Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Barb's Dilly Bread

I'm so proud of my sister; she created this bread on Sunday and couldn't wait to share the recipe with me.  Often hesitant about working with yeast, I think she surprised herself how perfectly this turned out and we laughed after I said, "see, you did get the bread gene!"

Herb breads are one of my favorites to make because of the flavor they add to an ordinary sandwich.  The first time I had a really good herb bread was in the early 80s when I made a trip to California with my mom and dad to visit an older brother.  We had lunch at a little cafe in Benicia (which was actually the first capital of California) and I ordered their Veggie Sandwich on Herb Bread--delicious.

My sister's Dilly Bread reminded me of that bread and I couldn't wait to try baking a loaf yesterday.  Interestingly, most of the recipes, she found, called for cottage cheese and as they say, "necessity is the mother of invention", she came up with combining sour cream and buttermilk to substitute.  Also, she had the advantage of fresh dill because of a Christmas present her hubby gave her--an AeroGarden.  I have one, but it's still packed and I'm afraid the three kittens would be munching on the greens:-( So, I substituted dried, but I'll give the measurement for both since this summer, I will certainly be planting herbs on the patio.

Barb's Dilly Bread
1 T King Arthur Flour Gold Instant Yeast (or any dry you have on hand)
1/4 cup warm water (about 105-110F-degrees)
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
Mix these ingredients in a 1-cup glass measure and proof for 5-7 minutes.
It should appear bubbly if you have active yeast!

In another glass measure, warm 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/2 cup buttermilk in the microwave oven--about 30 seconds.

In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, add the following:
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Bread flour
2 T granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1T softened, unsalted butter
2T dried minced onion
2 T fresh dill, snipped (or 2 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. salt (I used a new salt developed especially for bread baking)
Combine those ingredients, then add the proofed yeast and the sour cream/buttermilk.  Allow the mixer to knead the dough about 5 minutes or until the dough comes together away from the sides of the bowl.  If you need to add more water and/or flour, do so a tablespoon at a time to achieve a smooth dough.
Place the dough into a greased or lightly oiled bowl, right side down, then turn right side up to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about 45 minutes.  
 Punch down the dough and knead by hand.  Roll the dough out to a 8 x 8-inch square, then start to roll the dough, pressing each time to seal the roll.  This process ensures that your bread doesn't develop gaping holes in it.  Place into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and cover again with plastic wrap, sprayed with a baking oil.
Allow to rise another 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat your over to 350F-degrees.  When the dough has doubled again, bake 25-30 minutes.  My Sis said her's took 30 minutes and so did mine!  Turn out onto a rack and allow to tempting as it may be to cut into that hot loaf!
Here's my loaf. I made grilled cheese and they were delicious.
My sister's turned out perfectly and I'm so happy she shared this recipe with us all! Enjoy!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kentish Huffkins & December's Apron Winner

It feels like I've been away forever and I bet you were beginning to think "Where's Waldo!!" I honestly don't know where the time went...well, yes, I do.  The move, teaching, getting ready for the holidays, family visiting at Christmas, CHA (Craft & Hobby Association trade show) and then, there's the little thing that I changed companies as of January 1st--I'm a licensed artist with Elizabeth Craft Designs.  There's new lines of dies and stamps...which I have drawn, so yes, I know where the time went and unfortunately how I neglected my baking blog.

But, I'm here and wanted to get the December apron out before my life starting turning upside down again:-D  The apron goes to~Denise Bryant!  Please email your address and I'll get this apron to you asap.

Now on to a recipe...I came across these rolls in a British cookbook and adapted them for a more friendly recipe. Don't you just love the name--I thought right away they looked like the British version of a bagel with that dimple in the middle, however, they aren't simmered in water before baking.  They are softer with a crispy top and I've made them twice and gotten the same results.  BTW, my hubby raves over these.

Kentish Huffkins
4 cups King Arthur Bread flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. granulated sugar
4T + 1 tsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water + more if needed
1 T dry yeast (approx. 1 pkg.)

Start by warming the milk in the microwave for 40 seconds.  Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer, measure the flour, salt and 1 tsp. of sugar.  In a 1-cup liquid measure, whisk the dry yeast and the remaining 1 tsp. sugar in the 1/2 cup of warm water (approx. 105-degrees).  Proof for 7-10 minutes until foamy.

Using the dough hook attachment, start mixing the dry ingredients.  Add the butter, then the proofed yeast and mix.  Slowly add the warm milk.  If the dough has not come together, away from the sides of the bowl, slowly add more water.
Your dough should resemble this:
Place onto a wooden board and knead until smooth (about 5 minutes)  Lightly oil a large bowl with vegetable oil, place the dough, right-side-down, then, turn over right-side up.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour.

At the end of an hour, divide dough into 8 or 9 pieces.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten.  When all the rolls have been formed, spray the plastic wrap with a baking spray.  Allow to rise 30 minutes more. 

Meanwhile, as the rolls are resting, preheat oven to 375F-degrees.  Just before they go in the oven, use you thumb to make an impression in the middle and lightly dust with flour (I have an old-fashioned flour duster, but you can you a small sieve).  Bake rolls for 18 minutes, until they're golden brown.

Hubby wanted an egg sandwich with veggie sausage on his...I love Irish butter:-D  Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Chobani Pomegranate Greek Yogurt Bundt Cake

This past week I received an email from Chobani Yogurt asking if I was interested in coming up with a recipe using their product.  Well, I was excited because I'm a big-time Chobani Yogurt consumer; I love their Oatmeal and Yogurt and their Almond Coco Loco for lunch is utterly divine! However, what I chose to bake with was the Pomegranate Greek Yogurt and it turned out delicious.

I also found some great complimentary ingredients at the grocery store today--Craisins, enhanced with Pomegranate juice and Red Walnuts--What?
Red Walnuts are achieved by grafting Persian Red Skin Walnuts onto the larger, creamier English Walnuts.
Can you see how unusual these are?  They gave the perfect crunch to the pomegranate flavored cake along with adding to the nutritional value from the Chobani Yogurt.

Chobani Pomegranate Greek Yogurt Bundt Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) + 5T unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
3 cups of King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 containers (5.3 oz) Chobani Greek Pomegranate Yogurt
1 5 oz pkg. Craisins with Pomegranate Juice infused
1  1/3 cups Walnuts (if you can find Red Walnuts, they're delicious), chopped

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with a baking spray w/flour.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter while slowly adding the granulated sugar.  Continue to mix 7-10 longer.  (Incorporating the sugar completely gives a tender crumb to your cake).
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Add the vanilla and mix again.  Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating them well, scrape down the sides once more. Sift the dry ingredients and add half with one of the containers of Chobani Yogurt and mix together.  Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and the second container.  Add the chopped walnuts and Craisins and mix once more at medium for 1 minute.

Spoon into the Bundt pan and place in the preheated oven.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350F-degrees, then, lower the temperature to 325F-degrees and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes longer.  Test the center with a wooden skewer or cake tester.  Remove from the oven and run a metal spatula around the sides before inverting the cake onto a serving platter.

1 cup confectioner sugar
2 T Light Karo syrup
1-2 T milk

Edible Red Glitter

Mix all the ingredients and spread onto the cake.  Sprinkle with the edible glitter.
The cake is moist and ever so flavorful and doesn't it look perfect for the holiday! Chobani Yogurt has 13 interesting flavors in their Fruit on the Bottom product; not only Pomegranate, but Blood Orange. Thank you for asking me to come up with a made by busy week very enjoyable to get in the kitchen and create. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dried Cherry~White Chocolate Chip Plate Cake

I love simple...but delicious desserts.  Many a time, my mother would whip up a quick dessert like a simple, plain cake, chocolate, rice or bread pudding just so we had a special treat after dinner.  This cake fits the bill.

I came across this simple cake in Paul Hollywood's book, British Baking and decided, with the rush of the season and all I have on my plate, this would be a great snacking cake for after dinner or a late afternoon break.  I was an American history minor in college, which is why I collect so many cookbooks; I love learning about the traditions of food and the cultures that brought them to the New World.  This is definitely very similar to the quick cakes my mom would make and I wonder if her grandmothers handed the recipes down to her.  By the way, this recipes comes from Wales.

I bake, using a scale, so reading this recipe in grams and millilitres wasn't difficult, but I have given all my American friends the conversion to cups for ease. 

Dried Cherry~White Chocolate Chip Plate Cake
7 1/2 T  (110g) unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup (110g) granulated (castor) sugar
1 1/2 +3T (225g) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (100g) dried cherries
1/2 cup (100g) white chocolate chips
1/2 cup (100ml) milk

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees (180C).  Spray a metal or ceramic pie plate with a cooking spray.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder and salt and while the mixer is running, add the cubed butter.  Continue to mix until it looks like coarse sand.
Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, then while the mixer is running, slowly pour in the milk.  The batter should be somewhat thick.
Stir in the dried cherries and white chocolate chips, then, spoon into the prepared pie plate, smoothing the top.  Finally, sprinkle some Sparking White Sugar on top or use Demerara sugar.  Bake 35-45 minutes or until the center (using a tester) comes out cleanly. 

The cake was delicious and just the perfect dessert after a busy day.  Enjoy! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

November's Apron Winner ~ December's Give-Away Apron

Hold on to your hats...this doesn't happen very often with me; November's Apron Winner is Amanda from Crafty in the Med.  Please email me your information and this lovely apron (which I really love) is on its way to you.

Now, drum roll please...Here is December's Give-Away Apron all festive and ready to put you in the spirit of the holiday.
If there was a flower that exemplified the holidays, Poinsettias would be it.  The plants originated in Mexico and in fact, the Aztecs used it to produce a red dye and as an antipyrectic medication.  I look forward to seeing the beautiful displays of Poinsettias each year in nurseries; the colors are exquisite.

If you would like to win this month's apron, comment on any of the posts I do over the next four weeks and you could be wearing this for the holidays.

On a lighter note, I probably won't attempt a tree this year with our new additions and their antics, but gee, aren't they cute!
Harper, Zuzu, and Clara

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sweet Potato~Cranberry Streusel Bread

Benjamin Franklin may have coined the phrase, "waste not, want not," but it was my mother who took it to heart.  Nothing got thrown out; I imagine it was due to her growing up during the Great Depression or having eight children to care for on my Dad's income, but either way, she taught me a wise lesson.

So, after Thanksgiving and the refrigerator is full of leftovers, what to make to repurpose some of them...come up with a recipe that makes the family think they're getting something new!  That's what I did with a container of sweet potatoes and a half of a bag of cranberries (the other half went into a pie).

I actually had enough to create a recipe for two (2) loaves, but if you don't, it's easy to cut this recipe in half and add dried cranberries or nuts if there isn't any fresh ones left.  I also decided to make a quick streusel to add to the center for a little surprise and balance with the tartness of the cranberries.  My hubby, who is not particularly fond of mashed sweet potatoes, although he loves sweet potato fries, raved over the result...I hope you will too.

Sweet Potato~Cranberry Streusel Bread
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie spice
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup firmly light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
3 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Grease and flour (or spray with a baking spray) two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.  Mix up streusel ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until thoroughly combined.  Add the melted butter, oil, and vanilla and mix again.  

Combine the dry ingredients and add to this mixture, just until incorporated--don't over mix!  Stir in the cranberries.

Spoon half of the mixture into each pan, then, divide the streusel mixture between them.  Finish with more batter to cover.
Bake in the preheated oven 55-60 minutes, but test to see if they are done by using a cake tester or wooden skewer.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the bread out to cool completely.

There's one loaf to slice for now and one to put in the freezer for when the next few weeks become hectic from Christmas shopping.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Toasted Almond Biscotti

Biscotti, meaning "twice-baked" is one of my favorite cookies to make. The elongated treats are made crunchy by first baking in a loaf, then, slicing in 1/2-inch lengths and baked again.  For all you coffee drinkers...this is a good one for dunking!

My mother never made these cookies, but she would have loved them.  Both Mom and Dad were BIG coffee drinkers; I remember him making coffee, every morning, in a 40-cup urn and they would drink it all day long!  I inherited that 40-cup urn for catering when they toned down their habit to a Mr. Coffee in the 80s:-D  You would think I would also be a coffee drinker, but, no--I'm the only one in eight who has never drank coffee, but I still like these cookies.

The recipe comes from American Test Kitchen which I try to watch every Sunday afternoon on our local PBS station.  I had a chance to meet Christopher Kimball when he came to Seattle a few years ago and have always been impressed by their careful testing of every recipe.  I will say, I did change the method to use my Kitchen Aid, rather than a food processor that they called for.  No particular reason except I think it's easier to clean up.

Toasted Almond Biscotti
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/4 cups whole almonds, toasted lightly
1 3/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt*

Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Place almonds on a baking sheet and toast for approximately 7 minutes.  In a food processor, coarsely chop 1 cup of almonds and set aside.  Place the 1/4 cup of almonds in the processor and grind finely. (I used my small Cuisinart to do this.)
*I also used roasted, lightly salted almonds, so I did not add the 1/2 tsp. salt.  If you use a raw almond, you will want to add the salt.

Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the two eggs until light in color, about 3 minutes.  While the mixer is running, gradually add the sugar and beat an additional 1-2 minutes after it's been all added.
The trick to good Biscotti, that I learned in pastry school, is not to over mix the flour.  So, I sifted the flour and baking powder (also salt, if your nuts were not salted) together and removed the bowl from  the stand to fold it in.  Add the chopped and ground almonds and stir to combine.

On the bottom side of parchment paper, draw two rectangles 3" x 8" and place it on a baking sheet.
Divide the dough between these rectangles and spray a rubber spatula with a baking spray, lightly, to smooth the dough. Make sure you have about 4-inches between the two rectangles to account for spreading.
Bake in the preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes.  The Biscotti will rise and the tops will "crack" slightly.
Remove from the oven and cool 20 to 30 minutes.  Transfer the cookie "loaf" including the parchment to a large cutting board.  Use a serrated knife to slice--slightly diagonal--1/2" wide.

Place the biscotti back into the oven and bake again for 25 to 30 minutes.  I rotated the two pans after 15 minutes to get an even browning.
These lovely treats are going to my family for Thanksgiving--a time for giving. Enjoy!