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Posts from the ‘yeast bread’ Category

Wild Yeast, Fruit Water Yeast Bread

 

I follow Elaine@foodbod’  both her blog and other social media outlets like Instagram, lately she has been cultivating her own wild yeast and making the most amazing bread, I have been so intrigued and inspired to try her recipe. You make wild yeast simply by putting fruit, in water and let it sit until it ferments it only takes a week sometimes less.  My first attempt I used raisins which for some reason didn’t work so I tried apple and that worked perfectly.

The bread did not have a tremendous rise, it was modest. When making the semolina bread I did add a very small amount 1/4 tsp of instant yeast, I did that because I felt the semolina is pretty heavy and it might need a little bit of a boost, I’m sure it would be fine without it, so that is optional of course. Elaine’s bread is beautiful and the crust is amazing, I’ve made this a number of times and my crust just doesn’t have the same look as hers, it’s still good mind you, but her crust is crusty looking for lack of a better word and meant in a really good way! I have asked her about this and she thinks it could be the difference in flour or some other factor, she is in England and I must say has this down pat. Check Elaine out both on her blog and Instagram.

The first loaf turned out beautifully and you can find the recipe on her blog by clicking on the link in the first paragraph, I was so pleased at the rise and the flavor was delicious.

fruit water bread

The second loaf I made was from date water, I saw Elaine’s beautiful loaves on Instagram and wanted to give that a go. I deviated a bit on the bread recipe using semolina and adapting a recipe I found on King Arthur Flour site. The biga/preferment or poolish is Elaine’s recipe.

Dates after a week see the bubbles

Date water semolina bread

adapted from a recipe by Elaine at Food Bod and King Arthur Flour

Biga or Poolish

10 oz fermented date water (150 grams)

1 1/2 cup bread flour (150 grams) (add more if the dough is too wet, by the spoonful) It should be soft but not runny. Use equal parts flour and water pretty much.

Mix together and let sit overnight covered in plastic wrap and a tea towel. In the morning it should be bubbly.

Bubbly biga

The Bread

1 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup semolina flour

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 scant tbs salt

1 cup cool water

Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes, it will become a cohesive dough. Turn the mixer off, cover with plastic and let sit for 30 minutes. Turn the mixer back on medium speed and knead for another 5 minutes. Remove dough to a clean lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and put in the refrigerator overnight.

The following morning take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Shape into desired shape (I made a boule), place on parchment lined baking sheet.nCover with oiled plastic wrap loosely and a tea towel and let rise for approximately one hour. When you press your finger in the dough it should leave an indent.

Heat oven to 475 degree’s. Slash the dough with a razor, knife or lame, dust with some flour and place in the oven, throw a few ice cubes at the bottom of the oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 425 degree’s and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. Bread when tapped will sound hollow and it will be a golden brown. You can also place a parchment round in a dutch oven and bake covered in the pot. You will need to bake a little longer using this method. Elaine gives instructions in her recipe.

King Arthur’s recipe offers a great idea for keeping the bread, place cut side down on counter or cutting board, don’t cover it with anything. The crust will stay pretty crisp and the inside of the bread stays soft. It works.

Stand the bread on a counter cut side down the bread stays soft the crust fairly crisp. This loaf was made with a little more yeast than the one below. You can see the difference.

I did experiment with the semolina bread the first loaf I added a half tsp of instant yeast, the second loaf 1/4 tsp. There is a marked difference in the texture of the bread and I think both are good.

Hot Cross Buns

Last year I made hot cross buns, I liked them so much that they have become an Easter tradition. The recipe I made last year was really good,  but I’m always on the hunt for one that could be better. I use King Arthur Flour and love their recipes. My go to dinner rolls are from their site and they are the best, last years hot cross buns were also a King Arthur recipe.  In reading over this recipe I noticed that there is very little rising time involved, 45 minutes for the first rise and 20-30 minutes for the second rise, thats it. I chose to make them on a warm day to make the rise that much easier. The dough comes together quickly, it’s a very wet dough and now I know why they say to use a scoop and plop them in muffin tins, it does give the option of making them free form in a round pan (I chose that option). If you make them be warned the dough is hard to handle, it’s very sticky and soft. I first oiled my hands to try to form the balls and then changed to flour and let me tell you my hands were a sticky mess. I can deal with that but it makes forming the dough balls difficult. The recipe makes 18, I made them larger and it yielded 14. They also are not exactly round, sort of mishapen but they are very soft and fluffy.

Both recipe’s are similar in technique, I like the use of potato flour in these rolls, potato always yields a very soft moist roll, the flavor is good, however I liked the look of the other rolls I made more. Maybe I will play around with this recipe and see if I can’t get them to look better because they sure are delicious. So pillowy soft, a wonderful recipe and after tasting them I forgot about the sticky messy dough.

Ready to rise

Hot Cross Buns

Recipe from King Arthur Flour site

1 cup raisins, golden raisins or dried fruit (I used mixed dried fruit soaked in rum)

2 tbs rum or water

3 3/4 cup all purpose flour (Because the dough was so wet I added 3 tbs of flour to make it cohesive)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup potato flour or potato flakes

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 tsp instant yeast

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg (next time I will use 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 3/4 tsp cinnamon)

1/4 tsp allspice

2 large eggs

4 tbs melted butter

1 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Glaze (Optional but recommended)

1/3 cup sugar

4 tsp water

1 tbs vanilla extract

Icing for cross

1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

2 tbs soft butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs cream or milk

  1. Mix together the raisins and rum or water in a non-reactive bowl. For best absorption, use a microwave-safe bowl, cover the bowl, and heat for 1 minute, or until the mixture is simmering. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the Princess Cake Flavor (if you’re using it), eggs, water, melted butter and the raisin mixture (including any remaining soaking liquid), then beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be cohesive, but not smooth; that’s OK.
  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest/rise in a warm place for 45 minutes; it’ll get a bit puffy, but won’t really increase much in size.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 18 muffin cups. If you have just one 12-cup muffin pan, use aluminum foil cups for the remainder of the dough; or make free-form buns, and place them in an 8″ round cake pan.
  6. To make the glaze: Stir together the glaze ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, then heat in the microwave until the sugar dissolves when you stir the mixture. Set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
  7. Use a muffin scoop or 1/4-cup measure to fill the muffin cups; each should be about 3/4 full. If you have a scale, use about 77g (2 3/4 ounces) dough in each cup.
  8. Brush the lukewarm glaze atop the shaped buns.
  9. Let the buns rise, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’ve risen just over the top of the cups.
  10. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and quickly turn them out of the pans onto a rack; if you wait too long, the glaze will cause them to stick.
  11. Allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes before icing.
  12. To make the icing: Combine all the icing ingredients in a small bowl and beat until thick.
  13. Use a pastry bag and tip to pipe thick crosses onto the buns. If you don’t have a pastry bag, fill a sturdy plastic bag with the icing, squeezing it down into one corner. Snip the tip of the bag off, and squeeze the frosting onto the buns.
  14. Store, well-wrapped, for 2 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to a month.

 

Stollen

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You saw the dough and mention of Stollen in my last post so here is the finished product and this is a fantastic recipe. I will be honest, I had my doubts, the dough doesn’t get puffy, it feels quite heavy and dense and struggles to double in bulk but the end product is wonderfully light, rich with butter and egg, just the right amount of boozy fruit and nuts, it’s a keeper,  almost too easy, when we make bread it can be laborious, lots of steps well this bread is so easy to make so few steps and result is amazing. I made a few changes to the recipe and explained in some detail what to expect, there are no clues or hints in the recipe on Food52 and I really didn’t know what to expect. The original recipe calls for candied fruit soaked in booze, I used the leftover dried fruit soaked in port ( don’t like candied fruit), I added salt, there was no mention of salt. I also used my food processor to break up the butter into the flour and that made it quicker and easier. Instead of the glaze that Chef June uses I dusted with powdered sugar. Thats it, easy peasy, delicious and so festive.

Because this bread just screams the Holidays I am bringing it to Fiesta Friday #150 and the co hosts this week are Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Tânia @ Iwanttobeacook

Stollen

From Food52  by Chef June

Makes 2 large loaves or 8 mini loafs

1 heaping cup assorted dried fruit that has had a good soak in booze ( I used the same fruit for the fruitcakes I made)

4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 oz) unsalted cold butter cut into pieces

1 tbs yeast (I used instant yeast, SAF)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup cold whole milk

3 tbs granulated sugar

3 large or extra large eggs beaten

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)

soft butter, sugar and cinnamon for the filling

Add flour, salt and butter to the food processor and pulse until it resembles crumbs. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined and the flour is completely incorporated. The dough will be very soft and shaggy, thats ok, you don’t need to knead it, just gather it with your hands into a ball and put it in a greased bowl, turn it over once so the top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and place in the refirigerator where it will rise overnight. Note: I mixed everything by hand, no stand mixer with dough attachment, no kneading.

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

The next morning remove the dough and cut in half or quarters depending on the shape and size you want your bread. I divided into quarters and let it rise in mini loaf pans. Roll out or pat out the dough into a rectangle spread it out thinly. Brush with soft butter and a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (you also can put marzipan or almond paste if you like) roll it like you would a jelly roll or cinnamon rolls. Pinch any seams so it’s sealed. My dough was divided into quarters, each quarter made 2 mini loaves. I rolled, cut in half and pinched the seams and ends. Sprayed mini loaf pans with cooking spray and placed the dough seam side down in the pans. Cover loosely with plastic and a tea towel and let rise until doubled in bulk. (It took almost 3 hours in my cold kitchen and remember you are starting with dough straight from the refrigerator so be patient). Heat oven to 350 degree’s and bake until browned, and when tapped sounds hollow (approximately 20 minutes for mini loaves. For a larger loaf 30-35 minutes

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Yesterday I saw a recipe (if you can call it that) for a Earl Grey Vanilla Latte. That sounded really good mainly because Earl Grey or Lady Grey is my favorite tea. I decided to give it a go, the recipe called for almond or coconut milk but I used regular whole milk, strong brewed earl grey tea and a little vanilla bean paste in the milk that I frothed with this really cool gadget. Hot milk is frothed in seconds so you can enjoy a cappucino or latte any time. (This is not a promotion for this gadget I just think it’s cool)

frother

frother

earl grey vanilla latte

earl grey vanilla latte

Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Loaf Part II And Stollen

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This is a different loaf than the one I made before, although I liked that loaf it was quite heavy and more bread like than I wanted. I try different recipes and although they turn out good there is something about it that just doesn’t sit right with me,  I almost always end up going back to my old stand by’s, the tried and true always good recipes that I use over over. The banana bread recipe is one of those, I substitute other fruits like apples and pears for the banana and in this case I used pumpkin. The change I made was adding spice, cinnamon, ginger and allspice along with pecans. These loaves are sweeter than the other but I am ok with that, they have the lighter texture and moist crumb that I wanted. I like the other recipe but my favorite way to serve is making mini muffins dipped in melted butter and rolled in a spice sugar mixture. For a loaf I like this recipe though, they are very light, moist and delicious.

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

I made my fruitcakes and have quite a bit of leftover boozy fruit and it’s been years since I’ve made Stollen, a German slightly sweet and absolutely delicious holiday bread. I had saved a recipe on Food52 years ago by Chef June and decided this year I would try it. The recipe is vintage and the directions are a bit vague so I decided to wing it. If it turns out I will post the recipe, well even if it doesn’t I might. The dough is super easy to put together, no kneading at least the directions don’t call for it so we will see. The butter is broken into the flour like a pie crust, I did it in the food processor then you add the rest of the ingredients and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.  I have a feeling it’s going to be wonderful, rich and buttery and eggy. Fingers crossed. More to come…..

Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Loaf

makes 1 9×5 loaf or 3 mini loaves

1 cup flour

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

4 oz or 1 stick butter room temperature

2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

approximately 1/2 cup chopped pecans

demerara sugar mixed with cinnamon, allspice and ginger to sprinkle on top of loaf

Heat oven to 35o and butter or oil your loaf pan or pans. Put flours, baking soda, salt and spices in small bowl and whisk together.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating between each addition. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Fold in the pecans and spoon into prepared pan or pans, smooth out the top, sprinkle with chopped pecans and sprinkle with sugar spice mixture and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until golden brown and tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then using a small flexible offset spatula or butter knife loosen the edges running it around the loaf. Turn out onto cooling rack and let cool completely before wrapping. This loaf freezes well, wrap in plastic and place in ziplock bag before freezing.

 

Thanksgiving

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

Every year I make the same meal for Thanksgiving, there is little to no variations year to year because everyone loves it that way. It makes things easier sort of, the only planning involves the shopping and of course the preparation. I try to make as much in advance as possible to save myself work on the big day. This will be Percy’s first Thanksgiving with me and I plan on giving him a plate of food along with the rest of my guests. I am excited that this year my two cousins will be joining me as well. My menu is very basic, nothing fancy but everything is homemade and has withstood the test of time. The dishes on the menu are linked to former posts so that you can see the recipes. Mashed potatoes, well, no recipe required, so my potatoes have not lumps I use the food mill and then simply add sour cream, butter and salt and pepper, thats all, the same goes for the pumpkin pie, I used canned pumpkin and follow the instructions on the back of the can, I’ve tried other methods and quite honestly the results are so similar it’s not worth the extra effort. The meal is always served with wine, this year a Cabernet Sauvignon, Lambrusco, Sparkling blanc de blanc and I am still undecided on whether to serve a Chardonnay or white bordeaux.

Thanksgiving Menu

butter and herb roast turkey

dressing

mashed potatoes

oven roasted brussells sprouts

corn

cranberry sauce

dinner rolls

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Dessert

Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Bread To Celebrate The Harvest And A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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First of all, my post yesterday was supposed to publish today, I must have done something wrong when I scheduled the post, I decided not to pull it and didn’t mention it hoping no one noticed the discrepancy. It is actually one year ago today that my Nando passed.  Thank you all for your kind words and support!

August 1 is the day that the harvest is celebrated, it is nearing the end of the summer and fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready for harvest. We are also inching closer to the Fall (my favorite season) looking forward to cooler temperatures, apples, pumpkins, sweaters, leaves turning a beautiful color, Halloween. Well, I guess you can tell how much I love the Autumn. To celebrate a plentiful and abundant harvest I made some bread. This bread has been posted on this blog numerous times, it’s a recipe I use over and over each time with stellar results. The recipe is from my friend Cynthia @The Solitary Cook. She is a professional chef, baker, caterer, restauranteur, she is amazing. The bread always turns out good. The recipe makes a lot of bread. I made a large boule, 8 rolls and still have bread dough resting in the fridge that I will make tomorrow, it gets even better with a good long rest to develop. The grilled cheese sandwich was inspired by my dear friend Cheryl (cheffie cooks Wiser, aka super woman who successfully runs 9 blogs, I have mentioned her before. She made this wonderful grilled cheese sandwich and although I cannot find it on her site, I wanted to give a shout out to Cheryl who inspires me all the time.

I made the bread yesterday and it was dinner with a salad made from tomatoes from my garden and from the farmers market and some tomato balsamic jam and olive oil to dip that bread in.

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This is an abbreviated version of the bread recipe without the wonderful tutorial from Cynthia, follow the link to her blog for expert directions.

Rustic Italian Bread

Makes 3 loaves, or 2 loaves and 8 rolls (You decide)

Preferment

12 ounces warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast or 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I used 1 tsp instant yeast)

2 cups bread flour

Mix everything together, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until double in bulk. Then refrigerate overnight.

The Bread Dough

16 oz warm water

2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 tsp instant yeast ( I used 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast)

1/4 cup warm milk

approx 1 heaping tbs of honey

The preferment

2 tsp salt

4 cups bread flour

2 cups all purpose flour

Note: If using active dry yeast add the water and yeast and whisk to combine. If using instant you don’t have to do that you can add everything together.

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix until it is completely combined there should be no streaks of flour. Turn off the mixer, you will let the dough rest it’s called autolyse. Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit for 20-30 minutes. When you see the dough after you have let it rest it will come together nicely when kneaded. Turn the mixer on and knead for at least 5 minutes, if the dough is too wet add a little more bread flour so it’s cohesive. You will know when the dough is ready by doing the windowpane test, grab a walnut size piece of dough and stretch gently with your fingers, if it doesn’t break it’s read, if it does break knead a little longer to develop the gluten.

Oil a very large bowl or 2 large bowls, plop the dough in, turn over so it’s oiled on top. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until doubled. Once it’s risen you can take as much of the dough as you want and make some bread, put the other dough in the refrigerator to rest for up to 2 days.

Once risen, form your bread onto a parchment lined baking sheet, dust with flour and cover with a tea towel and let it rise for about an hour. To know if it’s ready it should have almost doubled in bulk and when you gently press your finger onto the dough the indent should stay not pop back.

While your bread is rising pre heat the oven to 450 degree’s. Slash the top of the bread approximately 1/2 inch deep, dust with flour and place in the oven, throw in some ice cubes and reduce the heat to 425 degree’s. Turn the pan around after 15 minutes and bake approximately 35-40 minutes depending on the size of the loaf or rolls. The bread should sound hollow when tapped and be a nice golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich – No recipe required

Grilled zucchini

arugula (optional)

sauteed shallot or onion

tomato or tomato jam

cheese (I used taleggio)

Butter

olive oil

bread

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Grill the zucchini and saute the shallot until nicely browned season with a little salt. Put it all together and grill in olive oil and butter until crispy golden brown and cheese is melty and gooey.