So, as I know everyone does, I was browsing YouTube bread baking video tutorials yesterday while watching college football. As often happens as I spun down the YouTube rabbit hole I did a google search for “light, airy, whole wheat bread” and I found MelsKitchenCafe.com.
Having a few hours before the NFL games start today I decided to give it a try. No surprise, I had all the ingredients in my baking supplies, including vital wheat gluten.
I left the dough a little slack hoping the extra hydration would increase the size of the holes and crumb would yields the light, airy bread I hoped for. (It didn’t.)
The flavor is excellent and this recipe is worth trying again.
Now, if you will excuse me I need to check that the cooled bread is every bit as good as the warm.
Given the responsibility for choosing tonight’s dinner I decided cheeseburgers would be perfect after (and during) a day of football watching—what could be better? I know! Home made hamburger rolls.
I received a new recipe designed for hamburger rolls from King Arthur this morning which may have influenced my dinner decision. These rolls are buttery and soft, but with some body which should hold up to a nice juicy cheeseburger. (Cheeburger is a nod to an old SNL skit.) The recipe made 6 rolls, each weighing in at about 135 grams when formed.
I thought it might be a good idea to freeze a couple of the rolls as an experiment so I under-baked them by 5 minutes, removed them from the over and let them cook before double wrapping them and freezing. I will let you know how they turn out when defrosted, warmed and finished baking.
Total time to make was about 2 hours 20 minutes, which included 2 one-hour rises. If the freezing experiment is successful, it would be easy to double up the recipe and freeze enough for several dinners for two.
KING ARTHUR HAMBURGER BUNS
¾ to 1 cup (170g to 227g) lukewarm water*
2 tablespoons (28g) butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3 ½ cups (418g) All-Purpose Flour
¼ cup (50g) sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients to make a soft, smooth dough.
Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 6 pieces about 125 -135 g each. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3″ across.
Roll each bun with cupped fingers to tension the outside. Occasionally pinch and seal the underside seams.
Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.
Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden.
To freeze rolls
Remove from oven with 5 min left to bake
Cool and freeze
Allow to come to RT
Bake at 350 for 5-7 min
Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.
Neapolitans, not Napoleons, one-bite Blueberry Pie and Caramel Sauce while sporting a new Ugandan Youth Center produced apron Neil picked up for me on his trip to Africa last month, made for a good week in the bakery (not to mention the sandwich and NY rye breads… which I did just mention, didn’t I? Sorry ’bout that.)
The Neapolitans are chocolate cookie based with a white cheesecake center and raspberry buttercream frosting, cut into 1” squares. Next time, I need to keep any skin from forming on the cheesecake. It kept the frosting from adhering properly.
The Blueberry Bites should be dusted with some coarse sugar after being egg washed to add some sweetness and shine. The caramelized sugar should add both. I may add a little lemon zest for a little tang.
The Caramel Sauce will be used later for a Peanut Butter/Caramel/Salted Chocolate petit four, but I had the time and it will keep in the fridge for a longtime so why not? The rest of the dessert will come later this week.
Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a pan with an edge so the pie bites don’t roll away when you place them in the oven.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and unroll the refrigerated pie crust.
Use a 1½” biscuit cutter to cut all your little pie bite circles out of the refrigerated pie crust.
Place 1 blueberry in the center of each circle. Sprinkle each one with a little sugar (you probably won’t use all the sugar).
Fold up two sides of one of the circles like a taco. The grab the adjacent sides and pinch the corners. This makes a little pocket for the blueberries. You can dip your fingers in egg wash to pinch the corners if you can’t get them to stick.
Brush each bite with the egg wash. Place each bite on the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle with a little more sugar and bake for about 10 minutes.
Bring the water, sugar, and butter to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved in the water. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the caramel has turned golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
Carefully pour in a slow, steady stream of cream into the caramel while stirring constantly. The hot caramel will boil vigorously when the cream is added and solidify in areas. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Continue stirring over low heat until the caramel is smooth and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Allow to cool for at least half an hour before using.
(a Cinnamon Star Bread that is,) “Makes no difference who you are.”
I saw this recipe on KAF as part of their CINNAMON STAR BREAD BAKEALONG: CHALLENGE #16. These are fun ways to improve and augment anyones baking skills, no matter who you are, plus they result in a delicious product (when executed properly.)
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
¼ cup potato flour
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
¾ cup + 2 to 4 tablespoons lukewarm water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
First, measure the flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Next, sift the flour, potato flour, and dry milk through a strainer; this is an important step to prevent lumps in the dough. (If you’re using instant mashed potatoes rather than potato flour you can skip this sifting step.)
To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead —I use a mixer and dough hook — to make a soft, smooth dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60 minutes, until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
On a lightly greased or floured work surface, roll one piece of dough into a 10″ circle. Place the circle on a piece of parchment, brush a thin coat of beaten egg on the surface, then evenly sprinkle with 1/3 of the cinnamon-sugar, leaving 1/4″ of bare dough around the perimeter.
Roll out a second circle the same size as the first, and place it on top of the filling-covered circle. Repeat the layering process — egg, cinnamon sugar, dough circle — leaving the top circle bare.
Place a 2 1/2″ to 3″ round cutter in the center of the dough circle as a guide. I used a 3/4 cup measuring cup and scored the center of the top ring. With a bench knife or sharp knife, cut the circle into 16 equal strips, from the cutter to the edge, through all the layers.
Rolled and Dusted Dough
Half Twisted Dough
Twisted Dough before Baking
Using two hands, pick up two adjacent strips and twist them away from each other twice so that the top side is facing up again. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough so that you end up with eight pairs of strips.
Pinch the pairs of strips together to create a star-like shape with eight points. Be sure the ends are well pinched or they will separate.
Transfer the star on the parchment to a baking sheet. Cover the star and let it rise until it becomes noticeably puffy, about 45 minutes.
While the star is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Brush the star with a thin coat of the beaten egg. Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes, until it’s nicely golden with dark brown cinnamon streaks; the center should register 200°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.
Store any leftover bread, well wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.
Well maybe not scarlet, but not dark brown either. I slowly bought all the ingredients (or so I thought) to make a pumpernickel boule. KAF had a recipe I liked and ordered all the odd ingredients (or so I thought) to make it on my Wednesday “me day.” Somehow I missed it was supposed to be “White Whole Wheat Flour,” well, I had normal off-white whole wheat flour and it would have to do. I did buy the Deli Rye Flavor and the “Vital Wheat Gluten.” I forgot the Pumpernickel Artisan Bread Flavor is currently out of stock at KAF and is only on my wish list. With inspir/desperation, I removed 1//2 cup of the specified flours, added 1/2 cup pumpernickel flour, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. According to comments on the KAF recipe omitting the Pumpernickel Artisan Bread Flavor will cause the bread to be a lighter color than the expected (and desired) chocolate/coffee/pumpernickel brown. It is, in fact, a good rye bread color. Actually, the taste was pretty darned ok also.
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Pumpernickel Artisan Bread Flavor
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, recommended to prevent a collapsed loaf
1/2 teaspoon Deli Rye Flavor, optional, for more assertive rye flavor
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
Combine all of the ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough is elastic and slightly sticky.
Let the dough rise in a lightly greased, covered bowl for 1 to 2 hours; it should become puffy.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface. Gently deflate it, and shape it into a ball.
Place the shaped loaf into a round brotform covered with a flour dusted liner.
Let the loaf rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425°F with the stoneware baker (e.g., Emile Henry) inside to pre-heat it.
Spray the bottom of the stoneware baker with olive oil and carefully tip the loaf into it. The loaf will deflate slightly, so be careful.
Slash the loaf diagonally in several places, and cover with the lid. .
Bake the loaf for 30 to 40 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for another 5 minutes; the bread will be dark. When done, it’ll be crusty, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center will read 190°F to 200°F.
Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool completely.
We just had a weekend guest, and sadly, put her on a plane to return to her home last night. This woman prefers to eat healthy, in moderation and occasionally diet. Boy did she come to the wrong place!
We started with some rugelach. I made apple/cinnamon, chocolate and
chocolate/blackberry. They are very similar except the for filling. I added an apple tart, (I got to use my new spiralizer so am happy.) Fran and I had some fruit dumplings from Apple Hill (much like my hand pies but bigger, so I added blueberry, apply and blackberry hand pie/filled rough puff pastry dumplings. For dinner we had my homemade pizza margherita: sweet/salty sauce, home made dough (ala Independent Pizza in Seattle), basil and fresh mozzarella, baked 6 minutes at 600 degrees in my gas grill. I added some garlic bread knots to accompany. It was so good, I made second one for Sunday night. Unfortunately, we at all the garlic bread knots, so I made some chocolate mousse with pink whipped cream topping. Oh, we also had a salad.
16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature (2 T cream cheese = 28g. 3/4 Cup = 12 T, ¾ C = 4oz.)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
FILLING CINNAMON RAISIN
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or currants
1 tablespoon cinnamon
water for brushing dough
1 T brown sugar
1 Tsp unsweetened cocoa power
¼ Tsp cinnamon (optional)
granulated sugar or coarse white sparkling sugar
milk or cream
To make the dough using a mixer: Beat together the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and salt until smooth. Add the flour, mixing to make a stiff dough.
Divide the dough into three equal portions. Press each gently into a disk. Make the disks as round as possible, smoothing their edges; this will allow you to roll the disks into a perfectly round circle, making the resulting rugelach more attractive. (Note how :perfect this dough circle is.) Wrap the disks in plastic, and chill the dough for about 1 hour, until it’s firm but not rock hard. Or chill longer (up to overnight), then warm for about 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature, until the dough softens enough to roll out without cracking.
To make the CINNAMON RAISIN FILLING: process the sugar, walnuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon in a food processor or blender until finely chopped and well combined (but not pasty). Don’t have a food processor? Simply stir together the filling ingredients; your filling will be chunky rather than smooth.
To make the CHOCOLATE FILLING: Whisk together 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder; add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired. Sprinkle atop rolled-out dough. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) mini chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, place it on a generously floured surface. Roll it into a 10″ circle and brush it lightly with water. For a flavorful touch, brush the rolled-out rugelach dough with a thin layer of boiled cider, warmed apple or
currant jelly, or puréed fruit preserves, instead of water.
Use your fingers to spread about 1/3 of the filling onto the round, going all the way to the edges and gently patting the filling to help anchor it to the dough.
Using a pizza cutter, baker’s bench knife, or sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 equal wedges. Roll each wedge up, beginning with the wide end and ending with the narrow end. Place the rolls point-side down on a baking sheet; lining the baking sheet with parchment will help with cleanup. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough.
Brush the rugelach with milk or cream; and sprinkle with granulated or coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Refrigerate the rugelach while the oven is preheating.
Bake the rugelach for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store leftover rugelach in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.
100 g cold butter cut into small cubes
200 g all-purpose flour
60 g icing sugar (Splenda?)
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 egg (50g)
3 apples (sliced thin or spiralized with skins on)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon
Mix butter with sugar
Add salt then vanilla
Stir in flour.
Mix by hand until incorporated
Add 3-5 Tbl water to make dough sticky
Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 min
Butter tartlet pans
Roll dough to about ⅛” thick
Lay over tart mold and press into all crevices
Roll top to cut off excess
Prick holes in bottom and sides of formed dough
Add pastry weights to each pan
Bake in preheated oven 350o F (175o C) for 17 min
Remove pastry weights with 5 min left in the bake
Remove pastry shells from pans and let cool on wire rack
Fill cooled tart shell with sliced apples. I put them in a spiral shape but any way will do
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the apples.
Cover exposed edges of tart with aluminum foil to prevent over browning.
Back at 375 F for 20-30 min. When apples have reduced and mixture is bubbling.
Remove from over and cool on a wire rack.
Sweet and Salty Pizza Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 can tomato paste
1 Tbsp sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons (4 large leaves) fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Heat oil in medium saucepan over a medium heat until hot.
Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring and mashing tomatoes with potato masher until crushed.
Stir in basil.
Place in small bowl; cool to room temperature This sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated or up to 2 months ahead and frozen.
If you have previously read my blog you know I tend to create a title that is a little sarcastic, punny (not puny as in “small”, but punny and in “with puns”) and snarky. This time, I admit my ignorance. For fear of insulting a people and culture I of which I have little knowledge, I simply titled this one as Japanese Cream Pans.
Another more snarky point: I tried one of these pastries courtesy of my son’s mother in law’s cousin, or my cousin-in-law once removed. (I made that up. I find it annoying to have to describe a full family tree to delineate the connection of two people related via someone’s marriage.)
Anyway, these pastries are light, soft and delicious. I found a recipe online and followed it with two exceptions and one caution learned after making them. See below.
You can make the tangzhong and cream filling as much as 3 days in advance. Both will stay in the refrigerator that long if covered. Tangzhong is a water roux used to lighten the texture and provides the more tender crumb these pastries require.
Cream Pan Dough:
2 1/2 c. bread flour
2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 T. sugar
3 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. tangzhong
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. bread flour
1 c. water
Japanese custard cream:
1 3/4 c. milk
4 T. unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
5 T. flour
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract, or seeds scraped out of 1 vanilla bean pod)
1 egg yolk beaten with 2-3 T. water
Make the tangzhong. In a small saucepan, gently heat the bread flour + water, while slowly whisking. When the mixture thickens, and swirl lines appear – remove from heat and cool. You will only end up using half of this mixture – store the other half in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 3 days.
Make the cream pan dough. Add the tangzhong, butter, sugar, salt, and egg beaten with the milk to a mixer bowl. On top of those ingredients, add the bread flour. Make a depression in the center of the bread flour, and add the yeast. Turn the mixer fitted with adough hook to low until a basic dough is formed. The increase speed to medium to knead for 8 minutes, then allow the dough to rise (covered) for 1 hour in a warm place. Punch down, and allow to rise another 30 minutes.) While the dough is rising, make the custard cream.
HERE IS ONE OF THE CHANGES: I use the Martha Stewart method of making cream patisserie. Put all the ingredients into a large sauce pan and heat with constant stirring until the mixture begins to set (looks like loose scrambled eggs), strain the mixture and add the vanilla. Much easier that tempering the eggs etc.
The original recipe follows here:
Scald the milk and butter in a large pyrex measuring cup by microwaving for 2-3 minutes.
Beat the egg yolk with a whisk, and add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Whisk together to form a thick paste.
Add about 1/3 of the warm milk mixture to the paste, and whisk constantly. (This step tempers the egg, and loosens up the paste so that you can add the remaining warm milk.) Add the second 1/3 of the warm milk, and whisk until combined. Then add the last 1/3 of the warm milk, and whisk until combined.
Strain the egg mixture into a saucepan. (This will catch any lumps, and any bits of egg that may have “scrambled”.)
Add the vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract, or scraped vanilla bean guts), then slowly heat the saucepan over medium low heat (whisking constantly). When the mixture thickens so that swirl lines appear, remove from heat and continue whisking another 30 seconds.
Refrigerate the custard cream until cold and thick in a covered container for several hours.
Dust a work surface liberally with flour. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Using a cookie scoop, portion out 16 balls of chilled custard cream. (I usually set the custard portions on top a sheet of Reynold’s non-stick foil.)
I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH BAKING THE CREAM. Skip this and inject the cream after the pastry has cooled. Be gentle with the dough, don’t over deflate. This will keep it lighter and less bread-like.
The original instructions follow here.
Flatten each piece of dough with the palm of your hand and place in a small custard cup. Use a small spoon to put a portion of chilled custard into the depression.
Pinch the edges upwards to seal and place seam side down on a silicone lined cookie sheet.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30-60 minutes. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash, and bake at 335 degrees for 15 minutes. Use a dilute egg wash. I increased the water from 1 Tablespoon to 3.
Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.
Inject cooled creampat. You should feel the pastry become heavy. That is enough filling.