Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Coffee Malted Cookies

For the Dorie's Cookies bake-along, the second cookie for July was the Coffee Malteds (page 116), highlighting two of my favorite flavors, coffee and malt.



These cookies are easy and quick to make, with a cake-like texture.  They are drop cookies, although, because I wasn't sure how much they would spread, I decided to bake them in mini-muffin tins, using my smallest scoop to dish out the dough.  I ended up with bite-sized buttons.  The flavor mellowed over time, but they were delicious from first cookie to last.

The Coffee Malteds were also Dorie's selection for her Cookies and Kindness project.

Stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie website to find out what the other bakers thought.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

BBB: Velvety Bean Bread

Kelly of A Messy Kitchen is the Kitchen of the Month for July.  She chose a fiber-rich bread with an unusual ingredient -- pureed white beans.

To be honest, if I were a baker on the Great British Baking Show, I would be sent home because of this bread.  I baked it two separate times, and both times the loaves failed.  Can't seem to bake a loaf of bread to save my life, it seems.

The first time around, the dough overproofed, even though I watched it carefully.  When I slashed the first loaf, it deflated faster than a blink of an eye.  I didn't slash the second one.



So, I decided that it was baker error and I needed to try again.  This time, I watched the dough like a hawk.  The final proof only took around 30 minutes.  The unbaked loaves looked fine, but, when I removed them from the oven, both were flat.



There was no third time.

I'm getting a bit gun-shy with bread at the moment.  For the time being, I will stick with cookies.

All the other Babes had perfect loaves.  So, give it a try and see what happens.  Send your efforts to Kelly by the 29th of July to be included in the Buddy roundup.


From Kelly:



Velvety Bean Bread
Makes 2 small pan loaves

2 tsp (7 g) active dry yeast
1 cup (326.5 g) lukewarm water
2 cups drained cooked or canned navy beans, room temp (I soaked and cooked mine)
1 cup (113 g) whole wheat flour (I used sprouted spelt)
1 tbsp (13.7 g) olive oil
1 tbsp (17 g) salt (I used less with my salt.  Scant tsp or ¾ tsp)
2 tbsp (~6 g) chopped chives (optional)
~ 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour (I added 30 extra grams to each loaf, 60 g total)

Dissolve yeast in water.  Process beans until smooth, transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer.  Stir yeast mixture into beans.  Add the whole wheat flour and stir for one minute, in one direction, to develop the dough.  Add the oil, salt, and chives, if using and stir them in.  Add 1 cup of the AP flour and stir in.  Add the remaining AP flour and knead in with a dough hook, or work in and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, until smooth.

Place dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for 3 hours, until almost doubled in volume.  (There should be about 2.5 pounds of dough.)
Turn out dough and divide in half.  Butter two 8x4" pans.  Form each portion of dough into a loaf and place seam side down in the pans.  The directions say to let rise for 2½ hours.  That was WAY too long for my kitchen.  The above loaf was baked after 1 hour.  You'll have to watch the dough for proper rise.  Check at 1 hour and continue to proof if needed.
Preheat oven to 400ºF, have a spray bottle or small cup of water ready for steam.  Slash each loaf lengthwise , place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, adding steam every couple minutes with the sprayer or cup.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for 25 minutes until rich brown with a matte finish.  Turn the loaves out and check for doneness. Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.


The Bread Baking Babes:




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

TWD: Jammin'

 It's cookie time again. 

By popular acclaim, the first cookies for July are Classic Jammers (page 350) in Dorie's Cookies.  This is a multi-step cookie:  vanilla sables for the base, streusel for the top, some kind of jam for the assembly.  I used some cherry preserves for my jam. 



I only made half a recipe, but the streusel topping ran out before I could use up all the dough, so I baked the remainder as plain cookies.  I'm not a huge fan of jam in cookies, and I debated whether to use lemon curd instead.  If there's a next time, that's what I'll use.



They were  pretty darn delicious, even so.

I did experiment with the baking pan.  A few years ago, a friend gave me one of those mini cheesecake pans with the removable bottoms, so the first twelve cookies were baked in that pan (the small ones in the photo).  The pan worked nicely, but the openings are deep, making it a challenge to sprinkle on the streusel.  I'm sure it would do fine for less complicated cookies.  The remaining six were baked in a standard muffin tin (the big ones), which certainly made assembly a bit easier.  Neither pan affected the taste; it was just a matter of appearance and ease of preparation.

Stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see what the other cookie bakers thought.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

TWD: Cookies -- Two for the price of one

Saturday was cookie-baking day, and it had to be done early before it got too hot.

First up were the Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread cookies.  I had made them several months ago with disappointing results.  This time, I had fresh rose water and fresh rose-hibiscus-cherry tea, so I thought I would try again. 



The cookies turned out fine, although the flavor is still too mild to notice.  I'll probably stick with regular or lemon-poppy seed shortbread.



Next was the latest version of chocolate chip cookies, My Newest Chocolate Chip Cookies.



I had made the dough on Wednesday, so it had plenty of chilling time.  I also halved the recipe because I didn't need to be tempted by 50+ cookies.  For the chocolate chips, I used a giant bittersweet chocolate bar from Trader Joe's, weighing out the appropriate amount and slicing off slivers with a serrated knife.  No big hunks of chocolate, but a nice distribution of chocolate throughout the cookie.  These baked up very nicely, the spices were subtle, so they shouldn't be terribly noticeable.  I'd definitely bake these again.

Now it's your turn to try them out.  Stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see which cookies the other bakers made, and keep an eye out for the July selections.

The recipe for the Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Cookies can be found on page 191; the one for the chocolate chip cookies on page 125 of Dorie's Cookies.




Friday, June 16, 2017

Bread with handles (Kaak)!

This month's creative bread is courtesy of Karen (Baking Soda) at Bake My Day!  She asked us to bake Kaak, a Lebanese bread with sesame seeds. It also has a unique shape.



The recipe I used was slightly different than the one Karen posted.  I did use buttermilk, but I also did the initial dough mixing and rising in my bread machine, saving the final shaping to do by hand.  Also, because I created the holes with a round cutter, I had 8 little bread disks, which made for excellent testing and snacking.






My kaak was more like a flatbread.  Perhaps the second rise wasn't long enough.  But, even so, they were delicious, worthy of baking again.

Stop by and see what the other Babes did, and feel free to join in as a Buddy.  Send your information to Karen by June 29 to be included in the roundup.



The Babes are:

Bake My Day - Karen
blog from OUR kitchen - Elizabeth
Bread Experience - Cathy
Feeding my Enthusiasms - Pat/Elle 

 Karen's Kitchen Stories - Karen
My Diverse Kitchen - Aparna
My Kitchen In Half Cups - Tanna
Notitie Van Lien - Lien

A Messy Kitchen – Kelly  
Thyme for Cooking - Katie
Life's a Feast - Jamie










Kaak

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups warm reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1-2 tablespoons more flour for flouring and rolling
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
For topping
1 large egg
1/2 cup sesame seeds (1 tablespoon per kaak)

Directions
1. In the pan of an electric bread machine, add ingredients in the order recommended by the yeast manufacturer. Set for the dough cycle.
2. When done, remove dough from pan, cover with a clean towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Divide into 8 equal parts, each weighing about 100 grams. With a floured rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each part into a large, 6-7 inch circle. Use a small, 2-inch glass to cut a small circle out, near the edge of each large circle:
4. Place rings on two greased baking sheets. Beat the egg and 1 TBS water with a fork. Brush each ring with the mixture and sprinkle with about 1 TBS sesame seeds:
5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, or up to an hour.
6. Heat oven to 200°C. Bake about 10 minutes, or until golden and puffed. Serve immediately. 

http://mehtapozer.blogspot.com/2013/02/kaak-street-bread-in-beirut.html

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TWD: Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars




Getting back to baking for the month of June.  May flew by, mostly because I was traveling for several weeks on the East Coast, so being in the kitchen was put on the back burner, so to speak.

To start the month, I chose to bake the Blueberry-Buttermilk Pie Bars, page 62, in Dorie's Cookies.  For some reason, they took nearly twice as long as to bake.  After 45 minutes, they were still soupy in the middle, so I baked them longer, checking every 5 to 10 minutes, until the center was puffy and the edges were golden brown.



Once baked, I chilled them overnight, and gave them my stamp of approval.  They were much better than when freshly baked, probably because the custard-like top had time to firm up.

I also added more blueberries, just because.

Head over to the Tuesdays with Dorie website to what the other bakers thought.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BBB: Shubbak el-Habayeb

I'm out of time.  Early in the morning, I head out on a cross-country trip (West coast to East coast), so this post is short.

This month's bread, Shubbak el-Habayeb, comes from Karen at Karen's Kitchen Stories.




My bread came out too dark, my fault entirely.  I accidentally set the timer for 17 minutes, and, rather than reset it, I thought I could check it before the timer went off.  Sigh.  I got caught up in the latest episode from Anthony Bourdain, a trip to Laos.  When the beeper rang, and I saw the dark brown rolls, my heart sank.  Should have reset the timer.

But, they were delicious in spite of being extra dark.

Head over to Karen's blog to get the recipe and be a buddy for May.  You won't regret it!