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Showing posts from 2009

Crunchy Granola (Bread!)

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Sadly, not a rave. I don’t love dried fruit and I guess was hoping this homemade granola and the accompanying granola bread (both from Artisan Bread in Five, which went back to the library yesterday) (an “adapted” version of the recipe is here if you’re interested; it looks the same as the original to me) for which it was made would somehow transcend all of that and make me love it. It didn’t. (if you followed the sentiment despite all the parentheses) (don’t bother).The bread was good. So good I gave half a loaf, hot n’ fresh, to my sister. But Ted talked me into using dried cherries in the granola; they were too big and weird. And I guess I’m just not a “bits and pieces” gal.However, the granoladid get rave reviews. (the online recipe is slightly different; it includes sunflower seeds, which the book’s recipe does not)Naomi couldn’t get over the fact that I actually made cereal! And after years of aspiring to “crunchy-granola” status, I can finally remove the quotation mark…

Six Word Saturday: December 26, 2009

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Bun-baked Burgers:  look gross, BUT…

(Belated) Six Word Saturday: December 19, 2009

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Oops… forgot to blog; AMAZING boule!

Sending Chanukah out with a sizzle…

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…The sizzle of deep-frying donuts / sufganiyot, of course:  one last hurrah!Further to the sort-of unloved no-knead Pain au Chocolat from a few weeks ago, I decided that the dough, being not quite sweet enough for my family, would make an excellent chocolate donut.  Donuts being deliberately NOT sweet but fried, and dusted lightly with sweetness on the outside.  You don’t want a donut to be sweet all the way through.No time for adding comments, but basically I made the chocolate dough as called for here, subbing oil for the butter, which did change the texture of the dough a bit.  Still, I found it very workable and the donuts were yummy!  Will add more comments later if I have a chance!!!Here they are, start to finish, donuts, donut holes (I fried them up separately rather than reroll them), and all:Mmm, mmm, good…!!!

No-knead Nutella Sufganiyot (donuts)

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Starting with one batch of no-knead Artisan Bread in Five Minutes challah dough, here are start-to-finish pictures of yesterday’s amazing Nutella-stuffed sufganiyot (the Hebrew word for the traditional jelly donuts eaten at Chanukah, but I’m not sure if that’s the word for donuts in general, or just these particular ones, or just jelly donuts… so many questions!)The basic recipe is here, but I made it with two variations this time.  First, I omitted one of the four eggs.  I have been doing this every time because I find the dough much easier to handle if it’s on the dry side.  Second, I made it with BUTTER instead of oil as I usually do for Shabbos.  Our Shabbos bread usually has to be pareve (non-meat, non-dairy), but since I was planning to use Nutella in these anyway (Nutella is made with milk), I figured a little extra dairy couldn’t hurt.Here’s the dough after its initial stir.  I didn’t have to take it out of the bowl, but you can see that it’s dry for a no-knead dough.  It’s pa…

Six Word Saturday: December 12, 2009

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No-Knead Donuts:  you NEED them!

One more time for POTATO bread!

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And this time, as they say in the world of sports, she shoots… she scores!  A perfect Artisan Bread in Five potato bread (originally borrowed from this web recipe) on the, um, eighth try?  Ha ha.  Maybe more like third.  (read about my last disaster with this bread)Still.  This bread has the potential for being an all-time favourite, so I figure it’s worth the effort.So:  no garlic this time; I may throw some in next time.  Not as flavourful without it.  Also not as flavourful because I fridged it for a few hours, then baked it the same day I mixed.  I still have about 2/3 of the mixture in the fridge, which I plan to bake up for tomorrow morning, so I can see if the flavour improves with time.Also… (don’t tell!)  I used instant mashed potato flakes.  Just boiled up water and mixed them in a bowl, let it cool off, and added it to the recipe.  Easy; not as authentic, and also probably way more moist than if I’d baked the potato, which gets a lot of the water out.I used about 2lb of the…

Nifty Tidbit – “outta honey, honey?”

Hey, cool!No, I haven’t abandoned this blog, just didn’t bake much this week, and haven’t blogged the bread that I did make:  a perfect (yes, perfect!) no-knead potato bread!But here’s a nifty frugal / emergency baking tip while you’re waiting.  When you’ve run out of honey, and don’t want to run out to the store, here’s how you make a substitutable equivalent:1-1/4 cups granulated sugar1/4 cup waterThat’s it!  It’s easy!  I did this for my challah this week and then (doh!) forgot to buy honey in the meantime, so I had to sub it in again this week.The reason straight sugar won’t work well is because it’s dry and so you need to add in a bit of water.  This ratio (5:1) gives a texture very much like a heavily-crystalled honey that will ensure your recipe gets the moisture that it needs.Caveats:Sugar tastes sweeter than honey, so you may want to cut down a bit for breads or the final product may be noticeably sweeter.  I didn’t mind it in challah last week.Of course, it won’t have that w…

Six Word Saturday: December 5, 2009

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(a little late; so sue me!)Three challah blobs… and Sara’s masterpiece.

Artisan Bread in Five B(oat) Bread

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New bread book from the library! Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I have been baking from this book – especially the challah recipe, which I’ve been tweaking for better workability – for months now, so it already feels like an old friend.I came this close to buying it in Chapters a few weeks ago, and decided not to because it doesn’t really include very many recipes. However, sitting down with it, I’m sort of starting to rethink that decision… I think this one may be a keeper.Now that I have it in my hands (not literally; I had to put it down to type) I’m finding I do love the happy, balanced tone of the book itself – above and beyond its core formulae (of which there are more than I’d originally estimated, however). I like the fact that most of the recipes are non-dairy, though some do include milk and butter and whatnot.Anyway, I really want to make as many of the breads as appeal to me (not all…

The pletzl that plotzed

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Well, I don’t know exactly what I mean by that title, but on Monday, I decided to make the yummy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes pletzl again (here’s the original recipe).Except… two things went wrong. One, last time I used the book’s basic Boule recipe; this time, I used the challah dough – as suggested in the pletzl recipe! I have no idea why, but there was way more dough, far too much to fit on my little cookie-sheet pan… ugh. (in hindsight, I should have used 3/4 of the dough and saved 1/4 for another time. That thought honestly never occurred to me until just now. But hindsight is 20/20, and at the time…well, I didn’t!)And TWO, for some reason, I totally skimped on the onion! I must have used two last time, because when I dumped them onto the dough, they were only able to spread out in the most skimpy way. Ew… who wants an onion bun with not enough onions?So what I learned is that challah is NOT the right dough for pletzl!The challah recipe is rich and cakey, with eggs, oil …

Six Word Saturday: November 28, 2009

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Are we all tired of bread??? :-o

HEAD TO HEAD: Battle Margarine, Round 2

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Still hate margarine.  And I’m still playing around with Earth Balance margarine substitute.This round, the cookies actually came out quite a bit better than last time.  Read all about it on my real blog, here.(I’m keeping it over there because I want to keep this blog mostly for breads and cakes; every other kind of food product – soups, stews, couscous, cookies, tiramisu – can find a place over there somewhere.)However.  Because Earth Balance is much healthier, it may end up being my bread-baking “solid fat of choice”… I haven’t tested it in a bread recipe yet, so that could be an interesting future battle when I’m done messing around with chocolate-chip cookies.

A less-successful Beer Bread

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I had YM make this Beer Bread not just out of laziness, but also to show him how super-easy it is to make quick bread.  (those are not his but Elisheva’s fingers around the beer can in the recipe – but this is indeed the beer we used tonight)I have made this several times before, but this time, I forgot that several reviewers warned NOT to let this bake the entire one hour stated in the recipe. Sure enough… I realized it just as I opened up the oven; overdone.  Ugh.Also, it turned out when we bit into the overbrown bread – he forgot to put in the salt.  And was… well, how do I say it?  A little overgenerous with the baking soda.So the bread was fizzy and sour and generally not as pleasant as the last time I made this recipe.  It’s a reliable recipe, but the moral here is that you can’t count on a 15-year-old boy to include ALL four ingredients!!!Hey… I just looked at the recipe again and realized it calls for baking powder.  He definitely put in baking soda.  Sigh.  Moral #2:  Can’t c…

Yermy Bergels… I mean Bagels!

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Sorry, couldn’t talk, my mouth was full of yermy bergel.My sister the baker gave me a biiiig bag of “professional” malt powder, and so the first thing that came to mind was:  bagels!  I have made them before several times, and actually quite like the soft pretzel recipe I used last time (I have made it as pretzels as well).  VERY easy.But I wanted to try a “real” bagel recipe and, having already returned Bread:  A Bakers Book to the library, I had to rip one off from the Internet.  In this case, the recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread (BBA), by Peter Reinhart, which can be found, slightly modified, at this site.Here I am, ripping off  the recipe from the Internet!What I didn’t take pictures of:  sponge, main dough, kneading, ball phase, weighing (yay, my mother gave me a scale that works great and confirmed the fact that my portioning-by-feel is actually pretty accurate).So here we are all the way at the rising-on-the-pan phase.  I th…

PERFECT Hybrid “Some-Knead” Challah!

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Okay, so I have adapted the basic Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day no-knead sweet dough recipe, and I think I have it just about perfect.The recipe has been tending to come out too sloppy to braid nicely, so I tried two fixes:~ Cut the eggs from four to three (I could have cut the water, but the truth is, I don’t love really eggy challah anyway)~ Fold the dough twice during the “bulk fermentation” (first rise) phase.I also gave it a longer first rise than usual.  I mixed it up Thursday night (I wouldn’t call it kneading, but it did require some fairly vigourous stirring by hand) and let it sit at room temperature for two hours.  On Friday morning, I took it out of the fridge early and let it sit for a couple of hours.  Then, I folded it several times, pressing it out very gently each time.  We had to go out for a couple of hours at that point.  When we came home, I folded it again and let it sit for about another hour.So, in short:  it made a WORLD of difference!The dough was amazi…

Six Word Saturday: November 21, 2009

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Only successful breads this week – please!

Roasted-Garlic Potato Bread…

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Yes, further to my “Six Word Saturday” resolution, I am making the no-knead roasted-garlic potato bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for supper tonight.  Otherwise a completely lackluster supper, but hey, good bread…!-----Post-script.  Or NOT.  :-(Note to self:  This is a VERY wet dough.Plopping the whole thing into one big pan is just wrong WRONG wrong.  Next time, TWO loaf pans or TWO boule shapes, but NOT one pan.  Too big.  Too wet to cook through in under an hour, and more than that would burn the outside.Yes, it was a soggy, disgusting mess in the middle… disappointing after so much eager anticipation of good bread.  I have just had to create a new blog category called “Disaster” so I will be able to track all these stunning failures over time…Anyway, in the name of learning from experience, here it is, slashed and going into the oven:And out again, 45 minutes later!  Looking yummy…Until we cut it open:Blah.  Soggy mess.We did end up eating it, and yes, it was delici…

Unexpectedly delightful: Injerah

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Today was the Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd, so I made an Ethiopian-themed meal in its honour.So, on a bread-related note, I made the traditional Injera flatbreads to go with the meal.Instead of the half-cup each of corn meal and whole-wheat flour that the recipe calls for, I substituted a full cup of rye flour, which one poster there pointed out is more closely related to the authentic Ethiopian “teff” grain.  The rye didn’t lend a distinctive flavour, but I believe its soft texture and fast fermentation definitely helped make these a success!These are really just like extra-fluffy, yeasty pancakes – there was a decidedly “beery” aroma of fermentation, even after only a couple of hours, before I fried them up.(I’d imagine this is a lot like what it’s like to eat pancakes made from straight poured-off sourdough with no add-ins, though those might be more sour… but I suspect the really authentic Ethiopian ones are a bit more sour as well)After being daunted by other forms of flat…

More delicious kosher morsels!