Monday, August 30, 2010

Macaroni and cheese...

...I love you. I really, really do. I mean, cheddar, mozzarella...what more can you ask for?

Thank you Ree Drummond for this wonderful recipe .

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bakers weekends

They are always so fun, even if you're not actually "baking" anything in an oven...Stovetops count, right? I must say, nothing beats having homemade pancakes for breakfast...lunch...and dinner. Since I am so avidly into baking sourdough related items, it always bring me great joy when I make the King Arthur Sourdough Pancakes/Waffles. With that being said...bon apetite!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oh Ciabatta.

Jason's Quick Ciabatta. I decided to make this today, and I have to say, DELICIOUS. I did very little modifications to the recipe except to cold retard the dough after an hour do to life getting in the way. This is absolutely delicious. The crumb is nice and soft and sweet, the crust is perfect. Yum.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


'Nuff Said
I added about a cup of frozen blueberries and a splash of vanilla. Deeeelicious.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More sour??

Yipee!! So as an experimentation in voyeurism, I decided to make Daniel Leader's, French Country Boule (page 90 of Daniel Leader's: Local Breads)

The recipe goes something like this:
Liquid Levain Starter:
50 g Liquid Levain
175 g Water, Tepid
135 g Type 55-style flour from King Arthur or Giusto's or unbleached AP flour

Prepare the levain. Pour 50 grams of liquid levain into a small bowl. Refresh the remaining levain according to how you like it. Pour in the water and stir with a rubber spatula. The levain with froth. Mix in the flour until the mixture is fairly smooth. Some lumps are ok, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature (70-75*F) for eight to twelve hours. When ready, it will have expanded by about one third and the surface will be bubbly, like a large pancake ready to be flipped. It will have a wheaty, fruity, mildly tangy aroma.

Bread Dough:
250 g Water, tepid
440 g Type 55-style flour from King Arthur's or Giusto's or unbleached AP flour
30 g stone ground whole wheat flour
30 g fine or medium rye flour
310 g liquid levain starter
10 g sea salt

Mix the dough. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, and rye flour and stir with a rubber spatula just until it absorbs all the water and a rough dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to hydrate the flour and give the gluten a chance to develop on its own.

Add the levain and salt. Stir the levain with the spatula and deflate it. Scrape it into the bowl of dough. Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Use the spatula to blend the levain and salt into the dough. (At this point, I was super frustrated using this method and just dived straight in with the dough hook.)

Knead the dough. By hand: Lightly dust the counter with flour. Scrape the dough onto the counter and knead with steady, relaxed strokes for 10 to 12 minutes. Flour your hands as often as necessary but resist adding more flour to the dough. As you continue to knead, the dough will gradually become smooth, resilient, and tacky. Give the dough a windowpane test to judge its readiness; Pinch off a golfball-sized piece and flatten it into a mini pancake. Gently stretch it until the dough is thin enough to see through. If it tears, press it back into the larger mass and continue kneading for 1-2 minutes more and test again.
By machine: Use the dough hook and mix the dough on medium speed until it is smooth, 8-9 minutes. It will be soft and tacky, but will clean the sides of the bowl. Give the dough a windowpane test to judge readiness.

Ferment the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clear, straight-sided 2 quart container with a lid. With masking tape, mark the spot on the container that the dough will reach when it has doubled in volume. Cover and leave it to rise at room temperature (70-75*F) until it inflates into a dome and reaches the masking tape, 2.5-3.5 hours. It will feel springy and less sticky. *It is at this step that I added a stretch and fold at 1.5 hours because I noticed the dough was spreading quite a bit and getting soupier, which I suspect happened because I did not mix the dough long enough.

Divide and Shape the Boules. Heavily dust the bannetons or the two bowls lined with kitchen towels with flour. Lightly dust the counter with flour. Scrape the dough onto the counter. With a bench scraper or chef's knife, cut the dough into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a boule. If you don't achieve a perfect round, leave it. It's important not to overwork the dough. Place each round, smooth side down, in a prepared banneton or bowl. Lightly sprinkle with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

**Proof the boules. Let the boules stand at room temperature until they become pillowy and nearly double in size, 1-1.5 hours. When you press your fingertip into the dough, the indentations will spring back.

Prepare the oven. About one hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and cast-iron skillet on the lower rack. Heat the oven to 450*F.

Score the boules. Lightly flour a bakers peel or rimless baking sheet. Uncover the loaves and tip them out onto the peel or sheet, guiding them for a soft landing and arranging them at least 2 inches apart. With a lame, or a serrated knife, make 3 parallel slashes centered on each loaf, each about 1/2" deep.

Bake the Boules. Slide the loaves, still on the parchment, onto the baking stone. Place 1/2 cup of ice cubes in the skillet to produce steam. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400*F and continue to bake until the boules are red-brown, 20-25 minutes.

Cool and store the loaves. Slide the peel or rimless baking sheet under the parchment paper to remove the loves from the oven. Slide the loaves, onto a wire rack to cool.

*It is at this step that I added a stretch and fold at 1.5 hours because I noticed the dough was spreading quite a bit and getting soupier, which I suspect happened because I did not mix the dough long enough.
**It is at this step that I shaped the loaves, let it rest for 15 and then stuck it in the fridge, seeing as it was getting late again.

And the result? I can't say I was too pleased with how awful looking the bread came out to be...