Jul 30, 2013

Rheinbrot - A Winey Bread

Rheinbrot - A Winey Bread

This bread is called Rheinbrot because it contains Riesling in the sponge/starter. I've made bread with beer, but never with wine. This was going to be an adventure.

Rheinbrot - A Winey Bread

As I often do, I jumped into the recipe without reading it all the way through, and didn't realize that the sponge needs about 14 to 16 hours of fermentation. Starting at noon (which I did) meant that I would have to mix up the final dough around two in the morning. I love baking bread, but I love sleep too.

I figured out I should have started around 6pm and then let the starter ferment overnight. Fortunately, I was able to slow down the fermentation by putting the starter in the refrigerator after about ten hours and leave it there until the next evening. While the original recipe does not call for a cold fermentation, I am including it in my directions.

What else did I do differently? Instead of baking the loaf in a steam oven, I baked it in a preheated cast iron Dutch oven. While the dough was very loose, the oven spring in the cast iron pot was amazing. Other than the timing and the cast iron pot, I followed the recipe as written.

Rheinbrot - A Winey Bread

How was the bread? Soft, moist, and chewy with a fairly thin crispy crust. The flavor was wonderful, perfect with the rest of the bottle of Riesling.

This recipe was introduced to the Bread Baking Babes by Astrid of Paul Chen's Food Blog?!  She found the original recipe on this forum and translated it. I'm so glad she did.

Rheinbrot - A Winey Bread

Rheinbrot Recipe

Ingredients

Sponge

50 grams of semisweet Riesling
50 grams bottled water
100 grams unbleached all purpose flour
50 grams of 100% sourdough starter

Dough

All of the sponge
250 grams unbleached all purpose flour
135 grams water
6 grams of salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk the wine, water, and sourdough starter together in a 1 quart bowl.
  2. Mix in the 100 grams of flour. 
  3. Cover and ferment the sponge for four hours at about 80 degrees F. I usually heat up a cup of water in the microwave and then put the dough in there. 
  4. After four hours, stir the sponge and recover with plastic wrap. Let it ferment at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours. Alternatively, after a few hours, move the bowl to the refrigerator and let it ferment for 18 to 24 hours. 
  5. Remove the sponge from the refrigerator about 1 1/2 hours prior to mixing the dough. 
  6. Add the flour and water, mix until you get a shaggy ball, cover, and let sit for about 45 minutes, covered. 
  7. Add the salt and pinch the dough with your fingers to fully incorporate it. Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it ferment for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Fold the dough over itself at 60 minutes and 90 minutes. 
  8. Form the dough into a boule and place it into a floured bowl or basket (I used a plastic brotform sprayed with oil and sprinkled with rice flour). Cover with plastic wrap. Let it proof until doubled in size, about 60 to 90 minutes. Meanwhile, place a cast iron Dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  9. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven, remove the lid, and dump the dough into the pot. Slash the dough, cover, and place in the oven. 
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, and then remove the lid. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes more. 
  11. Cool on a wire rack. 

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Ham and Cheese Rye Muffins

Ham and Cheese Rye Muffins
These muffins are a wonderful take on the ham and cheese on rye sandwich. They are made with freshly milled whole rye flour, bread flour, and contain ham and Swiss cheese. They also contain a bit of onion powder, which adds to the savory flavor. Add some grated Swiss cheese on top and you have the perfect quick savory breakfast. Let's just say, these didn't last long when I took them to work.


Forget what you think about the taste of rye. What most people think of as rye flavor is actually the flavor of the caraway seeds that are typically in store bought rye bread. Actually, the flavor is very mild, and much milder than whole wheat. 
While I made these muffins with ham, they can also be made with cooked bacon for an extra rich treat. Do you like toasted, almost burnt cheese? These muffins are topped with some of the Swiss cheese, which gets nice and melty burnt while baking. Seriously good.
Ham and Cheese Rye Muffins

Another thing about working with rye... you should not overwork the batter because it can get gummy if you are not careful. Mix the batter just until it comes together, and don't worry too much if there are bits of flour that have not been fully incorporated. Once the muffins start baking, rest assured, the bits of flour will disappear.
Ham and Cheese Rye Muffins


Ham and Cheese Rye Muffins


Ingredients


7½ ounces whole rye flour
3⅛ ounces unbleached bread flour
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp onion powder
6 ounces grated Swiss cheese
1 large egg
1½ C buttermilk
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces diced cooked ham

Instructions


1.     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and spray a 12 cavity muffin tin with spray oil.
2.     In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
3.     Add all but ¼ C of the Swiss cheese and toss to coat the individual pieces of cheese.
4.     In another bowl, mix the egg, buttermilk, and the butter. Pour it into the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated.
5.     Add the ham and stir until evenly distributed.
6.     Using an ice cream scoop, portion the batter into the 12 cavities, and top each with some of the reserved cheese.
7.     Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
8.     Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

9.     Remove from the pan and cool on a rack…. or eat while still warm!

Jul 28, 2013

Stir-Fried Cilantro Chili Noodles with Egg and Crab | Wok Wednesdays

Stir-Fired Cilantro Chili Noodles with Egg and Crab

This Stir-Fired Cilantro Chili Noodles with Egg with some added lump crab meat is heaven in a bowl. There are about 13 ingredients in the dish, not including the crab meat, and there is a full cup of chopped cilantro tossed into the noodles. Rice noodles, chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, eggs, Anaheim chiles, ginger, sugar, salt and pepper, and sesame oil, along with the cilantro and crab meat. So good.
Stir-Fired Cilantro Chili Noodles with Egg and Crab


The recipe calls for frying an egg "pancake" in the wok for about a minute, flipping it and cooking it for another five seconds, and then removing it from the wok to chop and re-add back into the noodle dish. I was a little nervous about the egg sticking to my young wok, but I needn't have worried. The egg "pancake" behaved perfectly.
Stir-Fired Cilantro Chili Noodles with Egg and Crab


Once all of the ingredients have been prepped for the stir fry, this dish takes about five minutes to make.

What did I do differently than the original recipe? I soaked my noodles for 10 minutes instead of the 20 called for in the original recipe based on the package directions. I also added a cup of lump crab meat at the end with the sesame oil.

This recipe is from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories.

This is not just a cookbook. The book is a stunning collection of amazing recipes and stories that have captivated me and made me fall in love with the concept of the stir-fry and the wok.

You can find the recipe here.

I am participating in Wok Wednesdays. If you'd like to join, check it out. We also have a Facebook page, which is regularly visited and contributed to by Grace Young, the author of this wonderful book.

Jul 25, 2013

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This sourdough cinnamon raisin bread is pretty phenomenal. It's loaded, I mean really loaded, with with plump raisins. I love the contrast between the sweet raisins and the mild sourdough. It makes the absolute best toast for breakfast (with butter of course).

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

The dough is fairly high in hydration, so it's a little sticky. When working with it, lightly flour your work surface and your hands, and be sure to have both a dough scraper and bench knife to work with the dough. Keep dipping your hands in flour. It's messy, but it's worth it.

You can control the amount of cinnamon sugar you add and cut back on the raisins if you like. I chose to go really light on the cinnamon sugar swirl but go full on with the raisins. When I am running late in the morning, two slices of this toast makes a quick and totally filling breakfast.

This bread takes about five hours to make (most of this time is inactive), but don't let that intimidate you. It is actually really easy. Just be sure to use freshly fed and bubbly sourdough starter.


The original recipe for this bread calls for a biga, which is a mix of flour, water, and a little bit of yeast that is allowed to ferment in the refrigerator overnight. I adjusted the flour and water for my 100% hydration sourdough starter. The recipe has been adapted from Amy's Bread, Revised and Updated: Artisan-style breads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more from New York City's favorite bakery.

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

2 ounces warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
397 g ripe sourdough starter
13 ounces room temperature water
600 g unbleached all purpose flour
12 g Kosher salt
425 g dark raisins
1/4 C plus one T sugar mixed with 1 T cinnamon (I used only about a tablespoon of this mixture and reserved the rest for cinnamon toast)
Extra flour and water to make adjustments to the dough

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water and yeast and let stand for about 3 minutes. 
  2. Add the starter and room temperature water and stir until everything is dissolved. 
  3. Add the flour and salt and continue to stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until you have a shaggy ball of dough. 
  4. Knead with the dough hook for about four minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for for 20 minutes. 
  5. Knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes, adding flour or water by the tablespoon until the dough is tacky and elastic. The dough should be fairly sticky but just clear the sides of the bowl. 
  6. Place the dough into an oiled dough rising bucket or bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 60 minute. 
  7. At the 60 minute mark, reach into the bowl and gently push down on the dough. Pull the dough up from all four "sides" and stretch it and fold it over itself. Flip the dough over and place it seam side down. Re-cover the dough and allow it to rise for another 45 minutes, until doubled (mine was tripled). 
  8. While the dough is rising, place the raisins in a bowl and add just enough warm water to reach just below the level of the raisins. 
  9. Oil or butter two 9 inch by 5 inch bread pans and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and drain the raisins. 
  10. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Lightly flour your hands and press the dough into a 14 by 12 inch rectangle. With a bench scraper, cut the dough into two pieces. 
  11. Sprinkle the pieces with the cinnamon sugar and then press the raisins into the dough. There are a lot of raisins. Just go with it. 
  12. Roll up the dough pieces into logs and place them into the two bread pans, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until doubled. 
  13. Bake the loaves for 15 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. 
  14. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the bread reaches about 190 degrees F. If the loaves are getting too dark, tent with foil. 
  15. Cool the loaves in the pans for 5 minutes, and then remove them from the pans and cool completely on cooling racks. 
Enjoy!

Submitted to Yeastspotting

Jul 22, 2013

Cornmeal Sables | Sweet Corn Cookies

Cornmeal Sables | Sweet Corn Cookies

Sables are are French shortbread cookie (pronounced "SAB-blay") which are both buttery and crumbly. I'm not sure that cornmeal, farine de mais, is used much in France, but I've read that there are regions, particularly the Basque and other coastal regions, where corn was introduced from the New World.

Cornmeal Sables | Sweet Corn Cookies

Regardless, cornmeal and sables were made for each other. The graininess of the cornmeal totally enhances the texture of this cookie.

Cornmeal Sables | Sweet Corn Cookies


The flavor of this cookie is reminiscent of a mildly sweet cornbread but with the crunchiness of a butter cookie. I could imagine adding some bits of jalapeno to these cookies and serving them with chili.... hmmm.

For more sables recipes, check out these amazing chocolate sables, or these vanilla bean sables.

Cornmeal Sables Recipe

Ingredients

3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 T milk
1 1/2 T vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste)
1/2 C sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 C cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
9 1/2 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 C cornmeal
3/4 C powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt together until full incorporated. 
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the butter, flour, cornmeal, and powdered sugar until crumbly. 
  3. In a large shallow bowl, combine the two mixtures and knead until all of the ingredients are combined. 
  4. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece between two pieces of wax or parchment paper until 3/8 inch thick. Place each piece of dough, still between two pieces of paper, into the freezer for 30 minutes. 
  5. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  7. Remove one of the rolled out pieces of dough and remove one of the layers of paper. Place the paper back onto the dough and flip it over. Remove the (now) top piece of paper and, using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles and place them onto the baking sheet. Re-roll the leftover pieces and cut them into cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies, one baking sheet at a time, for 12 to 16 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies should be barely browned at the edges. 
  9. Continue working with the dough in the freezer as the oven becomes available. 
  10. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, and then move them to a cooling rack with a thin spatula.
  11. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 
Linked to the Weekend Re-Treat

Jul 21, 2013

Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

This transitional whole wheat bread is perfect for when you want to get your whole grains, but still want a bread that is mild enough for sandwiches. The loaf is 56% whole wheat flour and 44% bread flour, and the recipe includes milk, honey, and just a little bit of butter.

Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

The dough is super easy to work with, and rises beautifully both prior to baking as well as in the oven. Ah, the joys of "oven spring," where I sit on a stool in front of the oven window to stare at my baking bread.

The bread requires a little bit of planning. The day before baking, you mix both a soaker of whole wheat and milk, and a biga of bread flour, water, and yeast.

Soaker? Biga? Biga is an Italian term for a preferment... meaning you take some flour and water and add a little big of yeast and let it develop flavor overnight or maybe a bit longer. It can also be referred to as a sponge. A soaker is a mixture of grains and/or seeds with a liquid left overnight in order to soften the grains/seeds and develop more flavor.  Once the soaker and biga have been given enough time to develop, they are combined with the rest of the dough ingredients to make the bread.

Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

To view and print the recipe, go my post on the Grain Mill Wagon site.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge and received a WonderMill grain mill as part of the challenge. And, yes, I milled my own whole wheat flour! How cool is that?

Transitional Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

For the recipe, click here.



Jul 16, 2013

Summer Vegetable Tart | Tuesdays with Dorie

Summer Vegetable Tart

This savory vegetable tart consists of a crispy buttery pre-baked phyllo crust filled with a warm mixture of sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers, and goat cheese. The tender vegetables combined with the goat cheese and seasoned with black pepper and thyme are killer good.

Summer Vegetable Tart


Phyllo dough and I have a rocky relationship. I usually have to sacrifice more than a few sheets just to get the amount I need for a recipe. Since this recipe called for only four sheets, I figured I was safe with a full package of sheets in the freezer. What I didn't realize was that the dough was pretty dried out and pretty much shredded when I tried to unroll it.

Summer Vegetable Tart


So while the original recipe calls for draping eight lovely cooperative half sheets in the pan on an angle so that you have this sort of handkerchief overhang, I ended up piecing together about 50 (okay, that may be an exaggeration) small pieces of phyllo into the tart pan to patch together a crust. And guess what? The crust was just fine thank you very much. A perfect vehicle for this lovely vegetable filling.

This week the Tuesdays with Dorie group is baking this Summer Vegetable Tart from Baking with Julia.

This is definitely a dish I would make again. We had it as a side dish with a steak along with some braised carrots and leeks. It felt very elegant.

Summer Vegetable Tart Recipe

Ingredients

4 sheets (give or take) of phyllo
1/2 C melted butter
Black pepper, freshly ground

3 T olive oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 pound of white mushrooms, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Cut the four sheets of phyllo in half, and working one sheet at a time, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with fresh pepper. Place the sheet into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom that has been placed on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue with each sheet, rotating the pan slightly each time, draping the ends over the rim of the tart pan in a handkerchief pattern. Or... you could just piece together a bunch of torn pieces of phyllo like I did, buttering each, and seasoning with freshly ground pepper. 
  3. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 7 to 12 minutes. As it is baking, you may have to reach in and press it down with a spatula if it puffs up. I had to do that a couple of times. Cool on the sheet pan on a rack. 
  4. When the shell is cool, gently remove it from the tart pan and place it on a platter. 
  5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft and somewhat translucent, but not browned.
  6. Add the mushrooms and peppers and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are cooked through. 
  7. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and stir.
  8. Add the goat cheese, stir until heated but not melted, and immediately spoon the mixture into the tart shell. Spread with a spoon or spatula. 
  9. Serve the same day the tart is made, either warm or at room temperature. The filling is good the next day on crackers. 

Jul 14, 2013

Braised Carrots with Leeks

Braised Carrots with Leeks

These braised carrots with leeks will surprise you with their savory-ness. At least they surprised me. Their flavor is fresh and reminiscent of vegetables from a Provencal marche.

Braised Carrots with Leeks

This is an easy dish that can be made right before serving, or made in advance and served at room temperature the next day.

You can use spring carrots, or if you cannot find them, you can cut regular carrots cut into thinner pieces by quartering the fat ends and cutting the thin ends in half lengthwise.

To clean the leeks, cut off the root ends and the dark green parts, slice the pieces length wise, place them into a bowl of cold water, and swish them around. Drain the leeks and and place them back into cold water. Once the water in the bowl is clean, the leeks are ready.

Braised Carrots with Leeks

We had this with a goat cheese, onion, mushroom, and red pepper tart with a filet mignon. It was definitely a luxurious dinner with an amazing combination of flavors.

For another great dish with leeks, check out this Asparagus, Pea, and Leek Stir Fry. For another great carrot dish, check out these Sauteed Carrots.

Braised Carrots with Leeks Recipe

Adapted from Mark Peel's New Classic Family Dinners.

This recipe serves four.

Ingredients

3 T olive oil
1/2 pound of leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned, with the root trimmed off, and cut into thin lengthwise strips
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound peeled carrots, either small spring, or cut as described above. They should be about 4 to 6 inches in length. 
1/2 C water
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh chopped chervil, or 1 tsp dried chervil
2 tsp fresh chopped tarragon

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 T of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Add the leeks and a bit of the salt and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. 
  4. Add the carrots, water, and the rest of the salt, and bring to a simmer. 
  5. Simmer over low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender. 
  6. Transfer the carrots to a platter and bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil.
  7. Add the rest of the oil, the lemon juice, the chervil, and the tarragon to the pan and cook for about a minute. 
  8. Spoon the contents of the pan over the carrots.
  9. Serve immediately, or tent with foil and serve later at room temperature. 
  10. You can also refrigerate overnight and serve the next day. 
This post is participating in Eating the Alphabet hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic. We'd love to have you participate too. This month's letters are K and L. If you'd like to join in, check out this post about participating. It's not too late. And check out the other recipes with healthy ingredients that start with K and L in the thumbnails below. 


Jul 12, 2013

Classic White Sandwich Bread

Classic White Sandwich Bread

I am not ashamed to admit that I like white sandwich bread.... and this is my absolute favorite. It is light and fluffy, but has enough structure to be sliced very thinly.. absolutely perfect for tea sandwiches.... or you could just slice it and make cinnamon toast, peanut butter and jelly, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Seriously.

Just so you know, there is no comparison between this bread and grocery store bread. This bread has flavor.

When I first got into baking bread, the first bread I made was sourdough... yeah, go figure.
Classic White Sandwich Bread

The next bread I tried was this one. When the instructions said "let the dough rise till it's crowned 1" to 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan," I pulled out a ruler. I had zero confidence then. This bread gave me confidence. I made this bread over and over and over. It never disappoints.

I came home from work tonight and decided I needed to bake some bread. I needed some bread making therapy. Fast.

Besides, after having this Whole Wheat Bread, for a few days, I wanted something lighter.

Classic White Sandwich Bread


Do you need a white bread recipe that is full of flavor, has plenty of structure, and is perfect for sandwiches and toast? Try this one. I promise I won't tell anyone.

You can always eat it with a kale salad.

Classic White Sandwich Bread Recipe

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

1 1/4 C to 1 1/2 C water at 95 to 100 degrees F
1 T honey
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 T melted butter
17 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 C nonfat dry milk I used this from King Arthur Flour

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Mix on the second lowest speed for ten minutes.
  3. Place the dough into an oiled dough rising bucket or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled, about and hour or an hour and a half.
  4. Place the dough onto a lightly floured counter and gently deflate. Flatten it and roll it into a 9 inch log. Place the log into an oiled 9" by 5"bread pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 40 to 90 minutes, until the dough is crowned 1" to 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  6. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes and then tent it with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more. The internal temperature of the bread should be 195 to 200 degrees F. 
  7. Cool the loaf on a rack and then place in a plastic bag to keep fresh.
Enjoy. So good. Don't be ashamed. Be proud.

Sharing with Yeastspotting 

Jul 10, 2013

Macanese Stir-Fried Chicken | Wok Wednesdays

Macanese Stir-Fried Chicken | Wok Wednesdays

According to Grace Young, the author of Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge, Macanese food is a fusion of southern Chinese, Portuguese, and Southeast Asian styles, as well as other European and Indian cultures.

This dish is super easy to prepare, even though it calls for 17 (se-ven-teen) ingredients. Not including the rice.

Macanese Stir-Fried Chicken | Wok Wednesdays

Amazingly, I had most of the ingredients on hand. The only two ingredients that gave me a challenge were Spanish Chorizo and canned coconut milk. Spanish chorizo, which is a cooked and cured meat, is not the same as Mexican chorizo (found everywhere here), which is uncooked. It's sort of less spicy and more smokey than pepperoni, and more spicy than smoked kielbasa. It's the sausage that is usually used in paella.

Seventeen ingredients you say? Try chicken, garlic, cornstarch, two kinds of soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, coconut milk, chicken broth, vinegar, oil, shallots, the chorizo, turmeric, sweet paprika, tomatoes, and salt.

The orange "look" of this dish comes from the turmeric. My only hiccup on pulling this recipe together? The instructions say "sprinkle on the turmeric..." and I took that to mean that I should use my fingers to really "sprinkle" it. Turmeric is also used as a dye, a factoid I did not know. I now have orange fingernails. Oops.

The orange manicure not withstanding, we loved this dish. I texted my son that I was doing a stir fry and "feel free to stop by" and he did. He loved it too and took home all of the leftovers. (He also cracked up watching me take pictures of my bowl prior to dinner. My secret life exposed.)

I am participating in Wok Wednesdays, a group of individuals cooking their way through Grace Young's Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge. We've all agreed not to publish the recipe in order to support book publishing. I encourage you to get the book and try this amazing, amazing dish. I've not been disappointed with any stir fry I have tried from the book. Join the group and wok along!

Jul 8, 2013

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

This Milk Chocolate Ice Cream is dense and has a super chocolate flavor that is both intense but still captures the essence of milk chocolate. I think that the intenseness comes from the texture.. in that the ice cream texture is like a cold creamy candy bar. It's so good.

The base is a combination of whole milk, heavy cream, and evaporated milk. The evaporated milk increases the protein... which brings me to a confession.

I usually have about 5 to 10 minutes to take photos for these posts, typically in the morning before running to work, or in the early evening, before the sun goes down. Summers are easier than winters, because the light lasts longer. However, summer evenings are warmer. This gives me about 5 minutes to snap a few photos of ice cream before it melts. So what do you do with a melting bowl of creamy ice cream right before dinner? Have dessert first of course. It does have extra protein, right?

The last time I posted about ice cream I may have encouraged having it for breakfast.  I'm pretty sure I could justify having ice cream for lunch too.

With sprinkles.

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream


Jul 7, 2013

French 75 Cocktail

French 75

This cocktail is rumored to have gotten its name from a 75 mm artillery piece that Allied soldiers used during World War I. It definitely depends upon both the French (Champagne) and British (gin), and packs a decent kick (like the field gun).

French 75

According to Wikipedia, the holder of all earthly knowledge (a title I used to own prior to Wikipedia stealing my thunder), this cocktail was invented in 1915 at Harry's New York Bar in Paris.

There are several versions of this cocktail out there. This is my favorite. If you'd like a sweeter version, just drop a sugar cube in the bottom of the glass after assembling the ingredients.

French 75

French 75 Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce orange liqueur
Lemon twist
1 1/ 2ounces Champagne or Cava 
Sugar cube (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the gin and orange liqueur into an ice filled shaker and shake for 20 to 30 seconds.
  2. Strain the ingredients into a chilled coupe. 
  3. Drop a lemon twist into the coupe and top with Champagne or Cava.
  4. Drop the sugar cube into the bottom of the coupe. 
Boom.

Thank you to my friend Nancy for introducing me to the French 75. 

Jul 5, 2013

75% Whole Wheat Bread | Another Saturday Bread

75% Whole Wheat Bread | Another Saturday Bread

This 75% Whole Wheat Bread is the third loaf I have tried from Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza.

With the large percentage of whole wheat, this bread has a little more compact interior than the White Saturday Bread or the Overnight Levain. I also think that I might have over proofed just a little on the second rise, even though I did the first finger dent test at one hour (proofing time in the book is 60 to 75 minutes). I got some oven spring and "ears," but not quite the airy interior. Next time I will experiment with using a little more water.

75% Whole Wheat Bread | Another Saturday Bread

There is no mistaking that this bread is whole wheat, both in the handling and the shaping. The dough did not stretch very far for the "stretch and fold," and the dough was fairly easy to shape and not very sticky. It also clearly has a whole wheat taste. In the book, the author says that the French might refer to this bread as Pain de Regime... meaning "diet" bread.

A cool thing about these breads (other than how good they are) is that you create very little mess. Everything is done by hand and all ingredients are scaled into a bucket. For the other two loaves I tried from this book, I used an 8 quart Cambro bucket that I already had. The base of it is much narrower than the 12 quart bucket that Ken Forkish recommends, so I, of course, "needed" the 12 quart bucket. If you are going to cut the recipe in half and make only one loaf, don't bother with the larger bucket. You'll never know when the dough has tripled because the floor of the bucket is so wide. You probably don't need the 12 quart bucket in any case, so don't worry about it. (But I love my bucket and it is a great place to store my bannetons!)

75% Whole Wheat Bread | Another Saturday Bread
So what is all this bread geek talk about hydration, ears, finger dent tests, stretch and fold, etc.? Guess what? It's not just me! Ken Forkish has a series of bread geek videos on his website that are really useful in explaining all of the techniques... and it's demonstrated in a home kitchen.

One thing I do differently is move the dough to the pan in a parchment sling. I am pretty sure I would burn myself otherwise. Here is a link to the videos (where I learned that I have been mispronouncing levain ..... I hang my head in shame). I also highly recommend the book. It's worth it to read his story and learn all of the timelines. Who doesn't love a "I left a highly paid high tech job I hated in the corporate world to start my own bakery" story?

In the end, if you let this book teach you about bread and his techniques, you will be able to create your own bread that is unique to you. And that is my goal for you.. and me.

75% Whole Wheat Bread | Another Saturday Bread


Jul 3, 2013

Blueberry Hand Pies

Blueberry Hand Pies

The dough for these blueberry hand pies is sort of a cross between puff pastry and pie crust. It involves using a dough with pea sized chunks of butter along with the folding technique to create layers. The dough is very dry and requires some patience to bring together, but the result is a flaky pastry that is still sturdy enough to support a handheld pie. The pastry crust is sugarless, and could easily be used for savory treats. I'm thinking cheeses, meats, tapenades, tomatoes....
Blueberry Hand Pies


My sister and I used to sometimes describe certain foods as "poppable," or if it is really good, "soooo poppable." What does that mean? I guess the best way to capture it is to say that it is portable and slips into your mouth without any hassle. Oh, and delicious. It has to fit all of the categories to be poppable.

A slice a pie that you have to eat with a fork? It may be delicious, but it is not poppable.

A little mini hand held pie? Poppable. So neat and tasty.

For another great hand held poppable pie, check out these summer berry turnovers.

Blueberry Hand Pies

Blueberry Hand Pie Recipe

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

For the Pastry:

8 1/2 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 ounces of cold unsalted butter, very coarsely grated into pea sized pieces and placed in the freezer for about 30 minutes
4 ounces sour cream
A few sprinkles of water if necessary

For the filling:

8 ounces of blueberries
1 3/4 ounces sugar
1 T Instant Clear Jel, flour, or cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice

To finish:

One egg, beaten
Sparkling sugar

Directions

  1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add in the butter pieces and lightly toss with your hands to coat the butter.
  2. Add the sour cream and stir until you have a dry dough. 
  3. Place the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead lightly to bring it together. If it does not come together at all, add a couple of sprinkles of water. The dough should be dry.
  4. Roll the dough into a 8 by 10 inch rectangle. Fold it like an envelope, in threes. Repeat once. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to one day.
  5. While the dough is resting, make the filling by placing all of the filling ingredients into a saucepan and cooking over low heat for about five minutes. Cool.
  6. Roll the dough out into a 14 inch by 14 inch square. Cut into 16 pieces with a pizza cutter or a 3 1/2 inch square cookie/biscuit cutter. 
  7. Place 8 of the pieces onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Brush the edges with the beaten egg.
  9. Spoon the fruit evenly onto each of the eight pieces.
  10. Using a small cookie cutter, cut a piece out of each of the remaining dough pieces. If you don't have a tiny cookie cutter, just slit the top crust with a sharp knife. 
  11. Place the pieces on top of the filled pastry pieces, and seal with a fork or a pie crust crimper.
  12. Place the cutout onto the top (where it used to be before you cut it out) and brush the pies with the rest of the egg wash. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. 
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden, and cool for at least 20 minutes. 
  14. Enjoy!
I am participating in the Avid Baker's Challenge. We are baking goodies from King Arthur Flour all year. To join or see others' results with this recipe, head on over to the Avid Baker's Challenge webpage.