Killing Time Making Rolls

So, what do you do as you are waiting for your dinner rolls to proof? Well, If you have an 11 pound bag of chocolate, 60 pieces of 1”x1” caramel, making salted chocolate covered caramels is a good way to pass the time.

I cut the caramels a day ago, tempered the chocolate, dipped and drained the coated caramel and sprinkled some Maldon flaked sea salt on each.

The chocolates were setting as the first proof of the rolls completed. The proofed dough weighed 1,553 grams, so to make 24 rolls, each had to weigh about 63 g. I weighed each, formed them into a small ball and rolled them on the counter to tension the surface of the roll.

I arranged them 4×6 in a glass baking tray and baked at 375 deg until the internal temperature was 180 deg. (about 20 min.) Once out of the oven, a light brush with melted butter and boom. Excellent dinner rolls! The recipient and methods for both the dinner rolls and chocolates are found elsewhere in this blog.

Sandwich Rye – New Recipe

I was going to continue the experiment with Part 3, but wanted to try this new recipe I found at ayearinbread.blogspot.com. It’s interesting as it uses bread flour, molasses and citric acid. It had a good flavor, crumb and a great crust. Oh, I also needed to make a few (3) loaves of white sandwich bread for PB&J lunches. The oddest thing happened with the white bread. Two of the loaf rose nice and round, but one fell. No idea.

Sandwich Rye
http://ayearinbread.blogspot.com/2007/09/kevin-sandwich-rye.html

• INGREDIENTS
• rye flour 1 c 146 g
• bread flour 2 1/4 c 330g
• instant yeast 1 tsp
• wheat gluten 1 1/2 tbsp
• citric acid (sour salt) 1/4 tsp
• caraway seeds 2 tbsp 20g
• molasses 1 1/2 tbsp
• butter melted 1 tbsp
• table salt 3/4 tsp
• water 1 c + 2 tbsp 256 g

Egg Wash
• egg 1
• water 1 tbsp

METHOD

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix together the yeast, gluten, citric acid, caraway seeds, rye flour, and 2 cups (280g) of bread flour. Add salt and mix in. (Note, the salt is added after mixing the original ingredients to minimize it’s direct contact with the yeast, which it can kill).
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together water, molasses, and butter using a small whisk. With the motor running at low speed, pour liquid into dry ingredients. Once moistened, switch to the dough hook and finish blending. The dough should be moist and sticky, add just enough additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, to have dough clear the sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and knead for eight minutes. (Note, dough will clear sides but stick to bottom, scrape it up with a rubber spatula every couple of minutes.)
  3. Scoop dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly a few times then form into a ball. Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with cooking oil, spritz top with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk — about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Gently deflate dough, scoop onto a lightly floured surface, fold a few times, and allow to relax for about five minutes. Shape dough into a loaf and place on a piece of parchment on your peel or on a baking sheet. Lightly spritz tops with oil and cover with plastic. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. In the meantime, heat oven to 400F (200C) and place rack in center position. (Note: it’s important to give the oven a long preheat before baking, particularly if you’re using a baking stone.)
  5. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Brush loaf with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate rack front to back and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. The interior should read 190F on an instant read thermometer.

Raspberry Fondant Filled Bonbons

I figured there must be something I could do while my Rye Bread Part 2a a loaves were proofing. I also figured there must be something I could do with the 4 Tbl of seedless raspberry coulis I had in the fridge. Also, if you remember I want to use more of the 11 lbs of bittersweet chocolate I have, so I decided some nice raspberry fondant filled bonbons would be a good way to kill a couple of hours this morning.

I tempered a cup of chocolate and poured it into one of my molds before draining the extra back into the bowl of liquid chocolate.

While the tempered chocolate was setting I mixed the raspberry fondant. I only made a half recipe but doubled the amount of raspberry coulis and halved the amount of sugar. I wanted the filling to be very soft. The recipe below does NOT reflect my modifications.

Once complete, I piped each chocolate coated well about 2/3rds full and let it set. Once set, I re-tempered the chocolate, poured it over the filled chocolate and let it almost set before scraping the bottom clean. It’s always a challenge to bang the finished chocolates out of the mold, but just keep banging them and eventually they will release.

Raspberry (or any) fondant center

INGREDIENTS
• 2½ tablespoons butter, softened
• 2½ tablespoons light corn syrup
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ cup seedless raspberry coulis, (but you can use your favorite.)
• 3 cups powdered sugar

METHOD

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, corn syrup, jam, vanilla extract and salt until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on slow until completely combined. Turn the mixer up to medium and beat the mixture until smooth.
  3. Use the filling right away, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month. (I have it in a piping bag, sealed on both ends.)

The Rye Experiment- Part 2a

Oops! I used the pumpernickel flour but forgot to use First Clear instead of AP flour. The plan was to use the best combination of ingredients to make the best loaf of rye bread.

I made two small free form boules. They held their shape really well.

Maybe tomorrow I will read my own instructions all the way through before baking. The results were pretty darn good today, though!

Chocolate Swiss Roll Yule Log Cake

That title is a mouthful, but not as good a mouthful as the cake!

Roll the cake as soon as it finishes baking. The cake will be HOT. I ended up using the parchment paper and rolling the ends like a small Tootsie Roll. It worked pretty good and saved my fingers.

The cake broke as I unrolled it. Apparently this is not uncommon. I believe I unrolled it too soon after it came out of the refrigerator. It wasn’t much of a problem as the frosting covered the breaks. I was going to make some marshmallow fluff to add to the filling, but forgot to make any this morning. Maybe next time.

I used grapes instead of cranberries for the decorations. (I am not a fan of cranberries.) I wish the long section of log were even longer. The jelly roll pan was a good size, and I think rolling a longer sheet of cake would be much more difficult, but it would have been nice for it to be bigger.

Most of the cake will be given away to family and neighbors, but we will be sure Manufacturing and QC have enough for proper assessment.

I ended up using half the suggested confectioner’s sugar for the frosting (topping.) QC and Manufacturing I checked it often during mixing, until we decided it was sweet enough, but not too sweet.

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

INGREDIENTS
Cake
• 4 large eggs, separated
• 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup (65g) packed light or dark brown sugar
• 1 Tablespoon (15ml) strong brewed coffee
• 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted (see note)
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour
• 3 Tbl natural unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 2 Tbl (10g) for rolling*
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
Vanilla Whipped Cream
• 1 cup (240ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
• 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• optional: 2 Tablespoons marshmallow creme (“Fluff”)
Chocolate Topping
• 3/4 cup butter
• 1 1/2 cups (125g) unsweetened cocoa powder
• 5 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar 624g (1c confectioners sugar = 117g)
• 2/3 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12×17 inch baking pan with nonstick spray or grease with butter, so the parchment paper sticks. Then line it with parchment paper so the cake seamlessly releases. Spray or grease the parchment paper too. We want an extremely nonstick surface for this cake roll.
  2. Make the cake: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl on high speed for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks, brown sugar, and vanilla extract together until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl bowl. Pour the melted butter, coffee, and egg yolk mixture over the dry ingredients. Beat everything together on medium speed until completely combined. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold in the egg whites until completely combined. Avoid over-mixing and deflating those whites. Batter will be very light.
  4. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. It will be a very thin layer. Shimmy the pan on the counter to smooth out the top. Bake for 10 minutes or until the top of the cake gently springs back when touched with your finger. Do NOT over-bake.
  5. Roll the cake: As the cake bakes, place a piece of parchment paper (larger than the cake) or a thin kitchen towel flat on the counter. Sprinkle with a light coating of cocoa powder. Once the cake comes out of the oven, immediately invert it onto the parchment/towel. Peel off the parchment paper that was on the bottom of the cake as it baked. Starting with the narrow end, slowly and gently roll the cake up with the parchment/towel. The cake will be warm. Allow the cake to cool completely rolled up in the parchment/towel. Place in the refrigerator to speed it up, about 2-3 hours.
  6. Remove the cake roll from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes to warm up as you prepare the whipped cream.
  7. Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Then beat in the marshmallow creme, if using.
  8. Slowly and gently unroll the cake. Spread whipped cream evenly on top, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the cake. Gently roll the cake back up, without the parchment/towel this time. Place on a wire rack set on a baking sheet (to catch the extra ganache). Set aside on the counter or in the refrigerator as you prepare the ganache.
  9. Make the topping: Cream butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa and confectioners’ sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat to a spreading consistency.
  10. Pipe in horizontal strips to resemble bark. Use an M1 star tip.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes before slicing and serving.
  12. Cover leftover cake and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
    NOTE:
    To make sugared cranberries and rosemary, add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until sugar has melted. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup of sugar evenly on a shallow dish. Dip cranberries and rosemary springs to the sugar water, then roll in the sugar. Let dry before adding to the cake. I also used some of the clumps of sugar left behind to add “snow” to the cake.

The Rye Experiment, Part 2

As I said in Part 1, this variation will simply substitute First Clear Flour for the White Rye in Part 1. I added an egg/water wash to this loaf to increase the color of the bread. I did not coat the finished warm bread with butter, which darkened the Part 1 loaf. I also baked it in the bottom of a Dutch Oven to help keep its shape. (No real difference.) I won’t publish the recipe again, just go to Part 1 and make the change noted above.

Manufacturing reports the crumb may be a little better. The holes are slightly larger and more evenly distributed. The crust is a little chewier and darkened just about right. The rise was higher. QC has yet to report.

Part 3 will substitute Rye Bread Improver for the Vital Wheat Gluten. I am thinking Part 4 will be the winner of Parts 1-3 and substituting pumpernickel flour for the other rye flour. Stay tuned.

The Rye Experiment, Part 1

Fran and I are self quarantining so we can join Daniel and Frances’s “pod” for Christmas and New Years. To pass the days I decided to experiment with variations of rye bread recipes. KAB has a good, basic caraway seed rye bread recipe, which I used as a starting place. (Recipe below.)

Following the recipe as written resulted in a well risen, soft rye bread with a good crumb. Today’s roast beef sandwich with lettuce, jalapeños and lettuce was excellent.

The first variation is to replace the white rye flour with first clear flour. In case you were wondering first clear flour is what remains after milling patent flour. It compensates for the low gluten content of rye flour. It is the traditional flour used in Jewish bakeries and adds loftier rise and better chew. This variation will be in the next post, The Rye Experiment, Part 2.

No, I didn’t have to buy anything for this experiment. Here is a picture of my specialty flour cupboard. Standard flours (AP, bread, whole wheat, pumpernickel,) are kept in a separate storage unit.

Caraway Rye Bread KAB

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/caraway-rye-bread-recipe
INGREDIENTS
• 1 cup (227g) lukewarm water
• 1 cup (106g) white rye, medium rye, or pumpernickel flour
• 4 teaspoons (14g) sugar
• 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1/2 cup (113g) sour cream (low-fat is fine; please don’t use nonfat)
• 1 to 2 tablespoons (7g to 14g) caraway seeds, to taste
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 1/3 cups (280g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or First Clear Flour
• 3 tablespoons (25g) vital wheat gluten or rye bread improver, optional, for best rise

METHOD

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing to form a soft batter. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes; this allows the rye flour to absorb some of the liquid, making the dough easier to knead.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead the dough together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until it’s fairly smooth. The nature of rye dough is to be sticky, so don’t be tempted to add too much flour.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl or large (8-cup) measure, cover, and let it rise until noticeably puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.
  4. Gently deflate the dough, knead it briefly, and shape it into two smooth oval or round loaves; or one long oval loaf. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Cover the loaves, and let them rise until they’re noticeably puffy, about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Just before they go into the oven, spritz the loaves with water, and slash them about 1/2″ deep. The oval loaves look good with one long, vertical slash; the rounds, with two or three shorter slashes across the top.
  7. Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 205°F to 210°F. The single, larger loaf will bake for 45 to 50 minutes. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it lightly with foil after 25 minutes of baking.
  8. Remove the loaves from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. While still warm, brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will keep their crust soft.

(Cream) Puff the Magic…

I saw a recipe and “how to” video on making cream puffs. I usually make my choux into eclairs or profiteroles, but thought some sweet whipped cream filling would be a nice change.

Natasha Kravchuk used 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk instead of just a cup of water. Unlike Natasha, I used an egg wash to darken the tops and give the choux a nice sheen. Other than that, it was the same recipe I normally use. Same with the whipped cream except she used 2x the amount of sugar and vanilla. She also piped the whipped cream leaving the center empty. She (and I ) added a fresh raspberry inside before covering with the cut off top.

Also, I saw a hint to wet the parchment paper before piping the choux. I am not sure if it made a difference but the choux rose nicely and didn’t collapse. A few did have bottoms that bowed in. They were sent to QC for evaluation. We were so concerned we sent a larger number of samples than usual.

Say Cheese, Please!

Actually, say mozzarella! No baking this past weekend, but I did make home-made mozzarella cheese. I read it is the easiest cheese to make and as I needed to run to the store for some for a pan pizza, I thought I would learn how to make it. For emergencies you understand.

It was reasonably easy, but I think I made a few minor errors this first time. I don’t think the curd set completely. On advice from cheese makers blogs I let it set much longer than the recipe specified, but it was still pretty liquid. I may need more rennet and/or let it set at a warmer temperature.

Once I finished cooking the curd and started to knead and stretch it, I began to see the ‘cottage cheese’ texture, but it never came together to form a glossy mass.

I packed two small balls of cheese in airtight containers with a little left over whey to let it set and continue curing overnight.

Much to my surprise, the final cheese had a good texture and excellent taste. In summary, it is very easy to make, just a little harder than driving the two miles to the market and buying it.

Mozzarella Cheese
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-mozzarella-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-174355
Makes about 1 pound of mozzarella
INGREDIENTS
• 1 ¼ cup water
• 1 ½ teaspoon citric acid
• ¼ rennet tablet or ¼ teaspoon liquid rennet (Not Junket rennet, see note below)
• 1 gallon milk, whole or 2%, not ultra-pasteurized*
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
METHOD

  1. Measure out 1 cup of water. Stir in the citric acid until dissolved. Measure out ¼ cup of water in
    a separate bowl. Stir in the rennet until dissolved.
  2. Pour the milk into the pot. Stir in the citric acid solution. Set the pot over medium-high heat and
    warm to 90°F, stirring gently.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and gently stir in the rennet solution. Count to 30. Stop stirring, cover
    the pot, and let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  4. After five minutes, the milk should have set, and it should look and feel like soft silken tofu. If it
    is still liquidy, re-cover the pot and let it sit for another five minutes. Once the milk has set, cut it
    into uniform curds: make several parallel cuts vertically through the curds and then several
    parallel cuts horizontally, creating a grid-like pattern. Make sure your knife reaches all the way
    to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat and warm the curds to 105°F. Stir slowly as
    the curds warm, but try not to break them up too much. The curds will eventually clump
    together and separate more completely from the yellow whey.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring gently for another 5 minutes.
  7. Ladle the curds into a microwave-safe bowl with the slotted spoon.
  8. Microwave the curds for one minute. Drain off the whey. Put on your rubber gloves and fold the
    curds over on themselves a few times. At this point, the curds will still be very loose and
    cottage-cheese-like.
  9. Microwave the curds for another 30 seconds and check their internal temperature. If the
    temperature has reached 135°F, continue with stretching the curds. If not, continue
    microwaving in 30-second bursts until they reach temperature. The curds need to reach this
    temperature in order to stretch properly.
  10. Sprinkle the salt over the cheese and squish it with your fingers to incorporate. Using both
    hands, stretch and fold the curds repeatedly. It will start to tighten, become firm, and take on a
    glossy sheen. When this happens, you are ready to shape the mozzarella. Make one large ball,
    two smaller balls, or several bite-sized bocconcini. Try not to over-work the mozzarella.
  11. Using and Storing Your Mozzarella:
  12. The mozzarella can be used immediately or kept refrigerated for a week. To refrigerate, place
    the mozzarella in a small container. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of cool whey and pour this
    over the mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate.
    RECIPE NOTES
  13. Adapted from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company

A Short Stay at The Parker House

I am sure most of you are experts at making and baking Parker House Rolls, but I saw a recipe from KAB a week before Thanksgiving and thought I would give them a try.

Making the enriched dough is pretty standard, although this recipe calls for 50g of potato flour. Substituted in any yeast bread potato flour increases the moisture content. Along with the egg and milk this results in a smoother enriched dough than you would expect from 55% hydration bread. (100* weight liquid/weight flour.)

Forming the rolls is what makes the Parker House Rolls distinctive. The dough is rolled out, folded and cut into 3” portions. (See METHOD below for exact steps.) Butter painted onto the inside of the rolled dough, plus the additional butter coating the finished product after baking makes these moist, tender and very buttery. Easy to do and delicious.

Parker House Rolls

INGREDIENTS
• 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
• 3 tablespoons (39g) sugar
• 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
• ¼ cup (50g) potato flour or 3/4 cup (50g) dried potato flakes
• 3 tablespoons (43g) butter
• 1 cup (227g) milk
• 1 large egg
• 3 ½ to 4 tablespoons (50g to 57g) butter, melted; for brushing on rolls

METHOD

  1. In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients (except the 3 ½ to 4 tablespoons (50 to 57g) melted butter at the end), mixing to form a shaggy dough. Note: to speed the rising process, whisk together the milk and egg, and heat gently just enough to remove the refrigerator chill; then add to the remaining ingredients.
  2. Knead the dough, by hand (10 minutes) or by machine (7 to 8 minutes) until it’s smooth.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or 8-cup measure (so you can track its rising progress). Allow it to rise for 90 minutes; it’ll become quite puffy, though it probably won’t double in bulk. Note that the dough takes quite awhile to get going; after 1 hour, it may seem like it’s barely expanded at all. But during the last half hour, it rises more quickly.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, roll or pat the dough into an 8″ x 12″ rectangle.
  5. Brush the dough all over with a light coating of the melted butter. You’ll have butter left over; you’ll need it for the other half of the dough, as well as for brushing on top of the baked rolls.
  6. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, to make two 4″ x 12″ rectangles. Working with one rectangle at a time, fold it lengthwise to about ½” of the other edge, so the bottom edge sticks out about ½” beyond the top edge. You’ll now have a rectangle that’s about 2 ¼ ” x 12″. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
  7. Cut each of the rectangles crosswise into four 3″ pieces, making a total of 8 folded rolls, each about 2 ¼” x 3″. Flip the rolls over (so that their smooth non-folded side is facing up), and place them in a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough, making 16 rolls in all. You’ll arrange 4 rows of 4 in the pan, with the longer side of the rolls going down the longer side of the pan. Gently flatten the rolls to pretty much cover the bottom of the pan.
  8. Cover the pan, and let the rolls rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they’re puffy but definitely not doubled. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re golden brown and feel set.
  10. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. Pull them apart to serve.