Jun 30, 2014

Leaf-Shaped Fougasse | Tuesdays with Dorie

Leaf-Shaped Fougasse from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This fougasse is made from a pretty amazing focaccia dough from the book Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. The book was written in 1996, and is a chronicle of the recipes from guests of Julia Child's PBS series, Baking with Julia. It's an inspiration.

This fougasse is best eaten right away, but can be revived in the oven or toaster oven. It's great dipped, like breadsticks, in flavored olive oil and balsamic, or, as we had it, dipped in hot pizza sauce. Seriously delicious. We were very happy.

(Don't tell anyone that I had leftover bread and pizza sauce for breakfast.)

Trust me, this stuff is good. It's also really easy. Don't be intimidated by baking bread!

This week, the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers are baking leaf-shaped fougasse. To see how other bakers fared with this recipe, check out the Tuesdays with Dorie page.

Leaf-Shaped Fougasse

Ingredients


2 1/2 C 90 degree water
2 T active dry yeast
1/4 C olive oil
27.6 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
4 t salt
Olive oil, coarse sea salt (ideally fleur de sel de Camargue), and herbes de Provence for topping (I also added some crushed red pepper to the topping of one of my loaves).
Spray bottle filled with water

  1. Mix 1/2 C of the water with the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside to let the yeast disolve. Pour the rest of the water and the olive oil into the bowl and mix. Add the salt and half the flour and stir. Add the rest of the flour and mix with the dough hook on low speed for three minutes. Next, mix on medium high for 10 minutes. They dough should be very elastic. This is a very wet dough.
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a ball, and place it into a oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled, 60 to 90 minutes.
  3. Fold the dough over itself to deflate it and recover it and let it double again, about 45 minutes.
  4. Cut the dough into three equal pieces, shape the pieces into balls, and place them into one gallon zip lock bags that have been sprayed with spray oil. Refrigerate the dough for 24 to 36 hours.
  5. Remove the dough pieces from the refrigerator about 1 1/2 hour before you plan on shaping it. Remove them from the bags and place them on a floured surface and cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rest for about an hour.
  6. With a rack on the lower third of the oven, and preheat it to 450 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle the paper with cornmeal or semolina flour. 
  7. Gently shape the dough into a teardrop shape and place it on the baking sheet. You don't have to be too exacting. 
  8. With a sharp knife, cut a leaf pattern into the dough, all of the way through. Using your hands, gently open up the cuts so that they don't close while baking. 
  9. Brush the loaf with olive oil and sprinkle it with sea salt and the herbs. 
  10. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. 
  11. Bake the fougasse, one sheet at a time, for 15 to 18 minutes, spraying the oven with water (don't spray the lights or the oven window) three times during the first 8 minutes. 
  12. Remove the fougasse from the oven, brush with a bit more oil if you like (I skipped this step), and cool on a rack.
Sharing with Yeastspotting 

Jun 25, 2014

Stir-Fried Hoisin Pork with Peppers | Wok Wednesdays

Stir-Fried Hoisin Pork with Peppers

This Stir-Fried Hoisin Pork with Peppers is amazingly easy to prepare even though it calls for 14 ingredients.

You know I have this wok thing bad when the only thing I had to go out and buy was the pork!

The pork is cut into bite sized pieces and then marinaded in scallions, hoisin sauce, minced garlic, rice wine, ginger, soy sauce, salt, white pepper, and sesame oil. Unlike most of the stir-fries in the book, the ginger and garlic are in the marinade rather than seared separately. This cut down on the number of final steps and made this dish pretty easy to execute.

Stir-Fried Hoisin Pork with Peppers

Once you've prepped the red bell pepper and carrot slices, along with some shredded scallions, The whole process takes about 4 to 5 minutes, if that.

I loved this stir-fry, and will definitely be making it again. It's easy, delicious, and has a great balance of protein to veggies. We served it with steamed rice. We also got to use our delicious but somewhat twisted looking home grown red bell peppers.

I am participating in Wok Wednesdays. Check out the site as well as the Facebook page for more information. Those of us who are participating have agreed not to provide the specific recipe. Instead, we'd love it if you'd get the book, Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge by Grace Young (who also helps us by discussing techniques, finding ingredients, and maintaining our woks), and join us in this adventure.

Jun 23, 2014

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

This White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Bread just begins to push my patience on the amount of rye flour I can manage before getting frustrated. Rye flour can get really sticky and doesn't behave like wheat flour. If you over work it, you end up with a gummy mess. It's also difficult to create the desired surface tension on a loaf to promote a vertical rise.

Is this too much bread geek talk?

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Mr. Kitchen actually said, and I quote, "this bread has a stronger flavor, which is really good. I never would have liked this until you started to make bread."

Well, thank you very much!

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

This bread begins with a fed levain (sourdough) and requires a couple of days to complete. The interior is super soft and the crust is very chewy. It makes great deli-style sandwiches. It tastes nothing like supermarket rye bread. It tastes more like a light wheat bread with a slight earthiness.

White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Ingredients

Levain

100 g active starter
400 g all purpose unbleached white flour
100 g whole wheat flour
400 g lukewarm water

Final Dough

540 g all purpose unbleached white flour
85 g whole wheat flour
175 g whole rye flour
620 g lukewarm water
21 g salt
2 g instant yeast
360 g levain

Instructions

  1. Feed your active starter with the flour and water, stir it to combine the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 6 to 8 hours. 
  2. Mix the flour, wheat flour, rye flour, and water in a large bowl or bucket by hand until just incorporated. 
  3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  4. Add the salt, yeast, and levain and mix by hand by folding and pinching the dough. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Cover the dough bucket with plastic wrap.
  5. Do four "stretch-and-folds," once every 30 minutes. After that, let the dough continue to rise until the dough is 2 1/2 times its original size, about 3 hours more. 
  6. When the dough is ready, gently scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into two and pre-shape it into two preliminary boules. Let them rest for about 15 minutes.
  7. Again, shape the loaves into boules and place them into proofing baskets that have been dusted with flour. Spray the bread with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight. 
  8. The next day, preheat the oven with two cast iron Dutch ovens at 475 degrees F.
  9. Remove the loaves from the refrigerator and carefully transfer them to the hot Dutch ovens by turning them out onto parchment slings and lifting them into the pots. 
  10. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaves reach an internal temperature of 205 degrees F.
  11. Cool on a wire rack. 
For more details on the steps for this bread, check out this post.

This White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is adapted from the Field Blend #2 recipe in Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza.

I've now baked 13 of the breads in the book, and have 6 to go. It's an official obsession.

Sharing with Yeastspotting

Jun 22, 2014

Fork Cookies (or Fork Biscuits)


Fork Cookies (or Fork Biscuits) from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Fork biscuits are, according to the interwebs, a traditional English tea time treat. They are a butter cookie made with just three ingredients: butter, sugar, and self rising flour. They are crumbly and "sandy" in all of the right ways. They are also incredibly easy to make.

Fork Cookies (or Fork Biscuits) from Karen's Kitchen Stories

The dough is rolled into balls and then pressed down with a fork, the same way we make peanut butter cookies.

"Where is the salt?" you ask. So did I. You see, I do not live in one of the lands of self rising flour. Evidently self rising flour contains pastry flour, baking powder, and salt. Fortunately, you can make your own!

I also added the zest of a tangelo to give these cookies/biscuits a faint citrusy flavor. You can also make a chocolate version.

Fork Cookies (or Fork Biscuits) from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I found these cookies on Ros's blog, The More Than Occasional Baker. It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day, and I was assigned her blog, a chronicle of her passion for baking. It is filled with an amazing number of baked treats. If you love baking, you definitely need to spend some time on her site exploring all of the goodies.

Self Rising Flour

This makes enough for this recipe, plus a little left over. 

1 1/2 C (6 ounces) pastry flour (you can mix cake flour and all purpose flour if you can't find pastry flour)
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp salt

Fork Biscuits

Makes 16 cookies. Ros adapted this recipe from Mary Berry.

Ingredients

4 ounces (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
50 grams sugar
The zest of one orange, tangelo, lemon, or tangerine
150 g self rising flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F and line one cookie/baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Beat the butter until creamy and light. 
  3. Slowly beat in the sugar and zest. 
  4. Mix in the flour on low until just incorporated. Stir with a rubber spatula to finish blending. 
  5. Scrape the dough onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap and form it into a rectangle or log. Cut into 16 equal pieces and roll them into balls. 
  6. Press each ball down with a floured fork to flatten.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  8. Cool on a wire rack. 

Jun 21, 2014

No Knead Light Wheat Sandwich Bread

No Knead Light Wheat Sandwich Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This No Knead Light Wheat Sandwich Bread is so easy to make. The crumb is super soft, perfect for sandwiches and toast.

My loaf rose faster than expected, so keep an eye on it. It rose quite a bit more while baking.

No Knead Light Wheat Sandwich Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I baked this loaf in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, but a 10 x 5 inch pan might be better because these slices were huge.

No Knead Light Wheat Sandwich Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories

The dough is fairly gelatinous once it has risen, so it is difficult to shape into a loaf in the traditional way. You kind of have to fold it over itself in the bowl and then flip it over into the bread pan.

I found the original recipe in the book Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett (who also wrote two of the best cookie books out there, by the way). In the book, the author calls for adding more flour to make sure you have a very stiff dough. I skipped that step and stuck with the original quantities in the recipe, and ended up with a light, soft, and airy crumb. However, if your environment is super humid, you might need to add a bit more flour.

No Knead Light Wheat Sandwich Bread

Ingredients

15 ounces (3 C) unbleached all purpose flour
5 ounces (1 C) whole wheat flour, plus a tablespoon to sprinkle on top of the loaf
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp instant yeast
2 C plus 1 T ice water
3 T vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. The night before baking day, in a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients with a whisk.
  2. Measure the water, stir in the oil, and pour the mixture over the dry ingredients.
  3. Stir the ingredients together with a large spoon or dough whisk until it is thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spray the top of the dough with spray oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 
  5. Let rise for 12 to 18 hours. 
  6. Spray a 9 x 5 inch or 10 x 5 inch bread pan with spray oil. 
  7. Stir the risen dough vigorously. 
  8. With an oiled scraper or spatula, with the dough still in the bowl, fold the dough over itself for form a loaf. I did a couple of folds on each side to develop tension. 
  9. Invert the dough, seam side down, into the loaf pan. If it's uneven, use an oiled spatula to distribute the dough. Spray the top with spray oil and sprinkle it with the extra tablespoon of whole wheat flour. Slash the dough on the diagonal about 3 times. 
  10. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until it crests over the top of the pan by 1/4 inch and doubles in size, about 1 to 2 1/2 hours depending on the temperature of the room. 
  11. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  12. Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for 60 or 70 minutes, until the interior reaches 208 to 210 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Tent loosely with foil if the top is getting too brown. 
  13. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack. 
Sharing with Yeastspotting

Jun 19, 2014

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones from Karen's Kitchen Stories

These cherry scones began with a basic scone recipe from King Arthur Flour. I added dried cherries, but you could add raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, or any combination of "add-ins."

If you place the shaped scones in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to baking them, you will get a higher rise. I'm not sure why, but it definitely worked. I guess it has something to do with relaxing gluten. Regardless, these scones rose beautifully.

These are easy to make. They are best served warm fresh out of the oven, but are also good re-warmed in a microwave for 10 seconds. They are wonderful with butter and jam. Keep any leftover scones in a sealed container.


I baked these in a Mini-Scone Pan so I shortened the baking time to about 17 minutes.

Cherry Scones

Ingredients

325 g unbleached all purpose flour
67 g sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 T baking powder
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and placed back into the refrigerator
1 C dried cherries
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
113g to 152g milk or cream (113 g was plenty)

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. 
  2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or granny fork until the mixture is crumbly. 
  3. Add the cherries and stir.
  4. In a different bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla, and milk.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just mixed.
  6. Divide the dough in two and form it into two 6 inch circles on a parchment lined baking sheet. The thickness should be about 3/4 inches. 
  7. Cut the circles into 8 wedges and pull the wedges slightly apart. Alternatively, you can use a 
  8. Place the baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  10. Bake the scones for 17 to 25 minutes, depending on their size. They are done when they golden brown. 
  11. Cool for about 5 minutes on the pan, and then serve. 
  12. Store leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature. 

The Avid Bakers of the Avid Bakers Challenge are continuing to bake recipes from the King Arthur Flour website. Check out how other bakers fared with this recipe. 

Jun 18, 2014

Overnight Layered Green Salad with Iceberg and Peas

Overnight Layered Green Salad with Iceberg and Peas

This overnight layered green salad with iceberg and peas is a reminder of those potlucks and recipe books put together by church groups, babysitting co-ops, charity groups, and women's clubs. Not necessarily high brow, but definitely tasty.

This is a comfort food salad. Iceberg lettuce, peas, and Miracle Whip (you can use mayonnaise too).

Sometimes you just need a little throw back salad. It's perfect for a picnic, family reunion.....  or a bunco party!!!

Overnight Layered Green Salad with Iceberg and Peas

Overnight Layered Green Salad with Iceberg and Peas


Ingredients

1/2 medium head lettuce, torn into pieces
1/2 C thinly sliced scallions
1/2 C thinly sliced celery
4 ounces sliced water chestnuts
5 ounces frozen baby peas (keep frozen)
1 C Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp Laury's Seasoned Salt (or any seasoned salt)
1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
1/4 C chopped cooked bacon

Instructions

  1. Wash the lettuce and remove the outer leaves. Tear it into small pieces and dry in a salad spinner or paper towels. Place on the bottom of a shallow bowl.
  2. Layer the scallions on top of the lettuce.
  3. Next, layer the celery, water chestnuts, and frozen peas. 
  4. Spread the dressing evenly on top of the vegetables, sealing the edges. 
  5. Sprinkle the dressing with the sugar, seasoned salt, and Parmesan. 
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 
  7. The next day, sprinkle with the eggs and bacon and serve. 
I'm adding this to the A to Z Roundup from Meal Planning Magic. This month's letters are I and J. 


Jun 17, 2014

Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkle Cookies: Karen's Kitchen Stories

These sprinkle cookies are flavored with vanilla and lemon zest, and they are just small enough that you might talk yourself into having "just one more."

Butter cookies are just so much more fun with sprinkles aren't they? This is the perfect cookie to make with kids. Just make the disks ahead of time, set out some pastry brushes, whipped egg white, and bowls of sprinkles. The kids can paint the chilled dough disks with the egg white and press them into the sprinkles. My youngest grandson and I made this batch together and it was pretty foolproof (and fun).

One of the fun things about having grandkids is that you have the perfect reason (excuse) to collect jars of sprinkles. You never know when you might need them, right? I like to have individual colors and mixed colors. Then there's themed sprinkles, jimmies, nonpareils, and sanding sugar. I've got this really cool restaurant supply place nearby that sells a wonderful array of sprinkles at really great prices. My grandsons know that I will always have the right color for "sprinkle emergencies."

Sprinkle Cookies: Karen's Kitchen Stories

Sprinkle Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies, slightly adapted from Saveur

Ingredients

1 1/2 C (6.75 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
12 T butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
zest of half of a lemon
1/2 C sprinkles
1 egg white, whisked

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes, until fluffy and pale. 
  3. Add the vanilla, egg, and lemon zest and beat until smooth. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium low until just incorporated.
  5. Scoop out 1 inch balls and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press them down with your fingers to create disks. Cover and chill for about an hour. 
  6. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Brush each disk lightly with egg white and then press them into the sprinkles to fully coat them on one side (the cookies will expand in the oven). 
  8. Place them sprinkle side up about one inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets. 
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes. 
  10. Cool on the pan for a few minutes, and then cool on a wire rack. 


The Creative Cookie Exchange theme this month is Red, White, and Blue. Independence Day is coming soon and we have to celebrate! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura via email (thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com) and she will get you added to our Facebook group where we coordinate events. You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Jun 13, 2014

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

This White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is called Field Blend #1 in Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza.

He says he is using a term from wine making, meaning, he is using multiple varieties of grains (e.g. grapes for wine) to produce a loaf of bread.

This is a mixed method bread, in that it combines the use of levain (sourdough) and a bit of yeast, along with a long cold ferment.

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread


While rye has been my nemesis forever, this loaf had the ideal ratio of wheat and rye to create an amazingly soft, fluffy, and delicious bread.
White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread


While I've loved every bread I've baked from the book, I'm pretty sure that this one was one of our favorites. I can attest to the fact that we all kept asking, "who ate the bread?" It disappeared so fast!

You will need two days to make this bread as long as you have a freshly fed 80% levain. I usually feed my sleepy levain to get it going on a Friday morning. Then feed the levain again on a Saturday morning.
White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread


In the afternoon, I mixed the final dough, let it rise, and then shaped the loaves. The loaves rested overnight to be baked on Sunday morning.

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Recently we visited Portland, one of my favorite cities. My mission this time was to visit Ken Forkish's Ken's Artisan as well as his restaurant Trifecta. I tried not to seem like a stalker.

We had lunch at Ken's Artisan. Mr. Kitchen had a panini, and I had the pork Banh Mi. It was amazing.


I'm pretty excited about having visited the mothership.

Even though I am NOT a stalker, we then had dinner at Ken Forkish's restaurant Trifecta.


The place was amazing. Bread was free but you had to pay for the hand churned butter. The booths were red "leatherette" and the staff was totally hipster, with beards down to there.

Of course I had to try their charred maple Negroni!


As we were leaving, I mentioned to our server that I was a giant fan of Ken Forkish (still NOT stalking, right?). She told me that he loves his fans, and gave me a "to go" care package of two small baguettes and some of that amazing butter.... xoxo


White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Adapted from Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza. Get the book. You will produce breads you never thought you could master. 

Ingredients

Levain

100 g active starter
400 g all purpose unbleached white flour
100 g whole wheat flour
400 g lukewarm water

Final Dough

590 g all purpose unbleached white flour
60 g whole wheat flour
150 g white rye flour
590 g lukewarm water
21 g salt
2 g instant yeast
360 g levain

Instructions

  1. Feed your active starter with the flour and water, stir it to combine the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 6 to 8 hours. 
  2. Mix the flour, wheat flour, rye flour, and water in a large bowl or bucket by hand until just incorporated. 
  3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  4. Add the salt, yeast, and levain and mix by hand by folding and pinching the dough. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Cover the dough bucket with plastic wrap.
  5. Do four "stretch-and-folds," once every 30 minutes. After that, let the dough continue to rise until the dough is 2 1/2 times its original size, about 3 hours more. 
  6. When the dough is ready, gently scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into two and pre-shape it into two preliminary boules. Let them rest for about 15 minutes.
  7. Again, shape the loaves into boules and place them into proofing baskets that have been dusted with flour. Spray the bread with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight. 
  8. The next day, preheat the oven with two cast iron Dutch ovens at 475 degrees F.
  9. Remove the loaves from the refrigerator and carefully transfer them to the hot Dutch ovens. 
  10. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaves reach an internal temperature of 205 degrees F.
  11. Cool on a wire rack. 
For more details on the steps for this bread, check out this post.

Sharing with Yeastspotting

Jun 11, 2014

Singapore Noodles | Wok Wednesdays


The recipe for these Singapore Noodles is from Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge for Wok Wednesdays, and it was amazingly tasty. Even Mr. Kitchen, who tends to be annoyed with my wok adventures loved it.



Even so, the dish was difficult to photograph because:
  1. It's full of curry, which makes everything look yellow. 
  2. I still need to learn Lightroom and Photoshop. Someone, please kick me in the butt and make me do it. 
Regardless, this dish was amazing. You are going to have to trust me on this. 

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the Chinese barbecued pork. It is simply one of the most amazing and delicious meats ever. Check out this post for photos of the pork, post broiling. 

This recipe called for just 4 ounces of the pork, but I made 2 pounds of it and it did not last very long in this house. Getting the book for just this recipe is well worth the price. 

This recipe calls for thin rice stick noodles. The hardest part in working with them is they tend to clump up while you are stir frying and all of the extra ingredients hang around the sides of the wok. While long noodles signify long life in Chinese culture, cutting the noodles into 6 inch strands after soaking them is really helpful in preparing this dish. 

As a member of Wok Wednesdays, I can't publish the specifics of the recipe for this dish (get the book, you won't regret it), here's what I did differently:
  1. The recipe calls for 4 ounces of small shrimp. I used 16 ounces of large shrimp. 
  2. Instead of using Madras curry, I used regular curry and added 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper. 
  3. I also substituted some red bell pepper for some of the green bell pepper, mostly because I had it on hand. 
The key ingredients are rice noodles, chicken broth, soy, rice wine, garlic, ginger, shrimp, bell peppers, curry, Chinese barbecued pork, and scallions. The key takeaway? Amazing. 

Once you've softened the noodles in water, you cut them into 6 to 8 inch strands. You cook the shrimp with the garlic and ginger, then cook the noodles in the curry along with the vegetables. Then you combine everything together (and add the amazing pork). Crazy good. 

We served this alongside the leftover barbecued pork and some steamed sugar snaps. We had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Jun 7, 2014

Jalapeño Cheddar Coins

Jalapeño Cheddar Crackers

The dough for these Jalapeño Cheddar Coins is so easy to make ahead and freeze. When you are ready to serve them, just slice and bake! Super easy. Super delicious.

Jalapeño Cheddar Crackers

These are really tasty and are perfect with cocktails or wine.

Jalapeño Cheddar Crackers

Jalapeño Cheddar Crackers

Ingredients

2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
14 T cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
5 oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 T minced jalapeño
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
3 T ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 T milk for egg wash
Sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Pulse the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. 
  2. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture is a coarse meal. 
  3. Add the cheese, jalapeño, and chili powder and pulse. 
  4. Add the ice water and pulse until the dough starts to form a ball. 
  5. Pour the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form it into a 14 inch log. Wrap with the plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least an hour. 
  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  8. Cut the dough into 3/8 inch slices and place them on the parchment. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 12 to 15 minutes. 
Makes about 32 cookies. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

Jun 3, 2014

Cherry English Muffins

Cherry English Muffins

These cherry English muffins are probably the closest I've gotten to creating the "nook and cranny" English muffins for which we bakers strive. Plus they have cherries!!!

I've made English muffins before. The first ones I tried called for a really stiff dough, and the texture wasn't very airy at all. The second time I baked them, I used a much wetter dough, and was much happier with the results.

Cherry English Muffins

Both of the English muffin recipes call for browning them on a griddle, and then finishing them in the oven. This recipe uses an even wetter dough, and the dough is almost batter-like, kind of like crumpet batter. It is poured into English Muffin Rings on top of a griddle and never put into an oven.

These rings aren't very expensive, but they certainly are a specialty item. However, you could use them to contain fried or scrambled eggs for a breakfast sandwich, right? How about for shaping crab cakes? You could also use them on a griddle to make perfectly matched pancakes.

Cherry English Muffins


Now that we've justified the purchase of another kitchen gadget set, let's make some airy English muffins with cherries!

The dough for these muffins is mixed in advance and then immediately chilled. You leave it in the refrigerator for one to four days. On baking day, you fold baking soda and more water into the dough. I also added cherries, to go with our #TwelveLoaves theme.

Bottom line? These were really good, and excellent split with a fork, toasted, buttered, and spread with peach preserves. The combination of the cherries and the jam was pretty fabulous. Not your typical raisin English muffins.

Cherry English Muffins


Cherry English Muffins

Ingredients

2 tsp honey
1 T vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 C lukewarm milk
12 ounces (340 g) unbleached bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 C dried cherries
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 T warm water
Corn meal or semolina flour for dusting

Instructions

  1. Mix the honey, oil, milk, flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl with a dough whisk or large spoon. Mix for a few minutes, and then scrape down the bowl. Mix again for about 30 seconds, and then cover with plastic and refrigerate immediately.
  2. About 2 hours before making the muffins, remove the bowl from the refrigerator.
  3. When you are ready to make the muffins, mix the baking soda with the water.
  4. Sprinkle the cherries over the dough.
  5. Gently fold the water and soda into the dough. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. 
  6. Heat a griddle over medium heat. If you are using an electric griddle, heat it to 300 degrees F. 
  7. Spray the griddle and the muffin rings with spray oil.
  8. Dust the inside of the rings with cornmeal or semolina. 
  9. Mist a 1/3 C measuring cup with oil, add the dough, and pour it into a ring, about 2/3 full. 
  10. Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina over each muffin once you've filled all of the rings. 
  11. Cook for at least 12 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown.
  12. Flip the muffins over (including the rings), and cook for another 12 minutes. I cooked mine a bit longer just to make sure they were cooked through. 
  13. The muffins are done when both sides are brown and the muffins are springy to the touch. 
  14. Cool the muffins in their rings for 2 minutes, and then remove the rings. Cool the muffins on their edges to prevent shrinking for at least 30 minutes.
This recipe was adapted from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday

#TwelveLoaves June: Cherries

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this June, 2014, and posted on your blog by June 30, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.

#TwelveLoaves runs smoothly with the help of our friends. Thanks to the wonderful Renee Dobbs and Liz Berg for their help this month!

Here's what the #TwelveLoaves bakers made this month!
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Jun 2, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés

Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés

I'm pretty excited about these Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés.

First, I figured out how to put the accent over the "é."

Second, I was able to peel these hazelnuts so easily this time! I toasted them in a 325 degree F toaster oven for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes (I actually started with frozen hazelnuts). Once I pulled the pan from the oven, I covered the hazelnuts with a paper towel, and started rubbing them together in the pan while they were still warm. In no time at all, the hazelnuts were peeled.**

Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés

These Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés may look like your average chocolate cookie, but the chocolate is very bittersweet, and the taste is quite sophisticated.

Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés

They are perfect with a glass of milk, a cup of coffee, or a glass of cabernet.

Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés

Chocolate Hazelnut Sablés


Makes about 55 cookies.

Ingredients

1 C hazelnuts, roasted and peeled**
1 C granulated sugar
2 tsp espresso powder disolved in 1 1/2 T warm water
5 ounces bittersweet (60 to 70 per cent) chocolate, chopped. 
6 T Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 C all purpose flour
1 C cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade, pulse the hazelnuts until roughly chopped. 
  2. Add the sugar and espresso and pulse a few more times until the hazelnuts are finely chopped. 
  3. Add the chocolate, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and pulse a few more times, until the chocolate is finely chopped. 
  4. Add 1 C of the flour and the butter and pulse until both ingredients are incorporated. This should only be a few pulses, until you cannot see bits of butter. 
  5. Scrape the dough onto a large piece of wax paper and gradually knead in the rest of the flour.
  6. Divide the dough in half and roll into two 11 inch logs. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours. Freeze the dough if you are not planning to use it right away. 
  7. When it's time to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  8. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I alternated two baking sheets and reused the parchment paper).
  9. Cut the logs into 3/8 inch slices and place them about one and 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheet. 
  10. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 9 to 12 minutes. I baked mine for 10 minutes. They will be soft at first, but will firm up as they cool.
  11. Cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, and then cool on a wire rack. 
This recipe has been adapted from Nancy Baggett's Simply Sensational Cookies. It's a pretty amazing book.