Yes, Need Bread

While traveling last week I saw a recipe for no-knead bread and today was my first chance to try it. Actually, I started it last night and finished it in time for a sandwich for lunch today. That seemed appropriate as the recipe described it as sandwich bread.

Rather than kneading the dough, once mixed into a wet sticky mess, it is rested, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning shape it into an 8” long log and place into a lightly greased bread pan. Allow the dough to warm to room temperature and rise under a clean, flour dusted kitchen towel for two hours.

This recipe makes an enriched Pullman loaf, although I don’t actually have a Pullman Loaf Pan (a square bread pan with lid.) While the shape was off, the buttery flavor was excellent and it had the fine crumb a Pullman Loaf should exhibit. It made a wonderful turkey, tomato and home grown lettuce sandwich.

Bake at 375 deg F for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 200 deg F. Place on a cooling rack and coat the top with butter. Make your sandwich and sit back to watch the Tennessee vs Kansas City playoff game.

No Knead Sandwich Bread

INGREDIENTS
• 31⁄3 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
• 11⁄2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
• 21⁄2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 11⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from 1 1⁄4-oz. envelope)
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
• 13⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
• Cooking spray

METHOD
Stir together flour, milk, sugar, yeast, and 5 tablespoons of the melted butter in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until no dry spots remain. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let stand 20 minutes. Add salt and stir until dough is sticky and elastic, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator; chill for 8 hours or overnight.

Lightly coat an 81⁄2-by-41⁄2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Turn chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using lightly floured hands, shape dough into a rough oval. (Dough may be difficult to shape.) Fold short ends of oval in toward the center, pressing gently to seal. Working in the same direction as the previous fold, fold dough in half over itself, pressing gently to seal and form an 8-inch-long log.

Transfer dough, seam side down, to prepared loaf pan, gently encouraging it into the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Let rest in a warm place (like the top of the refrigerator) until dough has risen just over the lip of the pan, about 2 hours. During the final 30 minutes of resting, preheat oven to 375°F with oven rack in lower third.

Bake until bread is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in center of loaf registers 200°F, 40 to 45 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil after 30 minutes if bread is browning too quickly. Invert loaf onto a wire rack; turn right-side up and brush top with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter. Let cool completely before slicing.

Santa Bread Baby!

I saw a recipe and tutorial on Food.net last week and thought it would be fun to make and take to a Christmas party we are going to. This bread recipe is a little sweeter than my usual making it taste a little like a Danish pastry. Plus two eggs in 4 cups or 500g AP flour yields a Challah sort of flavor.

The Food.net video tutorial was a great help in cutting and arranging Santas parts. (Search for Food.net Santa Bread.

The instructions they provided were spot on. Follow them and you will have no problems.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Two packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing and serving
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
  • 20 drops red gel food coloring
  • 2 large chocolate chips
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

METHOD

 

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer, then remove from the heat and let cool to 115 degrees F. Stir in the yeast and let stand until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the sugar, butter and 2 of the eggs and stir until smooth. Add the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium high and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimless baking sheet with parchment.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pinch off 1 golf ball-size piece of dough and roll it into a ball for the pompom of Santa’s hat. Pinch off 1 ping pong ball-size piece of dough and roll it into a ball for Santa’s nose. Cut off a 1-inch-wide, 9-inch-long, 1/4-inch-thick strip and roll it into a smooth log for the brim of Santa’s hat. Cut another piece of dough into a roughly 2-inch-wide, 5-inch-long, 1/4-inch-thick strip of dough. Snip evenly from the bottom (but not all the way up) and spread the strips out slightly to form a mustache.
  5. Roll out the remaining dough into an elongated diamond with the top triangle of the diamond double the length of the bottom triangle. Position the diamond on the prepared baking sheet with the top of the longer triangle hanging over the edge. Working on the shorter triangle, use scissors or a knife to cut 1/2-inch-wide strips of dough up toward the middle, stopping at the imaginary line where the top and bottom triangles meet. Pick up each strip of the beard and twist it, if you like, lying the twists down next to each other naturally so they look like a beard.
  6. Fold over the overhanging corner of dough so that it fits back within the edge of the baking sheet and position it slightly to the right to form the tip of Santa’s hat. Position the dough log across the top triangle where the tip of Santa’s hat ends and tuck the ends under the sides of the triangle; this is the brim of Santa’s hat. Position the golf ball-size ball of dough over the tip and against the brim and press lightly to adhere for the pompom of Santa’s hat. Arrange the mustache at the top of the beard, then position the ping pong ball-size ball of dough above the mustache to make Santa’s nose.
  7. Beat the remaining egg with the cream in a bowl to make an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the entire surface of the dough, including the pompom and brim of the hat but not the body of the hat, with the plain egg wash, making sure to get into all the crevices of the shapes. Add the food coloring to the egg wash, stir to combine, then carefully brush the body of the hat with the red egg wash, being careful not to let it stain the pompom or brim.
  8. Bake until the bread is golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately set the chocolate chips proportionally on either side and slightly above Santa’s nose to form his eyes. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack. Using cut pieces of parchment paper or foil to shield Santa’s nose, face and the body of his hat, dust the beard, brim and pompom with confectioners’ sugar. Remove the paper and serve the bread while still warm with butter.

WHEAT Blew the Referee’s Whistle

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.

Finished loaf – note low rise and tight crumb.
I followed all Mel’s directions and was pleased when my results very closely matched her pictures. I did find that setting 1 or 2 on my KitchenAid mixer was too slow to efficiently mix or knead the dough, so I used 3. (For my white bread I usually knead at 4 or 6. Oddly, there are only even numbers on the speed scale.) Perhaps I knocked some air out of the dough by using a more aggressive knead.
Shaped loaf in bread pan
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.

Cheeburger, Cheeburger

No Peps, only Coke. We switch.

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.

The rolls in the back are the ones to be frozen. The rolls for dinner tonight are in the center and completed baking, and the ones cut in half and smeared with butter are the QC samples, or I should say, were the QC samples.

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

METHOD

  1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients to make a soft, smooth dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
  3. 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. 
  4. Roll each bun with cupped fingers to tension the outside. Occasionally pinch and seal the underside seams.
  5. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
  6. Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter. 
  7. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. 
    1. To freeze rolls
      1. Remove from oven with 5 min left to bake
      1. Cool and freeze
    1. To reheat
      1. Allow to come to RT
      1. Bake at 350 for 5-7 min
  8. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.
  9. Cool the buns on a rack.

Not My Waterloo

85C73474-EA5B-44BD-83C5-6C3FA75720CFNeapolitans, 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.)

9E3D9EB7-31C6-4056-A2E2-EB98E5A96B0BThe 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.

F226223A-A147-4E15-B8F6-5E3FBAA9DA1AThe 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.

084CBE55-B2CD-4C2E-9F93-326140831A39The 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.

NEAPOLITAN CHEESECAKE COOKIES

https://www.frugalcouponliving.com/neapolitan-cheesecake-brownies/#_a5y_p=4163544

INGREDIENTS (Half Recipe)

COOKIE

  • 1 cup butter, softened (1/2)
  • 2 cups white sugar (1)
  • 2 eggs (1)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (1)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (1)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (6 Tbl)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (1/2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4)

VANILLA LAYER

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sugar

STRAWBERRY LAYER

  • 1/2 cup softened Butter
  • 6 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry Preserves (optional)
  • 4-5 drops Red Food Coloring

METHOD

COOKIE

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 13×15” pan and set aside. Be sure the paper extends over the sides of the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
  5. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture.
  6. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes in the preheated oven, until top of cookies are completely set.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

VANILLA LAYER

  1. Cream together cream cheese, sugar and eggs until well blended.
  2. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over brownie layer.
  3. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set. 1st try took 25 min
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes until top is no longer warm to the touch.

STRAWBERRY LAYER

  1. Beat butter (and strawberry preserves if using) while slowly add in powdered sugar.
  2. Add in food coloring to achieve pink color, then whip to get uniform color.
  3. Frost cheesecake layer by spreading frosting with a spatula to completely cover.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

BLUEBERRY PIE BITES

https://www.sugardishme.com/blueberry-pie-bites/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • about 45 blueberries
  • 2 Tbl raw or turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)
  • Special Equipment Required:
  • 1½” biscuit cutter
  • pastry brush

METHOD

  1. 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.
  2. Lightly flour a clean work surface and unroll the refrigerated pie crust.
  3. Use a 1½” biscuit cutter to cut all your little pie bite circles out of the refrigerated pie crust.
  4. Place 1 blueberry in the center of each circle. Sprinkle each one with a little sugar (you probably won’t use all the sugar).
  5. 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.
  6. Brush each bite with the egg wash. Place each bite on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle with a little more sugar and bake for about 10 minutes.

CARAMEL SAUCE

16 Servings, Prep Time: 10 Minutes, Cook Time: 15 Minutes

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

METHOD

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

When You Wish Upon A Star…

 

(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.)

Dusted Completed bread

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH

  • 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

FILLING

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

METHOD

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60 minutes, until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
  4. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. While the star is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  12. Completed breadBrush 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Store any leftover bread, well wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

The Scarlet Pumpernickel

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.pumpernickel boule 1

PUMPERNICKEL BOULE

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

METHOD

  1. Combine all of the ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough is elastic and slightly sticky.
  2. Let the dough rise in a lightly greased, covered bowl for 1 to 2 hours; it should become puffy.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface. Gently deflate it, and shape it into a ball.
  4. Place the shaped loaf into a round brotform covered with a flour dusted liner.
  5. Let the loaf rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s almost doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425°F with the stoneware baker (e.g., Emile Henry) inside to pre-heat it.
  7. 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.
  8. Slash the loaf diagonally in several places, and cover with the lid. .
  9. 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.
  10. Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool completely.