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Showing posts from 2011

Test-Driving the Pyrex Bake-a-Round

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I have taken one giant step forward in my Ongoing Quest to create the perfect round and malty bread, which will sustain me through the winter!  And I also got to test-drive the newly-toivelled Pyrex Bake-a-Round baking “pan.”  (which is really just a tube in a rack)Here’s the Bake-a-Round, all greased up (with shortening, per the instructions, NOT Pam, though I don’t know why) and ready for action.I decided to use this British Malt Loaf Recipe, for authenticity.  I figured it’s from the Flour Advisory Bureau.  Even their name is FAB; how bad could the bread be?  I liked the fact that most of the ingredients were scaled, and quickly switched my scale to pounds and ounces so I wouldn’t have to convert.  I also appreciate its use of the word “whilst.”(I doubled everything, because it didn’t sound like very much.)Ingredients for Malt Loaf(bastardizations of the original, for necessity or preference, shown with strikeout below)75ml (2 1/2 fl oz) hand-hot water
200g (7oz) brown flour or…

New Baking Toy!

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Actually, this is more than a New Baking Toy – it’s Step 1 in a however-many step plan to bake the perfect Malt Bread, exactly as I remember it from childhood, or as near as makes no nevermind.Here’s the toy…Bought new in box on etsy for not too much money, and shipped BEAUTIFULLY packed – I’m very impressed.The actual malt bread I’m thinking of is NOT the “malt loaf” popularly known by the name Soreen in the U.K.  That looks icky; it’s full of fruits and whatnot.  What I’m searching for is authentic Canadian malt bread, such as that turned out every day in the Dempster’s factory and sold without a hechsher in supermarkets very near my home.The bread itself is sweet, but not too sweet.  It has a definite malt taste, and – I’m thinking now – perhaps some molasses as well.  It has a dark colour, but that could easily just be caramel colour… which I don’t have.  Definitely no fruit, no puréed dates or raisins or whatever else British people think belongs in a malt loaf.As for the Bake A …

I should be going to bed…

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But isn’t this a beautiful braiding pattern for a round loaf??? Definitely something to try next Rosh Hashanah!

Sharing the dough!

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Yay!  You may remember this photo from my Rosh Hashanah sourdough Pan de Calabazas this past year.Well, I sold my editor at the Canadian Jewish News on an article about “kosher sourdough baking” – in which I reveal the stunning truth that “kosher sourdough baking” is pretty much the same as any other sourdough baking.Read it here.

Scottish Shortbread – so awesome, I had to blog it!!!

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Forgive me, I know it’s not bread, but it’s that time of year again, when I bake up a storm for the sake of in-laws far and wide – hopefully wide, once they’ve tasted my yummy bakies!So last year’s shortbreads were GOOD, but I wanted to kick them up a notch.And, at the recommendation of Shoshana at Couldn’t be Pareve, I invested last week in a little bottle of LorAnn’s Buttery Sweet Doughbakery emulsion(What a cute store, by the way; they’re on the Internet, but they’re right here in Mississauga, only about 25 minutes away when it’s not rush hour.  I wouldn’t say this is the best baking store in the GTA, but I had a great time browsing when I went in to pick up my emulsions.  Oh, yeah… I also bought some of this Princess Cake & Cookie bakery emulsion.  Oh, and on an impulse, a bottle of this Red Velvet emulsion, which includes the deepest, darkest red food colouring you could possibly imagine, with which I baked the most wonderful pure-buttermilk Red Velvet cake and… oh, never …

Pass the Pita, Please!

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Not pita exactly, since this is basically the same way I make any flatbread.  Roll it, pat it, and toast it in my wonderful cast-iron skillet.   Dry – no grease or anything on the pan beyond the olive oil we apply to store the pan.I used the basic “50% spelt” recipe from Artisan Pizza & Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day.  Not sure I love the cookbook, since there seem to be many many sauces and dips and not so many actual bread formulas, but I have it out from the library for a while longer, so I will keep exploring.The reason I wanted spelt – other than the fact that my mother and sister picked me up a big bag of nice, fresh spelt a couple of weeks ago – is that I was preparing these “pita” for an “Egyptian feast” to tie in with our ancient history studies.  Spelt may not be Emmer and Einkorn, but it’s a bit more authentic, and it adds whole grain without weighing down the taste and texture of the bread.  As far as I’m concerned, the words “delicious” and “whole grain” don’t usual…

Six Word Saturday: 1 Cheshvan, 5772

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Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!Hate to brag – but delicious challah!Only my second time succeeding with Maggie Glezer’s “My Sourdough Challah”… but BOY did it turn out well!  Hate to brag, but this was delicious challah – and beautiful.I still have no idea why my sourdough challahs were losing their braids last year.  But now, they are totally fine.I even got to pass along some starter to a friend – along with the lower middle challah (a 1-lb’er; I had to keep the two big ones and the “baby” for our own Shabbos)!

Why, oh, why???

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Is it October and the fruit flies are still #$^! everywhere???Luckily, I have a tent!Here, it’s sheltering two sourdough breads I made yesterday – one for our family, one for a friend who had a baby.  (I sent the bread with a lasagna… one cannot live on bread alone!)I used Peter Reinhart’s basic Pain au Levain from p. 61 of Artisan Breads Every Day.  Indeed, it turned out so well, crusty outside, tender and moist with HUGE openings inside, that we could DEFINITELY eat bread like this every day.I had almost forgotten.  I don’t own this book, despite drooling over it countless times from the library, so I used my becoming-standard trick of perusing the book using Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.  I took a quick screenshot of the recipe so I wouldn’t have to print it out.And, of course, I used my amazing Sourdough Spreadsheet again.  It was helpful, because the recipe called for 458g of 60% starter, and I only had 352g, so it told me exactly how much extra flour and water I needed to add …

Whole lotta Sourdough Pumpkin Challah / Pan de Calabaza

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Nothing goes together at Sukkos time like fresh-picked PUMPKIN and challah dough!We didn’t actually pick the pumpkins ourselves, but did pick them UP (and pick them OUT) at the place we went for apple picking.  So it’s sort of the same thing… I have vowed never to peel another raw squash again, because it’s so blissfully EASY to just cut them in half, pop them in an oiled pan face-down, and roast them at 300° until it’s soft enough to poke.  You can actually roast them at almost any temperature.  400° works just as well but quicker… but just look what this Australian baking blog says about LOWER temperatures:We roast the pumpkin in our wood-fired oven at a low heat (50C to 100C) for 24 - 36 hours. At the low temperatures the pumpkin malts, which firms and helps keep the pumpkin from falling apart in the dough.Yummy!  (one of the kids said they thought the pumpkin would MUMMIFY in the heat, which it sort of sounds like it does… “malting” being another word for the mummification process…

Apple Galette for the Last Days of Sukkos

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I love the IDEA of galette, though I still couldn’t overcome my distrust of fruit desserts enough to actually TASTE this one.  But still, I made it and it turned out great – if I say so myself – with delicious Spy apples that Ted picked himself and set aside specifically for this purpose.I like galette because it’s freeform and forgiving; I have never attempted the fancy two-crust pies my mother makes, or even Ted’s, which apparently taste fantastic but are slightly more homemade-looking.  It’s not that I couldn’t do it – I believe I could.  I just lack the patience.No recipe for this one – a basic Crisco (gasp!) single pie crust, with some leftover graham crackers sprinkled on it.  I peeled and sliced WAY too many apples, and tossed them with a bit of sugar (a compromise; Ted likes almost none and most of us here like a ton) and lots of cinnamon and left them to sit in a bowl while the crust dough chilled.  Rolled it out, added the apples, sprinkled with more graham crackers, then fo…

A Large-ish Quantity of Dough

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Besides a bunch of Auntie Sally’s challah which I whipped up before Rosh Hashanah and still had in the freezer, this is the main “overnight sponge challah” I’ve been playing around with this yom tov season.Because the base recipe doesn’t make very much, I thought I’d quadruple it for the first days of Sukkos, when we were expecting lots of guests.  With the help of my trusty sourdough spreadsheet (which works even with NO sourdough, just by filling in “0g” of starter), here’s what I came up with for the sponge:1620 g flour (mix of ap and bread)1960 g water200 g sugar220 g oil4 tbsp salt4 tsp yeastHere’s the wet stuff going into the bucket first.  With its happy new batteries, my scale held it all,  even though officially it only holds up to 2kg.  I was so happy I’d finally gotten around to marking the bucket weight on the side, just in case.  That way, if the scale goes out (or goes to sleep) while I’m measuring, I can weigh the thing, then subtract the bucket weight with a calculator…

More delicious kosher morsels!