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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mission: Pugliese

I was itching to get my hands back in the oven and Brandon has been asking for some good quality bread...and HEY! Guess what? I just unpacked THE BREAD BIBLE. I didn't have durum flour, so I substituted it for more all purpose (I suppose this is quite a sin, but what was I to do?) and I didn't have a banneton, so I used a towel lined colander for the rising. Perhaps the combination of both of these made it not rise as much. Nevertheless, it still turned out wonderful with an amazingly crisp crust and a soft, moist and spongy interior. I was hoping for more holes than what I had gotten, but I am thinking this is my fault. OOPS!

The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Dough Starter: Biga

6 hrs - 3 days ahead

1/2 C + 1/2 Tbs all purpose flour
1/16 ts yeast
1/4 C room temp water

Stir ingredients with wooden spoon for 3-5 minutes till very smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky enough to stick to fingers. Cover tightly with oiled plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 6 hours to triple in size. Then stir down and refridgerate for up to 3 days or use it.

In mixer whisk:1/2 C flour1/2 C durum flour1/2 ts yeast
Then add 3/4 ts salt
Add 1/2 C room temp water to mixture and mix on low with paddle for 1 minute, change to a dough hook, and beat for 5 minutes on medium to form a smooth, sticky dough. Add more flour 1 ts at a time, if it does not pull away from bowl after 5 minutes. It should stick to the bottom of the bowl and cling to fingers.

Let Dough Rise:
Sprinkle durum flour on counter and scrap dough onto flour with oiled spatula and dust the top with more flour. Let rest for 2 minutes.
Pull out two opposite sides of dough to stretch to double its length with floured hands and give it a business letter turn. Dust with more flour, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Repeat this 2 additional times.
After final stretching, folding and flouring, transfer dough to a 2 quart dought rising container or bowl, lightly greased, cover and mark with tape the side of the container to appox. where triple the height of the dough could be. Allow to rise 2 hours/tripled.

Preheat Oven:
Preheat oven 500 degrees F 1 hours before baking. Have one shelf on lowest level and place a oven stone/baking sheet on it and a cast iron skillet or sheet pan on the floor of the oven before preheating.
Shape Dough and Let Rise:
Dust counter with durum flour and with floured hands transfer dough to the counter VERY gently. Set dough seam side up in a floured banneton/floured towel lined colander. Pinch seams if necessary and sprinkle flour on top and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 1 1/2 hours.
Bake the Bread:
Remove container/plastic wrap, invert lined baking sheet on top of banneton/colander and invert dough onto a floured sheet. Set sheet on baking stone/baking sheet in oven. Put 1/2 C ice into pan beneath and bake for 5 minutes. Lower temp to 450 degrees F and bake 15-25 minutes or till bread is deep golden brown. Halfway through baking, life bread from pan and sit it directly on the ston, turning it around for even baking
Cool the Bread:
Remove bread and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*I have to admit, I LOVE fresh out of the oven bread and yes, I ate it hot with olive oil and balsalmic vinegar*

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Back to the world!

Finally, we are back and connected to the internet world. You don't really reaslise how incredibly useful it is until you are in a completely new place, don't know where you are going or where there is to go and most importantly how to get there. So, I apologize for the uneventful past couple of weeks and not being able to respond to comments which I really appreciate by the way. Believe me I've been itching to bake, but moving into a new place kinda prevents that for some time, but now we are all settled in and I wanted to put up some pictures from before our move since I didn't have time before.

June 10th was our 1 year anniversary and in the midst of Brandons masters graduation, leaving work, packing ourselves and cleaning inside out, it was a crazy couple of weeks. I decided to make a replica, as best I could of our wedding cake. Obiviously, not as beautiful and eye googling as the original professionally baked cake, but hey, this will have to do. I am not a cake baker. lol.

This is basically an apple spice cake with a caramel filling and a white chocolate buttercream frosting on the top. It actually turned out quite well, and lets just say the cake did not last long and yes, it was only the two of us in the house...OH! I got a new canon camera and these pictures are taken with that though I must admit, I'm not a manual reader, so I must figure out how to take great close up pictures with this camera...

I also made strawberry topped scones a few days later. I used the recipe from bear necessities because it is THE only true english scone recipe I have come across in many many years.
It turned out great, and yum yum for my tum tum.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Rose Levy rocks my bread baking world!

I was so excited to get a start on the recipes in The Bread Bible, and after Brandon said he wanted something with a good crust and airy body, I couldn't help but go to page 357 for Ciabatta. The last time I made Ciabatta was the recipe from King Arthurs Whole Grain Baking and that didn't turn out the way I wanted it too. So two days prior I made the biga for the recipe and I was a little less than optimistic since I am always afraid that the end product would be a diaster, especially with breads that take that long to make. Thankfully, it turned out wonderful. I will post the recipe some time this weekend.


Sliced and served with mesquite roast chicken - Yum!

Velvety Goodness?

I cannot remember how long I have been meaning to bake a Red Velvet cake. It's always hard though when it's just Brandon and I. It's not worth making a whole cake and having to waste it, so when Brandon told me Neil was having a get together I decided it was time.

I used 2 different recipes. The actual cake itself, I used the recipe from joyofbaking. The frosting recipe I got from Jumbo Empanadas, just because I wanted a simpler, less ingredients involved frosting than the one on joyofbaking.

The frostage of the bottom layer. I should have put more on there. It ended up that you could not really see much of the middle layer frosting which was kinda upsetting.

The topping of the cake.

The cake the frosted and clothed with some shredded coconut.

The remenants of the red velvet cake after the boys attacked it. My opinion of the cake: The batter tasted REALLY good and although the cake itself tasted really good, I felt that it was a little too dry for my liking. I am more of a moist cake girl. I love carrot cakes, banana cakes, I guess more oil based cakes rather than butter based cakes. The frosting was fantastic though. I think I could just have eaten the frosting, though I might have gone into a sugar coma and felt the pains of it today. Good thing I didn't!

My 2 buck teeth

Look MA! My new two front teeth! I'm a BIG girl now!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Marshmellow chocolate chunk blondies

This picture looks almost as if we were in the middle of a desert landscape with lots of obstacles. hahahaha.
I got this recipe from smittenkitchen
I doubled the recipe, using 1 C all-purpose flour and 1 C of whole wheat cause I wanted a nutty flavor. I also used a combination of marshmellows and chocolate chunks as my choice or additions. The marshmellow caramelized so wonderfully.
I took this to work since it was my last day of work, and it was gone by the time I went to lunch. So that is always a good sign, right? I'm sad that I'm not working there anymore cause I really enjoyed myself, but it's always nice to have days off to spend with Brandon before he starts flight school. Plus, this "time" off will be spent packing.

OH!!!! I'm so excited. I decided to use the rest of my Borders giftcard from like December on The Bread Bible which was $35.00 and with my employee discount and my my giftcard usage, I only paid $2.68 in cash! SCORE!! I am in the process of making a biga for a ciabatta. We'll see how it turns out!

Tomorrow there's a party at Neils so I'm gonna try my hands at making a Red Velvet cake. That'll be interesting - lets just say that. :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Foodie-blogger #97

So I have finally joined the foodie-blogroll. Hopefully that'll expose me to other foodies and vice versa. If you haven't joined yet, click here: foodie-blogroll. I've already found some really cool foodblogs. I'm sooooo excited!

Friday, June 1, 2007


I have made this New York Cheesecake from JoyofBaking three times in 1 year and honestly, each time it has not failed me at all and I expect that it never will. It is absolutely foolproof considering the first time I ever made this turned amazingly close to perfect and it gets easier and easier to whip up with every attempt. I love the graham crust the most I think. It just tastes SO yummy!

I packed all my cookbooks, so now I will be baking and cooking from foodblog recipes, which is pretty much what I do most of the time anyways. I love pictures because it really makes the recipe more appealing, when I know what to expect as the end result. Enjoy!

Marmalade my toast!

I know I said that I was going to make another loaf of the english muffin bread, but I thought I would try a buttermilk bread, only made with soymilk mixed with cider vinegar for a tangy taste. I think next to fresh baked bread, I LOVE toast and this loaf made wonderful toast topped off with marmalade. Speaking of marmalade. Can you believe that there are people in this world who do not know what marmalade is? I'm almost saddened by this.
The recipe came from delicious!delicious! Definitely well worth the resting time of yeast breads.


I wonder why they call snickerdoodles snickerdooles,. Why not Cinnadoodles? They're covered in cinnamon sugar. I really should search for it and see what the answer to that is.

I made these for Jims Memorial day BBQ a week ago. They were pretty much all gone when I went to collect my tuperware back and surprisingly, Pat told me he thought it was just a special cookie unique to his town. He said he grew up in a rather amish community. Emmm...I bet their snickerdoodles were amazing. The amish really make amazing fresh baked goods. I have yet to see the Amish and now with our moving to Pensacola in 2 weeks, I highly doubt that we'll be able to make it out to one of their communities and see the wonderful work that they do. Blah.

Speaking of moving. The past three days I have been trying to repain the walls with their free paint and their rollers. If I wasn't so cheap and lazy, I coulld go buy my own from home depot, but they they are free. I might as well not spend money on things like that. I am officially sick of painting.All I really want to do after posting this is to take a nap to Oprah. She is good to listen to while you fall asleep. Is that weird?