The Bread is in the Baking

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

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Question or comments about the cooking?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what I miss baking now that I have this new job. I have so much creative freedom and I love it, but there’s something that’s missing. And then I realized what it was: breakfast pastries. I love making breakfast pastries. And Monday morning was perfect because I had some friends over for breakfast: fresh greek yogurt biscuit sandwiches with kale, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and fresh eggs from my chickens. One of my friends gave me the best compliment, he said that he used to think Pine State made the best biscuit sandwiches, but not anymore. Someone else brought mimosa fixings and another brought bacon. I’ve been wanting to make croissants for a while, but they don’t keep well, so it’s best to make them for a group, so this seemed like the perfect time.
While I was in Ireland, a lot of the bed and breakfast I stayed at served did a breakfast spread that usually had yogurt, fruit, cereal and flaxseeds out every morning. I’d never actually had flax seed before, thinking of it as something for crazy health nuts, and therefore assumed that they taste terrible. Duh.
This is, of course not true at all.
While flaxseeds are really good for you (omega-3’s, antioxidants and high in fiber) they also have a wonderful nutty flavor. And this flavor is what I have been turning over in my brain for the last few weeks and why I settled on flaxseed croissants.
I decided that the nutty flavor of the flaxseed would compliment the buttery-ness of the croissant, and add a beautiful speckled look to the croissants and an interesting added texture. This ended up all being true. I love the texture and flavor profile the flax seed brings to the croissant, it almost gives the croissant a browned butter flavor.
I decided to grind the flax seed myself instead of buying flaxseed flour (which is a bit pricey and is apparently prone to go bad, kinda quickly), I ground the flax seed in a food processor and added a little bit of flour to the mix so it wouldn’t clump too much. The seeds don’t grind down very quickly or well, but once it started to look semi cohesive, I decided it was good enough.
I looked for a recipe for flax seed croissants, but couldn’t find one. So this is a recipe I came up with to incorporate the flax seed into the croissant.
If you want a basic croissant recipe I have one here.
Flax Seed Croissants
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of flax seeds (and a little more for decorating)
1 1/3 cup milk slightly warmed.
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs sugar
1 egg (for the wash)
Cut the 1 1/2 cups of butter into 2 cm slices and arrange into a square in between 2 pieces of saran wrap. Using a rolling pin, press and roll the pieces of butter together till you have a uniform 8x8” square. Place in the fridge to chill.
Melt the other 2 Tbs of butter and let cool while you do the next few steps. In a spice grinder or food processor grind the flax seed with a tablespoon of the flour until mostly uniform (I couldn’t get it all to grind down to a flour in my food processor), then mix in with the regular flour.
Combine the yeast, milk, sugar and melted butter together and then add the flour. Knead for 3 minutes or until a rough, sticky ball is formed. Cover and let rest for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 16x8.5”. Place the chilled butter square in the center of the dough and seal it inside. Carefully roll the dough out again and do an envelope fold, and then repeat this step 3 more times, rotating the dough each time and rolling it out to a 8x16”. If the dough seems to be a little elastic-y, let it rest in the fridge for 10 minutes before continuing. The last time you fold and roll out the dough roll it out to just 8X8, wrap your dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, roll out the dough to 16x8” and cut the dough into triangles. Roll the dough into crescents from the wide side of the triangle to the tip and place on baking sheets. Let the croissants proof for about 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk the egg and brush each croissant with it for the glaze. Sprinkle a little bit of flax seed on each croissant as garnish.
Bake the croissants in the oven for about 25-35 minutes or until golden.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 5 hours + 24 hour for the dough to rest over night.
I said this in the last post I did the other week, but I wanted to say it again. I will try to post as much as I can, but it’s going to be sporadic due to my (amazing) new job. If you wan to see what I’m baking at work please follow me on instagram! Where you’ll also find a lot of pictures of my chickens.
If you like this blog, please like it on facebook! View Larger

For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what I miss baking now that I have this new job. I have so much creative freedom and I love it, but there’s something that’s missing. And then I realized what it was: breakfast pastries. I love making breakfast pastries. And Monday morning was perfect because I had some friends over for breakfast: fresh greek yogurt biscuit sandwiches with kale, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and fresh eggs from my chickens. One of my friends gave me the best compliment, he said that he used to think Pine State made the best biscuit sandwiches, but not anymore. Someone else brought mimosa fixings and another brought bacon. I’ve been wanting to make croissants for a while, but they don’t keep well, so it’s best to make them for a group, so this seemed like the perfect time.

While I was in Ireland, a lot of the bed and breakfast I stayed at served did a breakfast spread that usually had yogurt, fruit, cereal and flaxseeds out every morning. I’d never actually had flax seed before, thinking of it as something for crazy health nuts, and therefore assumed that they taste terrible. Duh.

This is, of course not true at all.

While flaxseeds are really good for you (omega-3’s, antioxidants and high in fiber) they also have a wonderful nutty flavor. And this flavor is what I have been turning over in my brain for the last few weeks and why I settled on flaxseed croissants.

I decided that the nutty flavor of the flaxseed would compliment the buttery-ness of the croissant, and add a beautiful speckled look to the croissants and an interesting added texture. This ended up all being true. I love the texture and flavor profile the flax seed brings to the croissant, it almost gives the croissant a browned butter flavor.

I decided to grind the flax seed myself instead of buying flaxseed flour (which is a bit pricey and is apparently prone to go bad, kinda quickly), I ground the flax seed in a food processor and added a little bit of flour to the mix so it wouldn’t clump too much. The seeds don’t grind down very quickly or well, but once it started to look semi cohesive, I decided it was good enough.

I looked for a recipe for flax seed croissants, but couldn’t find one. So this is a recipe I came up with to incorporate the flax seed into the croissant.

If you want a basic croissant recipe I have one here.

Flax Seed Croissants

3 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 cup of flax seeds (and a little more for decorating)

1 1/3 cup milk slightly warmed.

2 1/4 tsp yeast

1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs sugar

1 egg (for the wash)

Cut the 1 1/2 cups of butter into 2 cm slices and arrange into a square in between 2 pieces of saran wrap. Using a rolling pin, press and roll the pieces of butter together till you have a uniform 8x8” square. Place in the fridge to chill.

Melt the other 2 Tbs of butter and let cool while you do the next few steps. In a spice grinder or food processor grind the flax seed with a tablespoon of the flour until mostly uniform (I couldn’t get it all to grind down to a flour in my food processor), then mix in with the regular flour.

Combine the yeast, milk, sugar and melted butter together and then add the flour. Knead for 3 minutes or until a rough, sticky ball is formed. Cover and let rest for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 16x8.5”. Place the chilled butter square in the center of the dough and seal it inside. Carefully roll the dough out again and do an envelope fold, and then repeat this step 3 more times, rotating the dough each time and rolling it out to a 8x16”. If the dough seems to be a little elastic-y, let it rest in the fridge for 10 minutes before continuing. The last time you fold and roll out the dough roll it out to just 8X8, wrap your dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, roll out the dough to 16x8” and cut the dough into triangles. Roll the dough into crescents from the wide side of the triangle to the tip and place on baking sheets. Let the croissants proof for about 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk the egg and brush each croissant with it for the glaze. Sprinkle a little bit of flax seed on each croissant as garnish.

Bake the croissants in the oven for about 25-35 minutes or until golden.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 5 hours + 24 hour for the dough to rest over night.

I said this in the last post I did the other week, but I wanted to say it again. I will try to post as much as I can, but it’s going to be sporadic due to my (amazing) new job. If you wan to see what I’m baking at work please follow me on instagram! Where you’ll also find a lot of pictures of my chickens.

If you like this blog, please like it on facebook!

July 21, 2014 @ 12:54 PM 4 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

I’ve been on a biscuit craze the last couple months.
Yes, months.
They are just so… good. Especially with an egg. Mmmmm….
I love to invite friends over for breakfast and make biscuit sandwiches with the fresh eggs from my chickens, spinach and salsa (because salsa should be put on everything).
I’m claiming this recipe. I don’t understand all these recipes that say “makes 8 biscuits” when they clearly don’t. I’ve taken a basic buttermilk biscuit recipe, doubled it, and switched out the buttermilk for yogurt.This recipe really makes 10 biscuits.
I love substituting yogurt for buttermilk or cream for two very good reasons:
1. I never have cream or buttermilk in the house. Who does?
2. Yogurt is better for you.
Also, I’ve used a completely different (and better) biscuit forming technique that I learned from someone who used to work at a great biscuit place in Portland (not naming it in the post, sorry).
So this recipe is mine now.
Greek Yogurt Biscuits
(Makes 10 large biscuits)

4 cups (514 g) all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small cubes
2 cup (20 g) Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and cut the butter into the flour mixture until most of the butter is the size of pebbles. Add the yogurt and mix until the dough begins to come together. 
On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough and shape into a rectangle and roll it out until it is a foot long and 6 inches wide. Make an envelope fold (fold the dough into thirds on top of itself). Roll the dough out again and repeat the folding process and then roll out once more. At this point the dough should feel tight.
Continue rolling the dough out until it is the same height as your cookie cutter. Cut as many biscuits out of the dough as you can and repeat the rectangle and folding process.
Place the biscuits on a tray lined with parchment and brush with  an egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Total Time: About 30 minutes View Larger

I’ve been on a biscuit craze the last couple months.

Yes, months.

They are just so… good. Especially with an egg. Mmmmm….

I love to invite friends over for breakfast and make biscuit sandwiches with the fresh eggs from my chickens, spinach and salsa (because salsa should be put on everything).

I’m claiming this recipe. I don’t understand all these recipes that say “makes 8 biscuits” when they clearly don’t. I’ve taken a basic buttermilk biscuit recipe, doubled it, and switched out the buttermilk for yogurt.This recipe really makes 10 biscuits.

I love substituting yogurt for buttermilk or cream for two very good reasons:

1. I never have cream or buttermilk in the house. Who does?

2. Yogurt is better for you.

Also, I’ve used a completely different (and better) biscuit forming technique that I learned from someone who used to work at a great biscuit place in Portland (not naming it in the post, sorry).

So this recipe is mine now.

Greek Yogurt Biscuits

(Makes 10 large biscuits)

4 cups (514 g) all purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small cubes

2 cup (20 g) Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and cut the butter into the flour mixture until most of the butter is the size of pebbles. Add the yogurt and mix until the dough begins to come together.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough and shape into a rectangle and roll it out until it is a foot long and 6 inches wide. Make an envelope fold (fold the dough into thirds on top of itself). Roll the dough out again and repeat the folding process and then roll out once more. At this point the dough should feel tight.

Continue rolling the dough out until it is the same height as your cookie cutter. Cut as many biscuits out of the dough as you can and repeat the rectangle and folding process.

Place the biscuits on a tray lined with parchment and brush with  an egg wash and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Total Time: About 30 minutes

September 19, 2012 @ 5:56 PM 3 notes

Growing up, my twin sister and I got into a scone frenzy.
This kind of thing happened occasionally. We got into this funk where we had to make one particular type of food over and over and over. Luckily, this did include variations of the food. Our scone frenzy included a small scone book which we went through and bookmarked all the recipes we wanted to try. I wish I remembered the name of it, the cookbook was small with violets all over the book sleeve and a teatime set up on the front.
After making all those scones my favorite scones are still Raspberry scones. You can never go wrong with too many raspberries. I like my scones crunchy on the outside and soft and airy, but still a bit flaky on the inside so these scones came out perfect. I changed the recipe a bit… I had Greek yogurt in my fridge but no whole milk and when in doubt ALWAYS substitute yogurt for cream. In my scone excitement I also forgot to put in almond slices which would have been a very good addition. I finally got to use the vanilla extract I made and oh my lord! It is so good.
Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Raspberry Scones
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbs (1 stick) butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 400 f degrees
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in cold butter till it resembles small pebbles. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, vanilla and Greek yogurt together. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir together until it is just combined and the dough has formed a ball. If the dough seems a bit too dry, add a little bit more yogurt or some milk.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust your hands with some flour and pick up the ball of dough. Pat it into a thick disk on the parchment paper and cut the scones into 8-10 scones like you would a pizza. Gently separate the scones from the disk so there is space between the scones and they won’t get stuck together when they bake.
Push your thumb into the fattest part of each scone and place a couple of raspberries in each hole.
Sprinkle the scones with sugar and place in the oven for 15-17 minutes or until a light golden brown.
Total Time: About 40 minutes View Larger

Growing up, my twin sister and I got into a scone frenzy.

This kind of thing happened occasionally. We got into this funk where we had to make one particular type of food over and over and over. Luckily, this did include variations of the food. Our scone frenzy included a small scone book which we went through and bookmarked all the recipes we wanted to try. I wish I remembered the name of it, the cookbook was small with violets all over the book sleeve and a teatime set up on the front.

After making all those scones my favorite scones are still Raspberry scones. You can never go wrong with too many raspberries. I like my scones crunchy on the outside and soft and airy, but still a bit flaky on the inside so these scones came out perfect. I changed the recipe a bit… I had Greek yogurt in my fridge but no whole milk and when in doubt ALWAYS substitute yogurt for cream. In my scone excitement I also forgot to put in almond slices which would have been a very good addition. I finally got to use the vanilla extract I made and oh my lord! It is so good.

Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Raspberry Scones

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

8 tbs (1 stick) butter cut into small pieces

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup frozen or fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 400 f degrees

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in cold butter till it resembles small pebbles. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, vanilla and Greek yogurt together. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir together until it is just combined and the dough has formed a ball. If the dough seems a bit too dry, add a little bit more yogurt or some milk.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust your hands with some flour and pick up the ball of dough. Pat it into a thick disk on the parchment paper and cut the scones into 8-10 scones like you would a pizza. Gently separate the scones from the disk so there is space between the scones and they won’t get stuck together when they bake.

Push your thumb into the fattest part of each scone and place a couple of raspberries in each hole.

Sprinkle the scones with sugar and place in the oven for 15-17 minutes or until a light golden brown.

Total Time: About 40 minutes

March 18, 2012 @ 3:34 PM 5 notes

My house smells like warm butter.
I’ve been meaning to make croissants for a while now. They keep popping up on foodgawker and I look at the recipes and sigh and move on because they always start with the person saying how hard they are to make. Last night I took a deep breath, opened one of the many croissant recipes I had bookmarked and started in on it.
 And I am here to tell you that croissants are not hard to make.
They are a bit time consuming, but they are not hard to make. Croissants are actually a really great brunch addition because you do most of the work the night before and it will only take you an hour or two the next morning. So if you have wanted to make croissants but have thought of the process as too daunting, calm yourself and buy some cream and a lot of butter.
After looking over a lot of croissant recipes I settled on using this recipe because she has pictures which are not completely necessary but very helpful. I ended up using more cream than the recipe asks for and I sprinkled sugar over each croissant before placing them in the oven.
Croissants
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup barely warm water 1 teaspoon active dry yeast 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter (3 1/2 sticks)
In a bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour with the water and yeast just  until the lumps of flour are broken up.  Set the bowl aside and let rise  for 1 hour, it should eventually be covered in bubbles.
Add the remaining flour, the cream and salt and knead the mixture for 1  minute.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Knead the mixture by hand for 10 minutes or in a stand mixer fitted with  the dough hook (on low speed) for about 20 minutes.  The dough should  be smooth and elastic by the time you finish kneading. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place the butter between two sheets of plastic wrap and using a rolling pin, pound the butter into an 8-inch square.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface,  roll it into a 9 x 17-inch rectangle.  Place the square of butter on  the bottom half of the rectangle and use your hands to align the  dough and the sides of the butter square. Fold the top half of the rectangle of dough down over the bottom half so  the square of butter is now enclosed.  Press together the edges of the  square to seal in the butter and use your hands to even out the square.
Gently pound the square with a rolling pin to stretch the dough and the  butter in it. (This is where pictures come in handy, sorry guys!) Roll the dough into a 9 x 18-inch rectangle.  Next, fold the rectangle into thirds like a letter - start with a  narrow end facing you and then folded the top third down. Turn the dough so the single fold (like the spine of a book) is on your left.
Repeat the process of rolling the dough into a 9 x 18-inch  rectangle, then folding the rectangle into thirds by bringing the bottom  up and the top down over it.  Use your fingers to make two imprints on  the dough to keep track of the fact that you’ve completed two turns.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.   Once the dough has been refrigerated, remove it and complete two more  “turns” - for a total of four turns in all. 
At this point, the dough is  ready to be rolled out and used.  However, I suggest you wrap it in  plastic and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before you shape and proof the dough. Doing this brings the flavors out and lets the butter sink into the dough a little bit. Before you begin to shape the dough, line two large baking sheets with  parchment.  Also, make sure you have a ruler handy.  Cut the dough in  half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough into a 6 1/2 x 20-inch rectangle. The dough will be about 1/8 - 1/4-inch thick. After you have rolled it out let the dough proof again for 20 minutes.
When the first rectangle is ready to work with,  cut the triangles from the dough that will be formed into individual  croissants. Cut the long rectangle into about 6 isosceles triangles and make a small notch at the bottom of each triangle. Begin to roll the triangles to form the croissants by tightly curling the two  sides of the triangle on each side of the slit away from each other. Using both hands, continue to roll the base of the triangle - one hand  working with the dough on each side of the slit.  Point your hands away  from each other - at about 45 degree angles from center - as you roll.   Rolling in this manner will help make the classic croissant shape.
Roll each triangle so the tip is underneath and then bend the 2 ends  toward each other to form a shape like a little crab.  Arrange the croissants on a sheet pan and cover them with plastic wrap  to proof for one hour in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Combine 1 egg with a  splash of cream to form an egg wash and brush the proofed croissants, then sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the top of each one. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the croissants are puffed and golden  brown. Move them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before  serving.
Total Time: About 5 hours + 24 hours of letting the dough sit overnight. View Larger

My house smells like warm butter.

I’ve been meaning to make croissants for a while now. They keep popping up on foodgawker and I look at the recipes and sigh and move on because they always start with the person saying how hard they are to make. Last night I took a deep breath, opened one of the many croissant recipes I had bookmarked and started in on it.

 And I am here to tell you that croissants are not hard to make.

They are a bit time consuming, but they are not hard to make. Croissants are actually a really great brunch addition because you do most of the work the night before and it will only take you an hour or two the next morning. So if you have wanted to make croissants but have thought of the process as too daunting, calm yourself and buy some cream and a lot of butter.

After looking over a lot of croissant recipes I settled on using this recipe because she has pictures which are not completely necessary but very helpful. I ended up using more cream than the recipe asks for and I sprinkled sugar over each croissant before placing them in the oven.

Croissants

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup barely warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter (3 1/2 sticks)

In a bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour with the water and yeast just until the lumps of flour are broken up.  Set the bowl aside and let rise for 1 hour, it should eventually be covered in bubbles.

Add the remaining flour, the cream and salt and knead the mixture for 1 minute.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Knead the mixture by hand for 10 minutes or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (on low speed) for about 20 minutes.  The dough should be smooth and elastic by the time you finish kneading. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place the butter between two sheets of plastic wrap and using a rolling pin, pound the butter into an 8-inch square.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll it into a 9 x 17-inch rectangle.  Place the square of butter on the bottom half of the rectangle and use your hands to align the dough and the sides of the butter square. Fold the top half of the rectangle of dough down over the bottom half so the square of butter is now enclosed.  Press together the edges of the square to seal in the butter and use your hands to even out the square.

Gently pound the square with a rolling pin to stretch the dough and the butter in it. (This is where pictures come in handy, sorry guys!) Roll the dough into a 9 x 18-inch rectangle.  Next, fold the rectangle into thirds like a letter - start with a narrow end facing you and then folded the top third down. Turn the dough so the single fold (like the spine of a book) is on your left.

Repeat the process of rolling the dough into a 9 x 18-inch rectangle, then folding the rectangle into thirds by bringing the bottom up and the top down over it.  Use your fingers to make two imprints on the dough to keep track of the fact that you’ve completed two turns.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Once the dough has been refrigerated, remove it and complete two more “turns” - for a total of four turns in all. 

At this point, the dough is ready to be rolled out and used.  However, I suggest you wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before you shape and proof the dough. Doing this brings the flavors out and lets the butter sink into the dough a little bit.

Before you begin to shape the dough, line two large baking sheets with parchment.  Also, make sure you have a ruler handy.  Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough into a 6 1/2 x 20-inch rectangle. The dough will be about 1/8 - 1/4-inch thick. After you have rolled it out let the dough proof again for 20 minutes.

When the first rectangle is ready to work with, cut the triangles from the dough that will be formed into individual croissants. Cut the long rectangle into about 6 isosceles triangles and make a small notch at the bottom of each triangle. Begin to roll the triangles to form the croissants by tightly curling the two sides of the triangle on each side of the slit away from each other. Using both hands, continue to roll the base of the triangle - one hand working with the dough on each side of the slit.  Point your hands away from each other - at about 45 degree angles from center - as you roll.  Rolling in this manner will help make the classic croissant shape.

Roll each triangle so the tip is underneath and then bend the 2 ends toward each other to form a shape like a little crab.  Arrange the croissants on a sheet pan and cover them with plastic wrap to proof for one hour in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Combine 1 egg with a splash of cream to form an egg wash and brush the proofed croissants, then sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the top of each one. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the croissants are puffed and golden brown. Move them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before serving.

Total Time: About 5 hours + 24 hours of letting the dough sit overnight.

January 16, 2012 @ 5:00 PM 11 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

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