|Posted by Trish on September 3, 2012 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
The weather is starting to cool down, so I've been craving for a warm fuzzy breakfast lately. I decided the night before to roll out some bread for the next morning's breakfast. I was actually super skeptical of this recipe because it didn't follow the "proper" way that I usually made bread. I didn't have to feed my yeast and there was no kneading involved. No knead bread? I know, it's crazy! So crazy that I have to actually share this recipe with you because it was really good. So good, that J called it cake.
The recipe yields 2 loaves of bread, but I decided to bake it in an angel food cake pan instead. You can also use a bundt pan instead.
-5 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
-1/2 cup of sugar
-4 1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast (I used 2 envelopes of instant dry yeast)
-1 teaspoon of salt
-1/2 cup of butter, melted
-2/3 cup of milk (original called for whole milk but I used skim and it was fine)
-1/2 cup of water
-2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-4 large eggs ( I ran out of eggs...so I used 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites)
For the filing:
-1 cup of sugar
-2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
-1/2 cup of butter melted
1. In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
2. Mix the melted butter, milk, water and vanilla together.
3. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir until it is incorporated.
4. Add the rest of the flour and continue to mix with the spatula until the ingredients are well combined. The dough will be sticky.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl. Pour 1 -2 teaspoon of neutral oil to the bowl. Put the dough ball back into the bowl. Turn the dough so that it is well covered in oil. Cover the dough ball with loose plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour. (not in the oven)
6. Once the dough has risen to double it's size, punch it down and let it rest for 5 minutes.
7. Mix all the ingredients for the filling together except for the melted butter.
8. Cut half of the dough ball. Roll it out until it is approximately 12 inches by 20 inches.
9. Spread half of the butter onto the dough and sprinkle half of the filling evenly onto the dough sheet.
10. Cut the sheet into squares. Ideally, they should be as wide as your pan and as high as you want it to be. Stack your squares and stand them straight up in your pan.
11. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
12. I saved a handful of filling to sprinkle on top of the dough once all the squares were put into place, for a crunchy topping.
Since I wanted mine for breakfast the next day, I let it rise on the counter loosely covered with plastic wrap for about 30 minutes and put it in the fridge. The next mornng, I pulled it out of the fridge, and let it sit on my counter until the oven was ready.
If you want to eat it the same day, let it rise with loose plastic wrap for about 45 minutes until it is doubled in size.
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 F.
|Posted by Trish on April 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|
I have this thing for William Sonoma. I ooh and ahh at everything in the store, no matter what it is. I purchased their seasonal Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix (yes it has 2 spices in it's name) during my last visit. At $16 for a quick mix, I had to do a review.
Disclaimer: nothing on this blog is made from pre-packaged or pre-made products unless specified. 98% of my baking is from scratch. I occasionally like to check out the short cuts for fun.
-Easy to prepare. Just add eggs, water and butter.
-Pecans. These really made the texture of the bread. I will be adding these to my future pumpkin breads.
-Fragrant smell. My kitchen smelled like everything Fall while the bread baked.
-Price. This is definitely a gourmet product at this price.
-Greasiness. This wasn't due to the cream-cheese topping, but the bread itself. It left a greasy feeling in your mouth afterwards that brings on guilt, because you probably just consumed the same calories as a slice of cheesecake.
-Over spiced. There was too much spice. It overpowered and overshadowed the rest of the ingredients. I can still taste the spice in my mouth afterwards. Too much cloves, maybe too much ginger and probably nutmeg.
Overall, I don't think I will be purchasing this mix again due to my issues with the price, texture and spice level of the bread. I give it 6.5 out of 10.
William Sonoma Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread with Cream-cheese frosting
|Posted by Trish on May 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM||comments (1)|
During my study days, I worked at a cinnamon roll bakery to help pay the books. I recollect it only took me 5 minutes to grab a dough from the fridge and turn it into beautiful rolls ready to be baked.
Today will be more focused on the techniques. Remember, you can always apply these techniques to other recipes besides Cinnamon rolls.
I broke my last rolling pin by putting too much force on it while attempting to make pasta. Let's see how long this one will last?
Tip: Do not put your rolling pins in the dish washer.
Industrial bakeries usually have a sheet roller, much like a giant pasta roller to get their dough uniform in thickness and to ease the process. Although I could have attempted to use my pasta roller to roll out the dough, it's currently in a different province. Don't be afraid to stretch the dough into the shape required instead of just rolling it out. The longer the dough is length-wise, the more swirls you will have in your buns. I like rolls with approximately 4 swirls so I rolled the dough longer.
When sprinkling on the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture, leave a 1 -inch lip on the bottom of your rectangle for the seal. Make sure to press down the 1 -inch lip so the dough is thinner for a better seal.
When rolling up the dough, press down the upper edge as you did with the bottom seal. Gently roll up the thinned top edge and roll the dough towards you. Depending on the dough you're using, you may begin stretching the dough as you roll at the half way point. Leave the roll sitting on its seal when you've finished rolling.
To cut uniform-sized rolls, you have 2 options:
1. Bring out the kitchen ruler. Yes this is exactly what we did at the bakery. Our rolled up dough was always a certain length and the individual buns were sliced at certain notches on the ruler.
2. Eye ball it. Which is what I'm going to do today. Using the back of your knife, gently press a light indentation into the dough at the half way mark. Continue to split the sections into halves and thirds until you have the size you want. Use the indentations as a guide to slice the roll. I prefer my rolls approximately 2 inches thick.
For presentation purposes, bakeries usually cut off the ends (apporximately 1 inch) of the roll and dispose of it. It will give you uniform rolls all the way through. Since J and I are the only ones eating these, I am going to leave the ends on.
Line your pans with parchment paper for easy removal and clean up. Use a square or rectangular pan that is slightly larger than your buns leaving them ample room to rise. You don't want squished squared buns. Arrange the buns so the seal is facing the center. This arrangement will affect the way the buns hold after they are cut.
Once the rolls are ready, remove them from the oven, cut between the rolls with a sharp knife and smother frosting on top. Make more frosting than required for your initial frosting for left overs, as the frosting will get "soaked up" as they cool.
Some people enjoy inverting their rolls so the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture can recoat the rolls. I've always found the rolls sweet enough without re-coating them. The choice is yours.
And Baby, I really like your buns...
|Posted by Trish on October 10, 2010 at 1:40 PM||comments (2)|
I love fall festive days since it's a great excuse to incorporate pumpkin into everything I bake.
To start off, I made Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Cupcakes. The beauty about cupcake-styled cheesecake is they can be prepared in a much shorter time than the classic 9-inch. Cupcake cheesecakes can be made just a few hours ahead of serving time. The baking time is only 15 minutes and chill time is about 2 hours depending on your fridge temperature, compared to 1 hour baking time and over night chilling of a 9-inch. This is great for last minute potluck dishes or dinner parties that catch you unprepared. Admittingly, I left most of my own recipes back on the island so I kind of had to re-create this one out of memory. So far, I've only tasted the batter and I think i'm pretty close to my original recipe.
Pumpkin is perhaps one of the only products that are better canned than fresh. Only sugar pumpkins are suitable for baking uses and the fresh product is so unpredictable. With fresh pumpkins, you cannot predict how many cups of puree a lb of pumpkin will yield, or how sweet it is. Canned pumpkin is a superior product and is always consistent. Please make note not to use pumpkin pie filling which has a very similar product design to pumpkin puree, for all baking purposes. (Unless you intend to use it as a pre-made pumpkin pie filling).
I barely made a dent out of the can of pumpkin when I made the cheesecakes so I also made Maine Pumpkin Bread. Remember to never over mix when making quick bread. Williams-Sonoma makes a similar product in quick mix form for $16 per package. I have purchased it but have not tested it yet. I'm curious to see who's pumpkin bread is better. And for $16 a package, I'm really hoping Williams-Sonoma has something to offer. (Hint product review in future post).
12 Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Cupcakes and 2 loaves of Maine Pumpkin Bread later, I still have a cup of pumpkin left.
|Posted by Trish on June 23, 2010 at 4:55 PM||comments (1)|
So this is one of those times where I bake because of J. On the weekend, J wanted Kalamata olives in his greek salad. I am not a big olive eater so I requested he'd buy as much as he needed for the salad. J ends up buying half a tub full of olives and eats 6 of them. So what do you do with a tub full of Kalamata olives? You bake them into bread!!!
With bread machines and stand mixers nowadays, fewer people knead and proof the dough by hand but I absolutely love this process. To properly knead the dough, dig the heals of your palm into the bottom of the dough and push forward to stretch it out. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom, turn the dough 1/4 of a turn and repeat the process until the dough is smooth and elastic.
(From Left to Right: dough ready to be kneaded, first proof, awaiting final proof)
The bread is wonderfully flavoured, studded with olives and a hint of sweetness. The bread has a crisp crust with a soft pillowy crumb.
Wished J was here to enjoy it!!
|Posted by Trish on March 16, 2010 at 1:35 PM||comments (2)|
I've been craving bread pudding and I usually get what I want. I love the aroma of cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla that escapes your oven when you bake bread pudding. Its so inviting and delicious.
There's not a lot of complicated steps to bread pudding. In fact, you just need to put all the ingredients (except melted butter and bread) into a bowl and mix. Pour over bread that's been drizzled with melted butter and bake. But something magical happens when you mix eggs, milk, spices, and bread. It turns into so much more. I always suggest using good bread. None of the wonderbread stuff, but an artisan bread. Trust me, it makes a huge difference. I chose to use the remainder of my Cinnamon Brown Sugar Swirl Raisin Bread, which i had diced up in the freezer. You don't need to defrost frozen bread for bread pudding. Just throw them in as is, and add about 5 minutes to your baking time. I know some people like to throw on some sauce to top it off. I don't mind doing so in a plain bread pudding such as french bread, but I prefer to have my raisin bread pudding plain. But i guess ice cream never hurts. Ice cream makes everything good.
J calls it, "Bread Cake Thing". Whatever you choose to call this, it is a tasty production. Also, J's birthday is coming up, so it's no surprise my next entry will be his birthday cake! It's a secret so I can't tell you what kind it is yet but it will be decadent!
|Posted by Trish on February 22, 2010 at 12:55 PM||comments (2)|
What better way to start off something new, than with something old? I have decided to post some of my past creative creations as my first entry.
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Four layers of chocolate cake in between layers of chocolate fudge frosting and finished with dark chocolate shavings.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread Swirled with Cinnamon Brown Sugar
Pumpkin Spiced Swiss Roll
Pumpkin spiced cake swirled with cream cheese frosting, and dusted with confectioner sugar.
Rosemary and Thyme Fougasse
A herb crusted bread with excellent chewy texture. This crowd-pleasing beauty measures about 12 inches by 12 inches, making it a great party dish but only if you can resist eating it all.
This is my significant other (J)'s favorite. Fresh farmer market blueberries baked into a deep 9 inch pie crust, with a lattice top.