7.26.2009

Bread Baking Day 22

Apple Scones

BreadBakingDay #22 - Sweet Breads (last day of submission August 1st)
One couldn't tell from the posts on this blog so far, but I'm really fond of apple cake. So it was an easy decision to make these apple scones for Bread Baking Day 22 which is hosted by Stephanie from Hefe und mehr. The scones turned out nice and fluffy. Maybe one could repeat brushing the scones with egg-wash midway during the baking process.


Apple Scones

Source: essen&trinken Für jeden Tag, August 2009

Ingredients:

500 g flour *
1 sachet dry yeast
50 g sugar
salt
4 eggs
100 ml lukewarm milk
150 g soft butter
75 g raisins **
1 big apple (200 g)
2 Tbsp lemon juice

* Used type 550 flour.
** Substituted with 1 tsp cinnamon.

Method:

Mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Separate one egg, set yolk aside. Whisk together egg white, 3 eggs and milk. Using a hand mixer with dough hooks knead together the flour mix, egg-milk and butter until it becomes a smooth dough. Let rise for one hour.

Wash the raisins and drain in a colander. Quarter the apple and remove the core. Dice finely and mix with the lemon juice.

On a floured work surface knead apple and raisins into the dough. Divide the dough into 12 portions. Grind these into scones. Put the scones on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cut the surface of each scone cross wise with a scissor. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.

Mix egg yolk with 1 Tbsp water and brush the scones. Bake at 190°C on the middle rack for 25 - 30 minutes.

7.23.2009

Tahini Swirls

Tahini Swirls

At the height of summer the Bread Baking Babes are sitting in the shade on the back porch of Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, where they enjoy tahini swirls from the hot streets of Beirut.
These swirls were easy to make and I liked their sweet sesame taste. Somehow I ended up with only four swirls instead of six. Next time I will make them smaller as they leaned quite heavily in the direction of cinnamon rolls. As you can see from the picture below I also need to work on the transfer step onto the baking stone. I was sure to have used enough flour on the wooden paddle, but apparantly that wasn't the case. Don't use to much filling on the dough, as when making sushi restraint is key. Maybe one could change the 1:1 ratio of sugar and tahini to 1:2, to give the swirls a more nutty taste.

The motley crew

Sukkar bi Tahin - Beirut Tahini Swirls

Source: Home Baking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Makes 6 golden brown, flaky textured coiled rounds, about 6 inches wide.

Ingredients:

Dough
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
About 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

Filling
3/4 cup tahini
3/4 cup sugar

Method:

In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in one cup of the flour, then add the sugar and oil and stir in. Incorporate a second cup of flour, then turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 to 3 hours, until doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, (or a baking sheet) on the middle oven rack and preheat the oven to 375 F. Mix together the tahini and sugar and stir until smooth. Set aside. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with 3 at a time, keeping the others covered. Flatten each out on a lightly floured surface, then roll each out to a rectangle about 5 inches by 10 inches. Spread the top surface with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the filling mixture, spreading it almost to the edges. Roll up the rectangle from a long side into a cylinder, which will stretch as you roll to about 20 inches long. Anchor one end and coil the bread around itself, then tuck the end in. Flatten with the palm of your hand, then set aside, covered, while you fill and shape the other 2 rectangles.
Return to the first coil and roll out gently with a rolling pin. Roll the other 2 out a little and then return to the first one and roll it out a little more thinly, and so on, until you have rolled each to a round about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. A little filling may leak out—don’t worry, just leave it.
Place the breads on the hot baking stone or tiles (or baking sheet) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and flaky. Transfer to a rack to cool. Shape and bake the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Serve warm or at room temperature.

7.22.2009

Clafoutis

Clafoutis

Last Saturday I had a small mono-no-aware moment at the green market, when one woman remarked that it would propably be the last weekend to buy locally grown cherries. I brought home a small paper basket of cherries to savour them plain and to try out this classic dessert from my bookmark file. Traditionally this french dessert is made with unpitted cherries which is said to improve the flavour. There seem to be two schools of thought here, one for unpitted & more flavour, one for pitted & easier eating. So you have to decide which side of the fence you're on. ;) At the end of baking the surface should be a fair golden-yellow. Don't repeat my mistake to wait for the dough to start browning. Golden-yellow means a light and fluffy dough, when browned the dough becomes dry and a bit rubbery.



Clafoutis

Source: Clafoutis at Genial lecker

For a 28 cm tarte pan. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
200 ml milk
4 eggs
1 sachet vanilla sugar
400 g fresh or canned cherries
2 Tbsp sugar or confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter the tart pan. Drain the cherries, if using canned. Sieve flour and confectioners' sugar into a bowl, whisk in milk and eggs. Mix in vanilla sugar.Pour into tart pan. Dispense the cherries evenly on the batter. Bake for 35 minutes on the middle rack until golden-yellow. Sprinkle with some sugar or confectioners' sugar and serve warm.

7.21.2009

Spicy yoghurt-peach soup

Spicy yoghurt-peach soup

With summer being back on track here, it was time to try a new dish I had bookmarked about a year ago. This should have given me ample time to prepare for the execution of the recipe ( ;) ), but I ended up making some last-minute alterations, which led to an interesting (in a kind-a good way) result. But there's definitely room for improvement.
First, I couldn't find any verbena or lemon balm so I omitted those. (as the dish contains some lemon juice, I don't think that's a big issue) Second, this recipe can be made with either yellow or white peaches. If you use white peaches (as I did), these need to be very ripe for best taste. While I waited for the peaches to ripen, the fresh chive from last Saturday had withered away, so I used some frozen one. (again, not a big deal) I also omitted the stock (because I forgot to take some out of the freezer in the morning) and just diluted the yoghurt with some milk. This probably had the greatest impact on the taste, as it left the yoghurt without a balancing, savoury counterpart. Finally I omitted the prawns (for sourcing reasons), which took away the hot-cold element.

After all this mangling creative work the final dish tasted tart with a nice combination of fruit and chili/chive, but overall leaning into the "fruit & yoghurt for breakfast" direction. Next time around I will definitely add the stock and some prawns or croutons. This dish looks deceptively simple (you just have to chop and mix) but it's not. :)

A few quick words about the author of the recipe:

Vincent Klink is a chef who's been preaching locavorism long before it became fashionable. He regularly appears on TV but in a much more low-key way than say Jamie Oliver or Mario Batali. He also has his own blog and is a contributing author to another. And as this is the intertubes, I'll also mention that he has held one Guide Michelin star since 1978.

Spicy yoghurt-peach soup with prawns

Source: Meine Küche by Vincent Klink

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients:

1 fresh red or green chili pod
1 tomato
1/2 bunch chive
5-6 leaves verbena (can be substituted with lemon balm)
2 ripe peaches
1/2 lemon
4 king prawns (cleaned and prepared for consumption by the fishmonger)
salt, pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
500 g yoghurt
1/4 l (1 cup) vegetable stock
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Method:

Wash, de-seed and mince the chili. Blanche, skin, de-seed and dice the tomato. Wash, spin dry and mince the herbs. Cut the peaches in half, skin them, remove the pits and dice the flesh.
Juice the lemon.

Salt and pepper the prawns. Fry them in 1 Tbsp olive oil for about 4 minutes, then put them in the oven at 60°C to keep warm.

Mix chili, tomato, peach and herbs. Scramble yoghurt, stock, lemon juice, maple syrup and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and add to tomato-peach-mixture. Mix well. Either cut the prawns into slices or leave them whole and fold into the soup.

7.20.2009

Fresh Apricot Ice Cream

Fresh Apricot Ice Cream

The weather hasn't gotten much closer to summer-like, but there were some perfectly ripe, locally grown apricots available at the market which begged to be made into ice cream. It turnd out very fruity with a hint of tartness. In the picture above this looks a bit like vanilla ice cream but that's an effect from adding the cream. It changes the colour from a vibrant, height-of-summer orange to a dull, white-ish yellow-orange.


Fresh Apricot Ice Cream

Source: The Perfect Scoop from David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

1 pound (450 g) squishy-ripe fresh apricots (10 - 16, depending on size)
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
3 drops almond extract *
a few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice

* Omitted.

Method:

Slice open the apricots and remove the pits, then cut each apricot into sixths. Cook the apricot pieces with the water in a covered medium, non-reactive saucepan over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes, and stirring occasionally.Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Once cool, purée the apricots and any liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste a big spoonful; if there are any small fibers, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove them. Stir in the cream, almond extract and lemon juice. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

7.18.2009

Cherry Sorbet

Cherry Sorbet

About a week ago I made some cherry sorbet, which I kept in the freezer until today due to a cold spell in the weather. I opted for kirsch instead of almond extract. (I only found almond oil at the health food store, which I guess is not the same thing.) With hindsight that was a mistake as there's a sharp ethanol "sting" to the ice cream at least for the first one or two spoonfuls.

Cherry Sorbet

Source: The Perfect Scoop from David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

2 pounds (1 kg) cherries
1 cup (250 ml) water
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (180 g) sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp almond extract or 1 tsp kirsch

Method:

Stem the cherries and remove the pits. In a medium, nonreactive saucepan warm the cherries over medium heat with the water, sugar and lemon juice until they start becoming juicy. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are very and cooked through. Remove from the heat and let stand until they reacj room temperature. Purée the cherries and their liquid with the almond extraxt or kirsch in a blender until smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

7.13.2009

Tomato Gugelhupf

Tomato Gugelhupf

When I first read the recipe for this savory bread it raised two red flags. First the recipe calls for flour without any further specifications, second the recipe asks you to form a roll of dough and cut off individual slices. In my (admittedly limited) experience, that's something you do when making cookies. Yeast dough does not lend itself to this procedure. Overall you get the impression that this recipe was written by someone who is used to reading recipes, but maybe not so used to execute those in the kitchen. But the pictures of the knobbly Gugelhupf in the magazine convinced me to try a half batch in my 7-inch bundt pan.

The whole thing.

Straight from the oven the cake [Where I come from, Gugelhupf refers to a sweet cake (with raisins more often than not) baked in an bundt pan, which you have for coffee on Sunday afternoon when visiting your grandparents. I find it difficult to refer to it as a bread.] has a wonderful smell of baked/caramelized spring onions. Texture-wise the Gugelhupf ends up somewhere midway between bread and cake. It can be eaten by itself but some sort of spread or chutney would be an improvement. I was a bit worried that the tomatoes would make the cake soggy (because to properly scale-down the cake you would have to use actual-cherry-size tomatoes, which were not to be found at the green market), but they shriveled up and had a nicely concentrated flavour. I didn't regret having omitted the pepper on the tomatoes. And of course the most blatantly obvious improvement would be to add some diced cheese into the dough. ;)

Just a quick shot before baking.

I'm sending this to Susan's YeastSpotting which is hosted this week by Nick from imafoodblog. Cheers Nick!


Tomato Gugelhupf

Source: Lust auf Genuss 7/2009

Ingredients:

(for a 23 cm / 9 inch bundt pan)

500 g flour *
100 ml (100 g) lukewarm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cube fresh yeast (20 g)
1 Tbsp sugar
50 g pine nuts **
1 bunch parsley
4 spring onions
150 g soft butter (plus some more for the pan)
3 eggs
25 cherry tomatoes
pepper **

* Used type 550 bread flour.
** Omitted.

Method:

In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Form a little hole in the center and add yeast, sugar and water. Mix slightly and dust center with flour. Cover with a clean cloth and set aside for 10 minutes.

Roast pine nuts without any oil until fragrant. Wash and chop parsley. Wash and dice spring onions. Preheat oven to 170 °C.* Add butter and eggs to the dough. Knead until no longer sticky. Fold in pine nuts, parsley and spring onions. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes or until doubled in volume. Butter the bundt pan.

Wash and dry the tomatoes. Roll the dough into a log shape. Cut off 25 slices of dough.** Press down each slice, put one tomato on each slice, add some pepper. *** Wrap each tomato into the slice of dough, forming little balls. Put balls into pan. Let rise for about 30 minutes, until pan is filled to 2/3 of it's volume. Bake on bottom rail of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Let cake rest for 10 minutes, then flip over onto a wire rack.

* This is way to early. Wait till the dough is rising in the bundt pan.
** That's so not working. ;) Just plop the dough on your work surface and divide it into single portions with a dough scraper.
*** Didn't use the pepper, because sticky dough on hands + using pepper mill = D'oh! Just grind some pepper onto a saucer to dip the tomatoes in, if you want to use it.

7.10.2009

Tabouleh

Tabouleh

There has been a hot spell about a week ago, which made me try this salad-type dish as it doesn't require much cooking. Tabouleh (there seems to be quite some leeway for the spelling) also features the wonderful combination of parsley and lemon. Any leftovers make for some great next-day office lunch.

Tabouleh (Parsley Salad)


Source: lecker June 2009 No.6

Ingredients:

150 g bulgur
sea salt
pepper
4 tomatoes
1 bunch flat-leaved parsley
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of cummin
2 Tbsp good-quality olive oil

Method:

Simmer bulgur for 10 minutes in 400 ml salt water. (or according to packet instructions) Wash and dice tomatoes. Wash and mince parsley. Mix lemon juice, salt, pepper, cummin and olive oil.

Drain bulgur and rinse with cold water. Drain well. Stir bulgur (to fluff it up) and mix in tomatoes, parsley and vinaigrette. Set aside for at least one hour.

7.05.2009

Chicken-Rhubarb Curry

Chicken-Rhubarb Curry

At the start of rhubarb season I read somewhere (maybe in an article at TheKitchn, but I'm not sure) that rhubarb is actually a vegetable and not a fruit as its common usage in cakes and desserts may suggest. I looked for some recipe beyond cobblers and fruit jam but couldn't find any. Even Deborah Madison in her Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (which I had banked on as a last straw) doesn't venture into savoury rhubarb dishes.
Rike from Genial lecker seems to have had the same problem, so she just invented her own recipe. She used a sachet of curry spice mixture and I would have done the same, but I had run out on those so I used some individual spices instead. The final dish has a fruity-acidic taste and is a nice change from hot and spicy curries. (not that I wouldn't like hot and spicy, but you know just for kicks) Serve with basmati rice.

Rhubarb Curry

Source: Hähnchen-Rhabarber-Curry at Genial lecker

Ingredients:

500 g chicken breast
2 bunches spring onions
3 stalks rhubarb
1 mild chili
1 onion
1/4 inch slice ginger
pinch of cummin
olive oil
curry powder
salt, pepper and honey to taste

Method:

Slice the chicken breast. Cut off root end from rhubarb and peel, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Chop onion, spring onion and chili. Peel and grate or mince ginger.

In a wok or sauté pan, heat the olive oil and fry the chicken breast. Add rhubarb, onion,spring onion and chili. Add cumin and curry and simmer until rhubarb becomes tender. Add salt, pepper (go easy on those) and honey to taste.