Tampilkan posting dengan label Breads. Tampilkan semua posting
Tampilkan posting dengan label Breads. Tampilkan semua posting
Whole Wheat Ciabatta – Not Bad, Which is Great!

Whole Wheat Ciabatta – Not Bad, Which is Great!

I’ve never had much of a taste for whole wheat bread, which is not surprising if you grew up during the Wonder Bread years. Whole wheat flour is significantly stronger tasting, and its earthy, bitter aftertaste is the reason white flour is the much preferred choice for, well, everything.

Besides the taste, it’s also a little harder to work with, and fairly easy to turn out something with a density that would make a brick blush. But, thanks to many years of requests, I decided to give the old no-knead ciabatta a higher-fiber makeover. Since I don’t have much whole wheat baking experience, I did what any good chef would do…I didn’t do any research, and just tried to figure it out.

I was quite happy with the taste and texture, and going 50/50 with the all-purpose flour provided just enough of that crusty, chewy “normal” bread experience, and we still get a decent amount of whole grain.

The procedure is straightforward, but as I point out in the video, pay attention to when you start. I recommend doing the sponge in the afternoon, mixing the dough at night, and baking it in the morning. Speaking of which, be sure to dust your dough with flour before covering. I didn’t, and had a little sticking problem.

I know many of you have made and enjoyed the traditional ciabatta bread we posted, so I’m looking forward to hearing from those of you who give this whole wheat version a try. Please let me know, and as always, enjoy!


Ingredients:
For the sponge:
1 cup tepid water
1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 oz (1/4 cup) rye flour (you can sub wheat flour)
2.25 oz (about 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
2.25 oz (about 1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
let sit until very bubbly, about 5 hours

Then add:
1/2 cup room temp water
1 3/4 tsp fine salt
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp polenta
1 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp shelled sunflower seeds
4.5 oz (about 1 cup) all-purpose flour
4.5 oz (about 1 cup) whole wheat flour
-Bake at 450 F. for 30-35 minutes
Focaccia di Recco – Treating Myself

Focaccia di Recco – Treating Myself

When I treat myself to a personal “food wish,” it’s usually something I’ve eaten out and become obsessed over, and this episode is a classic case. There’s a Ligurian restaurant called Farina near us, and I’ve become a full-blown focaccia di Recco stalker. 

After watching them make it in front of me so many times, I had to give it a try. It doesn’t look like the focaccia most of us are used to, but come to find out, “focaccia” simply means any flatbread cooked in a hearth, and varies region to region.


This particular example hails from Recco, and is nothing more than some Stracchino cheese trapped in between two, super-thin layers of dough. The dough is nothing more than flour, water, olive oil, and salt; but thanks to a very hot oven, and this probably ancient technique, some serious flatbread magic happens.

As I confess in the video, I was scared to use too much cheese, but I’ll use more next time. At Farina, you can see a thin layer of the molten Stracchino oozing out between the layers. My Crescenza cheesewas basically absorbed, but while you couldn’t see it, you could certainly taste it, and it was amazing.

The obvious question is, can you add other fillings to this? Yes, but don’t. It’s perfect…as long as you find the cheese. Please, find the cheese (no substitutions will be offered #toughlove). 

 By the way, I’m officially recommending the quarter sheet pan seen herein, which is what they use in the restaurant, but I think a round tart pan would work as well. In fact, from what I see online, the round pan seems to be the standard. I can’t wait to try this again, and sincerely hope you give it go as well. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 small or 1 large Focaccia di Recco (Tip for first timers: Make a double batch of dough so you have plenty to work with!)
*2 cups all-purpose flour (9.5 by weight)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water           
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp fine salt
*use enough flour to form a soft, but not too sticky dough. Knead for about 5-6 minutes to from a smooth, elastic dough. Let rest 1 hour at room temp.
12 oz Crescenza or Stracchino cheese (6 oz for each focaccia) 
extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, to taste for the top
Bake at 500 degrees F.for about 6-7 minutes, or until well-browned
Cream Biscuits – The Best Biscuit to Risk It

Cream Biscuits – The Best Biscuit to Risk It

Every year, you dream about putting out fresh, homemade biscuits on the holiday table; but fear of failure, and the convenience of those popping fresh tubes, makes it nothing more than an annual fantasy. Then, you found out about these cream biscuits.

Instead of cutting butter into the flour, we’re using butterfat-laced heavy cream, which not only makes the recipe fast and easy, but also produces a biscuit that’s light, moist, and flaky. To that end, try and get some self-rising flour. You can make your own (see below), but for whatever reason, the pre-mixed stuff seems to work better. 

As far as cutting goes, I don’t like to roll the dough too thin just to get more cuts. I do it about 5/8-inch thick, cut six nice biscuits, and then use the trimmings to get 4 or 5 more. You can get 12, but that depends on the exact size of your cutter. The nice thing about this dough is that re-rolling doesn’t seem to damage the texture.

If you do decide to raise your biscuit game this holiday season, maybe think about adding some chopped rosemary or sage to the melted butter. That would add some extra aromatic savoriness, not to mention make your kitchen smell really good. I hope you give these easy cream biscuits a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 10-12 Cream Biscuits:
2 cups self-rising flour (You can make you own by sifting together 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon fine salt)
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2-3 tbsp melted butter
Bake at 500 F. for 10 to 12 minutes, or until well-browned
Farinata – Why Didn’t You Wish for This Sooner!

Farinata – Why Didn’t You Wish for This Sooner!

The third best part of this job, after the fame and fortune, is learning about unique, new foods; and this farinata video is a perfect example! Until it was requested by a Vlad Kiperman (if that is his real name), I had no idea this tasty, and dead simple recipe even existed. It’s so good, I’m kind of sad the discovery came so late in life.

Farinata is nothing more than a simple garbanzo bean flour batter, which is spiked with olive oil and salt, and baked in a very hot oven. The surface gets crusty, the edges get crispy, and yet the inside stays moist and sort of creamy. The texture is easy to explain, but the taste, not so much.

This is so simple and subtly flavored that it’s a kind of hard to describe. You may be familiar with the taste of garbanzo (aka chickpeas) in things like hummus and falafel, but here it’s not combined with other strongly flavored ingredients, and so you’re getting pure, un-cut bean. It’s going to be easier for me if you just make it and taste for yourself.

Like I said in the video, if you’ve never made this before, you should probably try a plain version to get an idea of what this stuff is all about, but after that, the sky's the limit. The options for add-ons to the batter, as well as potential toppings are virtually limitless. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Pan Note: I know many will ask, so I’ll just say it now; yes, you can use any oven-safe 10-inch pan to make this, but I have a tough time believing it will come out as wonderfully textured as it would if you use a cast-iron skillet. Putting the batter into a smoking hot pan seems to be one of the big keys here.

Ingredients for 6 portions (one 10-inch cast iron pan):
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour (aka chickpea flour)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (about 1 tsp fine table salt)
1/2 tsp finely minced rosemary leaves, optional
5 tbsp olive oil, divided (use 3 tablespoons for the batter, and 2 tablespoons for the pan)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Gluten-Free and Loving It


By the way, since this is made from a legume-based flour, farinata is 100% gluten-free, which should make a small, but very passionate group of foodwishers happy. My usually modus operandi when it comes to such requests and questions is a referral to Allrecipe.com’s impressive, and extensive gluten-free recipe collection, or one of my many talented GF food blogger friends. 

Speaking of which, Shauna and Danny from Gluten-Free Girl (the Beyonce and Jay-Z of GF bloggers), have a new cookbook out called, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. If you happen to swing that way, check it out. The recipes sound wonderful, the photos are gorgeous, and the book’s getting rave reviews.
Building a Bigger Baguette

Building a Bigger Baguette

People are asking if you can make larger loaves, and the answer is a definite yes. Here you see a batch of dough made into two larger baguettes, which took about 20 minutes to bake, I think. I should have timed it for you, but I was mesmerized by their beauty as I kept peeking to see if they were done, and never checked the clock. It's hardly my fault.

You can also make one giant loaf, but may want to reduce the temperature to 450 F., since the baking time is going to be longer, maybe 35-40 minutes or so. By the way, you can always test with a thermometer, and pull the bread at an internal temperature of 190-200 F. Enjoy!


Perfect French Baguette at Home – Only Impossible If You Don’t Try It

Perfect French Baguette at Home – Only Impossible If You Don’t Try It

Whenever someone asked me why I hadn’t done a baguette video yet, I’d tell them because you just can’t recreate an authentic loaf of French bread at home. 

I’d explain about the water, the flour, the centuries old starters, and the steam-injected ovens. I told them what I’d been told; that it was simply impossible, or as the French say, "impossible!"

That was, until I actually tried to make some. Much to my amazement, not only was it possible, it was really pretty simple. The key is water. That goes for the dough, and the baking environment. The dough must be very sticky, as in hard-to-work-with sticky. This is nothing well-floured fingers can’t conquer, but I did want to give you a heads-up.

Besides the water content in the dough, the oven must also be moist. This humidity, in addition to some occasional misting will give the crusty baguettes their signature look. How does this work? You know how when someone pours water on the rocks in a dry sauna, and suddenly it feels way hotter? It probably has something to do with that.

Anyway, who cares why it works, the important thing here is that real, authentic, freshly-baked baguette is now an everyday reality. One thing worth noting; I adapted this no-knead version from a recipe I found herelast year. The original is in metric, so I’ve converted it, but also included the original flour and water units in case you want to get it exact. I hope you give this easy, and so not impossible baguette recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


For 4 smaller or 2 large baguette:
1/4 tsp dry active yeast (I used Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Yeast)
(Note: if you want to use a traditional bread technique, add the whole package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp) and proceed as usual)
1 1/2 cups water (325 grams)
1 3/4 tsp salt
18 oz by weight all-purpose flour (500 grams), about 4 cups
- Mix dough and let rise 12-14 hours or until doubled
- Punch down and shape loaves, let rise covered with floured plastic 1 to 1 1/2 hr or until almost doubled
- Bake at 550 F. about 15 minutes or until well-browned
- Spray with water before baking, at 5 minutes, and at 10 minutes during cooking time
Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Making homemade cheese crackers has never been very high on my must-do baking list, but with entertaining season rapidly approaching, I decided to give it a try to see just how vastly superior they are to their store-bought cousins.

I’m happy to report that they are better anything I’ve ever had out of a factory-sealed package. They have a much better texture with more crunch, and way more real, cheesy flavor. The only thing they have less of is ingredients; like by 45 to 5.


By the way, these cheesy crackers are based on a recipe I found on my friend, Joy the Baker’s blog. If you’re not familiar with her fine work, I encourage you to go check her out. She’s one of my favorites!

As far as the cheese goes, I went with three parts sharp cheddar to one part Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’m giving the cheese measurements below in weight, as the proportions to the rest of the ingredients are critical, and as you’ll see in the clip, measuring by cup is highly inaccurate. Since I used a fine grater on the very dry, hard cheese, it looks like well over a half-cup of cheese, but in fact was only one ounce.

This is why when recipes call for a cup of Parmesan cheese, some people will be adding 2-oz of cheese, and others 4-oz, simply depending on how they grated the cheese and packed the cup. But, when portioning cheese by weight, one ounce is always one ounce. 

Okay, I feel better. I hope you give these delicious homemade cheese crackers a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 36 crackers:
(Note: This is a half recipe, you should double to make enough for a party)
2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup lightly packed)
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/3 cup lightly packed)
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.25 oz by weight)
1 tablespoon cold water
Cronuts! Part 2: The Sights and Sounds

Cronuts! Part 2: The Sights and Sounds

As promised, here’s the finale to our two-part cronut extravaganza! The series concludes with me frying the two batches – the first half fried as prepared in the last video, but the second half of the dough received an additional tri-fold, which resulted in a much higher, but less crispy cronuts.

Both were very good, and the second batch was more impressive looking, but I’m thinking that for a true croissant/doughnut hybrid, thinner and with less layers may be the way to go. 

Of course, if you’re going to fill yours with vanilla custard, as is the custom in NYC, then the taller, airier cronut is probably a better delivery system. Rest assured, further exploration is inevitable.

In case you’re wondering, the second half of the dough was frozen overnight, and then thawed in the fridge until soft enough to work with, so it seems as though making and freezing this would not be problem. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Note: These cronuts were fried in grapeseed oil, at 350 degrees F. for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Click here to watch Part 1.

Cronuts! The Doughnuts That Make People Go Nuts! Part 1: The Dough

Cronuts! The Doughnuts That Make People Go Nuts! Part 1: The Dough

I’m assuming that since you’re on a food blog you've probably heard about “cronuts,” but just in case, here’s a quick review. 

This croissant/doughnut hybrid was invented by Dominique Ansel at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. It became an overnight sensation, and now people stand in line for hours just for a chance at getting one of the precious few that are made each day.

Why all the hype? Very simple – it has the shape and flavor of a doughnut, yet features the crispy, flaky texture of a buttery croissant. What’s not to hype? Anyway, after seeing like two dozen new reports on the craze, and receiving a scary number of food wishes for it, I decided to give it a go, if for no other reason than to save a few of my NYC friends the humiliation of being Instagrammed standing in that line.

Since I’ve never tasted a cronut, what follows is purely an educated guess, but I think I got pretty close. Maybe one of you New Yorkers will mail me one, so I know for sure? My game plan was simple. Make a slightly sweet, yeasty, doughnut-esque dough, which I’d then layer with butter, using the classic croissant technique.

It’s a procedure I do all the time, as in once, back in culinary school, thirty years ago. So, instead of going by the book, or even looking in a book, I winged it, and not only that, I streamlined things too. Instead painstakingly pounding out perfectly sized slabs of cold butter, I decided to try simply spreading softened butter instead. I also threw caution to the wind, and pulled off the rare and terrifying “double fold and turn,” and lived to tell the tale.

Like I said in the video, we’ll cover the final results in Part 2, but spoiler alert…these were awesome. I did two different versions, one regular, and one with an extra “fold and turn” which resulted in a taller, and even more impressive cronut. Stay tuned!


Ingredients for 16 Cronuts:
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 rounded tablespoons white sugar (add an extra if you want a sweeter 'nut)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound all-purpose flour, more as needed
6 ounces soft, unsalted, "European-style" butter (12 tablespoons)

Fist steps:
- Combine yeast and warm water, and let sit five minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the flour and the European-style butter, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, and knead for about three minutes or until a soft sticky dough ball forms.
- Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Roll dough out into roughly a 18 x 9-inch rectangle.
- Proceed with butter as shown!

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Focaccia – Surprisingly, Not Italian for “Fingers”

Focaccia – Surprisingly, Not Italian for “Fingers”

Some younger foodwishers may not realize this, but there was a time, before the Internet, when not everyone knew everything about everything. These days, if you’re wondering what “focaccia” means, you Google it, and all is revealed. In case you’re wondering, it comes from the Latin word for “hearth,” but that’s not what pre-Wikipedia Chef John thought.

Nope, I figured focaccia meant, “fingers.” Since the signature characteristic of the bread is the deeply dimpled surface, and those holes are created using well-oiled fingers, it made perfect sense. Plus, fingers starts with an “f,” as does focaccia, which reinforced my brilliant theory. Anyway, now we know.

This is such a fun and versatile bread to make. I went with a simple, but classic rosemary and sea salt topping, but a web search for focaccia will turn up more than just the definition. You'll see dozens of different and delicious toppings with which to accessorize your slab.

A few of my favorites would be chopped olives, caramelized onions, and sliced grapes. You can add pretty much anything to the top when you do the old finger poke, and proceed as demonstrated. Of course, depending on your garnishes, you may have to cook it a little longer, but I’m sure you’ll figure that out. No matter how you customize it, I hope you give this classic flat bread a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 large portions:

– Combine:
1 package (.25 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 F.)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup semolina flour
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
2 3/4 cups *bread flour (don’t mix in all the flour in this step; reserve about 1/4 cup for the kneading)
*As with all dough recipes, you may need a little less or little more flour. The total weight I added was about 12 oz.
*This will work with just all-purpose flour, but I prefer the bread flour and semolina

– Mix in bowl until a sticky dough forms, then knead with reserved flour and 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil, for about 7-8 minutes, until you have a smooth, elastic, but slightly sticky dough.

– Let rise until doubled, flatten on oiled pan, let rest 15 minutes, drizzle with olive oil, poke dough with finger tips, let rise 45 minutes or until doubled, brush lightly with olive oil, top with more rosemary and sea salt.

– Bake at 475 degrees F. for 14-15 minutes

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