Holy Jalapeños Batman!

I saw a recipe on Tasty.com for a Dutch Oven Jalapeño Cheese Bread and thought—that’s different and I wanted to try different. You see, I like things that change. I don’t like things that are always the same. Just ask the QA Department. She’ll tell you the truth.

I made the bread diligently following the recipe. No changes. I used the stretch and fold method rather than kneading. This method is good for any high hydration bread. This particular techniques uses a silicone spoon to stretch the dough then fold it over. With other stretch and fold techniques the dough it placed on a lightly floured surface and either a bench scraper or your wet hands stretch, then fold.

Once the dough has risen the second time use the bench stretch and fold technique to form, more or less, a ball. The following video is the first time I have tried recording any bread making technique.

Dutch-Oven Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

https://tasty.co/recipe/dutch-oven-jalapeno-cheddar-bread

INGREDIENTS
• 3 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
• 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
• 2 (70g) jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
• 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings, divided
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 2 cups warm water
• 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, 2 cups (200 g) of cheddar cheese, the chopped jalapeños, and salt. Stir well.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Pour the flour mixture on top of the water and use a silicone spatula to stir until the dough comes together.
  3. With the spatula, fold the dough around the edges of the bowl toward the center, rotating the bowl each time and folding a total of 8 times. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
  4. Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the Dutch oven and lid to the oven, and preheat to 450˚F (230˚C) for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Carefully peel the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Flip over and carefully brush away excess flour. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times, then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup (50 g) of cheese on top. Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an “X”, which will allow steam to escape. Arrange the jalapeño rings on top of the cheese.
  8. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment to lift the bread into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  9. Carefully slide the bread out of the pot and onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
  10. Slice the bread and serve as desired.

Yes, We Had Some Bananas

What do you do with over ripe bananas? Make banana bread, of course. I found a new recipe online and decided to give it a go. As the author said, “With a very few variations, the recipe I give below is universal to almost every church or community cookbook written in the last 50 years.” I believe her.

I thoroughly mashed the bananas to not leave any chunks but did cream the softened butter and sugar together first to give a more cake-like crumb.

The result was excellent. Better than other recipes? Probably not, but as easy as others so what the hey?

Banana Bread

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-banana-bread-the-simplest-easiest-recipe-139900

INGREDIENTS

• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 medium bananas, very ripe
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD

  1. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line an 8×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
  2. Soften the butter and cream it with the sugar in a stand mixer.
  3. Crack the eggs into the bowl. Whisk until completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Whisk the milk and vanilla into the batter.
  5. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl. Using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork, mash them into the batter. Leave the bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. If you prefer an entirely smooth banana bread, mash the bananas separately until no more lumps remain, and then whisk them into the batter.
  6. Measure the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl. Switch to using a spatula and gently stir until the ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, using the spatula to scrape all the batter from the bowl. Smooth the top of the batter.
  8. Bake until the top of the cake is caramelized dark brown with some yellow interior peeking through and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 65 minutes. Baking time will vary slightly depending on the moisture and sugar content of your bananas — start checking around 50 minutes and then every 5 minutes after.
  9. Set the loaf, still in the pan, on a wire cooling rack. Let it cool for 10 minutes — this helps the loaf solidify and makes it easier to remove from the pan.
  10. Grasping the parchment paper sling, lift the loaf out of the pan and place on the cooling rack. Cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

RECIPE NOTES

  1. Banana muffins: To make muffins, line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each cup to roughly 3/4 full, and check for doneness after 20 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 muffins.
  2. Storage: Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for several days, or wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

Tangzhong Pillowy White Bread

Tangzhong was developed in Asia and used in both China and Japan as a method of keeping bread soft and fresh. Tangzhong is a mixture of flour, water and milk, heated while stirring until the “water roux” thickens. The tangzhong is added to the rest of the ingredients and processed more or less normally. The result is a soft, pillowy white bread (see how I cleverly incorporated the title into the body of this post?)

I found the rise and proofing times were much longer that suggested in the recipes. I thought my yeast may have lost potency so I tested it in a water/sugar solution. (1/2 cup water @ 110-115F, 1 tsp sugar, 2 1/4 tsp yeast. Mix and after 10 minutes the mixture should have grown to 1 cup. It was fine. The problem is I now had the beginnings of another bread/pastry or something. QA Department to the rescue—See subsequent post on cinnamon rolls.)

The long proof times were likely due to the cooler temperatures in the kitchen today. (It was only 62F when I started.)

Tangzhong Pillowy White Bread

INGREDIENTS

Tangzhong
• 3 tablespoons (43g) water
• 3 tablespoons (43g) whole milk
• 2 tablespoons (14g) Bread Flour

Dough
• 2 1/2 cups (298g) Bread Flour
• 2 tablespoons (14g) nonfat dry milk
• 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon instant yeast
• 1/2 cup (113g) whole milk
• 1 large egg
• 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, melted

METHOD

Tangzhong

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain.
  2. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the tangzhong to a small mixing bowl or measuring cup and let it cool to lukewarm.

    Dough
  4. Combine the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients, then mix and knead — by mixer or bread machine — until a smooth, elastic dough forms; this could take almost 15 minutes in a
    stand mixer.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk. (120 min in cool kitchen)
  6. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into four equal pieces; if you have a scale each piece will weigh between 170g and 175g.
  7. Flatten each piece of dough into a 5″ x 8″ rectangle, then fold the short ends in towards one another like a letter. Flatten the folded pieces into rectangles again (this time about 3″ x 6″) and, starting with a short end, roll them each into a 4″ log.
  8. Place the logs — seam side down and side by side — in a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  9. Cover the loaf and allow it to rest/rise for 40 to 60 minutes, until puffy. (I put the dough into a proofing oven for this and let it rise until the tops of the rolls were even with the top of the pan.)
  10. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Brush the loaf with milk and bake it for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 190°F.
  12. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it in the pan until you can transfer it safely to a rack to cool completely.
  13. Store leftover bread, well wrapped, at cool room temperature for 5 to 7 days; freeze for longer storage.

Pane Rustico – Rustic Italian Bread

Italian Peasant Bread is a staple in Italy. The recipe changes slightly between locations depending on what grains are available. It has a good hole structure, soft crumb and firm crunchy crust. Unlike most Italian breads this one incorporated no milk or olive oil.

Italian Peasant Bread

This isn’t a difficult recipe and can be made on one morning. I hand kneaded the wet dough but may try the easier stretch and fold method the next time. The results were worth the little extra effort of kneading. The Q.A. Department is in favor of any method that turns out this delicious.

The final Bâtard was 17”x7”x4”.

Biga – (Mix 8 to 10 hours before mixing the final dough)

Measured Grams Ingredients
• 1 cup 227 g. Water (room temperature)
• ¼-tsp. ¼-tsp. Instant Yeast
• ½ cup 72 g. All Purpose Flour (King Arthur, Unbleached, Unbromated)
• ½ cup 81 g. Tipo 00 Whole Wheat Flour
• ¼ cup 41 g. Cornmeal (whole, stone ground)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, instant yeast, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and cornmeal.
  2. Mix with a rubber spatula to combine and then beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap (cling film) and let ferment at room temperature 68º-74ºF (20º-23ºC) for 8 to 10 hours.

Final Dough
Measured Grams Ingredients
• 2-½ cups 421 g. Biga (fully fermented)
• 1 cup 227 g. Water (room temperature)
• ½-tsp. 3 g. Instant Yeast
• 3-½ cups 490 g. All purpose flour
• 2 tsp. 16 g. Sea Salt (fine)

Mixing, Kneading, and Fermenting the Dough

  1. Uncover the fermented biga and add the water, instant yeast, and half of the all-purpose flour.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients until thick batter forms. Beat the batter until well combined.
  3. Add the remaining all-purpose flour and sea salt. Fold the ingredient together using the rubber spatula until the mixture becomes a shaggy mass.
  4. Scrape off the rubber spatula with the plastic scrape. Scrape down the bowl and turn the dough onto the work surface.
  5. Knead the ingredients for 1 minute to incorporate the ingredients. The dough will be sticky. “Do not add any flour to the work surface.”
  6. Continue to knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough is strong and elastic. Round the dough into a ball.
  7. Spray a bowl with non-stick spray or oil and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Ferment the dough for 1 hour at room temperature.
  9. After 1 hour. Lightly flour the work surface. Uncover the dough and turn it onto the lightly flour work surface.
  10. Fold the dough
  11. Place the folded dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  12. Ferment the dough 1 hour.
  13. After 1 hour. Lightly flour the work surface. Uncover the dough and turn it onto the lightly flour work surface.
  14. Degas and fold the edges of the dough to the center to start to form the dough into a round shape.
  15. Clear the work surface of the flour.
  16. Turn the dough over and continue to pre-shape the dough into a tight round. The seam will be on the bottom.
  17. Cover the dough with the bowl and let the dough rest for 15 minutes before the final shaping.
  18. Pre-heat the oven and baking stone to 500ºF (260ºC) for at least 1 hour before baking the loaf.

Equipment:

• Baking Couche
• Bakers Lame
• Large Stainless Steel Bowl
• Baking Stone 14″ x 16″
• ¼-Sheet of Parchment Paper
• Baker’s Peel/Pizza Peel

Final Shaping and Proofing the Dough

  1. After the 15-minute rest uncover the dough. Lightly flour the top of the round and turn the dough over onto the work surface with the seam side up.
  2. Degas and shape the dough into an oval.
  3. Shape the dough into “Bâtard” (loaf shape)
  4. Lightly flour the canvas baking cloth.
  5. Place the Bâtard seam side up onto the floured canvas and fold each side to cover the ends of the loaf first. Then fold the remaining canvas to enclose the Bâtard. This will keep the loaf from spreading while it is proofing.
  6. Proof the loaf for 50 minutes to a 1 hour at room temperature. Check to see if the dough is ready by the touch test. Lightly press the dough with your fingertip. The dough should hold the indentation if the dough should pushes back completely let it continue to proof until it holds an indentation from your finger.
  7. Place the parchment paper onto the baking peel.
  8. Uncover the proofed loaf and place it seam side down onto the ¼-sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Use a straight edge razor or sharp knife to cut a long slash from end to end of the loaf.
  10. Slide the loaf onto the 500ºF (260ºC) preheated oven onto the baking stone. Place the large stainless steel bowl over the loaf.
  11. Bake the loaf with the bowl over it for 10 minutes.
  12. After 10 minutes, remove the bowl using tongs and kitchen hot pads.
  13. Reduce the oven temperature to 450ºF (232ºC). Turn the loaf to get even browning and remove the parchment paper.
  14. Continue to bake the loaf for 20 to 25 more minutes or until the exterior of the loaf is a deep golden brown.
  15. Using the peel. Remove the baked Italian Peasant Bread from the oven.
  16. Place the baked Italian Peasant Bread onto a cooling rack and cool completely to room temperature before cutting.

Honey, I Made the Bread

Is it “poolish” to make a high hydration bread without an overnight pre-ferment? It may have been a “biga” mistake but I made this high hydration no-knead bread with honey in a morning, in time for lunch.

After recent great success with Italian Pugliese bread it was time to start experimenting with variations. Can the flavor, crumb, hole formation and amazing crust of the high hydration (84%) pugliese be reproduced without using the biga (overnight pre-fermentation?)

This high hydration (75%) breads use a stretch and fold technique rather than kneading. This degasses and equalizes the temperature of the dough and builds and aligns the gluten strands to form an excellent full body loaf.

Along with no pre-fermentation this recipe does not use the Tipo 00 flour.

Quality Assurance report is just in – Yes!! This is a great bread! Make more! It has similar flavor, crumb, crust and hole formation as the Pugliese, but can be made start to finish in about 5 hours.

Honey No Knead 75 Percent Hydration Bread

Advanced No-Knead Bread

INGREDIENTS – (I weigh everything)
• 600 g all-purpose flour (about 4 cups using ‘scoop and sweep’ method)
• 450 g water (2 cups, room temperature)
• 21 g honey (1 Tbsp)
• 14 g kosher salt (1 level Tbsp)
• 3 g SAF Gold instant yeast (1 tsp)

METHOD

  1. Add the water and honey to a large bowl and mix until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand, until a sticky homogeneous mass is formed. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. After one hour, perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes over the next 1½ hours. Let the dough continue its fermentation for additional 1½ hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Shape the dough in a ball and transfer to a proofing basket dusted with a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and rice flour, seam side up.
  5. Cover with a piece of paper towel (this will prevent sticking of the dough to the plastic wrap), then with a plastic wrap. Let proof for about 60 minutes or until the dough passes the finger test. (Poked with a finger the indentation will spring back very slowly.) The dough will increase in size about one a half times or so.
  6. Place a baking stone and a steam pan in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500F. An hour of preheating is recommended.
  7. Turn the bread over on a piece of parchment paper. Score on top and place in the oven using a pizza peel. Be careful opening the oven, it will be full of hot steam. Spray the walls of the oven with a bit of water (gentle mist) to re-create some of the lost steam and close the door.
  8. Immediately drop the temperature to 450F and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the water pan from the oven, turn the bread 180 degrees and leave the door cracked open. You can use a wooden spoon for that. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 205-210F or about another 25 minutes.
  10. When the baking is done, remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature before slicing.

Crusty Cloche White Bread

Eventually we will no longer be sheltering in place. It will be exciting to roll out of the garage door, as the front door will no longer be large enough for me to fit through. I may need a bigger car, or maybe a flat-bed. Enough whining, this is about a new bread recipe.

KAF does it again. This is a crusty, chewy white bread that is delicious. My go to white sandwich bread has been Gold Medals recipe, but this may be the new standard. Even with the lower gluten AP flour this bread is chewy and soft. I had my quality assurance slice for dessert tonight and can only imagine my PB&J sandwich with it tomorrow.

It’s an easy recipe and can be made in a about 3 hours and as today is Monday, which is not a golf day, what else is there to do? Try it. It’s worth it.

Crusty Cloche White Bread

INGREDIENTS

• 1 ¼ cups (283g) lukewarm water
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil
• 3 ½ cups (421g) AP Flour

METHOD

  1. Mix and knead everything together to make a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until almost doubled.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, shape it into a ball, place in a cloche baker, and cover with the lid.
  4. Let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until it’s almost doubled in size.
  5. Slash the top of the loaf several times, cover with the lid, and place the cloche in a cold oven.
  6. Set the oven temperature to 400°F; bake the bread for 35 minutes, covered.
  7. Remove the lid, and bake the bread until it’s golden brown, another 5 to 10 minutes. The internal temperature should be 205-210 degrees.
  8. Take it out of the oven, and transfer the bread to a rack to cool.

Terza Volta un Incanto

Ever hear the third times a charm? Well, believe it—it’s true. This was my third attempt at this bread. The first two were disasters due to simple, stupid mistakes. In the first one I used 2 Tbl of salt instead of 2 tsp. I proofed the second one too warm. I tossed the first one. Not only did it take forever to rise due to the salt retarding the yeast, the salt taste was overwhelming. Plus I forgot the egg wash so the crust was dull and unappealing. The second was proofed in the proofing oven and rose too fast causing splits along the sides and when scored with the lame it flattened but was still ok to use for garlic bread.

The third and successful bake was proofed at room temperature for 15 minutes shorter than the recipe called for, but still doubling the size of the dough. I also activated the yeast for 10 min prior to adding the rest of the ingredients. (Step 1 below.)

Italian Supermarket Bread KAF

INGREDIENTS
Dough
• 4 cups (482g) AP Flour
• 2 tablespoons (21g) potato flour or 1/4 cup (21g) dried potato flakes
• 1/4 cup (35g) nonfat dry milk
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 1/3 cups (301g) lukewarm water
• 3 tablespoons (35g) olive oil
Topping
• 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, or substitute Quick Shine
• sesame seeds
METHOD

  1. In your stand mixer bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  2. Add half of the flour and all of the rest of the dough ingredients till cohesive. Add the rest of the
    flour mixing between each addition
  3. Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and supple, adding more water or flour as
    needed.
  4. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour, or until it’s doubled in bulk.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide it into two pieces. Shape each
    piece into a smooth 16″ log. Place the logs into the two wells of a lightly greased Italian bread
    pan, cover, and let the loaves rise until very puffy, about 1 hour.
  6. Brush the loaves with the egg wash (or spray them with Quick Shine), then sprinkle heavily with
    sesame seeds. Slash the loaves diagonally, making 3 slashes in each, and immediately put them in the oven. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for about 25 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown. For the crispiest crust, turn off the oven, prop the door open, and allow the bread to cool in the oven

I Ain’t Gonna Work on Maggie’s Farm No More

My friend, Maggie, and I have been trading recipes, tips and techniques for a while now. A couple of weeks ago she sent me this recipe for her biscuits, and it is outstanding. Making the batter takes 10-15 minutes, then 15 minutes in the oven and they are ready.

I followed her method exactly, except I cut the biscuits out with a 2” circular cutter. I then bunched the leftovers into a ball, patted them out and re-cut, twice. This provide a good sample for our Quality Assurance Department, who graded them A+

Maggie’s Six Biscuits

INGREDIENTS
• 1 tsp Baking Soda
• 1 tsp Salt
• 1 tsp Sugar
• 1⁄2 tsp Baking Powder
• 1 1/2 c AP Flour
• 1 stick Cold Butter
• 3/4 Sour Milk or Buttermilk (I soured whole milk with a bit o’lemon juice)

METHOD

  1. Mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Cut in the butter (fingers or pastry thingie, your choice) til it’s a shaggy mess … remembering
    that the less it’s messed with the flakier it’ll be.
  3. Once it’s at the shaggy mess stage begin adding the liquid a bit at a time until it’s a soft dough …
    keeping in mind then”remembering” bit notes above.
  4. Knead it a tiny bit.
  5. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, pat it into a rectangle about 1/2” high, spread some
    melted butter on it,
  6. Fold in half, pat it into a rectangle about 1” high, spread some melted butter on it.
  7. Cut into 6 pieces, place on parchment papered baking sheet, bake at 425 for about 15 minutes.

Tisket a Tasket I made an Easter (Bread) Basket

You know those little cooking videos that pop up on FB occasionally, or in my case, constantly? Apparently, FB knows what you like and what you want to see. Think Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty Four.”

Tasty posted a video describing how to make a bread basket for Easter. If you know me, you know I never make anything without making a practice recipe before delivering the final product. This one is heading to Dan, Frances, Kathy, Grace and Vivian for their Easter Dinner on Sunday afternoon. (We would have been there but are still “sheltering at home.”) The final basket will be filled with dinner rolls, and maybe some berry popovers. (I haven’t made a practice recipe of those yet… maybe tomorrow?) I also asked for a few colored eggs to be added and photographed, so look for an update next week.

I made few changes to the method but not the ingredients. Here are some tips to the method:

  • After the strips are cut, you can stretch them to fit around the bowl. The two braided strips can also be stretched to fit.
  • Put a little water on the ends of the dough strips as adhesive to join them together.
  • You will not end up with a perfect rectangle when rolled out. Cut equal width strips. Use the shorter dough strips (from the ends of your “rectangle” to circle the smaller bottom of the basket (which is the top of the upside-down bowl.)
  • Use toothpicks to hold the dough strips in place, especially the latitudinal ones. They fall down the sides of the oiled bowl.
  • The longitudinal strips need to be flattened, or offset to keep them from being too high and not having a flat surface to stabilize the finished basket. I cut the peak off to make a nearly level bottom.
  • After removing the basket from the bowl and removing the aluminum foil I returned the basket to the oven, right side up, for about 10 min to completely cook the inside of the basket where it was in contact with the bowl. I also wrapped the edge of the basket that was fully baked to prevent it from further darkening.

Bread Basket – Tasty.co

INGREDIENTS
• 1 ½ cups (350g) water
• 1 Tbl 1 tsp (12g) brown sugar
• 14 g yeast
• 4 ¼ cups (531g) AP flour
• 2 Tbl Canola oil
• 1 Tbl salt

METHOD

  1. Mix water, yeast and brown sugar. Let it sit five minutes
  2. Add flour, canola oil, salt mix. Knead
  3. Form into a ball then place in a greased bowl
  4. Cover and let rise 30 minutes in a warm place
  5. Roll to a 15 x 18“ rectangle when relaxed
  6. Cut into 15 strips across the 18 inch direction.
  7. Cover outside of the bowl with aluminum foil and spray with oil
  8. Place four strips across the top of the bowl
  9. Lift up every other strip wrap one strip around the circumference
  10. Lift up alternate pieces and place another strip around lift up the first pieces place another strip around – use toothpicks to hold in place
  11. Lay a total of 5 strips (or as many as required to fill the side of the “bowl.” (I used 7.) It depends on the width of the strips and size of the bowl.
  12. Cut ends of the longitudinal strips to fit
  13. Braid 3 pieces, cut the ends off to squared the ends of the braid.
  14. Stretch and fit around the bottom of the bowl
  15. Braid 3 more strips, place over a bowl to form the handle and cut the ends to square them up.
  16. Coat the handle with egg wash and flaky sea salt
  17. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes
  18. Attach the handle to the basket with toothpicks

Lemony No Snicket

As we hunker down at home I realize I have to stop reading new recipes! Despite exercising nearly as much as pre-Covid19 my baking is up around 400%. While all this baking is increasing my skills, it is also increasing my belt size. Luckily, as we are sheltering-in-place stretch waist warmup pants are all the rage.

I saw this recipe from PopSugar online and as I had lemons and raspberries all I needed was the plain Greek yogurt, which was procured during our sanctioned grocery shopping yesterday. Speaking of grocery shopping, we find it difficult to buy a weeks, much less two weeks worth of groceries in one trip. Any suggestions?

The only change I made to the recipe was to substitute equal quantities of olive for canola oil. The intense flavor of the fresh raspberries complemented, but didn’t overpower the lemon. It may be fun to remake these muffins using AP flour rather than whole wheat. I’m thinking it may make a lighter muffin. We have weeks more hunkering down here. Who knows? Obviously, only the Shadow knows.

I also baked these using Convection, which dropped the temperature from 400 deg to 375. I set the timer for the lower range (18 min) and took the muffins out at 20 min.

The batter is very thick so folding in the berries without mashing them is difficult. Be gentle. Be patient.

Lemon Raspberry Muffins

from PopSugar

INGREDIENTS
• 1 lemon
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 large (½ -cup) muffin cups with cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in long strips. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the zest is very finely chopped into the sugar.
  3. Add yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla. Pulse until blended.
  4. Combine whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the yogurt mixture, and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide the batter (it will be thick) among the muffin cups.
  5. Bake the muffins until the edges and tops are golden, 18 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm.