Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lavish Crackers

The Mise en place and surprise of surprises, I have all the ingredients this time. When I was combining the ingredients, I did use the measuring cup (I have a new small one that measures 1/4 a cup one tablespoon at a time.) with the oil first and then followed by the honey. It was a lot easier to clean up doing it this way.
After the dough was formed. I did knead it by hand. I think this is the first bread that I did this. I don't think that the dough hook would have worked on such a stiff dough. It was very easy to manipulate.
After the dough was kneaded, I rolled it out on the counter and then let it relax for 5 minutes and transferred it to the cookie sheet.
I used a combination of seeds and spices. From the left: Basil leaves, Mint flakes, Sesame seeds, ground coriander seeds, Poppy seeds, paprika, and celery seeds. No single cracker had all spices so the crackers all had their own unique tastes. I liked the crackers.
Would make them again. I can't wait until I take them to work to see what my coworkers think about them. I have found that as the hours have passed since I made them this afternoon, the crackers have hardened up quite a bit.
I would like to try my hand at this recipe but as a pita bread. I just have to figure out what to cut the bread with to be big enough for a hummus and lettuce sandwich with red bell peppers.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kaiser Rolls

The theme of miss in place continues. I am missing two ingredients. The poppy seeds and the corn meal. Since I am using a silpath sheet and parchment paper, I have opted not to sprinkle the baking sheets with corn meal. I honestly, just forgot the poppy seeds in the picture. This dough taught me something about my ability to bake bread. I need to replace the battery in my food scale. Because the power is low, it shuts down at the most inopportune time. Like when I am weighing out 10 oz of flour. I stopped at 7 oz, it quit. I dumped out the flour and started remeasuring. I had it in my head that I needed 7 oz of flour, needless to say, the dough was very soft and sticky. Like the ciabatta dough should have been.
When I figured out that I was short 3 oz of flour, I almost, scraped the whole batch into the trash. Then I decided that I could play with it and get it to the proper thickness. I did that and I feel proud of being able to do that. I feel this is a lot of growth on my part.

I like this picture. You can see the egg and the barley malt. I added the malt with the wet ingredients because I was using the wet form.
Here is the dough at the proper consistency. Time to let it sit for 2 hours and expand.
After the first rise. I made equal balls of 2.3 oz of dough. I got not 9 balls but 16. This was a good surprise. This dough was easy to work with.
After the first rise, I took the dough between my two hands and shaped the ropes. Then I tied the loose knots and shaped the circles for the kaiser rolls. I think they look lovely. I got better the more that I shaped. I am looking forward to making these again. Easy and fun and very tasty all describe these rolls.
You can see how the shapes improved with the developing of technique.
Awaiting the second rise.
Both pans. As you can tell, I am not a perfectionist. The first attempts were simply allowed to rise next to their prettier sisters and brothers. The less formed rolls did taste yummy.
My dh(darling hubby) does not like seeds on his rolls. I do. So, this pan of rolls were for me.
This is my dh's pan of rolls. Next time, I'll divide the rolls evenly between the two of us.
After baking, they looked so pretty. I am looking forward to the next time that I make these beauties.
For the crumb shot, I couldn't resist showing off both the inside and outside of my buns.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Italian Bread Sticks

We just got back from a lovely vacation in the Boston and Wells Beach, Maine area. A trip we make on a yearly basis to visit with my darling husband's lovely family. I am very blessed with some awesome in laws. Here is a picture of my darling husband and his lovely dad seconds before they learned they were going to Pappy (grandfather) and (great granddad). My son and his lovely bride are expecting their first baby in April of 2010. I will be honey and my mom-in-law will be GG (great grandma)
Now to get back to the bread baking. Here is the biga after waiting on me for two days. It was bubbly and just raring to start to work.
Per the instructions. I took out my blade and sliced it into ten kinda equal portions.
Now for my Miss in place. There is one ingredient that is not here. Can you name it? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10... Bing... times up... If you guessed water, you are right, it is in the microwave getting warmed up to 100 degrees.
The biga meets all its dry ingredients friends in the KA's bowl and the mixing begins.
A little blurry but you can tell that all the ingredients are really getting to know each other well during the kneading stage.
Time to let the dough sit for two hours to rise for the first time.
I had decided to make Italian Bread Sticks to go with the Spaghetti and Meatballs that my hubby loves having for dinner.
During their second rise awaiting on the time while vegging out on the pan.
I sprinkled half the bread sticks with celery seeds, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. I liked all three but would love to make just celery seeds on some single sticks. My hubby asked for plain bread sticks. I just couldn't make naked bread sticks, so I put garlic powder on them. He said they tasted alright but he would prefer just plain. This coming from a man who puts Tabasco on everything (including me, but we won't talk about that right now.)
Fresh out of the oven. They look lovely because they are definitely rustic and handmade. They are very yummy.
A close up of the seeded sticks.
The crumb shot. They were airy and with enough holes that they look as good as they tasted.
When I asked dh(darling hubby) if he wanted me to take them to work. He responded, "Yes, please, they are too good to stay here." Translation, I can resist your cakes and cookies woman but your bread sticks, drive me crazy. So, being the devoted wife, I took them to work to share with my co-workers. They loved them. They are very happy that I have taken on the bread challenge.
Would I make these bread sticks again?? You betcha... They were fun and easy and very tasty.
One of my co-workers mentioned Olive's Garden. I just don't understand what Popeye's gurlfriend, Olive Oyl has to do with my bread sticks. I didn't think that anyone knew what happened in Olive Garden.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

French Bread

I tried twice to bake the French Bread.

After I baked it, my darling husband told me it was hard as a rock.

I will not try this bread a third time.

As a very good friend told me, if I master all but 1 of the 43 breads, then I can hold my head up.


Monday, August 3, 2009


I have really been looking forward to baking this bread. It sounded so yummy. I skipped the usual step by step pictures. Seriously, how many times do you need to see my miss in place, the kitchen aid mixing and kneading the ingredients. I simply took the pictures of what was different.

I made the olive oil and herb mixture about a week before the bread. I used my Herbs of Provence with garlic and onions in the olive oil. I heated the oil slightly, to 100F. Then let it sit out for a day or two. Then I put it into the refrig.
Here is the bread in the refrigerator after the first two rises. It is on the pan with the olive oil and herb mixture.
I decided to add pine nuts and fresh cherry tomatoes and feta cheese to the bread. The first two ingredients are added precooking. The cheese should have been added when I just put the bread into the oven instead of after I turned the bread 180 degrees. Tasted great.

Doesn't that look so very pretty. The reds, greens and yellow. Good enough to eat. Pretty dimpling.
Here is the crumb shot. I got a lot of open holes. The olive oil gave it great flavor. Decided to serve it with spinach ravioli.
Another crumb shot with an overview of the top of the bread. Almost hate to slice it up and give it away. Maybe I can frame it and make it into art... Naaaaaaah, it tastes too good. Another reason it is very important to get it out of the house.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

English Muffins

This is a recipe that I've been eagerly awaiting baking. This is actually a mess in place, believe it or not, I have all the ingredients in this picture. Would someone pick Tammy up off the floor because I know she just fainted.
I love having my own personal kneading machine. Didn't take too long to knead it.

First rise. This was one of the hardest parts of this recipe, waiting for time to do the next step.
Nice and pretty with the rise complete. I think because the kitchen was hot, it took less time than originally determined.
The parchment lined pan waiting for the second rise.
Lovely to look at with the cornmeal.
I used my George Foreman Grill for the first step. I have the one that you can change out the grill pans. Made it very easy to grill the muffins.
The bottoms aren't really very brown. Guess I should have let them go longer on the griddle, but they tasted good.
The crumb shot. Looks great. See the nooks and crannies? I used a fork and split the muffins. I ate one right away, OK, after 30 minutes. Then next one I ate the next morning for breakfast. I have one set aside for tomorrow's breakfast. The rest were tossed into the freezer as frozen assets to be enjoyed in the future.
The English muffins made into egg muffins. I used Egg substitute and the cheese was garlic onion white cheddar cheese. Very yummy. The muffins were very tender. I think I may stop buying English muffins and make them.
I finished up breakfast with watermelon and blueberries.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread

Miss in Place. It seems that whenever I set out my ingredients, I always miss one. I made a few changes to this recipe out of necessity. I did not have Lemon extract, so I used Butter Flavor. I only had 1 cup of craisins so they were a little short.
The dry ingredients are gathering together to start making dough.
This was the missing ingredient. Butter. I popped it into the microwave and melted it. Yes, I did take off the wrapping first.
The wet ingredients are together except for the eggs. I don't know why I decided to go eggless with this bread but I did figure it out and added them a bit late. Glad I didn't toss it into the oven before I figured out my error.
Here is the bread dough before I figured out that the eggs were missing. It looked very dense and not quite right.
The eggs are in and the kneading process is complete.
Add a little flour because the dough is toooooo soft.
After the cranberries and walnuts are kneaded in before the first rise.
Ready for the first rise. It should take until 1110. I'll have to throw it into the refrigerator and pull it out after church.
Before time to go to church and because the house is so hot, it completed it's first rise before I had to leave for church. Punched it down and then went to church.
Threw the dough into the refrig to await my return after church. When I came back, the dough was as big as it was before I punched it down.
The three big rolls are rolled out. The small rolls are awaiting their turn.
The big rolls are braided into a triple braid. Looking pretty.
The small one is done. Looks like an old man with the eye and his nose and cheeks.
The egg wash and my favorite basting brush. It cleans up in the dishwasher. Must have in the kitchen.
The egg wash is complete.
The double celebration bread. Two triple braids atop of each other.
The temp is just right for the bread.
Fresh out of the oven. A pretty shade of golden brown. It thumped nicely also.
Mama, do you have bread??
Do you mean this bread?
No, I mean this bread. Please Mama. I came all the way from Washington to San Diego just to get some of the bread.
Sliced the end off to get this crumb shot. Made sure that I got low and close. UMMM.
The crumb shot. I got in close on the loaf and the slice. Looks as yummy as it tasted.
The bread is all packaged and ready to leave with Alden. When it was time to go, he almost forgot it until I mentioned that he had bread to enjoy this week.