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?

I haven’t made something I really wanted to post about for some time.
My dad asked me why there hadn’t been any new posts in the last couple of weeks and I told him that I had been busy, but then I realized, what it came down to was that I just hadn’t found a recipe that made me really excited.
Many of the recipes you find here are recipes that I thought about for days before I actually made them. I find a recipe that I’m really excited about and it gets stuck in my brain. It’s all I can really think about. And, if you ask my friends, all I can talk about.
This was one of those recipes and I’m very excited to share it with you.
For this recipe, I followed the original recipe, but chose to omit the bread crumbs in the filling and I added mushrooms. I also chose to make my own ricotta for the filling (which only takes about 20 minutes, so you should do it). The recipe for the ricotta is at the very bottom of this post.
Sunshine Spinach Pie
Dough
500 gr of flour
90 ml of extra virgin olive oil
200 ml of warm dry white wine
2 tsp of salt
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the olive oil and white wine. Carefully stir stir in the wet ingredients with your hand or a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together into a smooth ball. If your dough is too sticky, add more wine and olive oil. If it’s too dry, add more flour. Cover the dough in plastic while you make the filling.
Filling
350 gr fresh spinach, boiled
350 gr of ricotta cheese
5 medium sized button mushrooms, halved and cut in thin slices and sautéed in olive oil.
1 egg
100 gr grated Parmesan 
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the filling. Taste it to see if you think it needs more salt or pepper and add accordingly.
 To assemble
Preheat your oven to 360°F
Cut the dough in half and roll out the first half of the dough into a large circle about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Move the dough to your baking sheet (a pizza pan works best) Place a large mound of filling in the center of the dough and then a circle of filling around the mound making sure to leave about 2 inches between the filling in the center and the circle and an inch between the edge of dough and the circle.
Roll out your second piece of dough to the same thickness. Wet the edges of the dough and carefully place the lid over the filling, pushing the dough down where there is no filling.
Take scissors and cut the dough around the edges about 2 inches between each cut just past the filling circle. Twist the now cut edges so that the filling shows through.
Brush the pie with an egg wash and sprinkle the top with more salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a light golden brown around the edges.
 
Ricotta
2 quarts whole milk (NOT ultra-pasteurized - Milk from in-state is usually not, but double check).
1 cup heavy cream (also not ultra-pasteurized)
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
In a large pot bring milk and cream to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and stir until curds stop forming, about 3 minutes. Pour the curds through a colander covered in cheese cloth to strain out the whey. 
Now try not to eat all the ricotta before it goes into your spinach pie! This recipe makes about 50g more than you need for the pie recipe.

Total Time: About an hour (extra 20 minutes if you make your own ricotta)

This lovely picture was taken by Rachel King. For more food photos please check out my facebook page!

I haven’t made something I really wanted to post about for some time.

My dad asked me why there hadn’t been any new posts in the last couple of weeks and I told him that I had been busy, but then I realized, what it came down to was that I just hadn’t found a recipe that made me really excited.

Many of the recipes you find here are recipes that I thought about for days before I actually made them. I find a recipe that I’m really excited about and it gets stuck in my brain. It’s all I can really think about. And, if you ask my friends, all I can talk about.

This was one of those recipes and I’m very excited to share it with you.

For this recipe, I followed the original recipe, but chose to omit the bread crumbs in the filling and I added mushrooms. I also chose to make my own ricotta for the filling (which only takes about 20 minutes, so you should do it). The recipe for the ricotta is at the very bottom of this post.

Sunshine Spinach Pie

Dough

500 gr of flour

90 ml of extra virgin olive oil

200 ml of warm dry white wine

2 tsp of salt

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the olive oil and white wine. Carefully stir stir in the wet ingredients with your hand or a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together into a smooth ball. If your dough is too sticky, add more wine and olive oil. If it’s too dry, add more flour. Cover the dough in plastic while you make the filling.

Filling

350 gr fresh spinach, boiled

350 gr of ricotta cheese

5 medium sized button mushrooms, halved and cut in thin slices and sautéed in olive oil.

1 egg

100 gr grated Parmesan 

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the filling. Taste it to see if you think it needs more salt or pepper and add accordingly.

 To assemble

Preheat your oven to 360°F

Cut the dough in half and roll out the first half of the dough into a large circle about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Move the dough to your baking sheet (a pizza pan works best) Place a large mound of filling in the center of the dough and then a circle of filling around the mound making sure to leave about 2 inches between the filling in the center and the circle and an inch between the edge of dough and the circle.

Roll out your second piece of dough to the same thickness. Wet the edges of the dough and carefully place the lid over the filling, pushing the dough down where there is no filling.

Take scissors and cut the dough around the edges about 2 inches between each cut just past the filling circle. Twist the now cut edges so that the filling shows through.

Brush the pie with an egg wash and sprinkle the top with more salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a light golden brown around the edges.

 

Ricotta

2 quarts whole milk (NOT ultra-pasteurized - Milk from in-state is usually not, but double check).

1 cup heavy cream (also not ultra-pasteurized)

3 tbs fresh lemon juice

In a large pot bring milk and cream to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and stir until curds stop forming, about 3 minutes. Pour the curds through a colander covered in cheese cloth to strain out the whey. 

Now try not to eat all the ricotta before it goes into your spinach pie! This recipe makes about 50g more than you need for the pie recipe.

Total Time: About an hour (extra 20 minutes if you make your own ricotta)

This lovely picture was taken by Rachel King. For more food photos please check out my facebook page!

May 17, 2013 @ 1:09 PM 6 notes

I’ve been wanting to make some more cheese ever since I made the mozzarella.
I kept making plans to make cheese with different friends. I would buy a gallon of milk and then… something would come up and the milk would sit in my fridge till it went bad. I know! It’s so terrible!
Well yesterday, I was hanging out with a good friend of mine and we were playing the well known “what do you wanna do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” game until he said “LETS MAKE SOME CHEVRE!” and I said “YES!” so we went and bought a gallon of goats milk (among other things, of course).
Chèvre is very easy to make, but it takes time! There is a lot of waiting that goes on. About 16 hours of waiting to be exact. But then you can be proud of yourself because you just made CHEESE. And even though it doesn’t really take a lot of work, that sounds really impressive to people.
This recipe was taken from Cultures for Health. There are a couple different ways to make chèvre, my friend and I chose to use the mesophilic starter to make it this time.
Fresh Chèvre
1 gallon Goats Milk (Do not try to use ultra pasteurized, it won’t work) 
Butter Muslin Cheese Cloth (very fine weave cheese cloth) 
A large pot with a lid
A wooden spoon
A thermometer (make sure it goes below 100°F!)
1 packet Mesophilic Direct Set Culture
2 drops of animal rennet disolved in 1/4 cup of cool water
2 tsp of salt (or more to taste)
Heat the milk to 75°F.
Remove the milk from the heat and allow the mesophilic culture to dissolve on the surface of the milk for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Once dissolved, thoroughly incorporate the starter culture into the milk.
Add the rennet and water mixture and using up and down strokes (don’t stir!), incorporate the rennet into the milk.
Cover the pot and allow the mixture to culture for 14-16 hours at room temperature.
After 14-16 hours, the cheese should look like yogurt (solid if tipped but still relatively soft).  You may see the whey separating from the cheese.
Place a piece of butter muslin (doubled) in a colander in a bowl.  Gently spoon the chèvre into the butter muslin.  Gather the corners of the muslin up and tie knots to secure.
Hang the butter muslin filled with the chèvre over a bowl so the whey can drain.  I rigged up this contraption.
Allow the chèvre to drain for 6-12 hours to reach the desired consistency. If you choose not to drain your chèvre it will stay a yogurt consistency. By draining it for 6 hours, it will become a spreadable cheese. If you let it drain for 12 hours, it will become the consistency of cream cheese. (I chose to drain it for 6 hours)
After the cheese has drained add the salt. You can also flavor the chèvre with herbs by either mixing in fresh or dried herbs or you can put the cheese in a mold and then roll it in the herbs. The herbs in this picture are a lemon thyme.
Now enjoy your cheese!
Total Time: About 24 hours and 30 minutes
This lovely picture was taken by Rachel King. For more food photos please check out my facebook page!

I’ve been wanting to make some more cheese ever since I made the mozzarella.

I kept making plans to make cheese with different friends. I would buy a gallon of milk and then… something would come up and the milk would sit in my fridge till it went bad. I know! It’s so terrible!

Well yesterday, I was hanging out with a good friend of mine and we were playing the well known “what do you wanna do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” game until he said “LETS MAKE SOME CHEVRE!” and I said “YES!” so we went and bought a gallon of goats milk (among other things, of course).

Chèvre is very easy to make, but it takes time! There is a lot of waiting that goes on. About 16 hours of waiting to be exact. But then you can be proud of yourself because you just made CHEESE. And even though it doesn’t really take a lot of work, that sounds really impressive to people.

This recipe was taken from Cultures for Health. There are a couple different ways to make chèvre, my friend and I chose to use the mesophilic starter to make it this time.

Fresh Chèvre

1 gallon Goats Milk (Do not try to use ultra pasteurized, it won’t work) 

Butter Muslin Cheese Cloth (very fine weave cheese cloth) 

A large pot with a lid

A wooden spoon

A thermometer (make sure it goes below 100°F!)

1 packet Mesophilic Direct Set Culture

2 drops of animal rennet disolved in 1/4 cup of cool water

2 tsp of salt (or more to taste)

Heat the milk to 75°F.

Remove the milk from the heat and allow the mesophilic culture to dissolve on the surface of the milk for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Once dissolved, thoroughly incorporate the starter culture into the milk.

Add the rennet and water mixture and using up and down strokes (don’t stir!), incorporate the rennet into the milk.

Cover the pot and allow the mixture to culture for 14-16 hours at room temperature.

After 14-16 hours, the cheese should look like yogurt (solid if tipped but still relatively soft).  You may see the whey separating from the cheese.

Place a piece of butter muslin (doubled) in a colander in a bowl.  Gently spoon the chèvre into the butter muslin.  Gather the corners of the muslin up and tie knots to secure.

Hang the butter muslin filled with the chèvre over a bowl so the whey can drain.  I rigged up this contraption.

Allow the chèvre to drain for 6-12 hours to reach the desired consistency. If you choose not to drain your chèvre it will stay a yogurt consistency. By draining it for 6 hours, it will become a spreadable cheese. If you let it drain for 12 hours, it will become the consistency of cream cheese. (I chose to drain it for 6 hours)

After the cheese has drained add the salt. You can also flavor the chèvre with herbs by either mixing in fresh or dried herbs or you can put the cheese in a mold and then roll it in the herbs. The herbs in this picture are a lemon thyme.

Now enjoy your cheese!

Total Time: About 24 hours and 30 minutes

This lovely picture was taken by Rachel King. For more food photos please check out my facebook page!

May 17, 2013 @ 1:05 PM 2 notes

Apples are really an underrated fruit.
I mean, people take apples for granted.
But damn.
A good apple?
You just can’t beat it.
And there’s so much you can do with apple that’s just so great.
I have the good fortune of living with someone who has an apple connection. Their parents have a bunch of apple trees in their backyard so we got a couple boxes of apples for free!
I decided to make an apple galette with a non-traditional spin. I didn’t use any recipes online (although, I’m sure this was inspired by many recipes I’ve flipped through). I was going to make some mini pies, but galette’s are just so fun (and so much easier)!
A galette is a rustic free-form pie. They are very simple and really wonderful if you don’t have a pie tin. They also look really sweet and they sound all fancy so everyone thinks you’ve put more work into them.
You will probably have some filling left over, eat it while you wait for the pies to bake!
Cracked Pepper and Cheddar Apple Galette (Makes 1 large galette or 6 small)
Crust
1 1/4 cup white pastry flour
1 tbs sugar
1 stick of cold butter (8 tbs)
About 1/4 cup ice water
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and cut up your butter in small pieces and place them in the bowl with your dry ingredients. If there is space in your freezer, stick the bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. The colder your ingredients are the better your crust will be.
Take the bowl out of the freezer and incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until most of the pieces of butter are the size of a pebble. Leave some larger chunks of butter as well, but not too many. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture until a nice soft ball of dough forms. If you’ve made the dough too wet, add more flour. Still too dry? Add more water.
Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least one hour. Overnight is better.
Filling
4 large apples or 5-6 small ones, cored and then sliced thin with a mandolin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
Milk or a whisked egg for finishing
Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl till the apples are all evenly coated and the cheese is evenly distributed throughout the bowl.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
To assemble the galette(s), roll out the dough* on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Rotate and flip the dough as you go to make sure it stays round. Your dough still isn’t round? It’s rustic! Who cares?!
Place the round of dough on a pan covered in parchment paper. To fill the galette, carefully arrange the apple slices in a circle starting from the center moving towards the edges of the dough. Keep the apples at least 4 inches (1-2 1/2 inches for a small galette) from the edge of the dough, once the circle of apples has been created, pile more apples in the circle formation upwards till the center is about 2 inches tall. Fold the excess dough up and over the apple slices, pinching the dough together so the only opening is in the very center of the galette.
Place the galette(s) in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Brush the galette all over with the egg or milk.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes (for the large galette, 20 minutes for the small) or until golden brown.
Take out of the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
*if you are making small galettes use 2 1/2 ounces of dough for each galette
Total Time: About 2 hours View Larger

Apples are really an underrated fruit.

I mean, people take apples for granted.

But damn.

A good apple?

You just can’t beat it.

And there’s so much you can do with apple that’s just so great.

I have the good fortune of living with someone who has an apple connection. Their parents have a bunch of apple trees in their backyard so we got a couple boxes of apples for free!

I decided to make an apple galette with a non-traditional spin. I didn’t use any recipes online (although, I’m sure this was inspired by many recipes I’ve flipped through). I was going to make some mini pies, but galette’s are just so fun (and so much easier)!

A galette is a rustic free-form pie. They are very simple and really wonderful if you don’t have a pie tin. They also look really sweet and they sound all fancy so everyone thinks you’ve put more work into them.

You will probably have some filling left over, eat it while you wait for the pies to bake!

Cracked Pepper and Cheddar Apple Galette
(Makes 1 large galette or 6 small)

Crust

1 1/4 cup white pastry flour

1 tbs sugar

1 stick of cold butter (8 tbs)

About 1/4 cup ice water

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and cut up your butter in small pieces and place them in the bowl with your dry ingredients. If there is space in your freezer, stick the bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. The colder your ingredients are the better your crust will be.

Take the bowl out of the freezer and incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until most of the pieces of butter are the size of a pebble. Leave some larger chunks of butter as well, but not too many. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture until a nice soft ball of dough forms. If you’ve made the dough too wet, add more flour. Still too dry? Add more water.

Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least one hour. Overnight is better.

Filling

4 large apples or 5-6 small ones, cored and then sliced thin with a mandolin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar

1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

Milk or a whisked egg for finishing

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl till the apples are all evenly coated and the cheese is evenly distributed throughout the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

To assemble the galette(s), roll out the dough* on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Rotate and flip the dough as you go to make sure it stays round. Your dough still isn’t round? It’s rustic! Who cares?!

Place the round of dough on a pan covered in parchment paper. To fill the galette, carefully arrange the apple slices in a circle starting from the center moving towards the edges of the dough. Keep the apples at least 4 inches (1-2 1/2 inches for a small galette) from the edge of the dough, once the circle of apples has been created, pile more apples in the circle formation upwards till the center is about 2 inches tall. Fold the excess dough up and over the apple slices, pinching the dough together so the only opening is in the very center of the galette.

Place the galette(s) in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Brush the galette all over with the egg or milk.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes (for the large galette, 20 minutes for the small) or until golden brown.

Take out of the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

*if you are making small galettes use 2 1/2 ounces of dough for each galette

Total Time: About 2 hours

October 16, 2012 @ 2:35 AM 9 notes

It’s amazing how much milk you use to get a ball of mozzarella the size of a small cantaloupe.
You need a gallon of milk, to be exact.
I didn’t realize how easy it is to make mozzarella. Apparently ricotta is the easiest cheese to make, but as much as I love ricotta, I set my eyes on mozzarella. I’ve been wanting to make mozzarella since I saw this video. However, using a microwave to make cheese creeps me out, so trying to make mozzarella was set on the back burner.
I’ve been working at a store that sells cheese making supplies and I finally decided that it was time to give it a shot. You don’t need many items to make cheese. However they are all necessary, which is why I’m putting everything you need in the list of ingredients. I used a recipe from the book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses by Ricki Carroll.
The recipe I used said to use a slotted spoon for straining the cheese curds, but I chose to use cheese cloth instead. Other than that, I did not mess with this recipe, I don’t know nearly enough about cheese to start changing things… yet.
I suggest you read through the recipe and set up everything close to the stove.
Mozzarella
1 1/2 tsp of citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup of cool water
1 gallon whole milk
1/4 tsp liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup unchlorinated water
1/4 cup kosher salt (or more to taste)
A candy thermometer
A large stock pot
About half a yard of #50 cheese cloth
A large bowl
A strainer
Heat the milk up to 55 degrees F and stir in the citric acid solution. Continue stirring the milk, heat it to 90 degrees F and then take it off the burner. Slowly stir in the diluted rennet in an up and down motion for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Check the curd, there should be a clear separation between the curds and the whey. If there isn’t, let it sit for a couple minutes longer. Break the curd up, set the pot back on the burner and heat the curds up to 110 degrees F while gently stirring the curds. Remove the pot from the heat and stir the curds slowly for about 3 minutes.
Place the strainer in the large bowl and cover the strainer with the cheese cloth. Pour the curds in the pot through the cheese cloth/strainer. Gather up the sides of the cheese cloth and squeeze as much of the whey out of the curds as you can. Pour the whey back into the pot, stir in 1/4 cup of salt and bring the whey up to at least 175 degrees F.
Careful this next part gets hot!
Dip the curds in the whey for a couple seconds and then knead the curds with your hands and repeat until the curds come together to form a smooth elastic ball. When the cheese can be stretched like taffy, it is done.
Either eat it now (so tasty) or place the ball of mozzarella in a cold water bath and store in the fridge.
Total Time: About 30 minutes View Larger

It’s amazing how much milk you use to get a ball of mozzarella the size of a small cantaloupe.

You need a gallon of milk, to be exact.

I didn’t realize how easy it is to make mozzarella. Apparently ricotta is the easiest cheese to make, but as much as I love ricotta, I set my eyes on mozzarella. I’ve been wanting to make mozzarella since I saw this video. However, using a microwave to make cheese creeps me out, so trying to make mozzarella was set on the back burner.

I’ve been working at a store that sells cheese making supplies and I finally decided that it was time to give it a shot. You don’t need many items to make cheese. However they are all necessary, which is why I’m putting everything you need in the list of ingredients. I used a recipe from the book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses by Ricki Carroll.

The recipe I used said to use a slotted spoon for straining the cheese curds, but I chose to use cheese cloth instead. Other than that, I did not mess with this recipe, I don’t know nearly enough about cheese to start changing things… yet.

I suggest you read through the recipe and set up everything close to the stove.

Mozzarella

1 1/2 tsp of citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup of cool water

1 gallon whole milk

1/4 tsp liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup unchlorinated water

1/4 cup kosher salt (or more to taste)

A candy thermometer

A large stock pot

About half a yard of #50 cheese cloth

A large bowl

A strainer

Heat the milk up to 55 degrees F and stir in the citric acid solution. Continue stirring the milk, heat it to 90 degrees F and then take it off the burner. Slowly stir in the diluted rennet in an up and down motion for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Check the curd, there should be a clear separation between the curds and the whey. If there isn’t, let it sit for a couple minutes longer. Break the curd up, set the pot back on the burner and heat the curds up to 110 degrees F while gently stirring the curds. Remove the pot from the heat and stir the curds slowly for about 3 minutes.

Place the strainer in the large bowl and cover the strainer with the cheese cloth. Pour the curds in the pot through the cheese cloth/strainer. Gather up the sides of the cheese cloth and squeeze as much of the whey out of the curds as you can. Pour the whey back into the pot, stir in 1/4 cup of salt and bring the whey up to at least 175 degrees F.

Careful this next part gets hot!

Dip the curds in the whey for a couple seconds and then knead the curds with your hands and repeat until the curds come together to form a smooth elastic ball. When the cheese can be stretched like taffy, it is done.

Either eat it now (so tasty) or place the ball of mozzarella in a cold water bath and store in the fridge.

Total Time: About 30 minutes

June 18, 2012 @ 10:50 PM 6 notes