Anyone who read the post on my go-to brownie recipe knows a vital ingredient is jammy bits. These are small pieces of sugar coated chewy raspberry jam. They add texture, moisture and flavor to the brownies, but they are time consuming to make. (You can buy them at King Arthur Baking.)
The California wildfires “smoked us in” this morning with the AQI over 300 (!) I decided to stay inside (except to walk Rosie while wearing a KN-95 mask.) This provided the time necessary to make jammies. (Full disclosure: I also baked some chocolate chip cookies and blueberry drop scones from frozen doughs I made previously. I had to do something as the jam was reducing!)
Once the jammy bits are cut put them in an airtight container, add several tablespoons of caster sugar and toss to coat the bits. If some stick together break them apart and re-coat. If some to stick together when you go to use them, just cut them apart.
Fruit Jammy Bits
• 2 cups Berries • 2 Tbl Fruit Pectin • 2 cups sugar • Caster sugar (Extra Fine) for coating
Heat puree to barely boiling and add pectin
Once pectin is incorporated, add the sugar
Continue boiling until mixing marks stay 7-10 seconds or about 235-240F
Pour mixture into a fine sieve to remove seeds. Press firmly to squeeze as much seedless puree as possible through the sieve. I let the drippings fall on the caster sugar coated silicone mat trying to keep the thickness to 1-2mm.
If necessary, spread mixture on caster sugar coated silicone mat and freeze
Remove the sheet of fruit from the freezer and coat top with caster sugar
Flip coated over onto a cutting board and coat the now top surface with more sugar
When the fruit sheet is pliable cut into small squares (1/4” across) with a knife
Toss the jammy bits into a bowl of sugar then store in an air-tight container in the freezer
While on vacation I stopped by King Arthurs store in Norwich, Vermont. They had lots of real cool stuff that I didn’t need, so only bought a shopping cart full. One pan that I didn’t need and bought was their mini-loaf pan. There will be more cool stuff to come.
I have a new recipe for soft, light, fluffy whole wheat bread. I rarely have any luck in making whole wheat bread light and fluffy, but keep trying.
This pan was excellent and the recipe even better. I believe one ingredient and two method instructions make the difference. The ingredient is Vital Wheat Gluten. I use this with any flour that doesn’t have high gluten content such as wheat, pumpernickel, etc. I needed to replenish my supply and luckily the KAF store had it in stock. (OK, this was one thing I needed.) The two method steps that helped were to let the dough rest for 15 minutes before adding the balance of the flour and second, after the mixer finishes kneading the dough, give it a 5-10 minute hand kneading.
Whatever was responsible for making this the best whole wheat bread I ever made, I am glad I tried this new recipe
INGREDIENTS • 5-6 cups whole wheat flour • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (see note) • 2 3/4 cups warm water • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (bottled or fresh) • 1/3 cup oil • 1/3 cup honey • 1 tablespoon salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together 3 cups of the whole wheat flour, yeast, and gluten. Add the warm water and mix well. Cover the bowl and let the mixture rest for 10-12 minutes.
Add the lemon juice, oil, honey, and salt. Mix on low speed.
With the mixer running on low speed, continue adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (don’t over-flour! A little stickiness is ok as long as the dough forms a ball and doesn’t leave a lot of residue on your fingers).
Let the mixer knead the dough for 5-6 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
Turn the dough onto a lightly greased counter and divide in eights. (I found each loaf to be 159 g.) Shape each half into a taut loaf and place in a lightly greased mini-loaf pan (8 loaves per pan.)
Cover the loaf pan and let the loaves rise until they are 1-2 inches above the edge of the loaf pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure an oven rack is in the middle/center position. Bake the loaves for 28-32 minutes until golden and baked through (an instant-read thermometer should register 180-190 degrees in the center of the loaf).
Turn the bread onto a wire rack. Brush the tops with butter, if desired. Let cool completely.
NOTES Letting the Dough Rise: this bread recipe does not require the dough to rise before being shaped into loaves and letting the loaves rise in the bread pans. However, if you find your bread is a little dense after baking and cooling, letting the dough rise after kneading may help with that, as well as making sure the dough isn’t over floured.
Vital Wheat Gluten: is often found in the baking aisle at the grocery store (near the flour). Many brands of vital wheat gluten have Vitamin C added; those are ok to use in this recipe. I buy mine at KAF.
INGREDIENTS • 1 lb raspberries (454 grams) • 3 lbs plums , sliced and pits removed (leave skins on) (1360 grams) (picked from our tree) • 5 cups granulated sugar (1000 grams) • ½ cup bottled lemon juice (120 ml) • Zest of 1 orange (picked from neighbors tree)
Combine the raspberries, sliced plums, sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium high heat and stir frequently as the sugar dissolves and the fruit begins to release its juices.
Continue to cook, stirring frequently as the jam simmers and thickens. Skim any foam off of the surface with a spoon.
While the jam is simmering, remove plum skins with a spider strainer. Clean the strainer often to reduce the amount of jam removed.
Place a plate in the freezer and when the jam thickens wipe a little on the plate and return to the freezer for 2 minutes. Repeat until the jam stops running and has the consistency you want. Mine heated to 220 deg F.
Once the jam is reduced and thickened, remove from heat and ladle jam into sterilized jars. Top with a lid and screw on with a ring. This recipe made 7 half pints.
Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes for 5,000+ ft elevation). Remove from water bath and let cool. Check that lids have sealed by pressing down into the center of each one. It should not move.
Store jam in a cool dry place like a pantry and consume within 1 year.
The more important thing is I was able to try out my new hexagonal cookie cutter. I never liked the square, or triangular (folded squares) hand pies. Circular were good, but the space between the circles wasted a lot of puff pastry. The hexagonal cutter was nearly as efficient as cutting squares, but look more like round pies.
I used a larger cutter for the top to assure good coverage of the smaller bottom. I docked the bottom piece with a fork to manage the puff of the pastry.
The edges of the covered pies were pinched with the fork, and egg wash painted on, a steam vent cut on the top and sparkling sugar sprinkled on each pie before baking.
Raspberries were on sale ($2.99/package,) the forecast was for light rain, and it was a non-golf day. Whaddya expect? Scone morning everyone!
Dropped berry scones make a delicious, easy, breakfast in 30 minutes. This recipe makes 6 large free-formed scones. I formed these by hand shaping them into hamburger-like 3” diameter patties.
I froze half of them for a future breakfast. Scones can be frozen for up to 3 months, then thawed on the counter for an hour before reheating in the oven. Even easier is to microwave them, still frozen, in 30 second bursts, being careful not to overheat them.
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
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, corn syrup, jam, vanilla extract and salt until smooth.
Add the powdered sugar and mix on slow until completely combined. Turn the mixer up to medium and beat the mixture until smooth.
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.)
So, I had some puff pastry left over from the torsades last week, AND I had a half pint of fresh raspberries left over from my breakfast cereal. What am I to do?
I know! I can use some of my 11#s of chocolate for Pan Au Chocolat and puff pastry and raspberries for some hand pies. I posted both recipes and methods elsewhere in this blog so won’t bore you with repetition.
Half of our Q.C. department requested we make some scones. Having never tried our hand at them we finally made some this morning. I found a recipe and modified it to suit my needs. They will become a regular treat here!
These are 3 berry drop scones. They are 3 berry ‘cause I forgot I was making raspberry/blueberry scones and added blackberries. Once I realized what I did I added a half cup of blueberries.
Once mixed, large tablespoon portions are “dropped” onto a parchment covered baking sheet. I ended up baking them for the full 19 minutes at 400F. It was just about right. I forgot to sprinkle some coarse or turbinado sugar, but they didn’t really need it.
Raspberry/Blueberry Drop Scones
Ingredients • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt • 1/3 cup sugar • Zest of 1 small lemon (or half a large lemon) • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries • 1 cup heavy cream • Coarse or turbinado sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to incorporate.
Add the cubed butter and pulse to incorporate. The mixture should resemble very coarse sand.
Empty the flour mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the cream and stir until just barely incorporated.
Gently fold in the berries. It’s fine if the raspberries break up a little – it adds a nice pink stain to the dough. The dough should just be moist, not wet, but also not crumbly or powdery looking. If it looks too dry, add a tablespoon of cold water.
Spoon the dough into 12 equally-sized pieces on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle some coarse or turbinado sugar over the top, if desired.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The scones should be lightly golden and cooked through.
Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes then carefully remove to a cooling rack.