Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Starter For A New Year

Last year I was inspired to create a sourdough starter following the directions in a book by Peter Reinhart called Artisan Breads Every Day. After days of feeding a mush of water and whole wheat flour I had a nice mother starter that would produce many loaves of bread, dozens of bagels, many mornings of blueberry muffins, and countless handfuls of crackers. Since it was becoming a member of the family I gave it a name, Ceres.
As if I didn't have enough to look after, I cared for it and fed it. I even took it with the family on a month long road trip to Wisconsin and back. When the summer was coming to an end so was my attention to Ceres. I let it go. I decided not to feel guilty about as we had a good run and I could always make another, which takes us to January 2011.
Ceres II was created in the same fashion as it's predecessor and has already turned out a dozen bagels.

The recipe I used to make them was one I made as I went along. I called it, Experimental Spiked Whole Wheat Sourdough Bagels. (or something like that)
In any case it was an experiment with great results. This is what I did and I will most likely change is and try new things with it.
For 12 or so bagels

About 12 oz of very firm starter
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

Mix together, cover, and leave for 1 hour.

1/2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
2 3/4 teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Brown Rice Syrup
2 1/2 Cups Bread Flour

Make balls, cover and rest for 20 minutes.
Shape bagels, cover and rest for 3 hours. Then boil water with about 3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda and 1/4 Cup of Sugar and heat oven to 500F.
Boil bagels for 2 minutes on each side. Place on a towel to get extra water off and place on baking pan with a small about of Corn Meal on the pan.
Bake for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 450F and bake for 5 more minutes or until golden.
Cool for at least 15 minutes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

This is my second Daring Bakers' challenge and I was reminded why I wanted to join this group, to learn. During the learning process mistakes must be made, especially when doing something for the first time. What I am showing here is my second attempt and even this was not perfect (but still very tasty).
The crust is a pasta frolla. I chose to make the first version and my filling of chose was chocolate raspberry.

Powdered sugar, flour, butter eggs, and lemon zest are what went in to make the shell.

After baking the the shell (and now understanding the importance of pie weights) I spread a layer of homemade raspberry jam on the bottom.

Next a chocolate mixture consisting of organic semi-sweet chocolate, light corn syrup, and butter, is poured in and let cool a bit before topping with golden raspberries.

So what did I get out of this challenge other that a really yummy tart? I now know pie weights are a must when baking a shell with out filling. It is hard to be creative with something if you don't even know what it will be like in the first place. To learn it do over until you get it right (or at least edible). Thanks to DB for pushing me to do something new!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

This is my first Daring Bakers challenge. What better fall treat than doughnuts!

This is a yeasted dough with eggs, milk, and butter. I was very excited that the recipe called for ground nutmeg because I was able to use some of the whole nutmeg I brought back from Turkey.
Like most yeasted breads the dough is left to rise for about an hour.

Lucky for me I was able to get some help rolling out the dough (tough work but someone has to do it).

After the dough was rolled out by my helper I then cut it with cookie cutters.

Doughnuts become doughnuts when they are boiled in oil.

When they had a chance to cool a bit, I coated them with powdered sugar.

To make this Fall treat complete we coupled it with a cup of apple cider. I think everyone was pleased with the way it turned out! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Catching Up ~ Backwards

Going back in time to catch up with my kitchen adventures ~~~ doo doo doo doo (the sound of going back in time).
WAFFLES are so popular in my house I've taken to doubling the recipe and freezing them to be toasted as needed. Made with whole wheat flour, with or without blueberries, this is a recipe that has made it's place in my Tried and True Notebook of Recipes.

Here in Western Washington the sun is often trumped by rainclouds. Eager to get my son into baking and brighten up our home we made our own sun. This bread is so much fun. The recipe is in the back of a wonderful children's book. I want to send a big thank you into the universe to my old boss Jim B. for gifting this book to me. I wonder if he somehow knew we would be needing it <3

Another tasty treat from a book,Cappuccino Hazelnut Scones. I found the recipes more interesting than the story.
I've wanted to make scones for sometime now and these were so rich and delicate. I think I would want to save them for special occasions, otherwise the baby weight I am trying to loose would turn into scone weight. :)

Flat breads! Nan and a buttery Basil "Cracker".

Have I ever mentioned I love bagels? ;) These were my first perfect all wild yeast bagels.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Birthday Berries and Two Loaves of Happieness

For my daughter's first birthday we had a berry picking party. It was a beautiful day and we came home with multiple pounds of strawberries. After freezing some I decided to make a strawberry pie with the remainder. This was the first time I ever made a berry pie by myself. I have fond memories of picking berries at our family farm as a kid and "helping" my mom and grandma make pies.

When pie is in the house it only makes sense to eat it for breakfast.

I firmly believe that happiness is two fresh loaves of bread. These are from a simple white bread recipe found in Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. We used the first loaf to make Grilled Cheese sandwiches for dinner that night. YUM!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baking in Bellingham

We've been in our house in Bellingham since Halloween 2009. Transplanting to our new home has been a wild ride, but I've been busy making this house a home by filling it with lots of bread and other baked goods.

My first sourdough starter. This was before we moved into the new house. I kept it a month before I began to feel overwhelmed and cashed it. I did manage to make some bread, yummy blueberry muffins, and not so good (but pretty) bagels with it first.

Another BBA Challenge- Brioche WOW can we say rich! Look at all the butter.

Gabe and Blake assembled and decorated a cookie train...

... While my sister and I made Chocolate "Christmas" Ladybugs. This is a recipe our mom uses to make and send HER sister Chocolate Christmas SLUGS!

My Mother-In-Law gave me pasta attachments for my Kitchen-aid. This was one of my first batches of spaghetti.

Embracing my love of bagels here are some very tasty Asiago Bagels :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So we picked and left Madison just like that and headed to Washington state with all our stuff, the kids, and the cats. Oh did I mention we had no place to live yet. To our good fortune we shacked up at my sister's. Eager to get baking I decided to recreate a little bit of Madison in her kitchen with Spicy Cheese Bread. ( the bread from Stella's everyone craves at the Dane County Farmer's Market)

I used my favorite Challah recipe, added crushed red pepper flakes to the dough, and provolone cheese as the filling.

Well it turned out nice looking. The inside was gooey a bit so maybe next time I'll make 2 smaller loaves or bake at a lower temp. for longer. Still this tasted very close to the bread that inspired it.

Thank you Erica and Todd for sharing their kitchen and home with us, and for helping us find our new one.