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?

Hello, lovely wonderful followers.

Thank you so much for sticking with me through the spell of no posts. I wish I was posting to say that this was going to change… but it probably won’t. I’ll try to start posting recipes at least once a month soon, but my new job makes it a little hard because a lot of the recipes I would post here are now being used in the restaurant.

After getting back from Ireland (check the post before this one for the travel blog), I immediately got a job working at Bridgeport Brewery! I am now one of two bakers for the brewpub. I help make most of the bread served in the restaurant and get to make (almost) whatever I want for the dessert menu. It’s honestly the best job I’ve ever had. I feel like I’m learning a lot here and I get to work with some amazing people.

These pictures are of just a few things I’ve made since I started a little over two months ago:

1. Carrot, walnut and coconut cake with cream cheese icing

2. Fresh strawberry tart with vanilla pastry cream and rhubarb glaze

3. Coconut macaroons

4. Vanilla almond cake with blackberry jam center and brown sugar buttermilk swiss buttercream

5. Chocolate cake with chocolate chips and chocolate swiss buttercream

6. Strawberry Rhubarb ramekin pies

7. Strawberry rhubarb and blueberry basil mini flag pies (this recipe is actually on my blog here from last summer)

8. Como loafs

July 7, 2014 @ 10:34 PM 3 notes

When we processed the hens and were taking out the insides I kept repeating “did you save the liver? I want to make pâté!”
I’m pretty sure my friends were a little annoyed by it. But I’ve never made pâté before and fresh chicken livers seemed like the best way to get started.
I looked online for some recipes, but all of them called for far more chicken liver than I had and so many ingredients and usually had bacon in them. Which is totally fine, I like bacon as much as the next Portlander, but I wanted something simple. So I came up with my own recipe. I chose ingredients that I like and that I thought would bring out the flavor of the liver. I think I did a good job. The pâté is rich and smooth and the sage adds a brightness to it.
Chicken Liver, Mushroom and Sage Pâté
5.5 oz chicken liver
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 a small yellow onion, diced
5 small cremini mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup red table wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp fresh sage and a few whole leaves to garnish
Melt the butter and add the onions in a small pan. Sauté the onions until they begin to brown. Add the mushrooms and liver. Sauté until they begin to brown as well and then add the wine, salt and pepper. Cook until the wine is reduced. Put everything in a food processor and process until smooth. Fill 3 ramekins with the paté and cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill. Once the paté has chilled, eat it spread on some nice bread.
Total Time: About 30 minutes View Larger

When we processed the hens and were taking out the insides I kept repeating “did you save the liver? I want to make pâté!”

I’m pretty sure my friends were a little annoyed by it. But I’ve never made pâté before and fresh chicken livers seemed like the best way to get started.

I looked online for some recipes, but all of them called for far more chicken liver than I had and so many ingredients and usually had bacon in them. Which is totally fine, I like bacon as much as the next Portlander, but I wanted something simple. So I came up with my own recipe. I chose ingredients that I like and that I thought would bring out the flavor of the liver. I think I did a good job. The pâté is rich and smooth and the sage adds a brightness to it.

Chicken Liver, Mushroom and Sage Pâté

5.5 oz chicken liver

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 a small yellow onion, diced

5 small cremini mushrooms, diced

1/4 cup red table wine

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 tsp fresh sage and a few whole leaves to garnish

Melt the butter and add the onions in a small pan. Sauté the onions until they begin to brown. Add the mushrooms and liver. Sauté until they begin to brown as well and then add the wine, salt and pepper. Cook until the wine is reduced. Put everything in a food processor and process until smooth. Fill 3 ramekins with the paté and cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill. Once the paté has chilled, eat it spread on some nice bread.

Total Time: About 30 minutes

November 15, 2013 @ 8:33 PM 2 notes

Having Chickens and Chicken Processing

I’ve had chickens for about a year and half now. I’ve been meaning to find a way to post about them on this blog and I think I found it. This is a little picture heavy.

I originally got chickens for eggs and because I’ve always wanted chickens. Growing up, my mom always talked about my family getting chickens, but we never did.

Having chickens is fun. At my house, our chicken set up is right outside the kitchen window and my housemates and I all watch them while we eat breakfast. We call it Chicken TV. They all have their own personalities and noises that they make.

image

About six and a half months ago one of my hens went broody and this seemed like the perfect time to hatch some eggs. I got some fertilized eggs from a local farmer and put three eggs under her. It was a lot of fun to watch her tend to the eggs and candle them to see what was going on inside. One of the eggs turned out to be a dud, but the other two hatched.

image

As they grew older I quickly realized (although I tried very hard not to believe it) that the white chick that had hatched was a rooster. This was not good because I live in the city and while we are allowed to have hens, we are not allowed to have roosters.

In Portland, it is very easy to find a willing taker of a rooster. However, the likelihood that the rooster will stay alive is very very slim. I decided that I did not want to be one of these oblivious urban farmers. If my rooster was going to be eaten, I would be part of it.

image

He started crowing about two months ago, but it wasn’t very loud and it wasn’t very often, so we decided maybe it wouldn’t be so bad and we could keep him. However, over the last three weeks he began to crow early and often. Sometimes starting as early as 5 am. So a butchering date was set.

Since we were already going to butcher a chicken, I decided to look on craigslist for a few more chickens to butcher. I found someone in the area selling some older hens they no longer wanted for $5 a piece. While none of the chickens we are butchering are roast chicken worthy, they should make some good soup.

I’ve never killed anything other than a fish. Which I don’t know if that even counts. The idea of killing a chicken, and especially one that I’ve taken care of for the last 6 months, makes me sad. However, I believe that our society has also done an impressive job distancing ourselves from our food and I don’t like that. If we’re going to eat something, we should know how it got there.

So I began researching and found these two sites to be the most helpful:

The Self Sufficient Home Acre

The Deliberate Agrarian

I am very fortunate to have a housemate that has butchered chickens before. So he helped out. And by helped out, I mean he killed them, while I stood there with a few friends going “OHMYGOD. OHMYGOD.” Because I’m a wuss. I held the feet? I’ll get there. I was really scared that if I did it I would miss and hurt them instead of killing them.

I did the rest though!

I had 5 friends over to help and it went fast. We killed, plucked and gutted the chickens in under 2 hours.

Some of the photos in this next part could be considered gruesome so please click through to read the rest.

Read More

November 12, 2013 @ 5:15 PM 13 notes

A few months ago, two of my very dear friends and I went on a fruit picking adventure. We went out to a U-Pick farm on Sauvie Island and picked raspberries, blueberries, cucumbers, green beans and, best of all, peaches.
We were out picking fruit for a good 3 1/2 hours, in the middle of the day. With no sunscreen on. By the time we got to the peaches the three of us were tired, hot, thirsty and my arms were a similar shade to the red blush on the peaches. We started picking peaches and putting them into our cart. I grabbed one, and it was so soft to the touch, I had to bite into it. I bit into it and the peach exploded with sweet floral juices. I shouted for my friends to come over and we passed around the most tasty peach I’ve ever had.
While we waited to pay, we were all coming up with recipes that we had to make with our treasure trove. For the peaches, we decided on ice cream and peach basil jam (to be posted soon).
For the ice cream, we wanted to keep it simple. I voiced my strong feelings toward there not being any vanilla in the ice cream. Vanilla brings out way to much sweetness in the peaches and not enough of the flavor. We chose to make a salted peach ice cream. This would bring out the flavor more and making a frozen custard would make it thick and creamy. We used the amazing Jacobson salt, from the oregon coast and fresh eggs from my chickens. We stayed up till 11pm at night making the ice cream and it was totally worth it. I’ve been hoarding my pint of ice cream in the freezer, only taking a bite or two, hoping it will last forever.
You will need a ice cream maker for this recipe.
Frozen Salted Peach Custard
(makes about 3 pints)
4 lbs fresh peaches, pitted and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
4 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
6 egg yolks
2 tbs of flakey salt (we used the amazing Jacobson Salt)
In a sauce pan, cook the peaches, lemon juice and half the sugar until the fruit has reduced and easily coats a wooden spoon. Let cool to room temp.
In another sauce pan, bring the cream to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar together in a small bowl. Once the milk is simmering, take it off the heat, add a small amount of the milk to the egg/sugar mix and quickly whisk together, then add the egg/sugar/milk mixture to the rest of the milk, whisk together, put back on the stove over medium heat and continue to whisk until it thickens into a custard (about 10 minutes). Pour custard into a bowl. Using a food mill, strain the compote into the custard and stir together. Stir in the salt. Place in the fridge until room temp (or colder).
To finish the ice cream, follow the instructions that come with whatever ice cream maker you have. Each one works a little differently.
Let the ice cream set overnight before eating (of course tasting it before you put it in the freezer to set is always encouraged).
Total Time: 4 hours
Please check out my lovely friend, Jon Wash’s website . He and I create this recipe together.. View Larger

A few months ago, two of my very dear friends and I went on a fruit picking adventure. We went out to a U-Pick farm on Sauvie Island and picked raspberries, blueberries, cucumbers, green beans and, best of all, peaches.

We were out picking fruit for a good 3 1/2 hours, in the middle of the day. With no sunscreen on. By the time we got to the peaches the three of us were tired, hot, thirsty and my arms were a similar shade to the red blush on the peaches. We started picking peaches and putting them into our cart. I grabbed one, and it was so soft to the touch, I had to bite into it. I bit into it and the peach exploded with sweet floral juices. I shouted for my friends to come over and we passed around the most tasty peach I’ve ever had.

While we waited to pay, we were all coming up with recipes that we had to make with our treasure trove. For the peaches, we decided on ice cream and peach basil jam (to be posted soon).

For the ice cream, we wanted to keep it simple. I voiced my strong feelings toward there not being any vanilla in the ice cream. Vanilla brings out way to much sweetness in the peaches and not enough of the flavor. We chose to make a salted peach ice cream. This would bring out the flavor more and making a frozen custard would make it thick and creamy. We used the amazing Jacobson salt, from the oregon coast and fresh eggs from my chickens. We stayed up till 11pm at night making the ice cream and it was totally worth it. I’ve been hoarding my pint of ice cream in the freezer, only taking a bite or two, hoping it will last forever.

You will need a ice cream maker for this recipe.

Frozen Salted Peach Custard

(makes about 3 pints)

4 lbs fresh peaches, pitted and cut into small pieces

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

4 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 cup heavy cream

6 egg yolks

2 tbs of flakey salt (we used the amazing Jacobson Salt)

In a sauce pan, cook the peaches, lemon juice and half the sugar until the fruit has reduced and easily coats a wooden spoon. Let cool to room temp.

In another sauce pan, bring the cream to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar together in a small bowl. Once the milk is simmering, take it off the heat, add a small amount of the milk to the egg/sugar mix and quickly whisk together, then add the egg/sugar/milk mixture to the rest of the milk, whisk together, put back on the stove over medium heat and continue to whisk until it thickens into a custard (about 10 minutes). Pour custard into a bowl. Using a food mill, strain the compote into the custard and stir together. Stir in the salt. Place in the fridge until room temp (or colder).

To finish the ice cream, follow the instructions that come with whatever ice cream maker you have. Each one works a little differently.

Let the ice cream set overnight before eating (of course tasting it before you put it in the freezer to set is always encouraged).

Total Time: 4 hours

Please check out my lovely friend, Jon Wash’s website . He and I create this recipe together..

October 23, 2013 @ 2:19 PM

Happy (day after) 4th of July!
I’ve been moving over the past month. I’m not sure if a slow move is better than the 24 hours get-your-stuff-out-as-fast-as-you-can move. Both are stressful. Anyway, that’s my excuse for the lack of posts in the last month.
But the day before yesterday, I officially moved into my new house! So now I can get back to baking. And just in time for the perfect pie holiday: 4th of July!
I knew that I wanted to make a pie for the BBQ I was going to, but I didn’t want to just make a pie, I wanted to do something a little fun, and an american flag seemed like a good idea.
Now, I had no idea if this would work. I was really worried that once I put the pie in the oven, the blueberries and strawberries would seep together and you wouldn’t see the clear difference between the blue and the red. I almost separated the blueberries with parchment paper! But that seemed a bit extreme, so I just put it in the oven and prayed.
I chose to add basil because I really like sweets with a savory edge. Basil adds a little bit of surprise the end of your bite of pie and goes oh so nicely with the rhubarb.
For pies with intricate designs to work, chilling the pie is key. If you don’t chill the pie, the crust will sag, and your designs won’t look very pretty. Every step is important, but that being said. This pie is very simple to make and will surely be a hit at any BBQ!
4th of July Pie!
Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar (doing a little less sugar will make it less cookie-ish)
1 teaspoon (4 grams) table salt
2 sticks (225 grams, 8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cup (118 ml) vodka or water, if you don’t have vodka
1 egg, beaten, for the egg wash
Filling
3 pints of strawberries, cored and cut into quarters
1 large stalk of rhubarb, cut lengthwise and then chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 pint of blueberries
3/4 cup cornstarch, divided (1/2 cup for strawberries, 1/4 cup for blueberries)
3/4 cup sugar, divided (1/2 cup for strawberries, 1/4 cup for blueberries)
Juice from half a lemon

Make the pie crust first.
Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Gently stir in the vodka (or water) with your hands, mixing it until a craggy mass form and then knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a rectangle. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days. The longer you let it rest, the easier it will be to roll out later.
While the dough is resting, make your fillings!
In one bowl, toss the strawberries, rhubarb and basil, half cup of sugar and half cup of cornstarch together until well combined.
In a second bowl, toss blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch together until well combined.
Roll out your dough so that it is at least an inch and 1/2 wider on all sides than your pan. Carefully place the dough in the pan, making sure that it lies flat in the bottom and corners of the pan. Cut the excess dough off the edges, roll the excess dough together and place in the fridge to chill.
Pour your strawberries evenly into the pie dough, making sure to leave a rectangle empty in the upper left corner. Then pour the blueberries into the empty corner. Squeeze the half a lemon over the whole pie.
Take your excess dough out of the fridge and roll it into another rectangle, the length of your pan. Using a ruler, cut 3, quarter inch  wide strips of pie dough  and place them evenly across the longest strawberry part of your pie. Then cut 5 more strips to fit the shorter part of your pie. Roll down the pie dough around the edges of the pie to cover the ends of the strips. With any leftover pie dough, cut out stars or hearts to place (artfully) over the blueberries.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and place your pie in the fridge to chill, for at least 20 minutes, while your oven preheats.
Carefully brush the pie dough with the egg wash before placing in the oven.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the pie crust is a golden brown.
Let chill to room temp. before serving.
ENJOY!
Total Time: About 2 hours
NOTE: The amount of berries I used for this pie made a thin 8x12in pie. If I were to do this pie again, I would buy more berries or make a smaller pie.

For more food photos please check out my facebook page! View Larger

Happy (day after) 4th of July!

I’ve been moving over the past month. I’m not sure if a slow move is better than the 24 hours get-your-stuff-out-as-fast-as-you-can move. Both are stressful. Anyway, that’s my excuse for the lack of posts in the last month.

But the day before yesterday, I officially moved into my new house! So now I can get back to baking. And just in time for the perfect pie holiday: 4th of July!

I knew that I wanted to make a pie for the BBQ I was going to, but I didn’t want to just make a pie, I wanted to do something a little fun, and an american flag seemed like a good idea.

Now, I had no idea if this would work. I was really worried that once I put the pie in the oven, the blueberries and strawberries would seep together and you wouldn’t see the clear difference between the blue and the red. I almost separated the blueberries with parchment paper! But that seemed a bit extreme, so I just put it in the oven and prayed.

I chose to add basil because I really like sweets with a savory edge. Basil adds a little bit of surprise the end of your bite of pie and goes oh so nicely with the rhubarb.

For pies with intricate designs to work, chilling the pie is key. If you don’t chill the pie, the crust will sag, and your designs won’t look very pretty. Every step is important, but that being said. This pie is very simple to make and will surely be a hit at any BBQ!

4th of July Pie!

Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar (doing a little less sugar will make it less cookie-ish)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) table salt

2 sticks (225 grams, 8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

1/2 cup (118 ml) vodka or water, if you don’t have vodka

1 egg, beaten, for the egg wash

Filling

3 pints of strawberries, cored and cut into quarters

1 large stalk of rhubarb, cut lengthwise and then chopped into small pieces

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

1 pint of blueberries

3/4 cup cornstarch, divided (1/2 cup for strawberries, 1/4 cup for blueberries)

3/4 cup sugar, divided (1/2 cup for strawberries, 1/4 cup for blueberries)

Juice from half a lemon

Make the pie crust first.

Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Gently stir in the vodka (or water) with your hands, mixing it until a craggy mass form and then knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a rectangle. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days. The longer you let it rest, the easier it will be to roll out later.

While the dough is resting, make your fillings!

In one bowl, toss the strawberries, rhubarb and basil, half cup of sugar and half cup of cornstarch together until well combined.

In a second bowl, toss blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch together until well combined.

Roll out your dough so that it is at least an inch and 1/2 wider on all sides than your pan. Carefully place the dough in the pan, making sure that it lies flat in the bottom and corners of the pan. Cut the excess dough off the edges, roll the excess dough together and place in the fridge to chill.

Pour your strawberries evenly into the pie dough, making sure to leave a rectangle empty in the upper left corner. Then pour the blueberries into the empty corner. Squeeze the half a lemon over the whole pie.

Take your excess dough out of the fridge and roll it into another rectangle, the length of your pan. Using a ruler, cut 3, quarter inch  wide strips of pie dough  and place them evenly across the longest strawberry part of your pie. Then cut 5 more strips to fit the shorter part of your pie. Roll down the pie dough around the edges of the pie to cover the ends of the strips. With any leftover pie dough, cut out stars or hearts to place (artfully) over the blueberries.

Preheat the oven to 400°F and place your pie in the fridge to chill, for at least 20 minutes, while your oven preheats.

Carefully brush the pie dough with the egg wash before placing in the oven.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the pie crust is a golden brown.

Let chill to room temp. before serving.

ENJOY!

Total Time: About 2 hours

NOTE: The amount of berries I used for this pie made a thin 8x12in pie. If I were to do this pie again, I would buy more berries or make a smaller pie.

For more food photos please check out my facebook page!

July 5, 2013 @ 2:24 PM 4 notes

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

I stumbled upon a recipe for deep fried olives on the internet and I knew I wanted them.
However, I hate making fried food. it’s so messy and leaves the house smelling like grease. Who wants that? The kitchen is also right next to my bedroom so my room occasionally takes on the smell of the kitchen. I did not want my room smelling like fried olives.
 I then found them at a bar in Seattle and tried them: they were just as good as I thought.
Finally I realized there was a very easy fix. Fry them up outside! I have a deep fryer, so I don’t need the stove top. All I needed was an extension cord!
The amounts for this recipe are suggestions, not solid amounts. Moving the olives from the flour to eggs/milk to the bread crumbs tends to gum things up a bit, so add more bread crumbs as you need them. And while you’re at it, might as well fry some other things up too! I chose to fry some button mushrooms up too.
Fried Green Olives
5 1/2 oz jar of green olives (stuffed or not- depending on what you like)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup milk or 1 egg well beaten
Vegetable oil for frying - if you’re using a deep fryer, you’ll need about 3 cups, if you’re using a pan, you’ll need just enough to so that your olives are about half covered by the oil in the pan.
Strain your olives and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set up 4 wide bowls - one with flour, one with egg/milk, one with bread crumbs and salt and pepper and the last bowl with paper towels for after the olives are fried.
First, toss all your olives in the flour until they are all lightly coated, then into the egg/milk and then into the bread crumbs.
While you’re doing this, you can heat up the oil, or you can choose to do it afterwards, since oil heats up fast (and hot oil is really scary).
Check the temp of your oil by placing a bread crumb into the oil. Does the oil bubble around the bread crumb? Add the olives to the oil. If not, wait till the oil does begin to bubble around the bread crumb. When your olives are in the oil rotate them every 10 seconds to make sure they are browning evenly. With a slotted spoon, strain the olives out of the oil as they brown into the bowl with the paper towel.
Wait about 10 minutes before you start eating these- the inside can get very hot!
Fried olives are best served with a little aioli or spicy mustard.
Enjoy!
Total Time: About 20 minutes

For more food photos please check out my facebook page! I promise the rest of them aren’t instagram photos. View Larger

I stumbled upon a recipe for deep fried olives on the internet and I knew I wanted them.

However, I hate making fried food. it’s so messy and leaves the house smelling like grease. Who wants that? The kitchen is also right next to my bedroom so my room occasionally takes on the smell of the kitchen. I did not want my room smelling like fried olives.

 I then found them at a bar in Seattle and tried them: they were just as good as I thought.

Finally I realized there was a very easy fix. Fry them up outside! I have a deep fryer, so I don’t need the stove top. All I needed was an extension cord!

The amounts for this recipe are suggestions, not solid amounts. Moving the olives from the flour to eggs/milk to the bread crumbs tends to gum things up a bit, so add more bread crumbs as you need them. And while you’re at it, might as well fry some other things up too! I chose to fry some button mushrooms up too.

Fried Green Olives

5 1/2 oz jar of green olives (stuffed or not- depending on what you like)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup milk or 1 egg well beaten

Vegetable oil for frying - if you’re using a deep fryer, you’ll need about 3 cups, if you’re using a pan, you’ll need just enough to so that your olives are about half covered by the oil in the pan.

Strain your olives and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set up 4 wide bowls - one with flour, one with egg/milk, one with bread crumbs and salt and pepper and the last bowl with paper towels for after the olives are fried.

First, toss all your olives in the flour until they are all lightly coated, then into the egg/milk and then into the bread crumbs.

While you’re doing this, you can heat up the oil, or you can choose to do it afterwards, since oil heats up fast (and hot oil is really scary).

Check the temp of your oil by placing a bread crumb into the oil. Does the oil bubble around the bread crumb? Add the olives to the oil. If not, wait till the oil does begin to bubble around the bread crumb. When your olives are in the oil rotate them every 10 seconds to make sure they are browning evenly. With a slotted spoon, strain the olives out of the oil as they brown into the bowl with the paper towel.

Wait about 10 minutes before you start eating these- the inside can get very hot!

Fried olives are best served with a little aioli or spicy mustard.

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 20 minutes

For more food photos please check out my facebook page! I promise the rest of them aren’t instagram photos.

May 17, 2013 @ 1:05 PM 2 notes

This is a wonderful quick brunch recipe.
While “real” cinnamon rolls need to be started the night before, these can be whipped up quickly right before your guests come! These are denser than cinnamon rolls but they are very tasty and so cute! I made these for a party my house was having, they were a huge hit.
I only made a few changes to this recipe. I whipped the eggs and sugar together for a fluffier dough and I used regular milk instead of half and half for the icing.
Sorry I haven’t been posting as much as I want to (and should)! Lots of awesome stuff happening right now (teaching a class tonight, started at a new bakery!!). I have a couple more recipes to put up and I promise they will be posted soon!
Cinnamon Roll Muffins
(Makes 12 muffins)
Dough1/2 cup packed light brown sugar1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1 large egg, at room temperature1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)Filling3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted1 cup loosely packed light brown sugar1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamonIcing1 cup confectioners’ sugar2 tablespoons milk1/4 teaspoon vanilla extractPreheat oven to 375°F and either grease each muffin well with butter or place a muffin cup in each well.
Whip the brown sugar, vanilla, and the egg in a large bowl until fluffy. Mix in the baking soda and salt, then add the buttermilk and whisk to incorporate. Switch to a rubber spatula, and add the flour to the bowl, mixing until a rough dough comes together. Give the flour a minute to absorb the liquid, then if necessary add additional flour until the dough is soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for a minute or two, until it is uniform. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 12x24-inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter. In a small bowl, stir the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. Starting with a wide side facing you, tightly roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 pieces, 2 inches wide. Place one piece of dough into each well of the prepared muffin pan.Bake the muffins for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for a few minutes then remove them to the rack.While the muffins are baking, make the icing by whisking together the confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla. After the muffins have cooled, drizzle them with the icing and serve warm.
Total Time: About 30 minutes
This lovely picture was taken by Rachel King. For more food photos please check out my facebook page! View Larger


This is a wonderful quick brunch recipe.

While “real” cinnamon rolls need to be started the night before, these can be whipped up quickly right before your guests come! These are denser than cinnamon rolls but they are very tasty and so cute! I made these for a party my house was having, they were a huge hit.

I only made a few changes to this recipe. I whipped the eggs and sugar together for a fluffier dough and I used regular milk instead of half and half for the icing.

Sorry I haven’t been posting as much as I want to (and should)! Lots of awesome stuff happening right now (teaching a class tonight, started at a new bakery!!). I have a couple more recipes to put up and I promise they will be posted soon!

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

(Makes 12 muffins)

Dough
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)

Filling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F and either grease each muffin well with butter or place a muffin cup in each well.

Whip the brown sugar, vanilla, and the egg in a large bowl until fluffy. Mix in the baking soda and salt, then add the buttermilk and whisk to incorporate. Switch to a rubber spatula, and add the flour to the bowl, mixing until a rough dough comes together. Give the flour a minute to absorb the liquid, then if necessary add additional flour until the dough is soft.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for a minute or two, until it is uniform. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 12x24-inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter. In a small bowl, stir the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. Starting with a wide side facing you, tightly roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 pieces, 2 inches wide. Place one piece of dough into each well of the prepared muffin pan.

Bake the muffins for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for a few minutes then remove them to the rack.

While the muffins are baking, make the icing by whisking together the confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla. After the muffins have cooled, drizzle them with the icing and serve warm.

Total Time: About 30 minutes

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

March 21, 2013 @ 2:49 PM 14 notes

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts.
When I go to a restaurant and I’m going to have dessert I always look for tiramisu or creme brulee.
There are a couple reasons for this:
1. Both tiramisu and creme brulee are time consuming, so I don’t make them. I rarely think about the dessert I want to eat tomorrow night. I’m usually thinking about the dessert I want to eat right now. So if I’m going to have to let it sit in the fridge overnight, I’m only going to make it for a dinner I’ve planned out days in advance.
2. Although creme brulee and tiramisu are time consuming they are also unbelievably simple, so in order to have really good tiramisu or creme brulee the ingredients have to be really good.
3. They aren’t good for you. At all. I don’t really make them because I don’t like to know how much cream or butter goes into my dessert.
However, this recipe called to me, And the two tablespoons left in the bailey’s bottle on top of the fridge said it was meant to be.
This is a very easy, quick recipe. The cupcakes are airy, yet moist, which allows the coffee/liquor simple syrup to seep into it. The mascarpone frosting is light and airy and the dusting of chocolate makes it perfect.
This is a tiramisu you can whip up in an hour.
I got this recipe off of a spanish food blog. I used google translate to get the recipe, which ended up working out just fine, but due to google translator, I had to use the recipe as more of a guide than true instructions.
Tiramisu Cupcakes
(makes about 15 cupcakes)
Cupcakes
200 grams cake flour
200 grams sugar
200 grams butter, at room temp.
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp milk
Heat oven to 355°F
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together. Then add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is absorbed into the sugar/butter before adding the next one. Beat everything together on high for 2 minutes and add the vanilla and milk and mix until combined. in a medium bowl, slowing mix the baking powder and flour together. Slowly mix the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until everything is  combined and there are no lumps.
Grease or line a muffin tin. Fill each muffin well to 2/3 full. Place the cupcakes in the oven for 16 minutes or until light golden in color and a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.
While the cupcakes are baking, make the simple syrup!
Coffee Simple Syrup
150 ml brewed coffee
50 g sugar
2 tbs coffee liquor
Heat coffee and sugar until the sugar dissolves, take the syrup off the heat and add the coffee liquor.
Poke small holes in the cupcakes and slowly pour the simple syrup over the cupcakes so that the syrup soaks in.
Frosting
200 ml cream
250 ml mascarpone
80 g powdered sugar
cocoa powder or grated bitter sweet chocolate to decorate
Whip the cream, sugar and mascarpone together till thick. Put frosting into a pipping bag and frost the cupcakes in desired pattern. Dust the tops of the cupcakes with chocolate.
Serve immediately, you can keep leftover cupcakes in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days, but the simple syrup crystalizes inside the cupcakes and the frosting becomes dense. Still tasty, but not as good.
Total Time: About an hour
This lovely picture was taken by Rachel King. For more food photos please check out my facebook page! View Larger

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts.

When I go to a restaurant and I’m going to have dessert I always look for tiramisu or creme brulee.

There are a couple reasons for this:

1. Both tiramisu and creme brulee are time consuming, so I don’t make them. I rarely think about the dessert I want to eat tomorrow night. I’m usually thinking about the dessert I want to eat right now. So if I’m going to have to let it sit in the fridge overnight, I’m only going to make it for a dinner I’ve planned out days in advance.

2. Although creme brulee and tiramisu are time consuming they are also unbelievably simple, so in order to have really good tiramisu or creme brulee the ingredients have to be really good.

3. They aren’t good for you. At all. I don’t really make them because I don’t like to know how much cream or butter goes into my dessert.

However, this recipe called to me, And the two tablespoons left in the bailey’s bottle on top of the fridge said it was meant to be.

This is a very easy, quick recipe. The cupcakes are airy, yet moist, which allows the coffee/liquor simple syrup to seep into it. The mascarpone frosting is light and airy and the dusting of chocolate makes it perfect.

This is a tiramisu you can whip up in an hour.

I got this recipe off of a spanish food blog. I used google translate to get the recipe, which ended up working out just fine, but due to google translator, I had to use the recipe as more of a guide than true instructions.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

(makes about 15 cupcakes)

Cupcakes

200 grams cake flour

200 grams sugar

200 grams butter, at room temp.

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking powder

4 tsp milk

Heat oven to 355°F

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together. Then add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is absorbed into the sugar/butter before adding the next one. Beat everything together on high for 2 minutes and add the vanilla and milk and mix until combined. in a medium bowl, slowing mix the baking powder and flour together. Slowly mix the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until everything is  combined and there are no lumps.

Grease or line a muffin tin. Fill each muffin well to 2/3 full. Place the cupcakes in the oven for 16 minutes or until light golden in color and a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the simple syrup!

Coffee Simple Syrup

150 ml brewed coffee

50 g sugar

2 tbs coffee liquor

Heat coffee and sugar until the sugar dissolves, take the syrup off the heat and add the coffee liquor.

Poke small holes in the cupcakes and slowly pour the simple syrup over the cupcakes so that the syrup soaks in.

Frosting

200 ml cream

250 ml mascarpone

80 g powdered sugar

cocoa powder or grated bitter sweet chocolate to decorate

Whip the cream, sugar and mascarpone together till thick. Put frosting into a pipping bag and frost the cupcakes in desired pattern. Dust the tops of the cupcakes with chocolate.

Serve immediately, you can keep leftover cupcakes in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days, but the simple syrup crystalizes inside the cupcakes and the frosting becomes dense. Still tasty, but not as good.

Total Time: About an hour

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

February 10, 2013 @ 7:13 PM 2 notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whole Wheat, Walnut, Olive and Rosemary Loaf

2 1/4 cups Bread Flour

3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp yeast

3 tsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 cup roughly chopped calamata olives

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1-1 1/2 cups luke warm water

1 tsp olive oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Or don’t, it’s your bread.

Total Time: About 4 1/2 hours

January 8, 2013 @ 8:26 PM 8 notes

This was my birthday cake this year.
Yes. I made my own birthday cake. I know you’re supposed to let other people take care of this kind of stuff, but it was such an interesting cake! I couldn’t let someone else make it before I got a chance!
I got this very interesting recipe from my mom. She emailed it to me saying:


This recipe sounded interesting because the person who sent in the recipe said the combo of the black pepper, chocolate and coffee gives great depth to the flavor. The person at the NY Times said she couldn’t stop eating it.


How could I pass up making this cake?
For my birthday, I met up with some friends at a cider bar near my house and I brought the cake to share. At the end of the night I had a couple slices of cake left over and I offered it to the bartenders. They took a small slice, and one of my friends said he saw them picking at the crumbs left on the napkin.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is a good cake recipe.
It’s a rich and dense cake and (I think) tastes best after it comes to room temperature. However, you’ll be tempted to eat it warm. The whiskey in the cake comes through in waves, sometimes you’ll taste it in a bite, other times you won’t.
Whipped cream would make a lovely addition to the cake, and powdered sugar off sets the pitch black color of the cake nicely.
Chocolate Whiskey Cake
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, more for pan
85 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee (I used stumptown coffee)
1/2 cup whiskey
200 grams granulated sugar
156 grams light brown sugar
240 grams all-purpose flour
8 grams baking soda
3 grams fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for serving
Heat oven to 325°F.

Butter a 10-inch springform pan and dust with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm coffee, whiskey, 12 tablespoons butter and the remaining 3/4 cup cocoa powder, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted. Whisk in the brown and white sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cloves.

In another bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Slowly whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Tap the spring form pan lightly on the table to release any air bubbles. Transfer the cake to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 50 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack, then remove sides of pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

To get the powdered sugar lines, place pieces of paper across the cake in the pattern you want and dust over the paper pattern. Carefully remove the paper from the cake, making sure to not pour any of the excess powder on the paper onto the cake or to smudge the powdered sugar on the cake.

Total Time: About an hour and half.

The lovely picture was taken by my very talented roommate, Rachel King. View Larger

This was my birthday cake this year.

Yes. I made my own birthday cake. I know you’re supposed to let other people take care of this kind of stuff, but it was such an interesting cake! I couldn’t let someone else make it before I got a chance!

I got this very interesting recipe from my mom. She emailed it to me saying:

This recipe sounded interesting because the person who sent in the recipe said the combo of the black pepper, chocolate and coffee gives great depth to the flavor. The person at the NY Times said she couldn’t stop eating it.

How could I pass up making this cake?

For my birthday, I met up with some friends at a cider bar near my house and I brought the cake to share. At the end of the night I had a couple slices of cake left over and I offered it to the bartenders. They took a small slice, and one of my friends said he saw them picking at the crumbs left on the napkin.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is a good cake recipe.

It’s a rich and dense cake and (I think) tastes best after it comes to room temperature. However, you’ll be tempted to eat it warm. The whiskey in the cake comes through in waves, sometimes you’ll taste it in a bite, other times you won’t.

Whipped cream would make a lovely addition to the cake, and powdered sugar off sets the pitch black color of the cake nicely.

Chocolate Whiskey Cake

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, more for pan

85 grams unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee (I used stumptown coffee)

1/2 cup whiskey

200 grams granulated sugar

156 grams light brown sugar

240 grams all-purpose flour

8 grams baking soda

3 grams fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Powdered sugar, for serving

Heat oven to 325°F.
Butter a 10-inch springform pan and dust with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm coffee, whiskey, 12 tablespoons butter and the remaining 3/4 cup cocoa powder, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted. Whisk in the brown and white sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cloves.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Slowly whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into prepared pan. Tap the spring form pan lightly on the table to release any air bubbles. Transfer the cake to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 50 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack, then remove sides of pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
To get the powdered sugar lines, place pieces of paper across the cake in the pattern you want and dust over the paper pattern. Carefully remove the paper from the cake, making sure to not pour any of the excess powder on the paper onto the cake or to smudge the powdered sugar on the cake.
Total Time: About an hour and half.
The lovely picture was taken by my very talented roommate, Rachel King.
December 23, 2012 @ 3:48 AM 12 notes

I never thought you could make oatmeal cookies that melt in your mouth.
I have been proven wrong.
I made these cookies because I wanted something little and sweet to eat, but my house is out of all purpose flour (we’ve got plenty of other flours, of course). So I was looking for a dessert recipe that only called for whole wheat flour. Using only whole wheat flour in desserts can be a little… healthy tasting.
My favorite “healthy” food blog is 101 Cookbooks. Her recipes are reliable and tasty and easy to tweak. There isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe so it doesn’t weigh the cookies down and the flour adds a nice depth of flavor to the cookies.
I also think it would be easy to substitute the flour for something else, if you’re looking for a nice gluten free cookie recipe. For this recipe, I added vanilla extract and left out the fennel seeds. In the original recipe, it says that the cookies do not last much longer than right after they come out of the oven, however I did not find this to be the case you just put them in an airtight container.
Lacy Oatmeal Cookies
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup / 5 oz uncooked rolled oats (not instant)
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from heat and stir in the oats and vanilla. Stir until well coated.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg until it is the consistency of a creamy icing Whisk the flour mixture in, and then add the oats. Stir until combined, then drop, a level tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.
Bake until very deeply golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling. Eat immediately or keep in an airtight container for a week.
Total Time: About 20 minutes
Picture taken by the lovely and amazing Rachel King

I never thought you could make oatmeal cookies that melt in your mouth.

I have been proven wrong.

I made these cookies because I wanted something little and sweet to eat, but my house is out of all purpose flour (we’ve got plenty of other flours, of course). So I was looking for a dessert recipe that only called for whole wheat flour. Using only whole wheat flour in desserts can be a little… healthy tasting.

My favorite “healthy” food blog is 101 Cookbooks. Her recipes are reliable and tasty and easy to tweak. There isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe so it doesn’t weigh the cookies down and the flour adds a nice depth of flavor to the cookies.

I also think it would be easy to substitute the flour for something else, if you’re looking for a nice gluten free cookie recipe. For this recipe, I added vanilla extract and left out the fennel seeds. In the original recipe, it says that the cookies do not last much longer than right after they come out of the oven, however I did not find this to be the case you just put them in an airtight container.

Lacy Oatmeal Cookies

1 tablespoon whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 teaspoons poppy seeds

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cup / 5 oz uncooked rolled oats (not instant)

1 egg, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When just melted, remove from heat and stir in the oats and vanilla. Stir until well coated.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg until it is the consistency of a creamy icing Whisk the flour mixture in, and then add the oats. Stir until combined, then drop, a level tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.

Bake until very deeply golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to continue cooling. Eat immediately or keep in an airtight container for a week.

Total Time: About 20 minutes

Picture taken by the lovely and amazing Rachel King

December 20, 2012 @ 10:56 PM 4 notes

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

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

Total Time: About an hour and half View Larger

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

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

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

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

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

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

I made these little guys for Thanksgiving.

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

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

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

Two Bite Pumpkin Pies

(makes 48 mini pies)

Dough

2 cups flour

8 ounces cream cheese

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

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

Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

15 ounces pumpkin puree

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Total Time: About 2 hours

November 26, 2012 @ 3:12 PM 1 note