pin it

Sunday, September 27, 2009

bread baking challenge # 19 -MARBLED RYE BREAD

MARBLED RYE BREAD. 





I started another challenge,  MARBLED RYE BREAD.I admired this bread in Bakery but  I had no idea you make 2 dough and to one of the dough add 2 tsp coffee/or cocoa, to make dark color. Then you combine this 2 dough to have a pattern, spiral or irregular shape. 

I used the bread machine to mix and rise the light rye and dark rye ( 2 tsp cocoa added) dough 


Once the 2 hour passed, the dough is well mixed, smooth, and nice raised.

I cut in 2 peaces, each dough.




To make spiral shape one roll the 2 pieces of dough, in a flat shape and roll them together to have a loaf well formed.








Another shape can be if you make small parts, equal as number from the light rye or dark rye and just put together in a shape of a loaf without following a specifically order.



I covered with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 90 minutes to rise again.






Bake for 45 minutes at 380F, until the top and bottom sound hollow  and is nice and brown.


It is a soft, hearty bread, firm crumbs and very tasty.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Flower Are You?




What Flower
Are You?


(table width="145">)
I am a Daffodil



You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.

This is the test you can take from this blog:
this garden is illegal

http://www.thisgardenisillegal.com/flower-quiz


Saturday, September 12, 2009

FOCACCIA BREAD Bread Baking Challenge #13



  My very own: eggplant, camelized onion, fresh mozzarella, focaccia pizza











Bread Baking Challenge #13:http://pinchmysalt.com/the-bba-challenge/
FOCACCIA, not a very famous kind of bread (but... maybe I can change that....)
FOCACCIA BREADcaramelized onion, fresh mozzarella, eggplant focaccia, this is my choice that I will try next...


 

I am not familiar with this bread, I was not even inclined to give it a try. I was looking for another people baking this bread, from BREAD BAKING CHALLENGE, and I was very impressed with Annie McLeod picture and comment that I thought to try...

Peter Reinhart is telling us that this bread it is not so appreciate in America, but his cousin PIZZA (from Napoli), thin crust pizza, is very well known. This FOCACCIA is the same family of PIZZA, but is originally from Liguria, thick (1and1/4") with, big translucent holes, like CIABATTA BREAD.
One can use this focaccia dough with different toppings (cheese,cooked vegetable,cooked meats) as a diner meal,  or use herbs and oil on top, for a snack.

As I read in almost all the discussion by other challengers, I am going to make 1/2 of the recipe for the same size pan, they all are saying it is too thick, following the book recipe..


I am starting with flour, yeast, water and oil as recipe is, mix with the paddle for 3 minutes,



and change the paddle with the hook, after that and mix for 6 more minutes at medium speed.



The dough is sticky and very loose, easy to manipulate.



I made a very thick bed of flour, put the dough in it and I stretch,  and fold as a letter, 


oil the top, cover and leave to rest at room temp for 30 minutes. I repeat this for 3 times (90 minutes in total at room temp).


After all this time, fold and unfold, stretch the dough as big as the baking pan.



The recipe in the book is telling us to keep the dough on counter, and after an hour to move to the pan. Most of the discussion was to put in the pan from the beginning, and then wait for an hour at room temp, before you put the dough in refrigerator.It seems like once it was rising for an hour was very difficult to make a good job moving to the pan..



Spray oil, add flour to top, and after an hour cover the dough and store in refrigerator for next day.

Next day I took out of refrigerator, I left it at room temp for 4h and I became soft and bubbly, ready to prepare.


I prepared few topping, before I set it up for baking: caramelized onion,grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella slices and sun dried tomatoes.


It looked colorful and I was eager to try. The baking part is short, 500F 10 minutes, rotate, 10 more minutes at 450F.







My focaccia pizza, it is hearty, rustic, earthy, well paired with a light wine (Merlot) and a good company.... Perfect lunch!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

bread baking challenge # 3 BAGEL




Baking bagels.... I never though it is a big deal to make bagel. Take a bread dough, divide, in whatever, make a hole in it and bake.... I hear some saying to boil the bagels, before you bake, NONSENSE!!!

O boy! how wrong I was! Last night, I start reading Peter Reinhart's recipe and I was amazed how many steps! how many details! I hope there are going to be very good bagels, because I am very picky about my bagel, how chewer, how crunchy.... LETS SEE THIS RECIPE AND THIS CHALLENGE.

First of all I bought the MALT. In the Baker's book it is written to go to the health store, and I went, and this is what I found... perfect MALT BARLEY!




I start making the sponge: flour, yeast and scolded water. After 2 hours, it was raised and bubbly!




I added more flour, salt, more yeast, malt, as the recipe needed.



I mixed with the dough hook for 6 minutes, and 3 more until the dough is stiff and smooth in the same time.



I divide the dough in 12 parts, to have 12 big bagels! I flat the dough and I measured the long line for 12inches and short line for 9 inches, so I can have equal size of bagels:



I made small balls into my palm and I left them to rest for 20 minutes, covered with a wrap.





After that I shape them as bagels, making a hole in the muddle, as the book teach us.




They are resting again for 20 minutes and I try the water method.





Poor tap water in a bowl, drop the bagel in it and if it flow, the bagels are ready to be refrigerated until tomorrow morning.
If they sunk, I have to rise a little more at room temp.

My bagel was nicely flooding, though my surprise, so I put them in refrigerator until tomorrow morning, when I am going to bake..



Next day, I take it out of refrigerator, and boil them in water with baking soda, one minute, one side, one minute, another side



Once I boiled them, I spread them with poppy seeds, caraway seeds, ms. dash, or leave them plain, on a parchment paper, ready to bake.





Baked at 500F, 5 minutes and 10 more minutes at 450F.

First of all I was disappointed when I took them out of oven, they were not so plump, raised as I expected ( you can see my bagel/on top/ and the bagel I bought from the bakery...)
But when I tasted, it is amazing wonderful good taste, it is chewer, crunchy, soft, a very good taste.





I am very pleased as they come out. My husband, Radu, it is very happy too (this is very important to me, he is always, my first to taste, my faithful critic).
So, immediately as the bagels are cold, I made our FAVORITE SANDWICH OF ALL, fresh bagel, butter and smoked salmon! Nothing is as good as this!!!!








NOTE:
 I just learn about easy, quick recipe: in 2 hours you have 8 bagels, very good taste.... from John D Lee who makes bagels as a profession, for many years.


Homemade bagel recipe

Ingredients:

4 cups bread flour
1 Tbs sugar/malt, if you have
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.

Directions:

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
3. Make 8 bagels and let them drop without crowding them, in hot, boiling water, 2 minutes, each side.
4. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray.

Pre heat your oven to 500F.

5. Bake them for 5 minutes, lower the oven temp for 450F, turn the tray, and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Flip them on the tray and bake for 10 more minutes.
 7. Let them cool for10 minutes.


Very good bagels, tasty and crunchy outside.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

PEACH COBBLER (MEME'S)







 


THE PEACHES AR SO RIPPED, BEAUTIFULLY COLORED, THE MARKET, AND MY MOTHER PEACH TREE IS FULL OF THEM. MY HOUSE IS FULL OF PEACHES, IN ALL KIND OF PLATES, POTS, ON THE TABLES,ON THE SHELVES. SO.... I DECIDED TO MAKE A PEACH COBBLER AND THE BEST RECIPE I HAVE IT IS FROM M. WILLIS, "meme's blackberry cobbler recipe" WHICH CAN BE USED FOR ANY FRUITS.

 

Ingredients

Serves 6 to 8
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups fresh  slice3d peaches
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet or ovenproof baking dish, in the oven, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the peaches.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add 1 cup sugar, milk, and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. Remove skillet from oven and add melted butter to flour mixture; stir to combine. Pour mixture into skillet and pour blackberries and their juices into the center.
  5. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the batter comes out clean, about 1 hour. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream. 

My cooking, step by step:


I start by mixing all the solid ingredients with liquid ones, add vanilla, add lemon zest...




Arrange 4 cups of sliced fresh peaches in the middle of it....




and bake for 1h at 375F. The vanilla, peaches and the cobbler aroma was wonderful, in the house. I was waiting WITH patience to take the cobbler out of oven!
The patience is rewarded, look how nice looking cobbler!




All I need is to add a scoop of ice cream to a warm steaming peach cobbler.

 LONG LIVE MEME!



Saturday, September 5, 2009

TOMATOES, TOMATOES, CAPRESE SALAD.






How To Make Caprese Salad.
I AM GOING TO PREPARE "CAPRESE SALAD".... DELICIOUS!

'
Caprese salad is a chef’s quick and easy salad in the middle of summer, serving lunch, when the heat is at the peak…. Everything is in your garden: tomatoes, ripe and sweet, basil, parsley and fresh mozzarella.

THIS IS THE TIME OF THE YEAR FOR THE BEST TOMATOES OF THE WHOLE YEAR! TODAY WAS FARMER'S MARKET IN QUINCY AND I GOT THE VERY BEST, COLORFUL, RIPPED TOMATOES.





SLICED TOMATOES, SLICED FRESH MOZZARELLA, BASIL LEAVES: IT IS ALL YOU NEED!



I AM ADDING SALT AND A VERY GOOD OLIVE OIL, MOSTLY DRIZZLING OIL ON TOP...





PARSLEY FROM MY GARDEN AND GARLIC MAKE A VERY GOOD MATCH.





COME AND ENJOY!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BASIL FLAVORRED OIL (MY VERY OWN RECIPE)






AUG 15TH, Santa Maria, in Romania is a very big religious holiday .........and we always come home with big bucket of zinnia and basil flours ... from..Farmer’s market in Bran, (Transylvania) and we buy some small little pottery, to remember that year....



Basil, one of my favorite in the garden has long flours and smell so nice. We used lots of leaves for tomatoes, and mozzarella/feta cheese... divine...., but now it is time for using the flours.
I Romania, August 15 and September 9th is one of the very important holidays, St. Maria (as you notice we have 2 holidays for the same saint!) I remember going to the market and get some pears, "summer pears" (I didn't see them here) small, green outside, red, inside, very, very sweet. And we always come home with big bucket of zinnia and basil flours ... This time of the year I have my house full of this flours, I have a neighbor that have a lot of zinnia, all the colors and I have basil in my garden!



Beginning of September! I can't believe the summer is almost gone! The very nice thing is the time to pick up my garden. I am starting today with basil.... i love the aroma, the look, and my own basil oil that I make every ear and I give them as a gift. My mother and my friend Elham, are my BIG consumer.
I start today to pick up the flours. Right now basil's flours are big, long, full of seeds that I use for my oil.



I spread the cuts on the newspaper for few days, to be very well dry when I am going to stuck them in the oil bottle




I cut the tarragon, too. It is the time of the year and I notice few small flour, so it is time to dry, to have it for winter. I have some special sauces and soup, I use a lot of it! but not in this recipe!!!



After the basil flowers are dry, I prepare to push them in a extra virgin oil bottle.



The bottle has to be very full of basil flowers, and I will store it in my basement, for at list 2-3 weeks, before I start poor the basil oil in a small bottle, that I will ise every day on my salads and other dishes for flavor.



After that, I poor new oil into the big bottle, to replenish the oil that I used for small bottle that I use every day. I mix very well the big bottle to mix up the new oil and after 2-3 weeks is ready to poor again for my use.



BASIL FLAVOR IT EXTRA VIRGIN OIL, WONDERFUL FLAVOR!














ONCE YOU POOR SOME OIL INTO THE BOTTLE YOU ARE USING EVERYDAY, I FILL UP THE BIG BASIL BOTTLE WITH NEW OIL AND LEFT IN THE PANTRY UNTIL ANOTHER BASIL INFUSED OIL IS NEEDE IT.

ONE CAN KEEP AND REFILL THE OIL OVER DRY BASIL UP TO A YEAR, THE TASTE IS VERY POWERFUL.