The Bread is in the Baking

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

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

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

Total Time: About an hour and half View Larger

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

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

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

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

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

I can’t resist antique baking pans.

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

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

Aren’t they so cute?

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

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

Pumpkin and spice Cakelets

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

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

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

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

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

Total time: About 30 minutes

Pictures taken by the amazing Rachel King!

November 13, 2012 @ 12:13 AM 3 notes

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

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

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

Now to talk about this recipe:

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

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

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Yields 12 buns

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

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

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

Preheat oven to 375°F.

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

Total Time: About 3 1/2 hours

October 31, 2012 @ 4:16 PM 5 notes

I’ve overlooked squash in the past, but I’ve decided to make up for lost time.
Pumpkins.
Man, PUMPKINS.
Some awesome things about pumpkins:
-The word pumpkin sounds really funny. Seriously, say it over and over again and try not to giggle just a little.
-You can hollow them out and carve them into funny faces (or just shapes)
- There are ten billion recipes you can make with pumpkins. Okay, maybe not ten billion, but close.
Pumpkin curry is really tasty (sorry, no recipe for that today), pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread… they are just amazing. Many pumpkin breads and things call for pumpkin puree. Before you go out and buy a can of it at your local grocery store, STOP.
Go buy some pumpkins instead!
Making your own pumpkin puree is simple and tastes much better than that silly canned stuff. Also, it’s cheaper and you get pumpkin seeds to munch on too!
I got my recipe from a couple different sources, they’re all about the same, but if you’re looking for a fun site for more recipes (including this one), check out Chasing Delicious. He’s got some really great tips and tricks on his site, along with recipes.
Pumpkin Puree
The amount of pumpkin puree you get will depend on the size of your pumpkin(s). I used 3 pumpkins and got a little over 2 quarts of puree.
Preheat your oven to 375°F
You will need 1 or more pumpkins. Knock off the stems by tapping the stem against the corner of the table. The stems should pop right off. Cut in quarters and place the pumpkin slices on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. Bake the pumpkins for about an hour, or until soft.
Let the pumpkin(s) cool and peel the skin off the flesh of the pumpkin. Blend the pumpkin flesh in a food processor or with a hand blender, add water until you get your desired consistency. I used about 1/2 cup of water per pumpkin.
Now you can can it, or put it in a container in your fridge or freezer.
Total time: about an hour and half
Also, I wanted to say hello to all my new followers! It’s so exciting! If you have any questions about any of the recipes please send me a question. View Larger

I’ve overlooked squash in the past, but I’ve decided to make up for lost time.

Pumpkins.

Man, PUMPKINS.

Some awesome things about pumpkins:

-The word pumpkin sounds really funny. Seriously, say it over and over again and try not to giggle just a little.

-You can hollow them out and carve them into funny faces (or just shapes)

- There are ten billion recipes you can make with pumpkins. Okay, maybe not ten billion, but close.

Pumpkin curry is really tasty (sorry, no recipe for that today), pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread… they are just amazing. Many pumpkin breads and things call for pumpkin puree. Before you go out and buy a can of it at your local grocery store, STOP.

Go buy some pumpkins instead!

Making your own pumpkin puree is simple and tastes much better than that silly canned stuff. Also, it’s cheaper and you get pumpkin seeds to munch on too!

I got my recipe from a couple different sources, they’re all about the same, but if you’re looking for a fun site for more recipes (including this one), check out Chasing Delicious. He’s got some really great tips and tricks on his site, along with recipes.

Pumpkin Puree

The amount of pumpkin puree you get will depend on the size of your pumpkin(s). I used 3 pumpkins and got a little over 2 quarts of puree.

Preheat your oven to 375°F

You will need 1 or more pumpkins. Knock off the stems by tapping the stem against the corner of the table. The stems should pop right off. Cut in quarters and place the pumpkin slices on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. Bake the pumpkins for about an hour, or until soft.

Let the pumpkin(s) cool and peel the skin off the flesh of the pumpkin. Blend the pumpkin flesh in a food processor or with a hand blender, add water until you get your desired consistency. I used about 1/2 cup of water per pumpkin.

Now you can can it, or put it in a container in your fridge or freezer.

Total time: about an hour and half

Also, I wanted to say hello to all my new followers! It’s so exciting! If you have any questions about any of the recipes please send me a question.

October 29, 2012 @ 10:01 PM 5 notes

Apple butter is one of my favorite spreads.
It’s actually one of my favorite foods. It’s thick and creamy and tastes like fall.
I’ve been wanting to make apple butter for a really long time now, but it’s hard to find a recipe that doesn’t call for a slow cooker or a food mill. Seeing as I don’t have either, I’d been putting it off. Finally I came to the conclusion that I would just have to come up with my own recipe because I couldn’t let these things hold me back.
I looked at a bunch of different recipes to come up with this one and realized that apple butter is just apple sauce that’s been cooked longer, so there is less liquid in it.
Words of warning, because I am not using a slow cooker you have to hang out in your kitchen the entire time, which is 5 hours. So I hope you have a good book to read while you wait! Or you could bake something else too! That’s what I did.
Apple Butter
(Makes about 5 pints)
4 pounds of apples, cored and chopped up (I left the skins on too)
1 cup of honey
2 cups of water
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs vanilla
1 tsp of salt
Juice from one small lemon
Put everything in a pot and place on the stove on medium heat. Keep the pot covered with lid and stir the apples occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of your pot. Once the apple pieces have begun to fall apart, uncover the pot and let it continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Keep the heat below medium and make sure the apple butter does not boil, so it’s less likely to burn. Once the mixture begins to look smooth, take off the heat and move a hand blender through the pot so that the whole mixture is smooth. Place the pot back on the stove and continue to cook until the apple butter is thick and your spoon leaves “waves” as it moves through it.
At this point you can can it, or just put it in jars in your fridge. I would tell you how to can it… but my canning was pretty unsuccessful. Only one of my jars sealed. So if you would like to can your apple butter check out this site. They look pretty knowledgeable about canning.
Or ask your grandmother?
Total Time: About 4 hours View Larger

Apple butter is one of my favorite spreads.

It’s actually one of my favorite foods. It’s thick and creamy and tastes like fall.

I’ve been wanting to make apple butter for a really long time now, but it’s hard to find a recipe that doesn’t call for a slow cooker or a food mill. Seeing as I don’t have either, I’d been putting it off. Finally I came to the conclusion that I would just have to come up with my own recipe because I couldn’t let these things hold me back.

I looked at a bunch of different recipes to come up with this one and realized that apple butter is just apple sauce that’s been cooked longer, so there is less liquid in it.

Words of warning, because I am not using a slow cooker you have to hang out in your kitchen the entire time, which is 5 hours. So I hope you have a good book to read while you wait! Or you could bake something else too! That’s what I did.

Apple Butter

(Makes about 5 pints)

4 pounds of apples, cored and chopped up (I left the skins on too)

1 cup of honey

2 cups of water

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs vanilla

1 tsp of salt

Juice from one small lemon

Put everything in a pot and place on the stove on medium heat. Keep the pot covered with lid and stir the apples occasionally to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of your pot. Once the apple pieces have begun to fall apart, uncover the pot and let it continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Keep the heat below medium and make sure the apple butter does not boil, so it’s less likely to burn. Once the mixture begins to look smooth, take off the heat and move a hand blender through the pot so that the whole mixture is smooth. Place the pot back on the stove and continue to cook until the apple butter is thick and your spoon leaves “waves” as it moves through it.

At this point you can can it, or just put it in jars in your fridge. I would tell you how to can it… but my canning was pretty unsuccessful. Only one of my jars sealed. So if you would like to can your apple butter check out this site. They look pretty knowledgeable about canning.

Or ask your grandmother?

Total Time: About 4 hours

October 18, 2012 @ 8:34 PM 10 notes