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Saturday, December 31, 2011

BBA#24 Panettone

When we were up to this bread ,well it was summer,who wants to bake a holiday bread in summer? Chris agreed we would skip this till Christmas ,a good idea. The recipe uses a wild yeast sponge,since we needed to make these for earlier recipes it was on hand to use.The fruits, chopped dried aprcots, dried cranberries,dried apples and raisins are soaked in brandy and extracts over night. 
The final dough was quite wet with no additional water,required about 1/2 cup flour to get it right. The first rise went as planned as well as the second, a little slow.
I chose to make 4 breads in paper panettone wrappers instead of 2 large. The paper container was a little too big ,and had to trim them down.
The total time for the 4 breads was a little over 1 hour of baking.
sliced into rounds for  a french toast breakfast
abosolutely dlicious french toast!

Friday, December 30, 2011

WGB #29 100% Sprouted Wheat Bread

This one was a failure, most likely to my choice of grains,wheat,rye,and barley .The barley didn't sprout, and not having a working meat grinder (my kitchen aid walked off the table...ouch!),I was forced to use the processor,which didn't create the 'pulp' of grains required.It was more a mostly chopped mix,that didn't come together during kneading and forget window pane. Amazingly it did rise some in the bowl but not after shaping and panning.
There was no oven rise at all.The bread didn't brown on top and was very dense very chewy and rubbery. I used only 1/3 cup of vital wheat gluten as that was all I had on hand.
This will definately be a 'challenge' to redo the bread. 
1) all wheat grain
2) grains 'must be ground to a pulp
3) use 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
4) achieve a window pane, which will trap the gasses for a risen loaf
this is the 1st attempt photos
In the back is the power bread
very dense interior

WGB #27 Power Bread

This recipe uses a pre soaker a soaker and a biga.The pre soaker is of raisins and whole flax seeds, which helps to start a germination of the flax,making it more digestable and nutritious.I made the biga and presoaker the same day. Then made the soaker using the pre soaker the next day and the final dough the day sfter.
  I keep my sunflower seeds in the freezer to maintain their freshness.Grinding them to a flour was easily done in my spice mill, perhaps due to still being in a frozen state.
The recipe went as described and rose nicely in the loaf pan. I chose not to do the rye breads #26, as I don't care for them.
The bread was delicious toasted and buttered (Thanks for the tip Joe!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

WGB # 28 Whole Wheat Sprouted Grain Bread

Well, made this bread about 3 weeks ago, it was simply one of the best tasting ww breads ,imo,so far.Since the actual baking was awhile ago ,i don't recall any specific problems with the recipe. it went as described i believe. Regardless, this one will definitely be a keeper.
Wheaty ,chewy, delicious.

Rainbow layer Cookies/Cake

This is my favorite holiday treat, especially more so as having been given the recipe many years ago by a co worker.It is a simple process but time consuming,and a long maturing wait (2-3 weeks).
 The end result is heavenly delicious ,rich with almond flavor,raspberry jam ,apricot jam and finnally a topping of dark chocolate.I must warn you, after having made this you will never be happy with the commercial store version,you will be spoiled forever!
 The process;
 Make almond paste; 8oz blanched almonds,whole or slivered (1+1/2cups)
 1+1/2 cup powdered sugar
 1 egg white
 1 tsp pure almond extract not artificial
 pinch of salt
 process almonds in a food processor till very finely ground,you may add 1/4 cup of the sugar to help processing.
When finely ground add sugar and process till combined, add egg white, salt, almond extract, process till it comes together.
 Remove from processor and wrap in plastic ,refrigerate till needed. You will only need half of this for the recipe.
Make sponge layers;
 pre heat oven to 350
 1 cup sugar
half of almond paste (about 8oz)
 1 cup soft sweet butter
 4 egg yolks
 4 egg whites whipped to firm, not dry peaks
2 cups all purpose flour sifted before measuring
10-12 oz of dark chocolate chips,  i use Gheridelli 60% cocao chips ( or what you prefer) 
8 oz jar of seedless rspberry jam
8 oz jar apricot jam
 In bowl of stand mixer or with hand mixer,blend together sugar,almond paste,butter,egg yolks,flour till smooth
Fold in egg whites till combined
Divide batter into 3 equal parts in seperate bowls
Add red food coloring to one bowl blend well
Add green to another, blend well
Leave 3rd neutral
Grease  3- 9x9 baking sheets ,if you have  ,or 9x 14, 10x15 . i used 3 9x 15 sheet pans
Place a sheet of waxed paper into each pan and grease paper also
Spread one color batter into a pan ONLY to 9" ,to make a 9x9 inch sheet, spread evenly using an off set spatula dipped in water if needed to help spread batter
 Bake 1 sheet at a time, 12-15 minutes till lightly brown on edges
Cool in pan on rack , let cool completely
Continue with the other 2 batters in the same manner

 When all 3 layers are cool,  leaving red layer in pan, spread raspberry jam  ( or apricot) on top of red layer ( put as much as you like)
 Invert neutral layer on top of red layer, peel off paper
Spread apricot jam onto neutral layer
Invert green layer on top of neutral layer-Leave pan on top of green layer
Place in refrigerator, put a weight on top of pan ,I use 2 bricks ,each in a plastic bag, or 2 large cans of tomatoes or 4 smaller ones etc. We want  the layers to compress a bit, leave over night.
 Next day or day after, remove from fridge, remove top pan . Invert onto a cutting board, trim all sides  straight and neat, EAT the trimmings! Melt chocolate chips over double boiler, of barely simmering water. Or in a glass bowl in microwave ,caution it is easy to burn chocolate in micro wave, heat for 30 seconds at a time, remove and stir between each heating till melted and smooth.
Spread chocolate over top and sides of layers, let chocolate set till dry.
NOW the Hard part...wrap entirely in plastic wrap twice to avoid off flavors and put back in fridge, let mature  at least 2 weeks ,IF YOU CAN RESIST.

Remove wrap  and slice with serrated knife into desired sizes  ENJOY !! 

I made 2  half sheet pans ( each is 3x13x18) for Christmas, double recipe for each sheet pan

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WGB # 25 High Extraction Flour Miche

This recipe calls for a high extraction flour ,which I could not obtain,therefore i used the substitution offererd. Which is a blend of 25% brread flour and 75% whole wheat flour.
 The recipe also uses a soaker and starter of the same flour mix. I have a whole wheat starter of my own which I fed over 2 days to rejuvenate the wild yeast and then used that to create the mother starter for the recipe. Peter Reinhart has us build a large quantity of mother starter and only needs 3 OZ for the recipe. Not wanting to store it, used most to make a 100% sour dough mix which made 5 baguettes to freeze.
the loaf stuck to the edge of the peel creating a less then round shape
 Ok couldn't resist this photo!

Monday, November 21, 2011

WGB # 24 Multi Grain Whole Wheat

This bread was made with a cooked mix of grains consisting of: muliti grain rice mix, ww berries, flaxseeds, quinoa, rye berries, red bulgar and wheat bran. The resulting dough was very wet and required an additional 1 + 1/2 cups ww flour to get it soft and tacky. The rest was done as written in the book. The dough was proofed and then shaped into 2 boules, one was place in a wicker basket lined with floured muslin,the other in a floured wicker basket to get an imprinted design on the dough.
 The finished bread was a little moist and slightly chewy, a very tasty eating experience.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WGB #23 WW Hearth Bread

This recipe was not made according to the instructions due to ,well, I was involved with other projects at the time. So, it was over proofed, over  risen prior to being shaped and baked. The result was very enjoyable, a soft tender ,moist crumb, tasty of wheat and orange peel , which  i had added. I would make this again with the orange peel and maybe adding some walnuts/ dried cranberries.

WGB # 22 Whole Wheat Challah


This is WGB challenge #22, WW Challah

 I personaly prefered the all purpose flour /bread flour recipe, it was not what i would call a challah bread.
It was good in it's representation of a ww bread based on the challah method.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Whole Grain Breads #21 Cinnamon Buns

This was not my best effort, I doubled the recipe, since I had 2 trays i rotated and flipped the trays halfway through. Somehow i thought to use the convection bake setting of my oven,which would have been fine, if i remembered to 'reduce' the baking time,which I didn't. to compound it, i failed to roll it tightly, the results were dry over bake buns, sigh...
   The dough ,In my opinion could use more sweetening,and a flavor, such as, an extract or fresh orange peel, or both, because it definitely needs to be kicked up from a bland wheat bread taste to a dessert type flavor.
  I am ,at this time,not considering playing with this recipe, perhaps some future day when the urge hits me.As it is, doing 2 bread challenges  is more than enough on my plate,with everything else in my life.
Here are my photos.......

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Icing And Marzipan Carrots

My wife recently asked that I make a carrot cake for a friends birthday, of course I agreed. Ok,  I haven't made a carrot cake in a coupla years, where is that recipe? I was not about to look through my organized mess of recipes to find it, i 'll just go online, and I remembered the first one I ever made was from a recipe in a better homes and gardens cook book set of 2 volumes .That was a really good cake, but it was made in an angel food cake pan with that hole in the middle, and I didn't want that shape. So ,back online, yes I know I could have used that recipe in regular cake pans and adjust the baking time. But this was needed to be done now, and I had no desire to start testing recipes in different cake pan sizes.
  The last cake I made was really really good, but of course the recipe I found sounded very similar, or it was just my wishing it so. Nevertheless, I printed out a recipe from Joy Of Baking.com, and it included a marzipan recipe, well not the recipe to make marzipan, but how to color it and shape it. Back online, isn't it amazing how we can find out 'anything' online,I found several methods to make marzipan. I chose the simplest, similar to making almond paste, but with more powdered sugar. Since i was limited in time i did not blanch my almonds, of course I could have bought blanched almonds ,but I didn't,which created a less than all white paste. The skins are  reported to be loaded with important nutrients, so I didn't feel too badly leaving them on. I chose to use the no cook recipe for the marzipan, simply, almond paste. Grind  8oz (1+1/2cups) almonds in food processor till finely ground, add 1+1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp almond extract and 1 egg white.Process till it comes together like a ball of dough. For egglesss version use a tbsp or so of 1/2 brandy and 1/2 water. the paste should not be wet or sticky,add more sugar if needed. To color, add a few drops of food color and knead in till uniform. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap refridgerate or freeze till needed. To create the carrots roll a small amount of  the colored paste tapering to one end. Using a tooth pick gently create horizontal lines by placing the tooth pick on the carrot and drawing it towards you
  Since I did not blanch the almonds the little brown flecks actually created a more realistic looking carrot.
The leaves can be made from the almond paste colored green or bits of herb leaves such as dill fronds or  fennel fronds, the wife wanted marzipan leaves, which were a pain to do.
  You may already have a carrot cake recipe of your own, or find one online if you wish. same for the marzipan. To save work ,buy blanched almonds, to blanch yourself, immerse almonds in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, remove, squeeze almond between thumb and forefinger to slip off the skin., WARNING, they will shoot out of your fingers, so cover with your other hand. If it doesn't come off easily dip again in the boiling water. After almonds are blanched ,spread out onto a baking sheet and let dry several days before grinding them.
Here are links to get you started..
 almond paste/ marzipan....http://www.ellenskitchen.com/pantry/almpaste.html
carrot cake....http://www.joyofbaking.com/CarrotCake.html

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WGB # 20 Whole Wheat Multi Grain Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is a great tasting Whole wheat bread,the addition of the optional cooked grains in the soaker  pushed it over the top. There is just enough cinnamon flavor. The 6oz of cooked grains added a considerable amount of moisture, which required another 1 + 1/2 cups of ww flour to adjust the dough. i started with 3 oz total dry weight of cracked wheat, red bulgar, and whole flax seeds cooked together till tender.And 3 oz total weight of whole wheat berries,brown rice,and a gourmet rice and wild rice mix,cooked till tender. The cooked grains were 18oz in weight due to the cooking.I weighed off 3 oz of each and froze the rest for a future use.  
The biga and soaker did not have to be chopped as there was enough moisture in the soaker to mix them together .Kneading went as directed,as well as proofing and shaping. I had sufficient dough to make 2  7x3 pans of bread, which i prefer as a sandwich size,and allows for giving away the 2nd loaf or freezing for another time.  Here are the photos of the finished bread........
 If you would like to join us in this whole grains bread challenge, get a copy of Peter Reinhart's book, Whole Grain Breads, and bake along with us. You may start where we are and do the previous breads after. After all this is a learning experience for all of us and it should be fun! As well as delicious! our group posts at....
 http://groups.google.com/group/wgb-challenge/about as well as our own blogs. Happy Baking!

Friday, October 7, 2011

WGB # 19 Anadama Bread

This was the first bread of the 'BBA' challenge, which is still on going. It used a  soaker . This whole grain recipe also utilizes a soaker and for an airy crumb, a biga. I totally enjoyed the first anadama, this one was just as good, and healthier due to the whole wheat .The only difference this time which may or may not have had an effect on the bread, was the biga was left at room temperature for 5 hours . As I was involved in another project and away from the house. I would think there would be more happy yeast cells and perhaps a little more flavor development. I would have to make it again to see the difference if any.
   The flavor was of molasses and wheat with a hint and slight texture of corn meal, which I enjoyed.I let it cool an hour then sliced it, it was still a bit warm and the crumb and not fully set yet. Spread with a non butter spread, it was delicious. made in a mini loaf pan ,this would be great with roast poultry, or ham.
Here are the photos.....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WGB #18 Potato Rosemary Bread

This bread uses a soaker and a biga, I chose to add the optional roasted garlic, which I love. The process went smoothly from the soaker and making the biga through kneading and proofing and shaping. I used 2 wicker baskets lined with muslin to let them rise in. they then baked on a stone with a steam pan, 20 minutes, rotated and another 25 minutes they were done.
I liked the flavor and the tender crumb of this bread, definitely will make again.

Monday, October 3, 2011

BBA # 32 100% Sour Dough Rye

I am not a fan of this bread, it is a dense rye although sliced very thin and served with or spread with a soft cheese it is good that way. This is definately not a sandwich bread. I have been cultivating 3 sour dough starters, an ap, ww, and a rye. I used my rye mother for this bread, I should have fed it twice over 2 days before using it, I did not. The result ,my starter for this recipe lacked strength, an 8 hour rise did little except ferment a bit. I went ahead and used it anyway. The final dough was sticky and impossible to create a true baguette,as there is no dough 'skin' to stretch, I wound up rolling to shape it. If I ever try this again, I will be sure to feed the starter before using it. Anyway here are the photos...

Monday, September 26, 2011

WGB # 17 Potato Onion Rye Meteil

This bread I enjoyed eating, due to the more than 50% whole wheat flour, which made a big difference in the texture and flavor. The only issue i had was making two breads at the same time, The BBA ,100% Rye Sour Dough and this one. Both called for a starter, the sour dough a rye starter, which I had on hand,and a whole wheat starter for the Rye meteil. Well of course I mistakenly used the rye starter in the meteil, and the whole wheat in the rye sour dough. 
  The result was a more than tangy flavor in the rolls, and a bit sour tasting, but still very good eating. I haven't decided if I will just make a new rye starter for the BBA bread, more than likely that will happen. As I'm too busy to make the bread now, so the new starter will come first.
 Here are the photos..........

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WGB # 16 Rye Sandwich Seigle

The 16th bread of this whole grain bread challenge is a rye sandwich bread called a Rye Seigle, due to the more then 50% rye flour content of the dough. With the freezer filling with rye sandwich breads, i chose to do a small loaf 7x3 and made rolls with the rest of the dough. Here again I find PR's pan size reccomendation too small. The total weight of the dough was 2 ounces shy of 3 pounds. Even that would overflow a 9x5 pan.
   The bread is in it's final rise prior to baking, so I''ll be back later.......
I'm back, this is the most dense rye yet, I added anise seeds, in my opinion, it didn't help.This is not my type of bread. it's tangy with a strong rye flavor almost bitter, I won't make this again.

WGB#15 Rye Sandwich Meteil bread

The adventure, enjoyment and of course the learning of doing this challenge is very rewarding both in the eating and knowledge of baking. PR explains that a Meteil is less then 50% rye flour dough, wheareas a Seigle is more then 50% rye dough. All very new terms to me. the Rye Meteil just came out of the oven and the entire house has that wonderfull aroma of an onion rye bread ! Those in this challenge know the aroma,as well as other home bakers, It is almost as satisfying as actually eating the bread, it makes the home feel like home, warm and inviting. Well, I have to wait for the Meteil to cool before I can continue....In the mean time here is the photo
This bread is dense compared to NY deli rye ,which i prefer, although, it was tasty, a bit tangy.We enjoyed it spread with a non-butter spread.

WGB # 14 Oat Bran Broom Bread

OK, there are no brooms in this bread! Peter Reinhart's description refers to the cleansing effect of this high fiber bread, sweeping out the colon so to speak. I have been behind in this challenge due to the heat here in the South as in many areas of  the country. I started a baking marathon on Friday, outside temperature 60 degrees! did 3 breads, #'s 12,13,14,Today Sunday, the Rye Meteil, and the Rye Seigle. Having soo much bread at one time ,I froze them after tasting and photos, oopps, forgot to photo this bread. Went to the freezer and took it out to defrost a bit before the photo.
  The flavor is wheaty of course with a dense texture, I would like this a little sweeter and I added sunflower seeds to enhance the taste,and add texture. I don't know if I would make this again. With soo many whole grain breads to chose from ,i can't say this is a favorite.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

WGB # 13 Multi Grain Straun Bread

This bread contains a mixture of cooked grains to be determined by the baker, which allows for personal taste or adventure. I chose red Bulgar, cracked wheat, whole rye berries,whole wheat berries, flax seeds, quinoa, bulgar, and wheat bran. The whole berries were cooked together, the others in a separate pot.
      The flavor is of wheat  with a chewy texture due to the grains, a very tasty wheat bread.

Friday, September 16, 2011

WGB # 12 Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

The weather has finnaly cooled, today (9/16/11) it's 60 here in Charlotte NC, perfect baking weather!I took a long break as many others did due to the heat this summer,the house has that wonderfull aroma of bread again!
I did # 11 ,the Rustic Bread, but some how forgot to photo it, and it's long been eaten! So I'll have yo do it again. Made the soakers and biga's last night for the Multi Grain Straun, and the Oat Bran Broom Bread. The Straun is cooling, and the Oat Bran Bread  just went into the oven,so I've got 13,14 to date yet to be posted.
 The Whole Wheat Bread was very tasty,a good wheat, flavor tender crumb. I have noticed that PR's suggested pan sizes  are too small for the amount of dough. A 2 lb dough needs a 9x5 pan, not wanting a dinner plate size slice of bread,went with 2 7x3 pans 1 lb dough each. This makes a more mangeable sandwich slice, in my opinion. Plus a second loaf to freeze or give away .

If you would like to join us on our baking adventure, get a copy of Peter Reinhart's book, whole Grain Breads, it's being hosted at ....http://somethingtosavor.blogspot.com/
                         Happy Baking To All!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Easy Home Made Hummus

Hummus, a middle eastern bean dip, usually eaten with flat bread or pita,or veggies, is easy to make and much better than store bought.
 what you will need:

 1 can garbonzo beans ,aka chick peas  ,drain and save liquid
 1  small lemon, grated rind and juice  ,use 1/2 tsp of juice to start,add more if desired
2-3 tbsp chopped fesh parsley
2 tbsp tahinni or 2 tbsp sesame seeds ground in a coffee /spice  grinder, usually about $10, upright with a top cavity to place what is to be ground.
 1 small garlic clove or  1/4-1/2 tsp finely minced 
olive oil 2-3 tbsp
 salt & pepper to taste
 place drain beans in processor or blender
 add add all ingredients except reserved liquid from beans
process till smooth,adding small amounts of reserved liquid till of desired consistancy, stopping processor and scraping down bowl as needed..
You have now made your very first hummus! Enjoy!
 Variations: Omit lemon zest, and add any of  the following :
 add :roasted red peppers, home made is best, jalepeno peppers. chipolte peppers, cilentro, toasted ground cumin, rosemary , more garlic, roasted garlic and rosemary,etc......create any flavor profile you may like!
 Just start with the basic recipe and go from there!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BBA # 31 NY Deli Rye

Having been fortunate to grow up in Brooklyn, NY., where real Jewish Deli's were plentiful, I fondly reminisce of those overloaded pastrami sandwiches on Deli rye bread. Now again fortunately I am able to make my own NY deli rye , thanks to the BBA challenge, hosted by Chris . The recipe uses a rye sponge starter that starts with a barm ( as Peter Reinhart calls it) which is actually a wild yeast starter. or sponge, or mother as it is often affectionately refered to. The Rye sponge also contains sauted onions that are added after they have cooled, the sponge then ferments 3-4 hours after which it is refrigerated overnight. The final dough contains bread flour, white rye ( rye that has been sieved to remove the bran and germ), brown sugar,yeast, salt,vegetable oil,buttermilk,or regular milk,and if desired caraway seeds. The usual procedure of bread making is used, mix add wet, mix, knead,proof, shape ,proof. bake.
  There were no difficulties I encountered  during the processs besides having to strain the whole rye to get enough white rye for the recipe, the bran was almost 50% of the total flour. I eventually added some of the bran to other breads I made, including the lavash crackers, which gave them a nice flavor.
 If you would like to make this bread or any others posted here, simply get a copy of Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Bakers Apprentice, and join us, all are welcome. or bake on your own, which is not as much fun.
 Let's make some Deli Rye....

sifting the whole rye ,the bag on right is the bran
bread flour,rye,yeast,salt,brown sugar,caraway seeds
adding the rye sponge
in goes the buttermilk
the vegetable oil,after the dough has mixed a while
onto the work table to rest while I clean the bowl
kneaded briefly to get firm slightly  tacky dough
into the cleaned oiled bowl to rise till double
doubled and ready to devide and shape

loaves have doubled
hot from the oven
after cooling ,sliced, nice crumb  

Had to make a hot pastrami sandwich with the NY Deli Rye, it was delicious !