Jul 31, 2014

Double-Fed Sweet Levain Bread - An Amazing Sourdough Bread

Double-Fed Sweet Levain Bread - An Amazing Sourdough Bread

This Double-Fed Sweet Levain Bread is, to me, a revelation. I can't stop walking into the kitchen and slicing off a sliver, slathering it with butter, and taking another taste.

My theory is that if you eat it in tiny slices it doesn't count. It's practically zero calories, right?

When it was baking, the aroma was amazing. This is a sourdough that is both traditionally sour, and yet sweet because of the two feedings within a short period of time. The bread is moist and soft, and the crust is chewy and flavorful.

It still amazes me that bread that is unenriched (meaning no fat, no eggs, no sugar) lasts a lot longer than enriched bread. Sourdough bread, in particular, has an amazing way of staying fresh for several days. It's kind of magical.

Double-Fed Sweet Levain Bread - An Amazing Sourdough Bread

I posted the photo above on the Artisan Bread Bakers Facebook page and someone casually commented, "it looks like a Forkish bread."

Um. Yeah!! Which means it looks awesome!

This person obviously does not know about my obsession with Flour, Water, Salt, and Yeast (I am not a stalker. Even though I used valuable vacation time from my job to visit his bakery and restaurant. That's two different days people.)

Sigh....

Double-Fed Sweet Levain Bread - An Amazing Sourdough Bread

Double-Fed Sweet Levain Bread

Adapted from Flour, Water, Salt, and Yeast, by Ken Forkish

Note: This one requires an overnight rise in the refrigerator. Start the morning of the day before you plan to bake the loaves.

Tools I used to make this bread:
  1. 12 quart Cambro bucket (a large bowl would work)
  2. Kitchen scale
  3. Two 9 inch bannetons 
  4. Two Lodge combo cooker Dutch ovens
  5. Plastic dough scraper
  6. Metal bench scraper
  7. Bowl of water
  8. My hands 

Ingredients

First Sourdough Feeding

50 g active sourdough 
200 g unbleached all purpose flour
50 g whole wheat flour
200 g water at 95 degrees F

Second Sourdough Feeding

250 g sourdough from the first feeding
400 g unbleached all purpose flour
100 g whole wheat flour
400 g water, 85 to 90 degrees F

Final Bread Dough

660 g unbleached all purpose flour
40 g whole wheat flour
540 g water, about 95 degrees F
20 g salt
2 g instant yeast
540 g of the second sourdough 

Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients for the first sourdough feeding in a bowl large enough for the ingredients to double, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 3 hours.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients for the second sourdough until just incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for for 4 or 5 hours. 
  3. From the Final Bread Dough ingredients list, mix the flours and water until just incorporated. I use a 12 quart round Cambro tub. Cover and let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes. 
  4. Add the salt and yeast over the top of the dough, and then add 540 grams of the second sourdough. I place my tub on a scale and then add the sourdough until I have the correct amount. 
  5. With a wet hand (I keep a bowl of water nearby), mix the dough by pinching it and folding it alternately to mix in the salt and yeast and integrate the sourdough. 
  6. Let rise for five hours, with 4 stretch and folds every 30 minutes the first two hours. (Take the dough, stretch it, and fold it over itself, from all four "sides.") The dough should be about 2 1/2 times its original size. 
  7. Gently remove the dough onto you work surface, and divide it in half with a bench knife. 
  8. Form the dough into two medium tight balls and place them, seam side down, into two floured proofing baskets. Cover with plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag, and refrigerate overnight, 12 to 14 hours. 
  9. About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F with two empty covered Dutch ovens placed on the middle rack. 
  10. When you are ready to bake, cut parchment into two 9 inch by 15+ inch pieces. 
  11. Remove the Dutch ovens from the oven and remove the tops. One loaf at a time, place the parchment over the dough and place a plate over it. Flip the dough over, remove the basket, and lift and place the loaf in the Dutch oven by using the parchment as a sling (leave the paper under the dough). Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the hot oven. Repeat with the second loaf. 
  12. Bake covered for 30 minutes, and then remove the Dutch ovens from the hot oven, uncover, and place the loaves on a baking sheet. Be careful not to burn yourself! Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, until the interior of the bread reaches 205 to 210 degrees F and the bread is a deep brown. My loaves were ready sooner, so check early. 
  13. Cool completely on a wire rack. 
This bread has been Yeastspotted

Jul 27, 2014

Tomato and Corn Chipotle Salsa with a Meyer Lemon Tom Collins

Tomato and Corn Chipotle Salsa with a Meyer Lemon Tom Collins from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This Tomato and Corn Chipotle Salsa is so easy to make and is perfect as a cocktail hour appetizer at the end of a hot summer day. The salsa is both smoky and spicy, and is wonderful with barbecue or carne asada.

Tomato and Corn Chipotle Salsa with a Meyer Lemon Tom Collins from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I usually keep a can or two of chipotles in adobo sauce on hand because it is so tasty. I dump the entire can (it's a small can) into a mini food processor and keep the stuff in the fridge to add to quesadillas, beans, tacos, burritos, and scrambled eggs. The mixture also adds a wonderful smokiness to guacamole.

Meyer Lemon Tom Collins from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Since it's cocktail hour on a hot summer day, I chose this refreshing Meyer Lemon Tom Collins to go with the salsa. It helps that we have a raggedy Meyer lemon tree that is always (as in year round) loaded (to the point that I could sell them at a farmers market) with a super sized version of the fruit.

Tomato and Corn Chipotle Salsa with a Meyer Lemon Tom Collins from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This cocktail is refreshing and thirst quenching, and not at all like the sticky sweet concoction made with Collins mixer. It's typically served in a highball glass, which I do not have (oooh, time to go shopping!), so I served these in water goblets.

Tomato and Corn Chipotle Salsa with a Meyer Lemon Tom Collins from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I found both of these recipes on the wonderful blog, K & K Test Kitchen, my assigned blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club. The blog is a collaboration by Kim and Kelsey, a mom and daughter team. How cool is that? I decided to make two of their recipes because there are two of them!

I have bookmarked their Tortilla soup, Corn Fritters and BLT Salad, and their French Dip, among many of their amazing recipes. I finally settled on this cocktail and appetizer to go with our warm summer evenings. Check out their blog for some amazing recipes and fun narrative.

Tomato and Corn Chipotle Salsa

Adapted from K&K Test Kitchen

Ingredients

1 C diced Roma tomatoes
3/4 C whole corn kernels (original recipe calls for 1/2 C)
2 chipotles in adobo, minced
1 T adobo sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lime
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Meyer Lemon Tom Collins

Adapted from K&K Test Kitchen

Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients

3 ounces gin
3 ounces juice from Meyer lemons
2 tsp sugar
ice 
Chilled club soda
Two Meyer lemon slices

Instructions

  1. Combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar in a small measuring cup and stir until the sugar has dissolved. 
  2. Fill two highball glasses with ice. 
  3. Divide the gin/lemon/sugar mixture between the two glasses and fill each glass with the club soda. 
  4. Garnish with lemon slices. 
Cheers to summer!


Jul 26, 2014

Panmarino - Italian Rosemary Bread


Panmarino. Italian rosemary bread. Rosemary and olive oil and a biga to develop flavor make some pretty awesome loaves.


I've got this giant rosemary plant in my tiny garden that will put up with whatever neglect I give it.

The recipe for this bread, as described by Cathy from The Bread Experience, is pretty specific about the rising times. It also calls for a very small amount of yeast in the final dough. By following the original recipe instructions, I ended up with a fairly dense yet tasty bread.


Next time I think I might extend the first rise until the dough has doubled and perhaps increase the yeast for the final dough to 1/8 to 1/4 tsp.


The original recipe also calls for incorporating the olive oil after the dough had been fully kneaded. My dough seemed to be sloshing around in a pool of oil in the mixing bowl, so I resorted to a method I learned when making a brioche to incorporate butter.


I pulled the entire dough mass out of the mixer and added it back in pieces, every few seconds.** Bam. Dough.

The dough had great oven spring, and the slashing pattern forced the loaves to rise up, exposing the salt crystals.

This bread was chosen by Cathy of The Bread Experience for the Bread Baking Babes. Check out her post for other Babes' experiences with this bread. I am baking along as a Bread Baking Buddy.

Panmarino - Italian Rosemary Bread

Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking from The French Culinary Institute. Makes 4 one pound loaves. 

Ingredients 

Biga

143 g bread flour
122 g water
Pinch of instant yeast (about 1/16 tsp)

Final Dough

884 g bread flour
477 g water
44 g milk
All of the biga
20 g salt
Pinch of instant yeast (I would increase this to 1/4 tsp)
88 g olive oil
9 g chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions

Prepare the Biga

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until blended. 
  2. Scrape the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Let rest for 14 to 16 hours. 

Prepare the Final Dough:

  1. Combine the flour, water, milk and biga in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the dough hook on low until blended. 
  2. Add the salt and yeast and mix on low for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for another 7 minutes. 
  3. Add the olive oil and rosemary and mix until fully incorporated. (I had to break the dough up into pieces in order to incorporate the oil**).
  4. Scrape the dough into an oiled boil, cover with plastic wrap, and let ferment for 45 minutes (next time I will let it double, no matter how long it takes).
  5. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and form them into tight boules. Place them on a parchment lined peel or the back of a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for one hour. 
  6. Place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven and place a steam pan on a rack below the stone. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, and bring one cup of water to a boil.
  7. Score the top of each boule in an asterisk pattern and sprinkle the crevices with sea salt. 
  8. Drag the parchment paper onto the baking stone, and pour the boiling water into the steam pan. Shut the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. 
  9. Bake the loaves for 40 minutes, until golden brown and the bottom of the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. 
  10. Cool on a wire rack. 
These loaves are great thinly sliced, toasted, and buttered. 

This bread has been yeastspotted

Jul 23, 2014

Stir-Fried Fuzzy Melon and Ginger Pork | Wok Wednesdays

Stir-Fried Fuzzy Melon

Stir-Fried Fuzzy Melon and Ginger Pork

Fuzzy melon you ask? 

It's sort of like a big cucumber with a fine bit of fuzz on the outside. I'm just grateful that Grace Young, the author of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, posted a photo of fuzzy melons on the Wok Wednesday Facebook page, because the sign in the Asian market next to what looked a lot like Grace's photo said Moqua. The skin was fuzzy and it looked like Grace's photo.... 

Later, Grace translated moqua for me. Mo=hair, and qua=melon. Read more about fuzzy melon here


This dish is so easy and the flavor is simply amazing. A small amount of ground pork, soy sauce, chicken broth, some smashed ginger, salt and pepper, and fuzzy melon topped with a bit of sesame oil and fresh scallions. 

This made a great side dish with barbecued flank steak. So good. 

I did make one aesthetic error. I misread the instructions and thought I had to slice the fuzzy melon lengthwise. Check out the links on the Wok Wednesdays page for beautifully sliced fuzzy melon cut the proper way. Next time. Still, very very tasty. 

For the recipe, check out page 232 of the book. You'll discover a whole new world of flavors!

Jul 22, 2014

Indoor S'mores Bars

Indoor S'mores Bars from Karen's Kitchen Stories

These Indoor S'mores Bars are ridiculously decadent. They are also super easy to make. The second best part? They don't require baking.

These bars are comprised of an amazing mixture of chopped graham crackers, marshmallows, milk and bittersweet chocolate, and espresso powder, topped with a chocolate glaze and graham cracker crumbs.

Indoor S'mores Bars from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Melt some chocolate, chop up some graham crackers, throw in some marshmallows and chopped chocolate, glaze the entire concoction with more chocolate and then dust it with some graham cracker crumbs. Heavenly.

Indoor S'mores Bars from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Indoor S'mores Bars

Ingredients

1 1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C milk chocolate chips
1 tsp espresso powder
2/3 C boiling water
1/4 C unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
2 C graham crackers that have been cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch squares (measure after they have been cut into pieces)
2 1/2 C mini marshmallows
Graham cracker crumbs

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 inch square cake pan with foil and spray it with spray oil. 
  2. Mix the chocolate chips and set aside 1/2 C. 
  3. Place the rest of the chocolate chips into a large bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the espresso powder over the chips. 
  5. Pour the boiling water over the chips and let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
  6. Stir until the chocolate has melted, and then add the butter and continue to stir until smooth. 
  7. Set aside 3/4 C of the chocolate mixture for the glaze.
  8. Mix the graham crackers into the remaining chocolate mixture, and then add the marshmallows. 
  9. As the mixture cools, chop the remaining 1/2 C of chocolate chips into 1/4 inch pieces, and fold into the chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow mixture. 
  10. Pour the mixture into the foil lined cake pan and spread evenly. 
  11. Evenly pour the chocolate glaze over the mixture. Let the mixture cool. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. 
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  13. Cut into 16 squares. 
These bars are best kept in the refrigerator until just a few minutes before serving. 
This recipe has been adapted from Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett. The book is pretty sensational. 




The Creative Cookie Exchange theme this month is Beat the Heat with No Bake Cookies. Even if we don’t want to turn on the oven, we still want cookies! 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:


  • Chunky Chocolate Fruit and Nut Cookie Slice from Jill at Made with Love
  • Indoor S’mores Bars from Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
  • Kashata Squares from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
  • Nutella Clusters from Tara at Noshing with the Nolands
  • No Bake Bourbon Pecan Cookies from Renee at Magnolia Days
  • No Bake Coconut Cookies from Kathya at Basic N Delicious
  • No Bake Cookie Butter Cookies from Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
  • No Bake Kit Kat Squares from Holly at A Baker’s House
  • No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Cookies from Becca at It’s Yummi!
  • Strawberry and Cream No Bake Cookies from Miranda at Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt




  • Jul 19, 2014

    Banh Mi Rolls

    Banh Mi Rolls from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    These Banh Mi Rolls are Part One of my quest to create the Viet street food that is a fusion of French baguettes with the amazing sandwich fillings from Vietnam.

    Banh Mi Rolls from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    Banh mi rolls have a crispy crust and a fluffy interior. They are inspired by the French baguette, but the interior is softer.

    Banh Mi Rolls from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    This recipe has been adapted from The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches.

    Andrea Nguyen, the author of this book, was on a quest to recreate the perfect bread for Banh Mi sandwiches. Once she finally deduced some of the secret ingredients and techniques involved in creating the perfect roll, she spent three months, baking every day, to create the perfect roll. She says she's happy with these, "for now."

    The secret ingredients? Ascorbic acid and vital wheat gluten, along with shortening.

    I actually have ascorbic acid on hand (of course I do), but if you don't, you can crush a 500 mg tablet of vitamin C and add it to the dough.

    Vital wheat gluten can usually be found in the Bob's Red Mill display at your grocery store.

    This recipe makes six rolls. The slice I tried was very tasty. The crust was crispy and the interior was fluffy, and the flavor was well developed. They disappeared very quickly from the place where I set the breads I've baked.

    I can't wait to use this bread to make the amazing sandwiches in the book.

    Update: (8/24/14) I made these Maggi Steak Sandwiches with Daikon Pickle. So good.

    Banh Mi Rolls

    Makes 6 sandwich rolls

    Ingredients

    500 mg vitamin C (capsule or crushed tablet) or ascorbic acid
    5 g (1 tsp) fine sea salt
    1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
    7 g (1 envelope) instant dry yeast. I used Red Star Platinum.
    18 g (2 T) vital wheat gluten
    454 g (3 C plus 3 1/2 T) unbleached all purpose flour
    18 g (1 1/2 T) shortening
    284 g (1 1/4 C) warm (110 degrees F) water

    Instructions

    1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
    2. Add the shortening and mix with the paddle attachment on low for about 30 seconds. 
    3. Add the water, and mix on low for one minute. 
    4. Rest the dough in the bowl for five minutes. 
    5. Switch to the dough hook and mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 
    6. Transfer the dough to an unfloured work surface and hand knead into a ball. The dough should be just slightly tacky, but not sticky. 
    7. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled. 
    8. Gently remove the dough and place it on the counter. Cut into six equal pieces, about 4 1/2 ounces each. 
    9. Form each piece into a round ball. Place them seam side down and cover the rounds with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes. 
    10. Turn the rolls over (seam side up), and slightly flatten them. On the side facing you, roll the edge to the middle twice. Repeat on the other side to from a cylinder. Press the seam together, then roll and shape until the roll looks like a torpedo. 
    11. Arrange the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap. 
    12. Let rise for about an hour, until doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven with a baking stone and steam pan to 475 degrees F. 
    13. At 45 minutes, remove the plastic wrap from the rolls and let them sit uncovered for 15 minutes. 
    14. Fill a spray bottle with water and fill a long handled pan with a cup of hot water. 
    15. With the knife at a deep angle, slash each roll lengthwise. 
    16. Spray the rolls with water and place the baking sheet on top of the baking stone. Pour the hot water in the steam pan and close the oven door. Lower the temperature to 425 degrees F.
    17. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through. 
    18. When the rolls are done, turn the oven off and leave the rolls in the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes. 
    This post has been Yeastspotted

    Jul 14, 2014

    Stirato | Italian Baguettes

    Stirato | Italian Baguettes | Karen's Kitchen Stories

    Stirato is a form of ciabatta that is cut into lengths and then stretched just before baking. This is a no knead version, with the first rise lasting up to 18 hours to develop flavor. The flavor definitely lives up to the hype, and the thin crispy crust just sings when you first pull it out of the oven.

    It's incredibly easy to make, and the recipe is pretty foolproof. You can slice it crosswise for bruschetta, lengthwise for sandwiches, or use it for dipping in olive oil and balsamic.... or pizza sauce. It makes great garlic cheese bread too.

    Stirato | Italian Baguettes | Karen's Kitchen Stories

    I baked this bread on a baking stone and covered each loaf with the lid and the inverted bottom of this SuperStone /Covered Baker.If you don't have the baker, I recommend either making sure there is plenty of steam in your oven, or covering the loaves with disposable aluminum pans or the lid of a roaster. The cover just needs to be around the same size as your baking stone.

    Stirato | Italian Baguettes | Karen's Kitchen Stories

    The recipe for this bread has been adapted from My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey.

    I've got a collection of about two dozen books on bread, and I can easily be distracted by new "shiny things" (aka new bread books) on the horizon. Sadly, when I pulled the link for this book from Amazon, I was reminded that I bought this book in 2009.... and had NEVER cracked it open. Oy!!

    Stirato | Italian Baguettes | Karen's Kitchen Stories

    I have made several versions of no knead bread, but this book from Jim Lahey is the book that Mark Bittman cited in the New York Times when he ignited the no knead trend. Best that I pay my long overdue respect.

    Stirato | Italian Baguettes | Karen's Kitchen Stories

    For similar Italian style baguettes using a different method, check out these Pain à l’Ancienne Baguettes


    Stirato Recipe

    Ingredients


    400 grams (3 cups) bread flour
    1 1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp instant yeast
    300 g (1 1/2 C) cool water

    Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients with a dough whisk, a large spoon, or your wet hand, until everything is moistened, about 30 seconds to a minute. 
    2. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 to 18 hours until totally bubbly and doubled in size. 
    3. Dust your counter with flour and scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. 
    4. Gently nudge the dough into the shape of a rectangle and then fold it over itself from each long side as if you were creating an envelope. With your hands, gently roll the dough out into a tube and then cut the dough in half, width-wise. 
    5. Place the dough pieces, seam side down, on a floured sheet pan sized piece of parchment and cover with oiled plastic wrap. 
    6. Place a baking stone on the center rack of your oven and place whatever cover you will be using on top of it (or set up your oven for steam). Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
    7. When the dough has about doubled (30-45 minutes), pick up each piece and stretch it out to the length of your cover, about 11 to 13 inches. 
    8. Remove the hot cover from the stone, and, using a peel or the back of a baking sheet. drag the parchment with the dough onto the stone and place the hot cover/s over the loaves. 
    9. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, until a golden brown. 
    10. Cool on a wire rack. 
    Sharing with Yeastspotting

    Jul 9, 2014

    Section Challah

    Section Challah from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    What is "Section Challah" you ask?

    It's actually just a way of taking a challah recipe and baking it in a loaf pan. I've actually taken challah braids and tucked them into loaf pans, but when I saw this method in Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking, I thought it would be nice to actually give my family a challah disguised as a sandwich loaf.

    Section Challah from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    They've been pretty patient with all of the bread shapes I've made and the precise slicing instructions I've given for boules, baguettes, and batards, so the least I could do was give them something with which they could make a chicken salad sandwich.

    Besides, I've only mastered the three strand braid at this point.

    Here's a shot of the dough prior to baking. It's amazing what happens when the dough hits the oven.

    Section Challah from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    You can use any challah dough you like to make this bread. I used a dough that is enriched with 7 1/2 egg yolks and enough sugar to give it a faintly sweet taste. The bread is just amazing when it's toasted, and is excellent slathered with peanut butter and jam. It's also perfect for chicken salad sandwiches.

    Section Challah from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    For more challah recipes, check out these posts:

    Demerara Sugar Honey Challah, Italian Challah, and Whole Wheat Challah with Apricots.

    Section Challah

    Makes two 24 ounce loaves

    Ingredients


    795 g (5 2/3 C) bread flour
    85 g (1/3 C plus 1 T) granulated sugar
    2 1/4 tsp salt
    2 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I used SAF Gold)
    130 g (7 1/2 large) egg yolks
    1/4 C vegetable oil
    1 1/2 C warm (90 degrees F) water
    1 beaten egg white for glazing
    Poppy seeds for sprinkling

    Instructions

    1. Whisk the first four ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.
    2. In a large measuring cup, whisk the egg yolks and oil. Add the water and whisk again. Add to the dry ingredients. 
    3. Stir with a dough whisk or mix with your hand in the bowl until you have a "shaggy dough." 
    4. With the dough hook, knead for about 10 minutes on low. The dough should be smooth and shiny. You can also knead by hand for about 12 to 15 minutes. 
    5. Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled, about an hour. 
    6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rectangle. Cut the dough into two equal pieces, cover one piece with plastic wrap, and set it aside. 
    7. Cut the dough piece into six equal pieces (about 4 ounces each) and form each piece into a ball. Flatten the balls and place them into a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan as shown in the photo. They will not fill up the pan at first, but will when the dough expands. 
    8. Cover the loaf with oiled plastic wrap. Repeat with the second dough piece. Let the dough rise until it doesn't spring back when you poke it with your finger, about an hour. 
    9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
    10. When the loaves are ready, brush with the egg white and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. 
    11. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the loaves are browned and reach an internal temperature of about 190 degrees F. 
    12. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. 
    Sharing with Yeastspotting

    Jul 7, 2014

    Salted Chocolate Caramel Tartlets

    Salted Chocolate Caramel Tartlets from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    This recipe for Salted Chocolate Caramel Tartlets makes just two 4 inch tarts, but they are so decadent that just a quarter or half of a tart is plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth. The bits of sea salt sprinkled on top are a perfect balance to the chocolate and caramel. The flavor reminds me of the salted caramels from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle. So good!

    The tart starts with a sweet, crispy, and flaky pastry crust. Next comes a layer of creamy caramel, followed by a layer of chocolaty ganache. The tart is then sprinkled with bits of sea salt. So elegant.

    Salted Chocolate Caramel Tartlets from Karen's Kitchen Stories


    Salted Chocolate Caramel Tartlets

    Pastry Ingredients


    1/4 C confectioners' sugar
    1/2 C plus 1 T all purpose flour
    Pinch of salt
    2 tsp egg yolk
    2 T plus one tsp unsalted butter
    2 to 3 tsp ice water

    Pastry Instructions

    1. In the bowl of a food processor (I used a mini food processor), pulse the sugar, flour, and salt. 
    2. Add the egg yolk, butter, and the water and pulse until the dough begins to clump together. If it is too dry, add more ice water by the teaspoon. 
    3. Pour the ingredients onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a cohesive mass, and divide in two. Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
    4. Roll each piece into a 6 inch disk and press them into a 4 to 4 1/2 inch oiled tartlet pan. Use any excess dough to patch any bare spots. Pierce the bottom of each tartlet several times with a fork. 
    5. Freeze the tartlet shells for 15 minutes. 
    6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
    7. Line each tartlet with foil and fill with pie weights. 
    8. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights, and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool in the tart pans. 

    Caramel Ingredients

    3 T heavy cream
    2 tsp unsalted butter
    1/4 C sugar
    1 T water
    1 T light corn syrup
    1 tsp vanilla

    Caramel Instructions

    1. Please the cream and butter into a microwave safe glass measuring cup and microwave at 15 second intervals until simmering. 
    2. In a small, heavy sauce pan or saucier pan, add the sugar, water, and corn syrup, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar disolves. Continue to boil until it becomes a caramel color (be very careful not to burn it). Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and with a long handled whisk, slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Be careful as it may splatter. Continue to whisk until the bubbling stops and then pour the mixture, dividing it evenly, into the two tart pans. Refrigerate for one hour.

    Ganache Ingredients

    3 T heavy cream
    1 tsp light corn syrup
    2 1/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    Sea salt for finishing

    Ganache Instructions

    1. Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup in a microwave save bowl until simmering, for about 25 to 30 seconds. Stir in the chocolate until melted. 
    2. Pour into the tartlets and chill until hardened, for about an hour. 
    3. Sprinkle the tops lightly with sea salt. 

    Jul 5, 2014

    Pain de Pecan

    Pain de Pecan from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    This Pain de Pecan recipe is the June Bread of the Month for the Artisan Bread Bakers Facebook group. The recipe was contributed by David Wolfe of Hearth Baked Tunes, who was inspired by Richard Miscovich, the author of From the Wood-Fired Oven: New and Traditional Techniques for Cooking and Baking with Fire to adapt this recipe.

    Pain de Pecan from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    This bread is a combination of white and whole wheat flours, and is studded with toasted whole pecans. Get the biggest pecans you can find. I toasted my pecans on a hot cast iron skillet, but you can also toast them on a sheet pan in the oven. Just watch them closely and remove them from the heat when they are browned and fragrant, but not burned.

    This bread is tasty with just butter, or toasted with butter. It also makes nice cinnamon toast or grilled cheese.

    Pain de Pecan

    Ingredients

    250 g active levain, fed within the last 24 hours and bubbly
    227 g water
    228 g bread flour
    114 whole wheat flour
    9 g salt
    90 g toasted pecans

    Instructions

    1. Combine the levain, water, and flour in a large bowl until mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 40 minutes. 
    2. Add the salt and knead the dough by hand for 8 to 10 minutes. At about the 6 to 7 minute mark, knead in the pecans. 
    3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl or bucket, and let it rise for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Gently fold the dough every 30 minutes, four times. 
    4. Pre-shape the dough into a boule, cover, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
    5. Shape the final boule and place it into a floured basket or towel lined bowl, cover, and let it proof for two hours.
    6. Place a Dutch oven into the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F. 
    7. Turn the dough into the Dutch oven, slash it with a sharp knife, cover it, and bake for 30 minutes. 
    8. Uncover the loaf and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.***
    ***Note: My loaf was already done at the 30 minute mark. 

    Jul 1, 2014

    Skillet Pizza

    Skillet Pizza from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    This cast iron skillet pizza is so easy to make it's almost foolproof. Rather than juggle with a pizza peel and a hot baking stone, I placed this dough into a cold skillet, topped it, and then baked it near the bottom of a super hot oven. The baking time is about triple the time it would take to bake the pizza on a hot stone, and the crust is very firm.

    Skillet Pizza from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    The dough is ready in about 8 hours, with a 6 hour first proof and a 1 1/2 to 2 hour second proof after shaping. If you want to bake your pizzas the same day, mix the dough by 9 a.m. and you'll have pizza by 6 p.m. You can also keep the dough balls in the refrigerator for up to two days.

    I divided the final dough into eight 200 gram pieces for a thinner crust pizza. You can also divide the dough into five 320 gram pieces for a thicker crust pizza.

    This dough can also be used for Neapolitan style pizza or focaccia. For bread geeks, the hydration level of the dough is 70%.

    Skillet Pizza from Karen's Kitchen Stories

    The pizza pictured here is topped with a smooth tomato sauce (page 230 in Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast), whole milk mozzarella cheese, salami, pepperoni, and Canadian bacon. The resulting pizza got two thumbs up from the pizza lovers who tried it. The crust is super crunchy and flavorful, and holds up well under the cheese and meat. If you like a char on your crust, just turn on the broiler for the last few minutes (keep a close eye on it so it doesn't burn).

    I happened to have a 1 Kg bag of Caputo 00 flour that I picked up at Surfas in Costa Mesa (my Disneyland) for just such an occasion (you never know, right?). If you don't have 00 flour (who doesn't?) any good quality unbleached all purpose flour will work with this recipe.

    Skillet Pizza

    Dough Ingredients


    700 g (3 C) 90 degree F water
    2 g (1/2 tsp) instant yeast
    1000 g (7 3/4 Cups) white flour (either 00 flour or unbleached all purpose flour)
    20 g (1 T +3/4 tsp) fine sea salt

    Instructions

    1. Mix 3 T of the warm water and the yeast in a small container and set aside. 
    2. In a 12 quart container, combine the flour and the rest of the water by hand until incorporated. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. 
    3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add the yeast mixture. 
    4. Mix by hand, folding the dough over itself several times. Then pinch the dough with your fingers to make sure the salt is fully incorporated. Alternate between pinching and folding until the salt is incorporated and the dough is about 78 degrees F. 
    5. Let the dough rest for about 60 minutes, covered. Fold the dough from all four sides and re-cover it. 
    6. Form the dough into a ball, add some olive oil to the container, and roll the dough to fully coat it. 
    7. After 6 hours, the dough should be doubled in size. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. 
    8. Shape each piece into a ball. 
    9. Place each dough ball onto a floured baking sheet, spraying each ball with spray oil so that the balls do not stick to each other. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and let rest for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature. Next, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 days. 
    10. Remove the number of dough pieces that you will be baking from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 525 degrees F with a rack placed on the lowest rung. 
    11. Stretch one of the dough balls into a nine inch circle and place it into a 9 inch cast iron skillet. Depending on your oven size and the number of skillets you have, you can bake more than one pizza at a time. 
    12. Top with your favorite sauce, cheeses, and meats, and vegetables. 
    13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is fully baked and the cheese is melted. 
    14. Remove from the oven, and using tongs, slide the pizza onto a cutting board, slice, and eat. 
    15. Repeat with the rest of the dough, or save it in the refrigerator and bake more pizza the next day! 


    #TwelveLoaves July: Summer Fun. The month of June was filled with lovely CHERRIES! We have chosen Summer Fun as our theme for July. Let's share flat breads, rolls, buns, grilled breads - whatever sweet or savory version you'd like and whatever you feel reflects summer flavors! Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread for SUMMER FUN! Let's get baking!

    #TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs smoothly with the help of our friends. Thank you to Stacy from Food Lust People Love for hosting this month’s event!

    Check out what our #TwelveLoaves bakers made this month!
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