Saturday, February 27, 2010

bread baking challenge # 30 and #31 -, SOURDOUGH BREAD


The rest of the "barm" that I received as a gift from Brandon, I used to do another bread challenge,  sourdough. This NEW YORK STYLE  is used for a wonderful sandwich, cold cuts, Italian, or my FAVORITE,  Reuben sandwich, with corn beef, and sauerkraut.

I added all the ingredients to 1cup "barm" and I used my favorite bread machine to knead and rise the dough.,

 I made a battard  shape, by pushing the margins and slowly roll it back  in the form of a loaf.

Leave to rise under the kitchen towel at room temp for 2-3 hours to be fluffy and nice shaped.

Once raised, I egg brushed, to have a nice brown color during baking. Baked at 350 for 40 minutes, until sound hallow, and became nice, shiny brown.
Add some cold cuts, mustard, olives and few greens, perfect NEW YORK style sandwich!

bread baking challenge # 8 - CINNAMON STICKY BUNS

  CINNAMON BUNS (IN USA)  WASP'S NEST (IN ROMANIA) is another bread baking challenge!

I was very happy to start baking this sticky buns because this is one of my childhood sweet that  I remember with pleasure.
After you mix all the ingredients and make a nice smooth dough, you have to follow certain rules to be able to make equal buns, that you are going to bake toghether  in a casserole.
You make a 14/8" dough, and after add sugar and sliver almond, make a roll.

You are cutting this roll at every inch, so you can have equal size buns, that you are putting loose in a baking casserole. After they raise for 1h, and become a tight mass you bake.

Once you prepare the cinnamon buns, you roll them in a oven casserole and bake for 45 minutes, at 350F.

It is a real treat, ripping a roll from the whole bread,...... it is sweet and soft and moist in the same time...

A single, baked, sweet, moist bun is to die for!!  Coffee anyone?

In Romania, we call this dessert "wasp nest" not only for appearance, but for the sweet and sticky top, reminding you of honey.
Just before is baked, we poor on top a mixer of hot milk with dissolved honey, that bring the stickiness and sweet that you never forget and you miss....One's baking after that for 10 more minutes, to become dark brown and shiny. Good appetite!

bread baking challenge #43= ASIAGO CHEESE

 ASIAGO CHEESE, CARAMELIZED ONION LOAF a bread baking challenge.

I receved a cup of "bram" from my friend and colleague in baking, Brandon, who nourish this "bram" for almost a week, already. From rye flour and pineapple juice, left on the counter, at room temp and mixing, adding, moving to a warmer place.... he manage to have 3 bubbling, sour smelling  cups of "bram.

This way, me, Brandon and Janice start  baking ASIAGO, ONION, BREAD- part of our challenge.
I start with the sponge, bram, flour and water, mix well, rised for 4 h and left in refrigerator overnight.

Next day I start making the dough, with sponge, yeast, flour,salt and milk, in stand-up mixer, to be knead well. Adding 2 cups of shredded ASIAGO cheese, make all the difference for this dough.

Asiago cheese can assume different textures, according to its  aging process  from smooth for the fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) to a crumbly  texture for the aged cheese (Asiago d'allevo) of which the  flavor is reminiscent of  parmesan. The aged cheese is often grated in  salads, soups and pastas while  the fresh Asiago is sliced to prepare  Panini or sandwich; it can also be melted on a variety of dishes, including  bagels and breads.
The only "official" Asiago is produced in the north Italy  alpine area of the town of  Asiago province of Vicenza, in the  Veneto  region, and now is also made in the Alpine region of the  province de Trento, in the Trentino region.  Alpine milk is what makes Asiago a special, healthy  cheese.  Alpine meadow  have a larger variety of grass species, medicinal plants and flowers all of which contribute to a better tasting milk with a higher protein content.    (From Wikipedia )

After 4h raise, covered with plastic wrap, the dough is soft, flexible, and ready to be shaped.

I poor some caramelized sliced onion,  some oil and more shredded cheese to top the bread.


Ready to bake, I covered and lefted in a warm place, to rise more.

Baked at 500F for 20 minutes and rotate, 20 minutes more to be nice, brown and sound hollow.

What a wonderful lunch with a hearty bowl of soup!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


St Valentine day and "croissant aux chocolate"...

What can be better? I wake up in the morning and I baked some puff pastry (croissant) with a whole piece of chocolate inside,  to have some for our coffee and later with tea. It was such a perfect day of peace, around the fireplace, short day of winter… warm and calm inside, dark and cold outside

Perfect day!

There are  lot of comments about the recipe, for my "croissant aux chocolate" ( chocolate puff pastry), so there you have it:
A week ago from St. Valentine day we went to the movies and have seen "it's complicated" with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. A very funny, funny comedy, we really enjoy it.
In the movie, Jane (Meryl Streep) who spend many years in Paris,  baked some croissant aux chocolate and I realized how easy is to make. They looked delicious, and when we came home, I prepared ( I always have puff pastry and filo dough, in my freezer) and bake in a very short time some. They look deliciously and they taste amazing, especially if they are a little hot, and the chocolate is melting.

I started by breaking the chocolate of your choice (I like dark chocolate), in big squares, I found that using 2 pieces is better for a bi triangle of pastry dough,

My pictures are pretty explanatory, and I found a very good recipe in Internet:

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson, 2007
Prep Time:20 min


• 1 (13-ounce) packet ready rolled butter puff pastry

• 1 (100-gram) chocolate bar (milk or dark depending on taste)

• 1 egg beaten


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Unfurl the sheet of pastry and then cut it into 4 or6 squares. Cut each square diagonally to give 2 triangles .

Put the triangle with the wider part facing you and the point away from you.

Break off small pieces of chocolate (approx.1 inch) to place about  3/4-inch up from the wide end nearest you. 2 pieces would give more warm chocolate.

Then carefully roll from that chocolate loaded end towards the point of the triangle.

You should now have something resembling a straight croissant, seal it slightly with your fingertips and curl it around into a crescent.

Place the chocolate croissants on a lined baking tray and paint with the beaten egg.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and puffy and exuberantly lovely.

print recipe


Edible Education Experience operating the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden, Orlando, FL.  O ne...