The Bread is in the Baking

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

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One of my friends makes amazingly delicious rustic whole wheat bread and I got jealous.
How was he doing it? My bread always comes out great, but I was not getting the same crust he was. What was his secret?
Well, it turns out his secret was a dutch oven he’d found at a goodwill. He also has the attention span for sourdough starters and he has a really good one going.
By baking in a dutch oven, your bread stays at a more constant temperature and steam can’t escape as easily, so you get a nice thick crust.
While I wait to get my hands on some of his sourdough starter, I got a beautiful Lodge dutch oven. From my understanding, they work just as good as the Le Creuset dutch ovens, without costing a fortune. Also, it’s red. So it matches my mixer. Did I ever mention how much I love the color red?
Anyway, my beautiful dutch oven came in the mail today and it’s my weekend, so some bread had to be made.
This recipe is a development of recipe research around the web, I didn’t follow any particular recipes specifically, so it’s all mine.
Whole Wheat, Walnut, Olive and Rosemary Loaf
2 1/4 cups Bread Flour
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp yeast
3 tsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup roughly chopped calamata olives
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1-1 1/2 cups luke warm water
1 tsp olive oil
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and slowly add the water while mixing the dough together with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together. When your dough comes together into a shaggy ball, knead the dough to bring everything together. If the dough is too wet, add more flour. Too dry? slowly add more water.
Oil a large oven safe bowl with some olive oil and toss the dough in the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warmed oven for 3 hours (or more) and the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the oven on to 450°F and place the dutch oven in the center of the oven with a little bit of water in it (let the steam begin).
Lightly flour the table top and turn your dough out carefully onto the table. punch down your dough and form it into a nice loaf. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and let sit for another 30 minutes. At this point you can also sprinkle the dough with seeds and things to make it look all rustic and pretty.
Carefully take the lid off the dutch oven and place the loaf of bread in the dutch oven. Spray the lid and inside of the dutch oven with water and quickly place the lid back and close the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, no peeking!
Take the lid off the dutch oven and bake the bread for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when the bottom the bread is tapped.
Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
Or don’t, it’s your bread.
Total Time: About 4 1/2 hours View Larger

One of my friends makes amazingly delicious rustic whole wheat bread and I got jealous.

How was he doing it? My bread always comes out great, but I was not getting the same crust he was. What was his secret?

Well, it turns out his secret was a dutch oven he’d found at a goodwill. He also has the attention span for sourdough starters and he has a really good one going.

By baking in a dutch oven, your bread stays at a more constant temperature and steam can’t escape as easily, so you get a nice thick crust.

While I wait to get my hands on some of his sourdough starter, I got a beautiful Lodge dutch oven. From my understanding, they work just as good as the Le Creuset dutch ovens, without costing a fortune. Also, it’s red. So it matches my mixer. Did I ever mention how much I love the color red?

Anyway, my beautiful dutch oven came in the mail today and it’s my weekend, so some bread had to be made.

This recipe is a development of recipe research around the web, I didn’t follow any particular recipes specifically, so it’s all mine.

Whole Wheat, Walnut, Olive and Rosemary Loaf

2 1/4 cups Bread Flour

3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp yeast

3 tsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 cup roughly chopped calamata olives

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1-1 1/2 cups luke warm water

1 tsp olive oil

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and slowly add the water while mixing the dough together with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together. When your dough comes together into a shaggy ball, knead the dough to bring everything together. If the dough is too wet, add more flour. Too dry? slowly add more water.

Oil a large oven safe bowl with some olive oil and toss the dough in the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warmed oven for 3 hours (or more) and the dough has doubled in size.

Turn the oven on to 450°F and place the dutch oven in the center of the oven with a little bit of water in it (let the steam begin).

Lightly flour the table top and turn your dough out carefully onto the table. punch down your dough and form it into a nice loaf. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and let sit for another 30 minutes. At this point you can also sprinkle the dough with seeds and things to make it look all rustic and pretty.

Carefully take the lid off the dutch oven and place the loaf of bread in the dutch oven. Spray the lid and inside of the dutch oven with water and quickly place the lid back and close the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, no peeking!

Take the lid off the dutch oven and bake the bread for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when the bottom the bread is tapped.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Or don’t, it’s your bread.

Total Time: About 4 1/2 hours

January 8, 2013 @ 8:26 PM 8 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

One of my friends loves olive bread.
How can you blame him? It’s pretty tasty. When we go grocery shopping together he grabs one of the olive rolls as we are about to get in the check out line, munches on it as we wait and exclaims how awesome olive bread is.
He moved recently, so he doesn’t live near that grocery store anymore which means he hasn’t been getting his olive bread fix. He’s also just started nursing school and he has a lot of homework, so I haven’t seen him much. I texted him earlier this week and gave him grief about not seeing him for the last month. He apologized and said I could come over for dinner that night. I could tell he was really stressed, so before I headed over to his place I made some olive bread dough. He said it helped a lot.
This is a very simple recipe and the dough is nice and light. The addition of whole wheat flour give it a really nice mouth. The next time I make it, I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days so that it gets a bit more of a tang to it.
Feel free to check out the original recipe to see what I changed. I changed some of the proofing times and when ingredients were added. I also made bread rolls rather than loaves.
Also, the butcher blocks at my house are ridiculously stained with blackberries, and it was late at night when I finished the rolls so my attention to cleaning off the counter was a little lacking. I might replace the picture later, but I really wanted to get the recipe up.
Olive and Rosemary Bread Rolls
16 oz white bread flour
6 oz whole wheat flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
6 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
415 ml warm water
2 tbs honey
1 tsp of olive oil for greasing
Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt together. Pour the water/yeast/honey mixture over the flour and mix it in with your hands or with the dough hook on a standard mixer until the dough comes together into a soft ball. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.
Pour 1 tsp olive oil in a clean bowl. Turn the dough in the olive oil until it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 14x6 inches.
Cover the rectangle of dough with olive pieces and rosemary. Carefully roll the dough up into a ball and knead the dough a couple of times to work the olives and rosemary evenly into the dough.
Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.
Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into balls the size of your fist (you’ll get about 10 rolls out of this). Carefully shape each roll into a ball or rectangle (whichever shape your prefer), on a wooden cutting board covered in parchment. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, turn the oven to 430° F.
Place a large pan upside down inside the oven on the middle rack and another pan at the bottom of the oven, right side up.
Remove the plastic wrap on the rolls and make light slash marks in the center of each roll. Spray the rolls lightly with water and move them and the parchment paper on the upside-down pan.
Right before you close the oven, pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam and quickly close the oven.
Check on the rolls after 15 minutes. Make sure there is still water in the bottom tray and spray them with a little bit more water and close the oven again. Check the rolls every 5 minutes after this until the rolls are a golden brown. They should be done after the first 5 minutes, but it may take a little longer.
Remove the rolls from the oven onto a cooling rack.
Let cool for a while (if you can) and eat!
Total Time: About 3 hours (welcome to let dough proof longer at any time in the fridge, just let it come back to room temp before baking) View Larger

One of my friends loves olive bread.

How can you blame him? It’s pretty tasty. When we go grocery shopping together he grabs one of the olive rolls as we are about to get in the check out line, munches on it as we wait and exclaims how awesome olive bread is.

He moved recently, so he doesn’t live near that grocery store anymore which means he hasn’t been getting his olive bread fix. He’s also just started nursing school and he has a lot of homework, so I haven’t seen him much. I texted him earlier this week and gave him grief about not seeing him for the last month. He apologized and said I could come over for dinner that night. I could tell he was really stressed, so before I headed over to his place I made some olive bread dough. He said it helped a lot.

This is a very simple recipe and the dough is nice and light. The addition of whole wheat flour give it a really nice mouth. The next time I make it, I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days so that it gets a bit more of a tang to it.

Feel free to check out the original recipe to see what I changed. I changed some of the proofing times and when ingredients were added. I also made bread rolls rather than loaves.

Also, the butcher blocks at my house are ridiculously stained with blackberries, and it was late at night when I finished the rolls so my attention to cleaning off the counter was a little lacking. I might replace the picture later, but I really wanted to get the recipe up.

Olive and Rosemary Bread Rolls

16 oz white bread flour

6 oz whole wheat flour

2 tsp yeast

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp fresh rosemary

6 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

415 ml warm water

2 tbs honey

1 tsp of olive oil for greasing

Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt together. Pour the water/yeast/honey mixture over the flour and mix it in with your hands or with the dough hook on a standard mixer until the dough comes together into a soft ball. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.

Pour 1 tsp olive oil in a clean bowl. Turn the dough in the olive oil until it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 14x6 inches.

Cover the rectangle of dough with olive pieces and rosemary. Carefully roll the dough up into a ball and knead the dough a couple of times to work the olives and rosemary evenly into the dough.

Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.

Take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into balls the size of your fist (you’ll get about 10 rolls out of this). Carefully shape each roll into a ball or rectangle (whichever shape your prefer), on a wooden cutting board covered in parchment. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising, turn the oven to 430° F.

Place a large pan upside down inside the oven on the middle rack and another pan at the bottom of the oven, right side up.

Remove the plastic wrap on the rolls and make light slash marks in the center of each roll. Spray the rolls lightly with water and move them and the parchment paper on the upside-down pan.

Right before you close the oven, pour a cup of water into the pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam and quickly close the oven.

Check on the rolls after 15 minutes. Make sure there is still water in the bottom tray and spray them with a little bit more water and close the oven again. Check the rolls every 5 minutes after this until the rolls are a golden brown. They should be done after the first 5 minutes, but it may take a little longer.

Remove the rolls from the oven onto a cooling rack.

Let cool for a while (if you can) and eat!

Total Time: About 3 hours (welcome to let dough proof longer at any time in the fridge, just let it come back to room temp before baking)

October 11, 2012 @ 3:23 PM 55 notes

There is really only one way to eat bagels. And that’s with tomato, lox and cream cheese.
Don’t even try to argue with me because you know it’s true.
I’ve been meaning to try to make bagels for a while. Of course, when the day came for me to make them, I hadn’t read the recipe all the way through before hand and didn’t realized they took two days to make. And I didn’t have two days.
So hopefully you’re reading this and you now know that bagels take two days to make.
See? I even put it in bold so that you’d be sure to see it.
So anyway, I had to wait till I had the time to make them.
Despite the time commitment, the dough is easy to make. I used Peter Reinhart’s recipe off of Smitten Kitchen. I made the bagels in two batches:
The first batch (and the ones in the picture) I baked at the end of the day. The bagels had been proofing in the fridge for 8 hours at this point. The bagels came out light and fluffy and right out of the oven and then became denser after sitting for a while. However the crumb was still too airy.
The second batch I baked two days later. These bagels were much denser and a couple hours later the crust was almost rock hard. They were also not as attractive.
I would prefer a bagel in between these two. Something dense, but still airy. Next time, I think I will let them proof in the fridge for a day and take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before boiling and baking them.
I was also not able to get my hands on high-gluten flour so I used bread flour and added 1/4 cup of wheat gluten to the recipe.
This recipe makes about 16 bagels, but it really depends on how big you make your bagels.
Peter Reinhart’s Bagels
Sponge 1 teaspoon instant yeast 4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour 2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
Dough 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour 2 3/4 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons brown sugar
To Finish 1 tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, cheese, really whatever you like on your bagels.
Day one: To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and brown sugar. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients for a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.
Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough should be firm, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test*. If the dough seems to dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.
*The windowpane test is when you take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough should not snap/rip and instead should stretch so that you can see light through it.
Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for standard bagels, or smaller if desired. Form the pieces into rolls.
Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter (half of this for a mini-bagel). The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)
Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans (Deb note: I got away with 1-inch space for the minis). Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the temperature and the stiffness of the dough.
The next day, preheat the oven to 500° F with the racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda.
Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.
Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minutes flip them over rand boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side.
While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination.
When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.
Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.
Total Time: About 1 Day and 4 hours View Larger

There is really only one way to eat bagels. And that’s with tomato, lox and cream cheese.

Don’t even try to argue with me because you know it’s true.

I’ve been meaning to try to make bagels for a while. Of course, when the day came for me to make them, I hadn’t read the recipe all the way through before hand and didn’t realized they took two days to make. And I didn’t have two days.

So hopefully you’re reading this and you now know that bagels take two days to make.

See? I even put it in bold so that you’d be sure to see it.

So anyway, I had to wait till I had the time to make them.

Despite the time commitment, the dough is easy to make. I used Peter Reinhart’s recipe off of Smitten Kitchen. I made the bagels in two batches:

The first batch (and the ones in the picture) I baked at the end of the day. The bagels had been proofing in the fridge for 8 hours at this point. The bagels came out light and fluffy and right out of the oven and then became denser after sitting for a while. However the crumb was still too airy.

The second batch I baked two days later. These bagels were much denser and a couple hours later the crust was almost rock hard. They were also not as attractive.

I would prefer a bagel in between these two. Something dense, but still airy. Next time, I think I will let them proof in the fridge for a day and take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before boiling and baking them.

I was also not able to get my hands on high-gluten flour so I used bread flour and added 1/4 cup of wheat gluten to the recipe.

This recipe makes about 16 bagels, but it really depends on how big you make your bagels.

Peter Reinhart’s Bagels

Sponge
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 1/2 cups water, room temperature

Dough
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar

To Finish
1 tablespoon baking soda

Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting

Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, cheese, really whatever you like on your bagels.

Day one: To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and brown sugar. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients for a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.

Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough should be firm, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test*. If the dough seems to dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

*The windowpane test is when you take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough should not snap/rip and instead should stretch so that you can see light through it.

Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for standard bagels, or smaller if desired. Form the pieces into rolls.

Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter (half of this for a mini-bagel). The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)

Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans (Deb note: I got away with 1-inch space for the minis). Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

The next day, preheat the oven to 500° F with the racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda.

Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minutes flip them over rand boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side.

While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water. You can use any of the suggestions in the ingredients list or a combination.

When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.

Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Total Time: About 1 Day and 4 hours

October 11, 2012 @ 2:31 PM 5 notes

Here are is an animated gif of me from last summer after making stuffed pig brioche to hopefully show that this blog is not dead.
I promise a new post soon. View Larger

Here are is an animated gif of me from last summer after making stuffed pig brioche to hopefully show that this blog is not dead.

I promise a new post soon.

August 22, 2012 @ 2:08 PM 3 notes

Focaccia!
It just rolls off the tongue so nicely doesn’t it?
This bread is wonderful with soup, salad, to make sandwiches.. or just because you want bread. Which is why I made it.
Focaccia is tasty, easy to make and it comes out with a light airy crumb underneath a thin crispy crust. The original recipe called for thyme, but I used oregano instead and I added some thinly sliced tomatoes to the top. The next time I make it I will probably sprinkle Parmesan over it too (unless you’re vegan).
Oregano Focaccia
1 3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbs sugar
5 cups flour
1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little more to brush over the bread)
2 tsp salt
1 tbs dried oregano
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Using a standard mixer with a dough hook (or your hands) slowly mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding the flour a 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth ball of dough begins to form.
When the ball of dough has formed, lightly dust your hands with flour and gently knead the dough into a ball. Coat a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl, coating the dough with the olive oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a wet towel and let the dough rise till it has doubled in size (1 hour-1 1/2 hours).
Cover a 15”x10” baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough out so that it fits evenly within the sheet. Cover the now flattened dough again and let rise for another hour.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400 F and cut a tomato into thin, even slices. Before you put the dough in the oven, brush it lightly with more olive oil, places the tomato slices evenly across the dough and sprinkle it with some salt.
Bake the focaccia in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is a nice golden brown. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack immediately after taking it out of the oven.
Total Time: About 3 hours View Larger

Focaccia!

It just rolls off the tongue so nicely doesn’t it?

This bread is wonderful with soup, salad, to make sandwiches.. or just because you want bread. Which is why I made it.

Focaccia is tasty, easy to make and it comes out with a light airy crumb underneath a thin crispy crust. The original recipe called for thyme, but I used oregano instead and I added some thinly sliced tomatoes to the top. The next time I make it I will probably sprinkle Parmesan over it too (unless you’re vegan).

Oregano Focaccia

1 3/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 tbs sugar

5 cups flour

1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little more to brush over the bread)

2 tsp salt

1 tbs dried oregano

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Using a standard mixer with a dough hook (or your hands) slowly mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding the flour a 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth ball of dough begins to form.

When the ball of dough has formed, lightly dust your hands with flour and gently knead the dough into a ball. Coat a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl, coating the dough with the olive oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a wet towel and let the dough rise till it has doubled in size (1 hour-1 1/2 hours).

Cover a 15”x10” baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough out so that it fits evenly within the sheet. Cover the now flattened dough again and let rise for another hour.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400 F and cut a tomato into thin, even slices. Before you put the dough in the oven, brush it lightly with more olive oil, places the tomato slices evenly across the dough and sprinkle it with some salt.

Bake the focaccia in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is a nice golden brown. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack immediately after taking it out of the oven.

Total Time: About 3 hours

March 14, 2012 @ 2:20 AM 3 notes

I’ve been wanting to make English muffins for a while now.
So when my mom mentioned she had English muffin rings I started searching for a recipe. I trust Smitten Kitchen’s recipes over all the other recipe blogs so I ended up using hers. Then, when I was about to put them on the griddle, I realized that they were crumpet rings, not English muffin rings, but I used them anyway. The English muffins would have come out a lot fluffier if I had the right rings, because crumpet rings are a lot shallower, but they worked fine.
English Muffins are really easy to make and don’t take too long compared to other breads.
English Muffins
1/3 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (or 1 packet of yeast)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 2/3 warm whole milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
5 cups all purpose flour

Mix warm water with sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Melt butter in cups milk. When cool, add to yeast mixture along with egg, salt, and white vinegar. Add 2 1/2 cups flour  and mix, at medium speed, 5 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups more flour and mix  well.
Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Preheat a griddle to 300 degrees F.
Place metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable  spray. Cut pieces a bit bigger than a golf ball*, round them and carefully flatten them into a disk and place them into each ring and  cover with a pot lid or cookie sheet. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove  the lid and flip rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for  another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack,  remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve.
Makes about 12 English Muffins, I think. I can’t be too sure, people kept eating them.
Total Time: About 2 1/2 hours (really depends on how big your griddle is. View Larger

I’ve been wanting to make English muffins for a while now.

So when my mom mentioned she had English muffin rings I started searching for a recipe. I trust Smitten Kitchen’s recipes over all the other recipe blogs so I ended up using hers. Then, when I was about to put them on the griddle, I realized that they were crumpet rings, not English muffin rings, but I used them anyway. The English muffins would have come out a lot fluffier if I had the right rings, because crumpet rings are a lot shallower, but they worked fine.

English Muffins are really easy to make and don’t take too long compared to other breads.

English Muffins

1/3 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (or 1 packet of yeast)

3 Tablespoons butter

1 2/3 warm whole milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

5 cups all purpose flour

Mix warm water with sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Melt butter in cups milk. When cool, add to yeast mixture along with egg, salt, and white vinegar. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix, at medium speed, 5 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups more flour and mix well.

Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Preheat a griddle to 300 degrees F.

Place metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable spray. Cut pieces a bit bigger than a golf ball*, round them and carefully flatten them into a disk and place them into each ring and cover with a pot lid or cookie sheet. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and flip rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack, remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve.

Makes about 12 English Muffins, I think. I can’t be too sure, people kept eating them.

Total Time: About 2 1/2 hours (really depends on how big your griddle is.

December 25, 2011 @ 5:35 PM 21 notes

CHALLAAAAH!
It’s the eve of shabbat! Which means it is time to start thinking about making that challah for Friday night. The recipe I use only takes about 3 1/2 hours to make, but if you want you can let the dough sit overnight which gives the bread a bit of a deeper flavor.
For those of you who don’t know, Challah is a traditional Jewish bread eaten at sundown on Friday night when Jews celebrate shabbat, the start of the day of rest (which is Saturday).
When I was growing up my family would try to save part of the Challah on shabbat so we could make french toast with it the next morning. It didn’t always work, but when it did the next morning was glorious. Challah, if you’re not aware, is the best bread to make french toast with, it’s thick and spongy so it soaks up the egg batter, but still stays just dry enough that it’s not a soaked mess.
This recipe has been adopted from the cookbook Jewish Cooking In America by Joan Nathan, I got this recipe from my mom who uses more of a lot of ingredients than the cookbook calls for. This recipe makes two regular sized loves, or one really huge one.
Challah
3 packets (or 6 3/4 tsp) yeast
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
5-6 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/4 vegetable oil
Handful of sesame or poppy seeds for decoration
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Whisk oil into yeast/water mixture and then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time and add the salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is  ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both  mixing and kneading.)
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth (or knead it in the bowl, if it’s big enough). Clean out bowl  and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and  let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough  may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150°F then turned off.
Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the  dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a  strand about 12” long and 1-1/2” wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to  one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside  right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left  and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it  over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start  over with what is now the outside right strand. Continue this until all  strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a  circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a  second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet  with at least 2” in between.
Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour in refrigerator if preferred.
To bake, preheat oven to 375°F and brush loaves again. (If freezing,  remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.) Then dip your index finger  in the egg wash, then into poppy or sesame seeds and then onto a mound  of bread. Continue until bread is decorated with seeds.
Bake in middle of oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack.
Total Time: About 3 and half hours
The photo above does not show the traditional braiding, this is only 3 braids instead of the traditional 6. I was not making this for shabbat so I decided to just do 3.
One of my housemates let me use his camera. View Larger

CHALLAAAAH!

It’s the eve of shabbat! Which means it is time to start thinking about making that challah for Friday night. The recipe I use only takes about 3 1/2 hours to make, but if you want you can let the dough sit overnight which gives the bread a bit of a deeper flavor.

For those of you who don’t know, Challah is a traditional Jewish bread eaten at sundown on Friday night when Jews celebrate shabbat, the start of the day of rest (which is Saturday).

When I was growing up my family would try to save part of the Challah on shabbat so we could make french toast with it the next morning. It didn’t always work, but when it did the next morning was glorious. Challah, if you’re not aware, is the best bread to make french toast with, it’s thick and spongy so it soaks up the egg batter, but still stays just dry enough that it’s not a soaked mess.

This recipe has been adopted from the cookbook Jewish Cooking In America by Joan Nathan, I got this recipe from my mom who uses more of a lot of ingredients than the cookbook calls for. This recipe makes two regular sized loves, or one really huge one.

Challah

3 packets (or 6 3/4 tsp) yeast

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

5-6 cups bread flour

2 tsp salt

4 large eggs

1/4 vegetable oil

Handful of sesame or poppy seeds for decoration

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Whisk oil into yeast/water mixture and then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time and add the salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading.)

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth (or knead it in the bowl, if it’s big enough). Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150°F then turned off.

Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12” long and 1-1/2” wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with what is now the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2” in between.

Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour in refrigerator if preferred.

To bake, preheat oven to 375°F and brush loaves again. (If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.) Then dip your index finger in the egg wash, then into poppy or sesame seeds and then onto a mound of bread. Continue until bread is decorated with seeds.

Bake in middle of oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack.

Total Time: About 3 and half hours

The photo above does not show the traditional braiding, this is only 3 braids instead of the traditional 6. I was not making this for shabbat so I decided to just do 3.

One of my housemates let me use his camera.

December 9, 2011 @ 2:50 AM 20 notes

I’ve been meaning to make this bread for the last couple of weeks, but I  haven’t had time. Now I’m back at school and finally have a day to  relax.
I got all the ingredients and my friend Eddie and I got down to  business. This is a ingredient intensive bread, so get ready to do some  shopping! Overall we stuck with the original recipe,  we cut back on the flour by 3/4 of a cup and 1/2 cup of Parmesan and  added garlic to the filling and I don’t have a cake pan at school so we  used my mini loaf pans instead. The downside of using the small pans is that not all the tomato pieces  stayed with the bread, so we left it with the tomatoes on the bottom  when we served it. I’ll have to invest in my own cake pan and make it  the way it’s supposed to be done and see if it makes a difference. The  upside of doing it this way is that makes portions really easy. I used 5  mini pans which made 10 portions.Upside-Down Tomato Basil BreadDough 2 1/2 teaspoons (or 1 package) active dry yeast 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons sea salt 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepperFilling 4-5 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (basil from store produce pkg, about 1 oz) 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (or three-pepper mix) fresh-ground red pepper flakes, to your more hot/less hot taste -or- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakesTomato Topping 3 large or 4 small-medium tomatoesMake Bread Dough: Stir the yeast into warm water in mixer bowl; let stand about 10  minutes, until yeast looks bubbled and creamy. Fit mixer with dough  hook. Stir in olive oil first, combining with yeast, then mix in flour,  Parmesan cheese, sea salt, ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes.  Kneading about 5 minutes, until dough is combined, soft and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap, then  dish towel. Set aside and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Dough  should feel very smooth, moist and soft. You can start making the filling and cutting up the tomatoes for the  topping while the dough rises. You won’t need more than 45 minutes to  prep and make the filling.Make Filling: In small bowl, place chopped fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil,  sea salt, ground pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well, and  set aside.Tomato Topping: Remove cores and chop tomatoes to small, rough pieces. Place in bowl (without accumulated liquid) and set aside.Assemble Tomato Basil Bread Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Lightly oil (with olive oil) bottom and sides of 10″ round cake or  springform pan (can also use 9 x 13 metal pan, Pyrex dish, or similar).  Drain any excess juices from chopped tomatoes, then spread evenly over  bottom of pan. Set aside. Turn risen bread dough out on lightly floured surface. Gently pull and  stretch dough to a rough rectangle, approximately 11″ x 24″. Using  spatula, gently spread Filling evenly across dough to cover, reaching  edges. Starting at long edge, roll dough up jelly roll style, as for  cinnamon rolls. Try to roll evenly and without air gaps. With seam side  facing down, make sure filled roll is solid and combined by patting  sides and edges. Using a thin, sharp knife (serrated is best) cut 1″ slices from dough  roll. Arrange slices, spiral side down, on top of chopped tomatoes in  prepared pan. In a 10″ round pan, you will have little to no room  between slices (if using a larger pan, arrange slices barely touching,  with small amounts of space between them.) Cover lightly with plastic  wrap and allow to rise slightly, about 20 minutes. Place filled pan on wider sheet pan or foil (important – to catch  drips!) Bake on lower rack 40 – 45 minutes, until top rolls are medium  brown, feel hollow when tapped, and tomato juices have bubbled and  thickened. Remove from oven and cool on rack for 5 minutes.Total Time: 4 hours Picture courtesy of Eddie Barksdale View Larger

I’ve been meaning to make this bread for the last couple of weeks, but I haven’t had time. Now I’m back at school and finally have a day to relax.

I got all the ingredients and my friend Eddie and I got down to business. This is a ingredient intensive bread, so get ready to do some shopping!

Overall we stuck with the original recipe, we cut back on the flour by 3/4 of a cup and 1/2 cup of Parmesan and added garlic to the filling and I don’t have a cake pan at school so we used my mini loaf pans instead.

The downside of using the small pans is that not all the tomato pieces stayed with the bread, so we left it with the tomatoes on the bottom when we served it. I’ll have to invest in my own cake pan and make it the way it’s supposed to be done and see if it makes a difference. The upside of doing it this way is that makes portions really easy. I used 5 mini pans which made 10 portions.

Upside-Down Tomato Basil Bread

Dough

2 1/2 teaspoons (or 1 package) active dry yeast
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


Filling

4-5 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (basil from store produce pkg, about 1 oz)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (or three-pepper mix)
fresh-ground red pepper flakes, to your more hot/less hot taste -or- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Tomato Topping

3 large or 4 small-medium tomatoes


Make Bread Dough:

Stir the yeast into warm water in mixer bowl; let stand about 10 minutes, until yeast looks bubbled and creamy. Fit mixer with dough hook. Stir in olive oil first, combining with yeast, then mix in flour, Parmesan cheese, sea salt, ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes. Kneading about 5 minutes, until dough is combined, soft and elastic.

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap, then dish towel. Set aside and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Dough should feel very smooth, moist and soft.

You can start making the filling and cutting up the tomatoes for the topping while the dough rises. You won’t need more than 45 minutes to prep and make the filling.

Make Filling:

In small bowl, place chopped fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, sea salt, ground pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well, and set aside.

Tomato Topping:

Remove cores and chop tomatoes to small, rough pieces. Place in bowl (without accumulated liquid) and set aside.

Assemble Tomato Basil Bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Lightly oil (with olive oil) bottom and sides of 10″ round cake or springform pan (can also use 9 x 13 metal pan, Pyrex dish, or similar). Drain any excess juices from chopped tomatoes, then spread evenly over bottom of pan. Set aside.

Turn risen bread dough out on lightly floured surface. Gently pull and stretch dough to a rough rectangle, approximately 11″ x 24″. Using spatula, gently spread Filling evenly across dough to cover, reaching edges. Starting at long edge, roll dough up jelly roll style, as for cinnamon rolls. Try to roll evenly and without air gaps. With seam side facing down, make sure filled roll is solid and combined by patting sides and edges.

Using a thin, sharp knife (serrated is best) cut 1″ slices from dough roll. Arrange slices, spiral side down, on top of chopped tomatoes in prepared pan. In a 10″ round pan, you will have little to no room between slices (if using a larger pan, arrange slices barely touching, with small amounts of space between them.) Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise slightly, about 20 minutes.

Place filled pan on wider sheet pan or foil (important – to catch drips!) Bake on lower rack 40 – 45 minutes, until top rolls are medium brown, feel hollow when tapped, and tomato juices have bubbled and thickened. Remove from oven and cool on rack for 5 minutes.

Total Time: 4 hours

Picture courtesy of Eddie Barksdale

October 23, 2011 @ 1:19 PM 4 notes

I LOVE brioche.
While looking for recipes for dessert last night I stumbled upon this  lovely recipe. For those of you who don’t known, brioche  is similar to challah but more like pastry bread. I found this recipe on the Foodbeam blog,  a blog I have been wanting to try out for a while, but their recipes  are very fancy so I hadn’t gotten a chance. This recipe is not real  fancy, just takes a bit of time since you have to let the dough rise  overnight. Which makes this recipe perfect for breakfast (although  morning prep and bake will take roughly 1-2 hours). I changed very little of this recipe: I used more flour than the recipe  asked for because the dough was still very sticky after 4 cups of flour.  I used 5-10 chocolate chips in each brioche instead of chocolate  squares.Chocolate Heart Brioche makes 24 small brioches 500ml warm milk 42g fresh yeast 4-8 cups flour 200g caster sugar (regular sugar works fine too) a pinch of salt 2 large eggs 160g melted butter 24 milk or dark chocolate squares (or 1/3- 1/2 cup chocolate chips) Combine the milk, yeast and a teaspoon of the sugar in a bowl. Stir once or twice and allow rising for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix 4 cups of flour, remaining sugar and salt and pour the yeast mixture on top of it. Add the eggs and melted butter and mix, first with a round knife and then with your hands – until it forms a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.  It should be soft and not sticky. (You can knead the dough in the bowl  if it is large enough) Butter a large bowl generously. Place the dough in the buttered bowl and let rise overnight in the fridge. The next morning, allow the dough to come to room temperature (this is  not completely necessary though it will make your brioche a bit lighter. Preheat the oven to 393°F (200°C). Knead the dough and cut off pieces of dough to form small 90g balls and insert a chocolate square in the centre of each ball. Fill two 12-bun muffin tin with the dough balls and let rise for 20  minutes (I put muffin cups in the tin, but it’s not necessary if you  grease the tins and they come out far prettier if you don’t). Brush with  a little egg, then bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. If the tops get too brown loosely cover with foil.Total Time: roughly 14 hours (40 minutes to make dough, set over night and then 1-2 hours to prep and bake in the morning The beautiful picture was taken by my dad. THANK YOU! View Larger

I LOVE brioche.

While looking for recipes for dessert last night I stumbled upon this lovely recipe. For those of you who don’t known, brioche is similar to challah but more like pastry bread.

I found this recipe on the Foodbeam blog, a blog I have been wanting to try out for a while, but their recipes are very fancy so I hadn’t gotten a chance. This recipe is not real fancy, just takes a bit of time since you have to let the dough rise overnight. Which makes this recipe perfect for breakfast (although morning prep and bake will take roughly 1-2 hours).

I changed very little of this recipe: I used more flour than the recipe asked for because the dough was still very sticky after 4 cups of flour. I used 5-10 chocolate chips in each brioche instead of chocolate squares.

Chocolate Heart Brioche

makes 24 small brioches

500ml warm milk
42g fresh yeast
4-8 cups flour
200g caster sugar (regular sugar works fine too)
a pinch of salt
2 large eggs
160g melted butter
24 milk or dark chocolate squares (or 1/3- 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Combine the milk, yeast and a teaspoon of the sugar in a bowl. Stir once or twice and allow rising for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix 4 cups of flour, remaining sugar and salt and pour the yeast mixture on top of it.
Add the eggs and melted butter and mix, first with a round knife and then with your hands – until it forms a ball.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. It should be soft and not sticky. (You can knead the dough in the bowl if it is large enough)
Butter a large bowl generously. Place the dough in the buttered bowl and let rise overnight in the fridge.

The next morning, allow the dough to come to room temperature (this is not completely necessary though it will make your brioche a bit lighter.
Preheat the oven to 393°F (200°C).
Knead the dough and cut off pieces of dough to form small 90g balls and insert a chocolate square in the centre of each ball.

Fill two 12-bun muffin tin with the dough balls and let rise for 20 minutes (I put muffin cups in the tin, but it’s not necessary if you grease the tins and they come out far prettier if you don’t). Brush with a little egg, then bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

If the tops get too brown loosely cover with foil.

Total Time: roughly 14 hours (40 minutes to make dough, set over night and then 1-2 hours to prep and bake in the morning

The beautiful picture was taken by my dad. THANK YOU!

October 23, 2011 @ 1:08 PM 8 notes

The recipe is very similar to the other baguette recipe I have on here,  in that it’s the same ingredients. 
However, this recipe has you make an  actual dough, rather than a batter, and takes a couple hours off the  time. Which is awesome in my book. I’ve made a couple revisions from Thrifty Gourmet but nothing huge (pretty ballsy of me for a first try, right?). Note about the way I bake: use as few bowls as possible. So here we go: Mini French Baguettes 4 cups bread flour 1 tsp active dry yeast 2 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar About 1 cup Warm water Proof the yeast by mixing it with 1/2 cup of warm water and a teaspoon  of sugar. Let it stand for a few minutes until it becomes foamy. Incorporate the flour and the salt into the bowl with a spoon. Gradually add warm water until you obtain a dough ball that detaches  itself from the edges of the bowl, wash your hands off and coat them  with flour and continue kneading dough until smooth (you may need to add  some more flour, but don’t add too much and you can do this step on a  counter or, if your bowl is large enough, inside the bowl). Place the dough into a bowl lightly coated with oil, cover with a  kitchen towel or a plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. The dough should double in volume. After the dough has doubled. Transfer it to the floured surface and  gently knead for 4 minutes and divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Gently stretch each piece and roll it to form a log that will  later be shaped into a mini baguette. Set aside and repeat this process  with the remaining pieces of dough. This allows each piece to relax a  little. Starting with the first log that you shaped, elongate each baguette by  rolling it back and forth on the work surface until the loaf reaches the  desired length. Be mindful that the bread will expand as it bakes. Place the mini baguettes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or  lightly floured. Make 2 shallow diagonal slashes on each loaf with a sharp  knife and dust with a little flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 40-60 minutes until the mini baguettes have become slightly bigger and more rounded.30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place an empty roasting pan on the bottom rack. After the oven temperature has reached 500 degrees F, pour 2 cups of hot  water into the roasting pan to create some steam and place the baking  sheet with the baguettes on the top rack. Bake for 10 minutes at 500F, then lower the oven temperature to 400  degrees F and bake for 20 -25 minutes until the mini baguettes are  golden brown and crisp.Total Time: About 4 Hours(Picture taken by Eddie Barksdale) View Larger

The recipe is very similar to the other baguette recipe I have on here, in that it’s the same ingredients.

However, this recipe has you make an actual dough, rather than a batter, and takes a couple hours off the time. Which is awesome in my book. I’ve made a couple revisions from Thrifty Gourmet but nothing huge (pretty ballsy of me for a first try, right?). Note about the way I bake: use as few bowls as possible.

So here we go:

Mini French Baguettes
4 cups bread flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
About 1 cup Warm water

Proof the yeast by mixing it with 1/2 cup of warm water and a teaspoon of sugar. Let it stand for a few minutes until it becomes foamy.

Incorporate the flour and the salt into the bowl with a spoon.

Gradually add warm water until you obtain a dough ball that detaches itself from the edges of the bowl, wash your hands off and coat them with flour and continue kneading dough until smooth (you may need to add some more flour, but don’t add too much and you can do this step on a counter or, if your bowl is large enough, inside the bowl).

Place the dough into a bowl lightly coated with oil, cover with a kitchen towel or a plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. The dough should double in volume.

After the dough has doubled. Transfer it to the floured surface and gently knead for 4 minutes and divide dough into 8 equal pieces.

Gently stretch each piece and roll it to form a log that will later be shaped into a mini baguette. Set aside and repeat this process with the remaining pieces of dough. This allows each piece to relax a little.
Starting with the first log that you shaped, elongate each baguette by rolling it back and forth on the work surface until the loaf reaches the desired length. Be mindful that the bread will expand as it bakes.

Place the mini baguettes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly floured. Make 2 shallow diagonal slashes on each loaf with a sharp knife and dust with a little flour.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 40-60 minutes until the mini baguettes have become slightly bigger and more rounded.

30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place an empty roasting pan on the bottom rack.

After the oven temperature has reached 500 degrees F, pour 2 cups of hot water into the roasting pan to create some steam and place the baking sheet with the baguettes on the top rack.

Bake for 10 minutes at 500F, then lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for 20 -25 minutes until the mini baguettes are golden brown and crisp.

Total Time: About 4 Hours
(Picture taken by Eddie Barksdale)

October 23, 2011 @ 12:00 PM 9 notes

This is one of my favorite breads. 
It’s rich, dense and full of flavor and there’s cocoa in it! Who doesn’t like chocolate in their bread? Well, for you weird people who don’t, it doesn’t really taste like chocolate (sorry, to those of you who were hoping it would). This is a great bread with eggs for breakfast and for snacks because a  slice of bread is very filling. I got this bread off of Simple Recipes.  The recipe that I’m posting here is pretty much the same. This recipe  takes a lot of flour, which you just need to add until the dough is no  longer sticky and it is soft.Light Rye 2 packages active dry yeast 2 1/2 cups of warm water (barely warm to the touch) 2/3 cup molasses 5 cups bread flour 2 cups rye flour 1 tablespoon salt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup cocoa powder 2 Tbsp caraway seeds (technically this is “optional” but if you don’t like caraway seeds, don’t eat rye bread.) Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the molasses. Put yeast  mixture into a large metal bowl. Add caraway seeds, salt, vegetable oil,  cocoa powder, 2 cups of rye flour and then 2 cups of baking flour,  mixing into the yeast mixture after each addition. Add more bread flour,  a cup at a time, until the dough is not so sticky and it is too hard  too mix. At that point, spread a half cupful of flour onto a large,  clean, flat surface and put the dough onto the surface. Knead the dough  by pressing down with the heel of your hand, stretching it, turning the  dough a quarter-turn, pulling the dough back toward you and then  pressing and stretching again. Knead additional bread flour into the  dough until it reaches the right consistency. Knead for 5-7 minutes, or  until the dough is smooth and elastic. (you can do all of this inside  your bowl with your hands if it’s wide enough, makes clean up a lot  easier) Spread some vegetable oil around a large bowl and place the dough in it,  turning it so it gets coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic  wrap or a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled  in size, about an hour and a half. Gently press down on the dough so some of its air is released and knead  the dough a few turns and then divide it by cutting it in half with a  sharp knife. You use the knife so that you don’t loose all the air in  the dough, just some of it. Shape each half into loaf. Place dough loafs into either oiled bread  loaf pans, or onto a flat baking sheet or peel that has been sprinkled  with corn meal, depending if you want to cook the loaves in pans or  directly on a baking stone. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth.  If you are using a baking stone, place the stone in the oven. Place a  pan of water at the bottom of the oven to create steam and preheat oven  to 350°F for at least half an hour before baking (so now would be a good  time). Let rise again, this time not doubling in volume, but rising by about  half of its volume, about 45 minutes, half as long as the first rising.  The dough should be peeking over the top of the loaf pan if using a loaf  pan. If baking on a stone, score the dough a few times on the top of the  dough right before putting it in the oven. Put dough in the oven. If you  have a mister, mist the dough with a little water the first 10 minutes  of baking. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until done. The bread should sound  hollow when tapped.Total Time: About 4 Hours View Larger

This is one of my favorite breads.

It’s rich, dense and full of flavor and there’s cocoa in it! Who doesn’t like chocolate in their bread? Well, for you weird people who don’t, it doesn’t really taste like chocolate (sorry, to those of you who were hoping it would). This is a great bread with eggs for breakfast and for snacks because a slice of bread is very filling. I got this bread off of Simple Recipes. The recipe that I’m posting here is pretty much the same. This recipe takes a lot of flour, which you just need to add until the dough is no longer sticky and it is soft.

Light Rye
2 packages active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups of warm water (barely warm to the touch)
2/3 cup molasses
5 cups bread flour
2 cups rye flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp caraway seeds (technically this is “optional” but if you don’t like caraway seeds, don’t eat rye bread.)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the molasses. Put yeast mixture into a large metal bowl. Add caraway seeds, salt, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, 2 cups of rye flour and then 2 cups of baking flour, mixing into the yeast mixture after each addition. Add more bread flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is not so sticky and it is too hard too mix. At that point, spread a half cupful of flour onto a large, clean, flat surface and put the dough onto the surface. Knead the dough by pressing down with the heel of your hand, stretching it, turning the dough a quarter-turn, pulling the dough back toward you and then pressing and stretching again. Knead additional bread flour into the dough until it reaches the right consistency. Knead for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. (you can do all of this inside your bowl with your hands if it’s wide enough, makes clean up a lot easier)
Spread some vegetable oil around a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning it so it gets coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half.

Gently press down on the dough so some of its air is released and knead the dough a few turns and then divide it by cutting it in half with a sharp knife. You use the knife so that you don’t loose all the air in the dough, just some of it.
Shape each half into loaf. Place dough loafs into either oiled bread loaf pans, or onto a flat baking sheet or peel that has been sprinkled with corn meal, depending if you want to cook the loaves in pans or directly on a baking stone. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth.
If you are using a baking stone, place the stone in the oven. Place a pan of water at the bottom of the oven to create steam and preheat oven to 350°F for at least half an hour before baking (so now would be a good time).
Let rise again, this time not doubling in volume, but rising by about half of its volume, about 45 minutes, half as long as the first rising. The dough should be peeking over the top of the loaf pan if using a loaf pan.
If baking on a stone, score the dough a few times on the top of the dough right before putting it in the oven. Put dough in the oven. If you have a mister, mist the dough with a little water the first 10 minutes of baking. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until done. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.

Total Time: About 4 Hours

October 23, 2011 @ 11:52 AM 12 notes

I started making pretzels my senior year of high school. 
My friend had  to make them for a culinary class he was taking and I helped him out.  Pretzels are very easy to make, probably one of the easiest breads  because it takes only 20 minutes and you don’t really have to wait for  the dough to rise (but they’ll be a little lighter if you let them rise  for 10-15 minutes). These are great to make for snacks and really fun to  make with little kids. I should know. I teach a kids pretzel making class.
Another fun things to do with pretzel dough: making a pretzel pull-a-part loaf using a spring form pan. Follow the recipe below until baking the pretzels. Then, instead of baking them on a baking sheet, grease a spring form pan and shove the pretzels into the pan nice and tight. Shove some cheese in between the pretzels (or cinnamon or whatever else you like) and bake for 15-20 minutes.
 The recipe I used is from the cooking network, but I’ve changed it a little.Pretzels 5 cups of all purpose flour 1 packet dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp) 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 cups warm water (add more if flour is not all absorbed) 1/2 cup of baking soda First off: Preheat oven to 350 Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in warm water then add flour and salt.  Knead dough until smooth. Fill a pot with water stir in the baking soda, let  boil. Cut off golf ball sized pieces of dough from dough and roll into thick  sticks. Form a U then cross the ends, twisting at the middle. Fold the  ends back down to meet the U (which is now an O) and press to secure the  dough.  After the water and baking soda has come to a boil place pretzels into  the water for 30 seconds and then place them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle  pretzels with salt (or whatever else you like, cinnamon sugar,  Parmesan, etc.)  Put the pretzels in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown then take them out and let cool and EAT!Total Time: About 30 minutes View Larger

I started making pretzels my senior year of high school.

My friend had to make them for a culinary class he was taking and I helped him out. Pretzels are very easy to make, probably one of the easiest breads because it takes only 20 minutes and you don’t really have to wait for the dough to rise (but they’ll be a little lighter if you let them rise for 10-15 minutes). These are great to make for snacks and really fun to make with little kids. I should know. I teach a kids pretzel making class.

Another fun things to do with pretzel dough: making a pretzel pull-a-part loaf using a spring form pan. Follow the recipe below until baking the pretzels. Then, instead of baking them on a baking sheet, grease a spring form pan and shove the pretzels into the pan nice and tight. Shove some cheese in between the pretzels (or cinnamon or whatever else you like) and bake for 15-20 minutes.


The recipe I used is from the cooking network, but I’ve changed it a little.

Pretzels
5 cups of all purpose flour
1 packet dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups warm water (add more if flour is not all absorbed)
1/2 cup of baking soda

First off: Preheat oven to 350

Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in warm water then add flour and salt. Knead dough until smooth. Fill a pot with water stir in the baking soda, let boil.

Cut off golf ball sized pieces of dough from dough and roll into thick sticks. Form a U then cross the ends, twisting at the middle. Fold the ends back down to meet the U (which is now an O) and press to secure the dough.
After the water and baking soda has come to a boil place pretzels into the water for 30 seconds and then place them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle pretzels with salt (or whatever else you like, cinnamon sugar, Parmesan, etc.)
Put the pretzels in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown then take them out and let cool and EAT!

Total Time: About 30 minutes

October 23, 2011 @ 11:42 AM 5 notes