Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eat with your eyes...

...not with your mind. Thank you Martha Stewart Cupcakes.

The recipe follows as:
2 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising, sifted
2 Tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 Large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon red-gel food colouring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Makes 24 standard cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Mix in food colour and vanilla.

3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a separate bowl, add to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to two months in air tight containers.

5. To finish, use a small off set spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to three days in airtight containers, bring to room temperature before serving.

I did a small variation on this. Rather than making the standard sizing, I had opted to make mini cupcakes. The only big thing was that I had baked for about 12 minutes rather than the twenty, as instructed. I do find that these cupcakes are a bit on the greasy side, so next time I'm going to try using sweetened apple sauce, removing half the sugar and half a cup of oil.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yup, I did it again...

...ANOTHER loaf of Norwich Sourdough is hanging out on the counter proofing away.

I did an odd variation of this dough and I am not sure how this one is going to turn out...for one, I fed the starter with white bread flour, which made it a very stringy, gross looking mass. I can honestly say I have NEVER seen my dough behave like this before. I also subbed in 20grams of whole wheat flour. While Susan uses malted unbleached AP, I use whatever AP flour is laying around. I had also meant to sub out 2% of the AP flour with diastatic malt to see what happens, but alas, my memory has once again short circuited.

I have to say, slicing into the bread, the texture was absolutely horrendous. The crumb was far too gummy. Not to self, don't use bread flour for starter.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


They're so wonderful! I made Susan's Baguettes with Poolish and I have to say, they turned out wonderful. The texture was so light and airy, the crumb was wonderful and the crust was perfect. The colour is not as dark as the original, but that is only an aesthetic thing. I am definitely going to make this again!

As for the recipe itself, the only major "modification" that I did to this recipe was half it, using Bakers Percentages (there are four parts total) and shortened the fermenting time by 20 minutes, and 15 minutes, respectively. The colour was not as dark because I ran into problems with the actual loading of the bread, and lost too much heat, which is probably for the better anyway, since the crust came out quite a bit softer than it seems like it should have been.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It is with regret..

...that I have accidentally deleted my post on Sourdough English Muffins. However, my wonderful little friend was amazing enough to RESCUE this post! WEE!!
Who knew these lil buggers could be so tasty? I just tried my hand at them for the first time, and they turned out pretty darned awesome! This is a nice change from the conventional English Muffin in that a whole wheat starter was used, which makes the muffins nice and filling to eat and it also adds a lovely texture to them. The only difference with what I did in this go was to cut the muffins into far too large squares which works out for the better anyhow since I'm limited to eating only one piece. Yum!



Crumb shot:

Many thanks to the Wild Yeast blog for this wonderful recipe!

Sourdough English Muffins!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More sourdough??

Yup, that's right, more sourdough! On my quest to eat better and be in much better shape to get ready for ROGUE, I have decided to make Susan's Fruit and Nut Sourdough Somewhere in my head...I've decided dried fruits and nuts work well with carbs when pushing 21km...right? Right?!

Anyhow, slight modifications were made in this recipe. I reduced the salt down to 4g's because I was using salted nuts. I also didn't use her exact nut mixture. Instead I put in walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, craisins, dried cherries, golden and sultana raisins and sunflower seeds and something else, which added up to 200g's total. I also found the dough quite difficult to work with since it was so sticky so as I added the fruit and nut mixture so what I did was wet my hands repeatedly.

Also, rather than the 2.5 final rest before baking, that had been shortened to 1 hour and then refridgerated. This was done because of my poor time management. Waiting would have led into the wee hours of the early morning!
Anyway, there's the final loaf. There's obviously not a lot of oven spring there, since the dough did over proof in the fridge. I am going to cut down on the amount of starter in the fridge and hopefully that will improve situations a bit. Other wise, apart from the bread being far too dense, the flavour is AWESOME by its own rights and definitely something I'm going to make again sooner rather than later.