 
  • Spray the loaves with spray oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let them rest for one hour.
  • Gently flip the two loaves over, and, with floured hands (I use the dough scraper on the underside, and my other hand on top) gently stretch them to about a 7 inch long rectangle. 
  • Spray with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for one hour. 
  • Prepare your oven with a broiler pan on the bottom rack and a baking stone on the second lowest rack. If you don't have a stone, you can bake them on the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees F (or however high your oven will heat). 
  • After the dough has rested for one hour, boil one cup of water. 
  • Slide the parchment with the loaves onto the heated stone, pour the boiling water into the broiler pan (cover your oven window with a kitchen towel and be very careful not to spill or you might shatter it. I use a small, long handled saucepan and wear an oven mitt so I don't burn my forearm), and shut the oven door (don't forget to remove the kitchen towel). 
  • Reduce the temperature to 450 degrees F.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, rotate the loaves, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. The bread should be browned like the photographs, and register 195 to 205 degrees with an instant read thermometer. 
  • Allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack for about 45 minutes. 
Ciabatta

This recipe was adapted from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. In the book, he describes many other uses for this dough, including baguettes and an amazing focaccia. If you want to try your hand at artisan bread, get this book. Every recipe I have tried has worked beautifully. 

Enjoy!

Posted on Bake Your Own Bread.
Sharing with Yeastspotting

Jan 24, 2013

Boeuf Bourguignon | Beef Burgundy

Boeuf Bourguignon

I sometimes make things hard on myself when having friends over for dinner. By that I mean I sometimes will attempt some fairly involved dishes for the first time. These photographs represent one of those times. No regrets. I love flexing new muscles.

I have always been curious about Boeuf Bourguignon, and when a colleague told me about making it for her family as a celebration of her own birthday, I started to obsess.

Beef burgundy

Just to warn you... this is pretty involved, includes three or four pan deglazings, and requires a lot of hands on time... and you must respect the "mis en place," especially the first time you make it. Do not be intimidated though. This is not at all difficult if you are organized (which does not come easily to me when I first attempt a new dish). Fortunately, this dish tastes even better when you do most of the work a day in advance and reduce the sauce and add the vegetables on the second day. The results are so worth it.


Boeuf Bourguignon

Ingredients


Day One

6 ounces of extra thick bacon or salt pork, cut into 1/4 by 1 inch strips
3 C water
10 sprigs of fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 large fresh sage sprigs
3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
An old parmesan rind (optional)
2 medium white, sweet, or brown onions, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic, with the cloves separated and crushed. There is no need to peel the cloves
2 crumbled bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 pound beef chuck roast. trimmed, patted dry with paper towels, cut into two inch pieces, and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 C water, divided into 2 half cups
4 T unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
1/3 C unbleached flour
1 3/4 C low sodium chicken broth
1 T beef demi glace (optional)
1 1/2 C water
1 bottle red burgundy, chianti, or pinot noir
1 tsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
4 to 8 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 2 inch pieces (optional)

Day Two

7 ounces of frozen pearl onions
1 T unsalted butter
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C water
10 ounces of small white mushrooms, washed 
1/4 C water
2 T brandy
Fresh parsley leaves, minced to sprinkle over each plate

Instructions


Day One

  • Bring salt pork or bacon to boil in the water in a saucepan and boil for about two minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  • Securely wrap and tie the parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, optional parmesan, onions, carrots, garlic bay leaves, and peppercorns in two 22 inch lengths of cheesecloth. Set in the bottom of an oven proof 8-quart enameled cast iron or stainless steel Dutch oven. 
  • Place a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 300 degrees F.
  • Over medium heat, saute the salt pork/bacon in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until light brown and crisp (about 12 minutes). 
  • With a spider or slotted spoon, remove the salt pork/bacon from the pan and add it to the Dutch oven. 
  • Drain the fat from the skillet (do not discard yet) and add back 2 tsp. Heat the skillet on high and brown half of the beef until deep brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer the browned beef to the Dutch oven. 
  • Pour one cup of water into the skillet to deglaze. Scrape up all of the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Pour the liquid into the Dutch oven.
  • Add 2 tsp of the reserved drippings to the skillet and reheat on high. Brown the rest of the beef as before. Add the beef to the Dutch oven. Deglaze the skillet again with 1/2 C of water and add to the Dutch oven. 
  • Add the 4 T of butter to the skillet and heat on medium. When the butter stops foaming, add the flour and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture looks like light colored caramel or peanut butter.
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, demi glace, and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly, until it thickens. Add the thickened broth to the Dutch oven. 
  • Add 3 C of wine, tomato paste, salt. and pepper to the Dutch oven. Stir. Heat the Dutch oven on high and bring it to a boil. Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the oven for 3 hours. Add the optional carrots at two hours. 
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the cheesecloth wrapped herb packet. Place it into a strainer over the Dutch oven and squeeze out all of the liquid. Discard the packet. 
  • Remove the beef and optional carrots from the Dutch oven and wrap in heavy duty foil and refrigerate. 
  • Chill the liquid in the Dutch oven overnight. 

Day Two

  • Remove the Dutch oven and the beef/carrot packet from the refrigerator. Skim the fat from top of the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced to about three cups. The sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. This should take about 15 to 25 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, bring the onions, butter, sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 C water to a boil in a 10 inch skillet on high heat. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about five minutes. Uncover and increase the heat to high and cook the onions until all of the water evaporates. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the salt. Cook for about five minutes, until the mushroom liquid evaporates and the onions and mushrooms are browned. Transfer them to a large plate. 
  • Add 1/4 C water to the pan and deglaze. Add that liquid to the simmering Dutch oven. 
  • When the Dutch oven sauce is reduced to 3 cups and is the right thickness, add the beef and carrots, onions and mushrooms (plus any juices), the rest of the wine, and brandy. Cover and cook until heated, about 8 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Serve over boiled potatoes, noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes, and sprinkle with minced parsley. 

My bonus cooking lesson take-away from preparing this dish?  The magic of deglazing a pan. I had no idea! You will think twice about using nonstick pans so you can capture the flavors from those magic brown bits. Added bonus, I sometimes use the deglazing method to clean skillets. It's a beautiful thing.

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, January, 2001 and Bon Appetit, September, 1999.



Jan 22, 2013

French Apple Tart | TWD


French Apple Tart


This week the Tuesdays with Dorie group is baking a French Apple Tart from page 379 of the book Baking with Julia (as in Julia Child) by Dorie Greenspan.

I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks and wanted to make something impressive to take to my colleagues who helped keep things running smoothly.

French apple tart


Impressive, right?

This recipe involves making a pie dough, an apple puree, and an apple flower thingy on the top of the puree. I made this tart all at once, but you can make the pie dough and apple puree in advance and assemble the whole thing a couple of days later. In fact, the dough is freezable.

I followed this recipe pretty much as described in the book. Each bake in the oven took longer that the author described, but that seems to be a pattern with this book. (Although I've checked it, I may need to re-check my oven's temperature...) The one thing I did differently, which was probably not necessary, was to brush the top of the tart with an apricot glaze. I was a little worried that the apple slices were too dry from the extended baking.

The dough is really flaky and contains no sugar, so the contrast between the dough and the apple puree is just amazing.



So here's how it's done...

Make a really flaky savory dough and blind bake it (cover it in parchment and fill with rice, dried beans, or pie weights) in a nine inch tart pan.

Make an apple puree with roasted apples... really just homemade chunky applesauce. I kept mine really chunky.

Spread the puree in the dough lined tart pan.

Top with a floret of very thinly sliced apples.

Bake until the edges if the apple slices are kind of burned.

Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, (or in my case, spread with an apricot glaze), slice, and enjoy.

To make the optional apricot glaze, melt apricot jam with apple juice or cider, and brush over the apples after removing the tart from the oven.

As a side note, this pie dough was so easy to work with. It is a mixture of pastry flour, salt, butter, chilled shortening, and ice water. It requires very little handling and is amazingly, amazingly flaky. The only issue is that without the addition of sugar, it takes longer to brown.

To see the actual recipe, visit Laws of the Kitchen.

I am definitely making this again.

Jan 19, 2013

Chocolate Chocolate Chip and Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate shortbread

I know, I know. These look like brownies. They are actually shortbread cookies that contain some leavening, which is probably why they have this brownie "look." I probably should have cut them into triangles to make them look more shortbread-y. Nevertheless....

chocolate shortbread


These are tasty and super easy. Think deep rich chocolate with the subtle nutty flavor of coconut. They were a big hit in my house.... and there were very few dishes to wash.

chocolate shortbread

Recipe notes:
I used King Arthur Flour's Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa, which gives these cookies their deep color, but any Dutch process cocoa will work with this recipe.

I also used my (clean, thank you very much) hands to combine the dough even though the recipe suggests stirring the dough, because the dough would not come together when mixing with a spoon.

I used French fine sea salt that I picked up at Surfas Culinary District in Culver City (I love, love, love Surfas) when taking a bread baking class. This salt is amazing, but I'm sure it's not necessary. I just like to justify having purchased specialty ingredients.

chocolate shortbread

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients


1 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/3 C (1 oz) Dutch process cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 C (7.25 oz) unbleached all purpose flour 
1/4 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 C finely chopped sweetened or unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Grease one 9 inch by 9 inch square baking pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, salt, and sugar.
  4. Add the cocoa, vanilla, baking powder, and flour, and mix until you have a fully blended stiff dough. This is where I used my hands. 
  5. Add the chips and the coconut and mix. 
  6. Press the dough evenly into the pan and prick liberally with a fork.
  7. Bake the shortbread for 50 to 55 minutes.
  8. Run a thin knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to separate the dough from the sides.  
  9. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  10. Place a piece of parchment, plastic, or wax paper on top of the pan, and flip it over onto a cutting board. 
  11. Cut the shortbread into 25 squares (a pizza wheel works nicely) while still warm (it will be too crispy if you wait until it cools).
  12. Cool the cookies on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour. The basic formula originally appeared in the book, King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion



Jan 18, 2013

Panettone Muffins | ABC

panettone muffins

ABC? The Avid Baker's Challenge. This year the group is baking twelve recipes from the King Arthur Flour website. I'm all over that. Do I like King Arthur Flour? Given my addiction for buying their ingredients....  



Let's talk about my pantry...  I just happened to have all of the ingredients, including the Fiori di Sicilia, a flavoring for Panettone. 


panettone muffins


Making panettone, an Italian Christmas bread, can be quite a challenge. The recipe I've used involves a sourdough starter and a nine hour rise. These muffins borrow the flavor of panettone while taking only a couple of hours from start to finish with less than 30 minutes of hands-on time. 

The recipe has a couple of options. I used a combination of raisins and dried cranberries for the fruit, and soaked them in rum after heating the mixture in the microwave (you can either heat the fruit and liquid to use the mixture on the same day, or simply soak the fruit overnight without heating it). I also added the optional cake enhancer because I had it on hand. I baked the muffins without paper muffin tin liners and they fell out of the tin without sticking. 


panettone muffins

Verdict? Really good. Really easy. A little taste of Italian celebration bread. Oh, and they are really nice warmed. 

You can find the recipe here on the King Arthur Flour website. You can check out the other Avid Bakers' takes on the recipe here

Enjoy!
avid baker's challenge

Jan 17, 2013

No Knead Rye Bread

no knead rye bread

Rye flour is weird. It gets really sticky if you knead it too much. I've had my successes and less than successes with it. Thankfully, my successes preceded my "less thans." Otherwise I would have given up on it. Just know this... even a little amount adds so much flavor to bread and pizza.

no knead rye bread

If you think you don't like rye bread, try this recipe without the caraway seeds. You might be surprised. What you think you don't like are the caraway seeds, not the rye.

I love the ease of this recipe. Mix up the dough in a bowl. Let it set for up to 18 hours, form it into a ball. Let it rise for a couple of hours in a brotform, proofing basket, or towel lined bowl. Bake it in a cast iron pot. Gorgeousity. Is that a word? Call the grammar police, but let them try the bread first.

No Knead Rye Bread

Ingredients

8 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
7 ounces medium rye flour
2 T caraway seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
7 ounces of room temperature bottled water
3 ounces lager beer
1 T white wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large glass bowl until combined. There is no need to over mix. 
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours. 
  3. Spray a brotformproofing basket, or tea towel lined bowl with spray oil and generously sprinkle it with rice flour. 
  4. Scrape the dough out onto a flour dusted surface and lightly knead the dough about 15 times.
  5.  Shape the dough into a ball by pulling the sides up to the top/middle, pinching the edges together. 
  6. Place the dough, seam side up, into the basket/bowl, spray the top of the loaf with spray oil, and cover with plastic wrap. 
  7. Let the dough rise until doubled, about two hours. 
  8. Place a cast iron pot or Dutch oven in your oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F. 
  9. When the dough is doubled, remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove the top. Dump the dough into the pot, and slash the top with a sharp knife or razor blade. 
  10. Cover the pot and place it into the oven. 
  11. Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the loaf reaches 210 degrees F and is browned on top. 
  12. Remove the bread from the pot and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Be patient. This could take about two hours. 
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated. Love them. I highly recommend subscribing to their online site as well as their magazine. They have a cool "parchment sling" method that is worth checking out if you don't like dumping your dough into the pan.

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Jan 14, 2013

Struan | A Multi-grain Bread

Multi-grain bread struan

According to Artisan Breads Every Day, this is Peter Reinhart's favorite bread. He says that he publishes a new version of this bread in every new bread book that he writes. The bread is considered a "harvest bread" because it contains whatever grains are available from the harvest from the day before. The recipe is flexible, and you can substitute multigrain cereals for some or all of the different grains listed here. For the cooked brown rice, I substituted some leftover basmati rice made with ras el hanout I had made the night before.

Multi-grain bread struan

This bread makes wonderful toast and sandwiches, and you can even add some sourdough starter to add a boost of flavor. I can understand why this bread is Peter's favorite.

By the way, if you are interested in getting into artisan bread baking, definitely pick up this book. It's just amazing how dedicated the author is to fine tuning the bread baking experience. Peter has taken many of the recipes that he has published in the past and perfected them. The formulas are pretty foolproof. I have not been disappointed in any of the breads in this book that I have tried.

And get a scale. You'll wonder how you baked without one.

Multi-grain bread struan

Struan


Makes two loaves. Days to make: two. Adapted from Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart. 

Ingredients

22.5 ounces (5 cups) of bread flour
1.5 ounces (1/4 C) of coarsely ground cornmeal
1 ounce (1/4 C) rolled oats
3 T wheat bran
1/2 C cooked brown rice
1/4 C brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 T instant yeast
1 1/2 T honey
1 1/2 C lukewarm water (about 95 degrees F)
1/2 C lukewarm milk
4 ounces of 60% sourdough starter (optional)
Poppy seeds and sesame seeds to top the bread (optional)

Instructions

Day One:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment for two minutes and then let it rest for five minutes.
  • Mix again on low for two more minutes. The dough should be soft and tacky/sticky. If it's too wet, add a little more flour. 
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface, sprinkle it with flour, and knead by hand for about three minutes. If necessary, add flour to prevent sticking. Form the dough into a ball. 
  • Reach under the dough with a dough scraper and an with an oiled hand on top, stretch one side of the dough out and fold it over the top of the dough. Repeat on all four "sides" of the dough ball. 
  • Form the dough back into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl and allow it to rest, covered, for ten minutes. Repeat three more times, every ten minutes. 
  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator overnight, and up to five days. 

Baking Day:

  • About two hours before you plan to bake the loaves, take the dough out of the refrigerator and shape into two loaves and place into oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans. 
  • Spray the tops of the loaves with water, then spray oil, and then sprinkle with the seeds. Cover with plastic wrap. 
  • Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the dough has risen about one inch above the rim of the pan. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, rotating after 20 minutes. The bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees F or higher. 
  • De-pan the loaves and cool on a wire rack, at least one hour. 
Submitted to Yeastspotting
Sharing with Bake Your Own Bread

Jan 12, 2013

Homemade Gingersnaps

homemade gingersnaps

This cookie is made with three kinds of ginger along with molasses, cloves, white pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom. They are spicy (and a little hot actually)!

The first time I made these cookies, I bought candied ginger from the spice section of the grocery store. This made them just about the most expensive homemade cookie on the planet. Since then, I have purchased candied ginger in bigger bags online from Oh! Nuts, King Arthur Flour, and Amazon and have been pretty happy with the savings.

You will need a scalloped 3 1/4 inch round cookie cutter, although a biscuit cutter or a plain round cookie cutter would work in a pinch.

homemade gingersnaps

Yes, I know. Sixteen ingredients. Make them. You won't regret it. They are that good.

Homemade Gingersnaps


Makes about 20 to 24 cookies

Ingredients

10 ounces (2 cups) all purpose flour
2 1/2 ounces (1/2 C) whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 T plus 1 tsp ground ginger
Generous 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Scant 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
8 ounces of unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 ounces light brown sugar (about 3/4 C lightly packed)
2 T honey
4 T unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses
2 ounces finely minced candied ginger
2 tsp fresh ginger puree. Can be made with a Microplane or purchased
Sparkling or granulated sugar for sprinkling on the cookies


Instructions

  1. Whisk the flours, salt, and spices in a bowl.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Mix in the honey and molasses until fully incorporated.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients in thirds, beating each time until just combined.
  4. Add the candied and pureed ginger and mix until just combined.
  5. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to two days.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Roll out the dough between two pieces of waxed paper to 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut the dough into 3 1/4 inch rounds with a scalloped or ruffled edge cookie cutter.
  9. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Gather up and roll out the scraps and cut more cookies.
  11. Score the cookies at about half inch intervals (no need to be exact) with a toothpick or cake tester and very lightly sprinkle them with sparkling sugar or granulated sugar. 
  12. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes, until brown. Make sure they are fully baked so that the cookies will be crisp. 
  13. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.
  14. The cookies can be stored up to two weeks in an airtight container. These cookies freeze quite well. 
Sometimes it can be difficult to remove the cookies from the was paper without messing up the edges. What works for me is cutting the cookies on top of the wax paper, placing another piece of wax paper on top of them, flipping the whole thing over, and peeling off the top piece of was paper. Because they are not attached to the (now) bottom piece of wax paper, they are easy to move.

Adapted with permission from Miette by Meg Ray. The book is exquisite.
homemade gingersnaps


HungryLittleGirl

Jan 10, 2013

Slow Cooker Asian Pot Roast

slow cooker Asian pot roast

Just tried a new recipe. This is good. Yes. Really good. Really really good. So... would I make any changes? I might sprinkle the dish with roasted sesame seeds, just to make it pretty.

This recipe is from my friends Deirdre and Paul who know how to rock a slow cooker. Check out their food blog for some terrific slow cooker recipes (as well as amazing beef tenderloin recipes... I'm going to be working my way through those recipes as well).

slow cooker Asian pot roast

Slow Cooker Asian Pot Roast

Ingredients

1 four pound chuck roast
1 T garlic salt
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 T vegetable oil plus 1 tsp sesame oil
3 C water
3/4 C low sodium soy sauce (I used Tamari)
3 T white wine vinegar
1/4 C honey
1 T ground ginger
1 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp crushed red peppers
4 scallions, thinly sliced
one bunch carrots, peeled and sliced
2 T cornstarch
1/4 C water
Sliced scallions 
Toasted sesame seeds (next time)

Instructions

  • Combine the garlic salt, black pepper, and mustard powder and rub the roast with the mixture.
  • Heat the oils in a large Dutch oven or the stove top safe insert of a slow cooker. (Not all slow cooker inserts are stove top safe. If yours is ceramic, don't use it on the stove top.)
  • Brown the roast on all sides, about five minutes each side.
  • Place the roast in the slow cooker.
  • In a medium bowl or a 4 cup or larger measuring cup, combine the water, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger, celery seeds, crushed red peppers, and scallions, and pour the mixture over the roast. 
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for one hour, and low for 7 to 8 hours. I got a late start and cooked mine on high for 2 1/2 hours, and low on 4 hours. 
  • One hour before serving, quickly add the carrots to the slow cooker and cover. 
  • When the roast is done, move it to a serving platter and cover with foil. 
  • Strain out the carrots, place them in a bowl, and cover to keep warm.
  • Stir the 1/4 C water and cornstarch together.
  • Skim off the fat from the remaining liquid in the slow cooker.
  • Place about 2 or 3 cups of the liquid into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly until thickened, about a minute or two. 
  • Slice the roast and serve over rice or noodles. Add the vegetables and ladle the gravy over the meat and rice/noodles.
  • Garnish with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds. 
slow cooker Asian pot roast crock pot

Recipe adapted from East of the Equator Cafe.

Shared with Addicted to Recipes.