Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TWD: Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake


Oh drat. Always a day late on posting. I could've done it last night but the Husb made some sashimi (woo who!) and we had some sake (double woo who!). Oh such lovely, delicious yuzu sake that made me quite sleepy and happy. But yes, this cake was very easy to make and it smelled amazing when you put the ingredients together.

However, the flavors were very subtle once completed. I thought the brown butter and vanilla would be more prominent, but it wasn't. Wah wah. The good thing is that it's still a good cake. Very much like a pound cake, but denser and not at all oily.

I didn't try it until the next day, but it definitely tasted better after toasting the slices. Also, it does a good job soaking up syrups. I had it for breakfast with some lilikoi syrup and it was quite yummy.

For the recipe, you can find it in Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan and also, you can check out the blogroll for more weekend cakes!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

TWD: Eastern European Rye


Ok! First Tuesday with Dorie of the year! Woo who! Well, the first for me that is. Right now, I've been pretty busy dealing with trying to cut down the 9 foot tall weeds in our property. Whacking them down with the weed whacker or sawing the gigantor weeds with the electric saw. Whew! And I'm still not finished! But the good thing is, the wild pigs have helped keep some of it down. Hee..

Anyway.

It was fun taking some time off to make this rye bread. Though, I learned a pretty good lesson. I got to get a spice grinder if I'm ever going to make this again. Whew-wee. That was a lot of work grinding up the caraway seeds with the mortar and pestle. It's definitely a sit down and watch TV kind of work. Also, I learned that there are many different ways to shape bread. This is the first time I've ever done this method and it was kind of hard to understand. It talks about sealing seams while rolling and sticking fingers in the sides, then making hospital corners on the bed...Ackk! I was so confused. But luckily, PBS has a video of Baking with Julia, where the contributing baker, Lauren Groveman, is making pumpernickel using the same method (start at 11:43). Once I watched the video I was set! I still don't know what making a hospital bed looks like, but I was good to go!

It smelled so good while I was waiting for it to cool down. Ahhh fresh bread. Can't beat that...For lunch (half an hour after baking), the Husb and I had the Open Faced Reuben Sandwich, which is found on the next page. It was sooo tasty. So tasty that we had it the next day for lunch. MmmMm

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. Also, check out the TWD's blogroll for some good looking ryes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TWD: Palets de Dames, Lille Style


Tuesday with Dorie is cooking from a brand new book, Baking Chez Moi! Very exciting times! Lately, well, actually for a quite a while now, I've been feeling a little guilty since I didn't stay on track with Baking with Julia. But now there's new rules and I feel free! Yippee!!! Ahhahahaha!!!

Ahem. Anyway. Today's recipe was Palets de Dames, Lille Style. And I have no idea how you pronounce that, but sounds pretty fancy. If anyone knows, please fill me. :D It's a cute little cookie that is kind of cake like and with the icing, is very sweet. It would pair well with a black tea, such as earl grey. MmMmM It is definitely very difficult to eat just one.

I actually didn't like them the night that I made them. They were better the next day. And I feel like most of the "sugar cookies" I make, I don't like until the following day. I think it has something to do with the icing. It firms up more and the sugary water moistens the cookie a little bit. My SO, didn't like them at first either, but the next day, he thought they were better. Yay!

For the recipe, get Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan and join us on this baking adventure! Also, check out the blogroll for more pretty picture of cookies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TWD: Classic French Bread



Man. I was ill prepared for this recipe. I had problems up the ying yang.

First off, I couldn't find compressed yeast. I called a bunch of stores and talked to bakeries, but nobody had it.
Second, I didn't have quarry tiles. At the last minute, I mean, REALLY last minute (I was already on the first rise), I called around looking for some. Nobody had them! Can you believe that?! All three of the big home improvements stores didn't carry them in stock. You had to special order them! Ackk! This is what happens when there aren't any mission style homes around. Sigh..
And third, I only had a 13 inch pizza stone and couldn't fit three 14 inch batards in the oven.

I was totally stressing out. Especially, after the first rise. Ok. Done with rant.

All in all, it was worth it! I had so much fun making the dough. I watched the Baking with Julia episode with Danielle Forestier where she was kneading/pounding the dough on the counter. I thought to myself 850 turns?!! That's crazy! But it wasn't crazy. It was fun! It was awkward at first, but after 100 or so turns, I was a pro. Yeah!

Oh, also, since I didn't have compressed yeast, I used active dry yeast with just enough warm water (100 F) to make a thick paste. Also, I let the paste sit for 15 minutes, which was during the dough's resting period.

My first rise was beautiful. Air temperature, 78 F. Dough temperature, 81.3 F. Total rise time, 1 hour.

After my stress/rant about tiles, I ended up making three 10 inch batards and one boule on my pizza stone and a cast iron skillet (I didn't know what else to use). The boulle ended up taking a little longer on the final rise, so it worked out perfectly during the baking time. Two batards on the pizza stone and one in the cast iron skillet for 20 minutes. Then the boule alone for 20 minutes.

It smelled so good in the house. When I took the batards out, they contracted and made crackling noises while they were cooling.

The batard on the cast iron skillet ended up burnt on the bottom, but still good.

I don't know if it's because I haven't been eating french bread since I've been on the island, but I was VERY happy with the results. Especially, since the Husb got some yummy cheese for us to have it with. MMmMmM...

The bread was good with cheese, good with roasted bell peppers, and good the next day as buttered toast for breakfast.

For the recipe, you can find it here. Also, check out the TWD's blogroll to check out more french bread!