The Bread is in the Baking

Rikki Wynn - Baker and actor, currently living in Portland, OR.

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When it gets cold like this, you need a soup that warms you to your toes. 
I came down with a nasty cold the night before last so I decided to make some nice cold weather soup.
This was probably not the smartest idea, since I was so sick, I couldn’t taste the soup to season it. I should have just cracked open a can of soup (that I keep around for when I’m sick).
When I had some last night it did what it was supposed to do. Warm me up! When I woke up this morning, (miracle of miracles!) I could taste again! I had some of the soup this afternoon for lunch and it was very good and full of flavor. So I guess my intuitive guessing paid off.
My mom gave me these french onion soup bowls. I think she found them at a garage sale. They are very cute and cool off quickly so you don’t have to worry about burning your hands while you eat your oh so tasty soup.
I decided to make a vegetarian version of this recipe so I could share it with my housemates. Vegetable broth isn’t a very hearty broth, so I added mushrooms to the soup to deepen the flavor.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
2 ounce butter (1/2 stick) 
3 large onions, sliced
2 dried thyme
1 tbsp flour 
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup of red wine (I used Merlot)
5 small crimini mushrooms sliced
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 baguette sliced
Thinly sliced Gruyere cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat, sprinkle the onions with flour and cook stirring for 3 minutes. Add the thyme, wine and mushrooms and bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the wine starts to reduce. Add the vegetable broth, bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Season soup to taste, with salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler in the oven. Arrange six ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet. 
Ladle the soup into bowls, arrange 2-3 baguette slices on top of each bowl and sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere. Broil until cheese melts and turns golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Total Time: About an hour and half View Larger

When it gets cold like this, you need a soup that warms you to your toes.

I came down with a nasty cold the night before last so I decided to make some nice cold weather soup.

This was probably not the smartest idea, since I was so sick, I couldn’t taste the soup to season it. I should have just cracked open a can of soup (that I keep around for when I’m sick).

When I had some last night it did what it was supposed to do. Warm me up! When I woke up this morning, (miracle of miracles!) I could taste again! I had some of the soup this afternoon for lunch and it was very good and full of flavor. So I guess my intuitive guessing paid off.

My mom gave me these french onion soup bowls. I think she found them at a garage sale. They are very cute and cool off quickly so you don’t have to worry about burning your hands while you eat your oh so tasty soup.

I decided to make a vegetarian version of this recipe so I could share it with my housemates. Vegetable broth isn’t a very hearty broth, so I added mushrooms to the soup to deepen the flavor.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

2 ounce butter (1/2 stick)
3 large onions, sliced
2 dried thyme
1 tbsp flour
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup of red wine (I used Merlot)
5 small crimini mushrooms sliced
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 baguette sliced
Thinly sliced Gruyere cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat, sprinkle the onions with flour and cook stirring for 3 minutes. Add the thyme, wine and mushrooms and bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the wine starts to reduce. Add the vegetable broth, bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Season soup to taste, with salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler in the oven. Arrange six ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet. 
Ladle the soup into bowls, arrange 2-3 baguette slices on top of each bowl and sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere. Broil until cheese melts and turns golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Total Time: About an hour and half
November 28, 2012 @ 5:55 PM 3 notes

Sometimes all you want is just a tiny bite of something sweet.
I made these little guys for Thanksgiving.
I had a lovely friend-Thanksgiving this year. My first one! It made me feel all weirdly independent and adult-y! Which makes me think I have some growing up to do…We did our dinner potluck style, everyone was in charge of making one or two items for the dinner and we all chipped in for the turkey.
I decided to make the Thanksgiving pies: An apple pie  and a pumpkin pie. However, two large pies (with everything else we were having) seemed like a bit much for just 7 people. I tried to find a recipe for mini pumpkin pies online, but wasn’t really satisfied with what I found, so I ended up coming up with a recipe myself. They keep really well in the fridge, which is also nice.
I decided to use a cream cheese crust recipe (it’s actually a tweaked cream cheese dough recipe for the rugelach) because cream cheese dough is denser than regular pie dough and therefore more resilient when you’re constantly shaping it. The pumpkin pie filling is based on the pumpkin pie filling found on Smitten Kitchen, with some changes.
Two Bite Pumpkin Pies
(makes 48 mini pies)
Dough
2 cups flour
8 ounces cream cheese
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Filling
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 ounces pumpkin puree
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together in medium bowl and then stir in the pumpkin puree till the mixture is smooth.
Grease a mini cupcake tin. Cut the dough into 48 small cubes. Roll the cubes into balls and place each ball in a muffin well. Using a lightly floured tart tamper (or the end of a rolling pin) push each ball into the wells of the muffin tin. The dough should form to the muffin tin well. Move the tart tamper in a circular motion to keep the sides of the tarts even. Re-dust the tamper/rolling pin between each well.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F and place the muffin tin in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. After the dough has chilled, place one tablespoon of filling into each well. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crusts of the pies are a nice light brown. Let the mini pies rest in the muffin pan for at least 10 minutes before popping them out, either by lightly tapping the pan upside down on the counter or pushing lightly on one side each pie with your finger.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 2 hours View Larger

Sometimes all you want is just a tiny bite of something sweet.

I made these little guys for Thanksgiving.

I had a lovely friend-Thanksgiving this year. My first one! It made me feel all weirdly independent and adult-y! Which makes me think I have some growing up to do…We did our dinner potluck style, everyone was in charge of making one or two items for the dinner and we all chipped in for the turkey.

I decided to make the Thanksgiving pies: An apple pie  and a pumpkin pie. However, two large pies (with everything else we were having) seemed like a bit much for just 7 people. I tried to find a recipe for mini pumpkin pies online, but wasn’t really satisfied with what I found, so I ended up coming up with a recipe myself. They keep really well in the fridge, which is also nice.

I decided to use a cream cheese crust recipe (it’s actually a tweaked cream cheese dough recipe for the rugelach) because cream cheese dough is denser than regular pie dough and therefore more resilient when you’re constantly shaping it. The pumpkin pie filling is based on the pumpkin pie filling found on Smitten Kitchen, with some changes.

Two Bite Pumpkin Pies

(makes 48 mini pies)

Dough

2 cups flour

8 ounces cream cheese

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cut the butter and cream cheese into small even pieces. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a standard mixer until a soft dough has formed. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

15 ounces pumpkin puree

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together in medium bowl and then stir in the pumpkin puree till the mixture is smooth.

Grease a mini cupcake tin. Cut the dough into 48 small cubes. Roll the cubes into balls and place each ball in a muffin well. Using a lightly floured tart tamper (or the end of a rolling pin) push each ball into the wells of the muffin tin. The dough should form to the muffin tin well. Move the tart tamper in a circular motion to keep the sides of the tarts even. Re-dust the tamper/rolling pin between each well.

Preheat the oven to 400 °F and place the muffin tin in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. After the dough has chilled, place one tablespoon of filling into each well. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crusts of the pies are a nice light brown. Let the mini pies rest in the muffin pan for at least 10 minutes before popping them out, either by lightly tapping the pan upside down on the counter or pushing lightly on one side each pie with your finger.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 2 hours

November 26, 2012 @ 3:12 PM 1 note

I can’t resist antique baking pans.
Usually baking pans are fairly inexpensive at antique shops. They’re usually made out of very thin tin, so, I guess, they aren’t really worth much. They are also a pain to clean, but how they look tends to make up for it.
I found these little jello tins at an antique shop. Now, I don’t like jello (the texture and the fake colors and the way it just slides down your throat…blech), but I love personal sized food. I knew they’d be the perfect size for some mini cakes.
Aren’t they so cute?
These little guys came out nice and spongy and just a bit moist. Usually at least one of my little cakes doesn’t pop out of the mold correctly, but they all popped out after the tins were tapped a couple times. They came out so perfect!
I left out the ginger in this recipe (although I’m sure it would add a nice little bite to them), and I add the powdered sugar for a bit of decoration.
Pumpkin and spice Cakelets
(Makes 5 very mini cakes plus 6 small sized bundt cakes)
1 cup pumpkin puree (Recipe) 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup water 1 1/2 cups white sugar 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Cover the tins with oil and then lightly dust them with flour.
In a large bowl, Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix the dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture until just blended.  Pour into the molds about 2/3 full.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Total time: About 30 minutes
Pictures taken by the amazing Rachel King! View Larger

I can’t resist antique baking pans.

Usually baking pans are fairly inexpensive at antique shops. They’re usually made out of very thin tin, so, I guess, they aren’t really worth much. They are also a pain to clean, but how they look tends to make up for it.

I found these little jello tins at an antique shop. Now, I don’t like jello (the texture and the fake colors and the way it just slides down your throat…blech), but I love personal sized food. I knew they’d be the perfect size for some mini cakes.

Aren’t they so cute?

These little guys came out nice and spongy and just a bit moist. Usually at least one of my little cakes doesn’t pop out of the mold correctly, but they all popped out after the tins were tapped a couple times. They came out so perfect!

I left out the ginger in this recipe (although I’m sure it would add a nice little bite to them), and I add the powdered sugar for a bit of decoration.

Pumpkin and spice Cakelets

(Makes 5 very mini cakes plus 6 small sized bundt cakes)

1 cup pumpkin puree (Recipe)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Cover the tins with oil and then lightly dust them with flour.

In a large bowl, Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix the dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture until just blended.  Pour into the molds about 2/3 full.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Total time: About 30 minutes

Pictures taken by the amazing Rachel King!

November 13, 2012 @ 12:13 AM 3 notes

Since it’s fall, I also wanted to talk about baking bread in the cold.
Baking in the summer/spring is really easy. It’s nice and warm outside, so your bread rises quickly left out on the counter. However, in the winter, bread won’t always rise so well because your house isn’t as warm. A nice way to help your bread along is to turn your oven on it’s lowest possible setting for about 5-10 minutes (till the oven is about 70-85°F. Then turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven. This is also a quick way to get dough that you’ve let sit overnight in the fridge back to room temp.
Now to talk about this recipe:
These are a nice fall twist on your basic dinner rolls. The rolls only have a hint of pumpkin. They taste great right out of the oven or toasted with a little butter or cream cheese. I might add a little bit of whole wheat flour next time I make them to give them more of a bite.
I didn’t change any ingredients from the original recipe. I don’t wait for my yeast to froth, I know it’s alive, so I just added all the wet ingredients together at once.
Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Yields 12 buns
1/2 cup (118 ml) barely warm milk 2 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 large egg 1 cup (245 grams) pumpkin puree (recipe here!)2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed 3 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups bread flour
In a large bowl Stir the milk, egg, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, butter, spices, salt and yeast. Gradually add bread flour, mixing until the dough comes together into a soft ball.
Knead the dough for ten minutes, or until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray or parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve hot.
Total Time: About 3 1/2 hours View Larger

Since it’s fall, I also wanted to talk about baking bread in the cold.

Baking in the summer/spring is really easy. It’s nice and warm outside, so your bread rises quickly left out on the counter. However, in the winter, bread won’t always rise so well because your house isn’t as warm. A nice way to help your bread along is to turn your oven on it’s lowest possible setting for about 5-10 minutes (till the oven is about 70-85°F. Then turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven. This is also a quick way to get dough that you’ve let sit overnight in the fridge back to room temp.

Now to talk about this recipe:

These are a nice fall twist on your basic dinner rolls. The rolls only have a hint of pumpkin. They taste great right out of the oven or toasted with a little butter or cream cheese. I might add a little bit of whole wheat flour next time I make them to give them more of a bite.

I didn’t change any ingredients from the original recipe. I don’t wait for my yeast to froth, I know it’s alive, so I just added all the wet ingredients together at once.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Yields 12 buns

1/2 cup (118 ml) barely warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 cup (245 grams) pumpkin puree (recipe here!)
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour

In a large bowl Stir the milk, egg, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, butter, spices, salt and yeast. Gradually add bread flour, mixing until the dough comes together into a soft ball.

Knead the dough for ten minutes, or until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 2 hours. Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray or parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve hot.

Total Time: About 3 1/2 hours

October 31, 2012 @ 4:16 PM 5 notes