4.30.2009

Bread Baking Day 19

Cucumber pickle juice rye loaf


breadbakingday #19 - last day of submission May 1stWhile leafing through The Handmade Loaf, which the Easter Bunny left in my basket, I was intrigued by the quirky title of this recipe. So I decided to bake it as my entry for Bread Baking Day 19 which is hosted by Cinydstar and has the theme "Spring Country Breads". Admittedly pickled cucumbers do not bring pictures of spring in full bloom to the minds eye, but maybe you can think of it as using up the very last pantry items to get new space for this year's harvest. The loaf had a nice crumb and can be eaten on its own or with a little butter. The pickling juice and the dill give the bread a savoury taste and they will make your kitchen smell of vinegar during the baking process. However the crust turned out a little hard. Next time I would probably shape just one loaf from the dough to increase the crumb/crust ratio.


Cucumber pickle juice rye loaf

Source: The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard

Ingredients:

200 g toasted rye flour
300 g strong white flour
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
350 g cucumber pickle juice (at room temperature)
1 1/4 tsp fresh yeast, crumbled
10 g (2 good sprigs) fresh dill, chopped

Method:

To toast the rye flour, preheat the oven to 200°C/400 F/gas mark 6. Spread the rye flour in a thin layer over a baking sheet and bake for 15 min or until the flour has turned a light tannish brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Combine the flours and mix with the salt. In another bowl whisk the pickle juice with yeast and dill. Mix this liquid and and the flour together with your hands, squeezing it through your fingertips. When roughly combined, cover the bowl and leave it for 10 min. Tip the dough out on to a lightly oiled (corn or olive oil) work-surface and knead gently for 10-15 sec. Return the dough to the bowl, leave for further 10 min, then knead once more for 10-15 sec. Return the dough to the bowl, leave for 10 min again, then knead one final time for 10-15 sec.

Stretch and fold the dough. Repeat after 30 min and 1 h. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each into a round. Place both on a flour-dusted baking sheet, leaving a space between for the two loaves to grow. Cover and leave for 1 h, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 210°C/410 F/gas mark 6 1/2. Cut a slash across the centre of each loaf. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 min, until the loaves are a good rich brown colour and, when tapped on the bottom, sound hollow. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

4.27.2009

Daring Baker April Challenge

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

The batter turned out very thin but it set up to a creamy texture after the cake had cooled in the oven. I only have two springform pans which are not water-tight, as I know from previous experience. So, no waterbath this time. I paired up the cake with some rhubarb-ginger compote. (The compote was a bit runny as you can see in the picture. I've reduced the amount of water in the recipe given below.) Even though I left the cake in the oven for two hours after baking there were some cracks. But these don't distract from the taste and give you a chance for a free-association game. If you like, just play along. What do you see in the crack pattern?

a lowercase lambda character

a failed stab of Zorro at his signature

a deer or antelope on the cave wall of some stone age Daring Baker


Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake

Crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar *
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice **
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

For a half-recipe I used:
* 50 g sugar
** juice of 1 small lemon

Rhubarb-Ginger Compote

Inspiration: e&t Für jeden Tag 05/2008

Ingredients:

200 g rhubarb
20g sugar (about one heaped Tbsp)
150 ml water
1 tsp freshly grated ginger *

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a casserole. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 min until rhubarb achives desired tenderness.

* The ginger can easily dominate the rhubarbs taste. Maybe add only half a tsp for the simmer and add more to taste while the compote cools down.

For more cheesecake extravaganzas take a look at the Daring Bakers Blogroll. And if you would like to tackle a monthly baking or cooking Challenge yourself head over to the Daring Kitchen. Take a seat, have a cookie.

4.23.2009

Lentil-Lemon Pasta

Lentil-lemon pasta

One of the nice side effects of the longer days in spring is that even if you are working full-time there is still some decent light left in the evening to take pictures of dishes, which might have gone unblogged during winter. So I decided the other day to try this new recipe. It is ideal for a convenient mid-week dinner as it comes together quickly (start to finish in 30 min) and can be made with pantry items only if you have frozen parsley and some lemon juice on hand. Maybe one could substitue the cream with half-and-half or even plain milk to reduce the caloric impact but life is short... Tastewise this is a beautiful summer dish. It may sound trite but lemon and parsley form a combination which is bigger than the sum of its parts. Normaly I'm not overly fond of parsley but here it forms one half of a dream team. :)


Lentil-Lemon Pasta Sauce

Source: Kochfrosch
Original Source: datenhamster.org

Yields 2 servings. (for 250 g dry pasta) *

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 Tbsp butter (or olive oil or ghee or..)
50 g red lentils (a bit less than 2 ounces)
150 ml stock (3/5 cup)
150 ml cream
1/2 cup parsley, chopped **
zest and juice of 1 small organic lemon
salt
black pepper

* 2 rather generous servings as the lentils make this dish quite filling.
** 1/2 cup refers to the volume of unchopped parsley. This is only a rough guideline as the original recipe just says "1/2 bunch of parsley".

Method:

Saute onion and garlic. Add lentils, stock and cream. Simmer on low heat for 10 to 12 min until lentils are barely tender. Add parsley, lemon juice and zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with pasta.

4.16.2009

Hokkaido Milky Loaf

Hokkaido Milky Loaf

Before I started this blog for joining the Daring Bakers in November 2008, I had been reading food blogs for about a year and a half. During that time I bookmarked this recipe, which has been all the rage back in the summer of 2007. As Zorra (1x umrühren bitte), who is hosting this weeks YeastSpotting, has also made this loaf, I thought it would be a good opportunity to give this recipe a try. The finished bread was slightly sweet and a bit dense in some spots. (next time I will increase the proofing time) Overall this bread is best enjoyed with jam or Nutella for breakfast.


Hokkaido Milky Loaf

Source: Angie's Recipes

Ingredients:
540 g bread flour
60 g cake flour
10 g dry active yeast
30 g milk powder
80 g sugar
9 g salt
1 egg
250 g fresh milk
150 g whipping cream (heavy cream)

Method:
Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand-mixer. Remember to separate the yeast from salt and sugar to avoid dehydration. Knead until gluten is fully developed and the dough is elastic, smooth, non-sticky and leaves from sides of mixing bowl. Cover with a damp towel and allow the dough to ferment until double in size, about 60 minutes.*
Take out the dough and press out the gas produced during the proof. Divide into 4 portions. Round up and let rest for about 20 minutes. Roll each dough out and roll up and place in a 13x33x12cm loaf pan. After shaping, let the dough rise up to 2/3 of the pan.** Brush with egg wash or milk. Bake in a preheated 170C/340F oven for about 40 minutes.***

* My dough was a bit slow and needed about 90 min.
** About one hour. Better make that 90 min.
*** Even though the pan gave a hollow sound when knocked from underneath, the center of the loaf was a bit undercooked. Next time I will try 50 min baking time.

4.08.2009

Fougasse

Fougasse
(Those are two small ones stacked together, in case you are wondering about the funny shape. And yeah, I didn't iron that place-mat.)

I've been trying to make a sourdough from scratch during the last two weeks, but at this point I have nothing to show for it. Or rather nothing I would want to show to anyone. :) Main problem was that I used type 405 wheat flour, which is not the right thing to do. I could and should have known better in the first place, as it was an oversight from me, so d'oh. Some type 1050 flour is awaiting my next baking experiments in the pantry, but as I will be away for some days next week and don't want to leave a new sourdough unsupervised in my fridge I made a fougasse using some fresh yeast. The fougasse tastes best straight from the oven or at least on the day you make it. It has a nice fluffy crumb and a chewy crust and should pair well with most kinds of cheese or could be used to mop up some salad dressing.

Fougasse

Source: Dough by Richard Bertinet
(click on the link for a picture of a full-size fougasse on the book cover)

Yields 6 fougasse.
Preparation: 20 min
Rise: 1 hour
Bake: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:

- 10g fresh yeast
- 500g wheat flour type 550
- 10g salt
- 350g water

- 200g wheat or corn flour (for dusting)

Method:

- Preheat oven to 250°C. Using a bowl, rub the yeast into the flour between your fingertips. Add water and salt. Mix by hand or with a dough scraper until well combined.

- Do NOT flour your workbench. [At this point a kneading technique is used which consists of letting the dough sit on your workbench, lift it up by inserting your hands below the dough palms facing up. Lift the dough. Let it plonk on the workbench by turning your hands palms facing down. Fold the lower half (i.e. the part of the dough closer to you) upward on top of the upper half of the dough to trap some air. Maybe you can look up the pictures in the book in your local library.] Repeat for about 10 min until the dough comes together and looses its stickyness. (to some degree at least :))

- Let rise in a floured, covered bowl in a warm spot for 1 h.

- Now DO flour your workbench. Let the dough glide from the bowl using a dough scraper for assistance. Avoid pressing any air from the dough. Flour the dough and nudge it into a rectangular shape. Cut into 2 x 3 single portions, flouring the sticky cut areas as you go along. Nudge the single portions into squarish shapes. Make one cut along the center axis of the square while leaving a rim of dough intact. Make some more cuts in a fan-shaped pattern to both sides of the first cut. Transfer to the oven using a floured bakers paddle and bake for 10-12 min.

4.04.2009

Rüblikuchen / Carrot Cake

Rüblikuchen / Carrot Cake

I have been waiting for some rhubarb to arrive on the green market but unfortunately spring has been a bit slow this year. So I decided to make a carrot cake instead. The original recipe calls for spreading the dough on a sheet pan but I made a half batch in a 7 inch Spring form which worked alright even though the cake sank a little in the center. The recipe is really simple to make , the cake is nicely dense and moist and has a bit of crunch from the chopped almonds.Should you want to behave like a celebrity chef in your kitchen and add the lemon juice by crushing the halved lemon in your bare hands, please make sure to remove all the seeds beforehand. Otherwise you might spend a quarter of an hour sifting through the ground carrots with a cake fork to retrieve the little buggers. Just saying.

Rüblikuchen / Carrot Cake

Source: lecker No.4/2009

Ingredients:

- 450g carrots
- juice of 1 lemon
- 250g soft butter
- 300g sugar
- 1 sachet vanilla sugar
- dash of salt
- 8 eggs [yes, eight]
- 300g all-purpose flour
- 1 sachet baking powder
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g chopped almonds

Method:

- Cover half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 175°C/ gas mark 2. Grind carrots and sprinkle with lemon juice.

- Whisk butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt with a mixer for 3-5 min until white. Add the eggs one at a time.

- Fold in flour and baking powder, then fold in carrots and almonds. Spread evenly on sheet pan. Bake for 25-30 min. Let cool.